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Your earliest memories of email/internet

(167 Posts)
Thepigeonsarecoming Thu 18-Jun-20 04:11:20

I was at university, the internet was nothing but text and boring. But we could send an email. Although since I had to use a log in on a uni computer I’d call home to see if if was received. Anyone else?

OP’s posts: |
Aclh13 Thu 18-Jun-20 04:34:50

I was born in 98' so I have very early memories of the computer, my grandad was high level in the government for hardware and despite my parents being young we always had the top technological advancements. I remember being sat on one of my parents laps in front of the screen learning how to play the equivalent of snakes and ladders I imagine, I remember the screen having a green text on black screen. ( I remember this because I have an eidetic memory) I rarely used computers after that instead using play station ect. I then used again for the first lot of cbbc games, msn, bebo and club penguin original x

Aclh13 Thu 18-Jun-20 04:37:55

When I was very little I used to watch my dad sit in his inflatable Simpson chair playing fifa whilst stone Roses blasted, I had a Disney princesses then a tweenies bedroom my mum worked for walkers when I was very little so lived off free quavers and my first TV memory apart from children's shows is Saturday night takeaway and the eastenders 'you're not my mother, yes I am' scene with kat

XDownwiththissortofthingX Thu 18-Jun-20 04:44:26

Mid-late 90's, building home PC's with scavenged parts, very slow, noisy, and unreliable dial-up, and the very early days of online music piracy.

24hrs upwards to download one low-quality track grin

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Thu 18-Jun-20 04:51:06

1996... the sound of a dial-up modem connecting! You couldn't make a phone call on the landline when connected to the internet, and an incoming call would break your connection. It was incredibly slow, but even so it was amazing. Suddenly the whole world seemed to open up. Information that would never have been available (too trivial, esoteric or personal for a book) came into being. You could discover and communicate with people half a world away. And no spam! Those early days were incredible.

SoreBoob Thu 18-Jun-20 04:55:26

I can still hear the sound of the dial up connecting!
I remember being 9ish and going on the Bratz/Barbie etc websites, and Girl land website too - basically like a message board/early social media, would never let my kids on something like that these days!

Lynda07 Thu 18-Jun-20 05:02:43

Yes, I remember dial up.

XDownwiththissortofthingX Thu 18-Jun-20 05:05:03

Modems the size of shoeboxes that you placed the telephone handset into. Those were a bit earlier. Late 80's.

Thepigeonsarecoming Thu 18-Jun-20 05:06:23

Anyone remember ICQ?

OP’s posts: |
JustJayne69 Thu 18-Jun-20 05:06:57

Dial up modems. Floppy discs. Big heavy monitors. Dot matrix printers. smile

longtimecomin Thu 18-Jun-20 05:07:29

1994 summer, I was 17 and worked in an insurance company. I remember my boss explaining to me what email was and I couldn't wrap my head around the concept. But how do the words get from here to there???? I'm still not sure.

XDownwiththissortofthingX Thu 18-Jun-20 05:09:47


I remember trying to explain ICQ to a technophobe parent, who, in 2020, still can't get their head around the fact that its possible to access the internet on your phone without needing to be sat within 20 feet of a WIFI router.

That was fun. Not.

PhilCornwall1 Thu 18-Jun-20 05:12:10

Way before it was in the home. I was at University in 1990 and my first brush with something like it was JANET (Joint Academic Network),!we could chat to others in different Poly's and Universities, you could do other things on it as well.

Got it at home when dialup first came out and thought I was in heaven when I could get ISDN at home (it was still slow).

Dialup was a pain in the arse, especially if someone picked up the phone when you were connected!! Grrrrr!!!

Thepigeonsarecoming Thu 18-Jun-20 05:16:34

Oh god the dial up tones, interrupted when someone picked up the phone to call out!

OP’s posts: |
Whatelsecouldibecalled Thu 18-Jun-20 05:17:45

Reading a chapter on my book whilst dial up connected

TheTeenageYears Thu 18-Jun-20 05:30:33

The finance manager where I worked (the only person with a computer) received an email from the boss with a massive fake order as a test to see how often he was checking the new fangled emails that he'd been told to check daily. It took 3 days and the boss was very unhappy.

WhatWouldJasonBourneDo Thu 18-Jun-20 05:31:16

ICQ - with it's little "uh-oh" notification noise. Lots of fun and hours given over to that messaging service. Lots of flirting with a certain admirer too. Ahhh, those were the days.

Dial-up - the screeeeeeeeech noise. Eurgh!

Search engines (lycos and yahoo and some others) - how do these things work then?

WhatWouldJasonBourneDo Thu 18-Jun-20 05:33:12

I also remember how I ran up the phone bill while reconnecting the dial-up.... that first month, I genuinely thought I must have been charged an amount per email sent. Haha!

thatmustbenigelwiththebrie Thu 18-Jun-20 05:37:33

I sent my first email when I was at high school. Back then only one pc in the school was connected to the internet. I sent it to my friend who was standing next to me.

By the time I left school every pc had the internet and we used to email each other all the time, including after school. My mate had a Canadian "boyfriend" she had met in a chat room who was 25. We were so impressed. She would print out his emails and bring them to school so we could all read them.

camelfinger Thu 18-Jun-20 05:54:21

In the mid to late 90s I remember a lot of sites with coloured text against an equally brightly coloured background, just in the centre of the page, no columns or banners etc. Plenty of content, but no interacting other than email. I remember queuing up to use a computer at university and the disappointment after having queued for 15 minutes only to find out you had no new emails.

blamethecat Thu 18-Jun-20 06:00:09

Dial up pings, pongs and beeps, using the phone line so nobody else could (we actually ended up with a separate line for upstairs)
ICQ, chatting to strangers hundreds of miles away, about utter rubbish (well that hasn't changed)
Really, really slow downloads.

PhilCornwall1 Thu 18-Jun-20 06:05:33

The websites with that stupid animated GIF of a man digging with the words Under Construction. If it's not bloody finished, don't put it live!!! Argh!!!

Gingerkittykat Thu 18-Jun-20 06:08:36

My first brush with PCs was when studying statistics around 1994, as well as the stats programme you had a log in to chat virtually to other students and staff but could only use it if they were online at the same time.

I bought my first home PC in 2000, it cost £800 and I used to get 30 hours a month of dial up for £15 from Freeserve.

borntohula Thu 18-Jun-20 07:06:37

Dial up, only being able to use internet after 6pm during the week, chat rooms.

frankie001 Thu 18-Jun-20 07:11:23

Getting user names that were actually you’re name. Rare to have that pop up “that name is taken”.

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