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Midnight Pub


90s Nostalgia


~xennial


To me, the Internet started off as Telenet and Datapac connections, Gopher and WAIS. I remember FTPing to universities to get software for the school Macintosh Plus lab, and my home Atari ST and XE. Ah umich.edu, I miss thee.


Even in the beginnings of the WWW, the mid-1990s, I was poor and so I used the local FreeNet with its Lynx text-based web-browser to do everything. Pico and Pine. I got a free shell account on some server somewhere so I could IRC - and all on a $20 XT I got from a garage sale. 2400 baud modem. Woohoo!


Then, I got a 'real computer', a Pentium, with Windows 95, and graphical web-browsing became a thing. But it was pretty slow, and even then I missed the speed at which I could zip from page to page using Lynx. Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words... maybe. But I'm on the fence as to if it was an improvement.


I had an ugly web page on GeoCities. My cat had a webpage there too, because why not. Then came social networks, which took most of the creativity out of it.


Now, we build entire applications to run inside web browsers using Javascript, CSS and Webassembly -- poor old HTML is a fourth-class citizen. But operating systems treat any binary like it's the enemy, and so web is the way to go for software, now.


Different, sure. But 'better'? That's very hard to say.


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Replies


~littlejohn wrote:


> I had an ugly web page on GeoCities. My cat had a webpage there too, because why not. Then came social networks, which took most of the creativity out of it.


There is no such thing as an ugly web page on GeoCities, this is just something the designers of the 2010s came up with to justify their own lack of creativity and their boring flat designs.


JUSTICE FOR GEOCITIES!


Um. Sorry. It's just this beer is *really good* I get carried away at times.


~tatterdemalion wrote:


A PC-XT with a modem and Telix is a perfectly cromulent substitute for a vt100! Some of my first internet experiences were on a similar machine, and a Toshiba laptop with a monochrome, text-only LCD and no hard drive. 1200 baud, though. Dialing up the local university's terminal server from whence one could telnet to anywhere...I used it mainly to connect to LPMuds.


Even through the late 90s, my wife's main internet access was through a local freenet like you describe.


~every wrote:


I can remember a post on USENET heralding something from Cern called the World Wide Web. I couldn't see the point since we already had gopher. I was absolutely prescient on that one...


~tskaalgard wrote (thread):


It isn't better. It's actively worse. If you're here, you're part of a community that actively resists these trends.

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