Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy 25th Anniversary, Inter-Tubes!

Today is the 25th anniversary of the internet, as we noted yesterday.  I posted a link and a blurb to/by Eric Mack, who's writing a four part series on the history of the 'tubes.  Part Two is up today and it's all about the great dot-com bust of 2000-2002.  Once again, a blurb:
It's hard to say exactly how many people moved to the Bay Area in search of that same dream during that time, but we do have a sense of how many ultimately joined me in abandoning the dream. An oft-cited figure places the number of people that quickly vacated San Francisco between 2000 and 2002 at 30,000, eventually making it the fastest-shrinking city in the country for a moment.
Well, yeah, there I go... in to SFO in the year 2000 to work at a web services start-up ("We're all gonna be RICH!") and out in 2002.  I had one helluva good time along the way, actually, and I'd prolly do it all over again if I could.  I'd spent my whole life working in big-ass bureaucracies with thousands upon thousands of employees (and airpeople, in USAF's case) spread all over the globe, so working at an outfit where you were on a first-name basis with the CEO (who bought you drinks on Friday evening) was pretty damned interesting.  There were bad times, too.  I was employee #234 (I still have my badge) and we eventually hit 300+ people, only to shrink down to 75 the year I left.  There was a lot of pain in the downsizing.  But we digress.

My ideer for today's anniversary post was to list some of the ways the 'tubes have changed my life, so let's get to that. Here, in no particular order, are a number of ways the internet has changed my life.
Shopping.  Oh, my... have we ever bought some STUFF on the 'net.  Clothes... hats, jackets, shirts, Levi's, shoes, and hockey jerseys; cameras (at least three) and lenses; computers (three laptops and four desktops); computer peripherals (hard drives, printers); software; groceries (thank you WebVan, for the year-plus of NOT going into a Safeway, Ralph's, or other markets); airline tickets; hotel reservations; pizza; greeting cards; booze; cigars; music; books, newspapers and magazines; and I'll prolly think of 27 more things after I hit "publish."

On-line dating.  I hooked up, broke up, made up, and gave up... all more than once except for the last, which is permanent.

Search.  We started with AltaVista and went straight to Google in early 1999 or so.  We've flirted with Bing and Yahoo! but Google remains the go-to search engine; I use it about 1,756 times a day.  Let's roll Google Maps and Google Earth into this category, too.

The Wiki.  At least six times a day (that's a real number, unlike 1,756).  Everyone's go-to source, for better or worse.

Blogging.  Fun to do and fun to read.

Bill paying.  I write two checks a month and only because my ex-wife doesn't have a web site that accepts alimony payments, nor does the State of Michigan have one for child support payments.  All the rest of Mother's Day gift recipients get theirs via the 'tubes.

Income taxes.  Filed electronically, both state and federal.
Those are just off the top o' my head and none... not one... of those functions were available 25 years ago.  Ain't life GREAT!?!


  1. "Ain't life GREAT!?!'

    Is this a test?

    I still do brick and mortar shopping.
    There's something about knowing my neighbor's are working ...and getting out of the house (IYKWIM?)
    All I know about on-line dating comes to me anecdotally ...and is more than I want to know.
    Google is my friend.
    I, too, used others until about 1999.
    Seems like Google ends up taking me to Wikipedia most of the time.
    Bill paying online is a huge time saver, except for two accounts that require I send them payment coupons [asswipes] (I can even pay the credit card bill online because my financial advisor graciously provides me with online access [he just can't help me with the asswipes].
    Is what I do really blogging?
    Inco.... SHUT UP!!!

    1. I still do brick and mortar shopping.

      I do brick and mortar, as well. But MOST of my shopping is done on-line, except for groceries. That said, if WebVan was still around I'd shop for groceries on-line, too.


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