Today, many of you were born with the Internet and have always known the connected world. But many of us have also witnessed the arrival of the web in our lives. We discovered a new universe that was not at all like what it is today. We suffered the plasters, we played the guinea pigs, we often struggled, but we also kept heaps of memories which forged us well. We are the veterans, and at the beginning of the Internet, we experienced this:
1. 56K modem noise
- 1 1. 56K modem noise
- 2 2. AOL CDs
- 3 3. The sentence “internet cut I have to call”
- 4 4. Pay-per-hour internet
- 5 5. We printed video game code pages
- 6 6. WAP
- 7 7. Launch eMule to download ONE image
- 8 8. Download a movie from eMule/Limewire to end up with a porn movie
- 9 9. Use the first version of Skype to call people anonymously
- 10 10. Wanadoo/Voilà/AIM chat rooms
- 11 11. “ASV?”
- 12 12. This ad
- 13 13. The Voila/Wanadoo etc. home pages.
- 14 14. We downloaded music with Napster
- 15 15. Flash games
- 16 16. Use the Internet on the family PC in the middle of the living room
The thing echoed throughout the barracks and if we wanted to be discreet we desperately tried to muffle the noise with a sweater. Today, the noise of the 56K modem still brings out in us an impossible stress.
2. AOL CDs
AOL was one of the first Internet service providers, and the company regularly released CDs that offered trial hours. It even seems that at the time, AOL manufactured half of the CDs in the world, which is to say how much they spammed us.
3. The sentence “internet cut I have to call”
Because yes, the 56K modem did not allow you to make calls while you were using the Internet. What ? Use our cell phone? Ahahah… we didn’t have any.
4. Pay-per-hour internet
Today, we pay for an unlimited connection (or almost, for telephones), but life before was rough: we only had a certain number of hours a month and we had to ration them as if we were at war. Moreover, in large families, it was quite simply war. A minute of silence for all those brothers broken by the limited Internet.
5. We printed video game code pages
We told you, the connection time was limited, so no question of leaving a page open too long while playing. No, if we wanted to grab codes for a game, we printed them quickly and well and cut the connection. That’s how we ended up with files of 150 pages of cool cheat codes for Age Of Empire, GTA 3 and other ISS Pro 98. The good old days. Except for those who didn’t have a printer and had to copy everything by hand.
When we all finally had cell phones, we were able to go on the web with them. But don’t talk to us about 3G and even less about 4G. No, to connect, we used “WAP”. It was long, like really long, but how cool was it to be able to check the weather forecast and the horoscope without even needing a computer.
7. Launch eMule to download ONE image
eMule was a bit like the ancestor of .torrent downloads, and it was terribly slow. We could download movies and music on it, but sometimes we launched it to download a simple image, and it already took a lot of time. Had to be patient back then.
8. Download a movie from eMule/Limewire to end up with a porn movie
It was a bit like Russian roulette, except that Russian roulette normally doesn’t take two days to find out if you’ve lost or not.
9. Use the first version of Skype to call people anonymously
We could call people’s landlines without them seeing our number since we were calling with our PC. Imagine such power in the hands of teenagers who are just looking to do some bullshit…
10. Wanadoo/Voilà/AIM chat rooms
Wonderful places to talk with strangers behind the backs of our parents who very specifically told us never to talk to strangers on the internet.
That’s how you strike up a conversation with a stranger. And for those who don’t know, that meant: ” Age ? Sex? City ? » We had no time to lose, we had to go straight to the point.
12. This ad
What was BG Thierry Lhermitte…
13. The Voila/Wanadoo etc. home pages.
Today we almost all have Google as our home page when we open our browser, but there was a time when each Internet service provider had its own home page full of information, press articles, weather forecasts etc. It was ugly, but it felt good.
14. We downloaded music with Napster
It was a bit like eMule but just for .mp3 music. But supposedly it violated artists’ copyrights so it closed… We were all sad that day.
15. Flash games
At a time when a service like Steam was not even imaginable, if you wanted to play on a PC, you had to either have CDs or play small flash games on sites like “Absoluflash”. But some of them were little nuggets and we shared them with good friends. Today, Adobe Flash is dead, and a page of the Internet has definitely turned.
16. Use the Internet on the family PC in the middle of the living room
ZERO PRIVACY. ZERO.