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How long have you been on-line?

Displaying poll results.
less than 2 years
0% 0 votes
from 2 years up to 5 years
0% 2 votes
from 5 years up to 10 years
  1% 4 votes
from 10 years up to 15 years
  2% 9 votes
from 15 years up to 20 years
  14% 58 votes
more than 20 years
  75% 302 votes
I can't get on-line you insensitive clod!
  5% 23 votes
398 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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  • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Monday June 26, @11:36PM (26 children)

    by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Monday June 26, @11:36PM (#531641)

    First use of a computer in 85/86; first computer at home in 87 (Amiga 500 for Christmas).

    First online in the early 90's at a friends place; got my first permanent connection at home in late 96....

    --
    Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @12:05AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @12:05AM (#531653)

      Young people have been on the internet their entire lives, making a 20-year-old indistinguishable from "old people" according to this poll.

      • (Score: 2) by Absolutely.Geek on Tuesday June 27, @12:58AM

        by Absolutely.Geek (5328) on Tuesday June 27, @12:58AM (#531685)

        Indeed; maybe next poll should be what was your first computer? Then to weed out the "Them Darned Kids" don't put anything on there from this millennium. Then rather then the "other" category just have "I'm too young to have used any of these!"

        --
        Don't trust the police or the government - Shihad: My mind's sedate.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, @02:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, @02:27AM (#535518)

        except where the adult thats been on 20+ years doesnt talk like a fucking retarded aoler 'u' 'ur' 'zomg' 'lol'.

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday June 27, @05:04AM (3 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday June 27, @05:04AM (#531761)

      First use of computer in '81, did dial up BBS in early '90s.

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 10, @04:10AM (1 child)

        by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 10, @04:10AM (#537019)

        Got my first computer in 1982ish (TRS-80 CoCo, 16k extended color basic) -- roughly, it was summer and I think it was between 7th and 8th grades.

        Winter 1991, I got my first modem to connect to school. Some time after that, a friend of mine gave me a copy of GeoWorks which had a decent GUI interface for DOS computers. Included on that was an AOL connection application -- this was I think before they became the massive behemoth they became. So I used that for a short time but it was too expensive for a broke college kid ($3.33/hr I think). There had been a support area that did not count against your paid time, but AOL soon caught on that people were using that for personal reasons and cracked down. Unable to afford AOL, I became an early defector, and switched to Delphi which was way cheaper (about $20/mo, 20 hrs included) but wholly text based - no GUI. Delphi was one of the first commercial services to offer access to the internet for its customers - again though, purely text based, roughly 1993. It was around this time I also got into some BBSs because there were some decent local ones which didn't require a long distance phone call (for you whippersnappers, those were very expensive). In 1994 or 95, I got my first ISP - still modem based of course. It wasn't till 1999 or 2000 that I got DSL.

        Not that any of this is interesting, but it did give me a walk down nostalgia lane.

        • (Score: 2) by black6host on Thursday July 13, @03:04PM

          by black6host (3827) on Thursday July 13, @03:04PM (#538714) Journal

          Ah, my first computer was a CoCo as well. Bought a 300 baud modem at the same time and found my first MUD. This was back in the early eighties. One of the great things about it was that I could log into the Univ of Maryland's mainframe to do my programming homework. Not many people had access to it from home and it sure was handy. Beat waiting in 3, or more, deep lines behind a terminal. Still had to go to campus for printouts, though.

          Anyway, I'm afraid that's as much as my memory will allow me to relate :)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @10:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @10:48PM (#538410)

        first computer 1978, cray. first "internet" arpanet.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday June 27, @08:32PM (14 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 27, @08:32PM (#532112)

      Buffering while streaming... annoying?
      Ha, I still remember FTPmail "downloading" from ftp.funet.fi (the place from where Linux was released to the world) - in spite of the uuencoding overhead, the pop client was able to resume, the ftp client didn't - lost connection meant a lost download with ftp.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @10:15PM (13 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @10:15PM (#532667)

        My first modem was 28.8k on Win 3.1 and it took about 8 hours to download (I think) IE3.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday June 28, @11:04PM (12 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 28, @11:04PM (#532683)

          Mine was a US Robotics, capable of 14.4k, never got to connect at over 9600bsp.

          • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Thursday June 29, @04:29AM (9 children)

            by Mykl (1112) on Thursday June 29, @04:29AM (#532812)

            Bah. Netcomm 2400 baud modem to dial into my university's dialup bank of 8 modems (yes, 8 for the whole University). This was in 1990.

            It was hard to get on, and the system would boot you after 10 minutes of inactivity. So I set up a modem script to keep dialling until I got a connection, then to open a vi session and type a space every minute. Would fire it off and then wander off for an hour or two before coming back to check if I had managed to connect. Good times.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday June 29, @05:27AM (7 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 29, @05:27AM (#532832)

              1999 - "senior enough" to be allowed in research labs; one 286 with 4MB RAM to play with models and numerical algos was always there and mostly mine. Good God, what a pain in the ass the stiff ODEs have been.
              1998 - my Uni had no public modems. The VAX/VMS I could access have had some optocoupled terminals at 2400: VT100 clones - green phosphorus. Oh, wow! Graphic primitives and plots on screen! I could forget the traumatizing FORTRAN or the dumb Basic; if only I could wake up to stand in the queue at 6AM in the morning to get a spot (the lab opened access at 9).
              1987 - couldn't get access to anything better than ZX Spectrum clones or a single CP/M if you were in front of the queue. Personal 8" floppies were quite hard to get, smuggler stuff (communist regime at that time)
              1986 - the only way to have programs running - have your stack of punch cards collected for the sole weekly run allowed to students (IBM360) - after 3 attempts, I gave up, too many syntax errors.

              2002 - got enough of a wage to afford buying a 486 with 8MB RAM and 120MB HDD and the US Robotics modem. 8 month worth of savings. EMAILftp to funet.fi to get linux (thanks to Trumpet Winsock).

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday June 29, @05:42AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 29, @05:42AM (#532834)

                I forgot. The in '99 286 had 256kB on RAM not 2MB.

              • (Score: 2) by Spamalope on Thursday June 29, @08:50AM (3 children)

                by Spamalope (5233) on Thursday June 29, @08:50AM (#532867) Homepage

                Wow, '99 is late for a 286. Was that a typo and you meant '89?

                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday June 29, @10:12AM (2 children)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 29, @10:12AM (#532888)

                  Yes, that 1989, 1988 and 1992 instead of 1999, 1998 and 2001.
                  Hypoglycemia, I guess.

                  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday July 14, @10:07PM (1 child)

                    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 14, @10:07PM (#539369)

                    Glad that was a typo! Was thinking about the 400mhz AMD k6-2 i had in 1999. Glorious gaming rig with a 3Dfx Voodoo 3 2000.

                    That 486 in 1992 was 33 or 66mhz? Did it have a turbo button?!

                    --
                    SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
                    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 14, @11:51PM

                      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 14, @11:51PM (#539405)

                      Turbo button.

              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 03, @09:13PM (1 child)

                by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 03, @09:13PM (#534583) Homepage
                > communist regime at that time

                May I ask which one, as I sit in the comfort of a modernised, liberated, and otherwise westernised Estonia?
                --
                I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday July 03, @10:27PM

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 03, @10:27PM (#534593)

                  Only the fact that I hate putting too much about myself in a public place stops me in answering to your question.
                  My apologies for that - the only info: southwards of Estonia (which is of course self-evident, since northward of Estonia there's no other country formally under a communist regime).

            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 10, @04:14AM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 10, @04:14AM (#537022)

              I don't recall the brand, buy my first modem was 2400.

          • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Tuesday July 18, @01:01AM (1 child)

            by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 18, @01:01AM (#540674) Journal

            I'm curious, do you know if the systems you were connecting to had more than 9600 baud modems? For years I had a hell of a time with the connection every time it would rain. By the time they would send someone out, the line would dry out.

            --
            jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday July 18, @01:38AM

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 18, @01:38AM (#540685)

              I'm curious, do you know if the systems you were connecting to had more than 9600 baud modems?

              As it happens, yes, I know; they did, also on 14.4kbaud modems.

              For years I had a hell of a time with the connection every time it would rain. By the time they would send someone out, the line would dry out.

              That's the very reason no connection over 9600 was stable. As the infrastructure was out of any of the two sides' control, no attempt was ever made to send someone out, it was well understood it will be useless.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday June 30, @03:41PM (2 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday June 30, @03:41PM (#533499) Homepage Journal

      My first computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000 in 1982. Second was Radio Shack, was on Compuserve about 1985, then bullitin boards, finally in 1997 the internet.

      Great poll!

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday July 03, @09:26PM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Monday July 03, @09:26PM (#534586) Homepage
        Ah, happy Z80 days...

        I bought a mate's ZX81 for ~#40, I think, perhaps that included a 16K RAM pack, when he bought a Spectrum. I grabbed a Speccy when the 48K came down to #125 (from #175 at launch), probably early 1984. In ~1986 I was then fortunate enough to win a 300 and 75/1500 half-duplex modem in a Your Spectrum competition, and from that I got access to a bulletin board called The Gnome At Home. I also would occasionally pop in and get slaughtered on AberMUD. I did bounce around between PAD prompts on various systems in late 1988, which was I guess the first real internet experience, even if it's nothing like modern day internet.
        --
        I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Tuesday July 04, @05:09PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Tuesday July 04, @05:09PM (#534839) Homepage Journal

          Even 1997 when I first got on (after Compuserve in the '80s and then BBs) it was still nothing like now. No videos except animated GIFs, no Google, no Firefox, no Chrome, no YouTube, no high speed access unless you were at a university, no Facebook or Twitter or any other social networks, and you needed a real computer; no phones or tablets on the net then. And there are a thousand times as many people on it now.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 11, @05:48PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Tuesday July 11, @05:48PM (#537702)

      First use of computer in 1977. Wang PCS 2200. Then TRS-80. Then IBM 1136. Then another super minicomputer. Then an explosion of microcomputers settling on Mac in the 1980's and first half of 1990's.

      Online with CompuServe in later part of 1984. Later Mac Symposium or something like that, which seemed surprisingly similar to AOL when it arrived. Got started with the four horsemen of apocalypse (telnet, email, ftp and usenet) in 1988 via leased line connecting local net to remote office, which was on the internet. Only 56 kbps. But it was way better than dial up. A NeXT box made a good server.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @12:09AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @12:09AM (#531657)

    Fine! I'll complain about the DUMB SHIT NIGGER MORON who wrote the fucking poll!!!

    Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @10:04AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 27, @10:04AM (#531833)

    Does using the internet from university computers count, or only the first time you connected with your own computer?

    • (Score: 2) by aliks on Tuesday June 27, @02:18PM (1 child)

      by aliks (357) on Tuesday June 27, @02:18PM (#531909)

      IBM had an internal network up and running in the early 80s, and deeply buried in the menus was a link into a subnetwork called PCLIB. It may have been internal access only, but I count it as "online". I guess you would call it an internal bulletin board for IBMers discussing PC stuff. It had forums, howto guides, FAQs etc etc, but it also had libraries of downloadable code that could make the original IBM PC do some great stuff - better emulators than IBM was selling at the time, all kinds of things that we would now call apps.

      PCLIB was my first inkling that the world would be changed forever when very large numbers of people could link up and work on things.

      --
      To err is human, to comment divine
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @02:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @02:37AM (#537918)

        too young...

        1978 using UC and Cal State networks... PDP11, Cyber, IBM

        1972 modem 75 baud. UC Berkeley Lawerence Hall of Science's HP2000, BART's Singer, Berkley School District HP2000.

        Oh, the sound of teletypes in the morning.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by captain_nifty on Tuesday June 27, @03:27PM (7 children)

    by captain_nifty (4252) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 27, @03:27PM (#531945)

    By 1997 the web was already in full swing, basically if you were alive then and into computers you would be online almost by default.

    I first got online sometime in the early 90s with CompuServe, then AOL, then scored a good local ISP with unlimited connect times so I could leave the computer connected all night long and not piss of my parents by tying up the phone line. Also have many fond memories of direct dialing into local BBSs with the text based games, using telnet to connect to the regional library systems, and "hacking" into the school district networks.

    I'm only in my mid 30's but still feel like yelling at all these kids thinking they invented it all on the interwebs to get off my lawn!

    • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Wednesday June 28, @08:19PM (4 children)

      by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 28, @08:19PM (#532611) Homepage Journal
      Very true. I came online in 1996 when I started college. I'm very definitely a different breed from people who were online just 3 years earlier.
      --
      ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday June 30, @11:38PM (3 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 30, @11:38PM (#533757) Homepage Journal

        That's pretty much my story. My parents were always technologically illiterate and didn't get a computer until 1998, and it was a hand-me-down 386 that ran Windows 3.1. Needless to say, we didn't have our own internet connection.

        I came on in 2000 after I joined the military and built my own first computer, with a cable modem. I was like that one kid that had that one cool toy that all the other neighborhood kids were always stopping by to play with (which got annoying fast) because the original Napster was in full-swing and fast as fuck. My friends and other dormmates were downloading theme-songs to ridiculously obscure anime, movies, porn. It got to the point where I had to start kicking them out of my room when I had to go to sleep.

        Because of that I met a guy around my age but who was into that older-school stuff like IRC, smurphing, early Linux, shell accounts, carding, warez, BBS, all that shit. I remember him using alligator clips and opening up a wall box to download warez in the dorms using the dial-up modem in his laptop. There were some "free" providers who ran at 44.1 with required ads that could be disabled easily using clever tricks.

        • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Saturday July 01, @02:46AM

          by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 01, @02:46AM (#533803) Homepage Journal
          I had a computer early on (Apple IIGs in the 80s) but my dad was deadset against a modem for years. I think he was scared of viruses. I listened to friends talk about BBSs and online services, I read the ads, and sometimes I wondered what it was like but mostly I was content. Then college got me online and after one semester I decided I wanted a modem for the Christmas break so I could connect to school and get on usenet (with occasional lynx use for the world wide web). At that point it was technically my dad's computer I was using at home (Mac LCIII) but he had no worries about me buying a modem at that point, and the rest is history. I used ZTerm for Macintosh dialed up to my university for a couple years after that. At one point I even used it to download NetBSD for Macintosh which I installed on a 100M Zip disk. That was probably the longest file transfer of my life.
          --
          ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:25PM (#536599)

          I briefly tried a "freeweb" thing. The ads were easily covered by full-screen applications like lynx and quake.
          Still not worth the waste of bandwidth though.

        • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday July 13, @03:00PM

          by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 13, @03:00PM (#538709) Journal

          There were some "free" providers who ran at 44.1 with required ads that could be disabled easily using clever tricks.

          LOL, that must have been netzero. After launching it ran a banner of ads along the top of your screen. Though, you couldn't leave your PC unattended for very long as no mouse movement meant you weren't browsing so it disconnected. A friend rigged a small motor to a spare USB mouse and a circuit that reversed the direction so the mouse cursor moved back and forth which was enough to fool the activity monitor. After that I think he wrote a VB program that did something similar or clicked the ads after they got wise to those shenanigans.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 28, @09:02PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 28, @09:02PM (#532641) Journal

      Heh, I remember using AOL before it had a web client!

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Monday July 03, @04:19PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Monday July 03, @04:19PM (#534473) Journal

        Indeed. I remember the competition between CompuServe and AOL, once the two had largely killed off the smaller BBSs and the distinction between an Online Service Provider (OSP) and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) actually being important. OSPs sometimes provided some Internet access (AOL and CompuServe email was bridged with Internet email, for example, though you were all {some number}@compuserve.com), but didn't give you a TCP/IP endpoint and so you had to access Internet things via a gateway. I don't remember exactly when AOL switched to TCP/IP, but it was quite late.

        I think I got my first MODEM around 1993 or 1994 (2400 baud, replaced with a 14,400 kb/s one a bit later). I used Windows 3.1, Trumpet Winsock for the TCP/IP stack, Mosaic then NetScape 1.0 for web browsing, and Eudora for email. I was a relative newbie, and I've been online (for various definitions) for 25 years. It's not very surprising that most people ticked the last option.

        Even if you only count the Internet as online, rather than some prior networks, the first commercial ISP was in 1989 late, so people could have been online for almost 28 years without needing any special access. The Internet has existed in a form recognisable today since 1982 (earlier ARPANet instances ran different protocols) and was accessible from universities and a few other places back then, so 35 years seems quite plausible.

        --
        sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday June 27, @03:57PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 27, @03:57PM (#531971)

    Would have been interesting to mess with the years to fit technologies.

    33 years ago 300 baud DC modems were COTS retail at Radio Shack so my Dad and I got on Compuserve.

    Other peoples activity goes back further of course.

    29 years ago I had a 1200 baud internal modem in a clunky PC clone and it was not cutting edge at the time but it was cheap and I could afford it.

    27 years ago I got a cheapish 2400 baud modem

    I don't think I upgraded to 14.4 until rather late in the game, in fact I think 28.8 were on sale for many hundreds of dollars when I got the 14.4 in about '93. That was about the time I was looking for something big to download from the regional major BBS and there was a SLS Linux distribution consisting of 50 or so floppy disk images in various feature sets...

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by nobu_the_bard on Tuesday June 27, @08:09PM (4 children)

    by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Tuesday June 27, @08:09PM (#532100)

    It's a little vague, this question, isn't it? I counted the mid-80s as starting since I was first announced as being born on an old BBS (or so I have been told).

    Doesn't this question imply though that nearly everyone here is going to be 20 ?

    Or maybe it meant, how many hours have you spent online? I don't think many people would have a good handle on that.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by nobu_the_bard on Tuesday June 27, @08:11PM

      by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Tuesday June 27, @08:11PM (#532102)

      Doesn't this question imply though that nearly everyone here is going to be 20 ?

      Dangit, I meant: Doesn't this question imply though that nearly everyone here is going to pick more than 20 ? You'd almost have to be a teenager or younger to pick less.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, @01:41PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, @01:41PM (#534426)

      If you were announced as being born on a BBS, you were not online any more than your grandma is online when you post something about her on SoylentNews.
      (Well, that assumes the "on a BBS" refers to the announcement, not to your birth ;-))

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @09:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, @09:56AM (#540886)

      I interpreted as regularly online. Thus although I had internet at school maybe in 95/96 (I can't remember exactly when they got the computers, but they were Windows 95), I didn't regularly use it. It wasn't until '99 that I got internet at home, so choose the 15-20 years option.

  • (Score: 2) by Appalbarry on Wednesday June 28, @12:53AM

    by Appalbarry (66) on Wednesday June 28, @12:53AM (#532215) Journal

    FWIW, my not so humble brag: On-line using dial up BBSs in Vancouver back the heydey of guys like Steve Punter. That would be somewhere around 1986. Ran one for a while too. I do not miss 300 baud modems, though I sure did get a lot done with my Commodore 64.

    First got on the 'net in Hamilton Ontario around the time when Mosaic was still the default, and Netscape was just starting to appear. We were one of the earliest residential customers for the brand new Netaccess Systems, so probably around 1993 or 4. When we signed up their "data center" was literally a room with plywood shelves and a few dozen external USR dial-up modems all kludged together to connect to the lines provided by Bell Canada.

    Ah, those were the good old days.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday June 28, @01:59AM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 28, @01:59AM (#532233) Homepage Journal

    I've been online since May 4, 2009. Tweeted about Letterman's show that night when he gave the Top Ten List. Very important day for the cyber and for the internet. Now I'm Number One on all the lists. Looking forward to 8 more years!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @06:18AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @06:18AM (#532297)

    Woah. It seems I'm the only one who's not completely addicted to the internet. I'm 31 and am estimating 4-5 hours a day for the past 17 years. That's roughly (4.5hrs * 17yrs * 365days) / (365days * 24hrs) which comes out to 3.2 years online and that's a high estimate. I'm on a computer over 4 hours a day but I'm not actively online all that time. Yet maybe those tons of hours playing UT2004, SWBF2, Ant Buster, and Balloons Tower Defense make up for my offline days.

    Or were you guys misreading the question as how long ago did you first go online? Can we all agree that English sucks? Lets translate SoylentNews into Ido and avoid these embarrassing misunderstandings.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @12:18PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28, @12:18PM (#532391)

      So how do you count a fraction of a second of downloading a web page, and then a quarter hour or more of reading it? I mean, strictly speaking I've been using the network only for a fraction of a second …

      On the other hand, I'm obviously using the network all the time while streaming music, although I might do something completely network-unrelated during that time.

      Maybe use the time my internet connection is up? But under normal circumstances my router is connected 24/7, so that surely makes me an internet addict. OTOH I may be using an internet-connected computer even if my router is not connected; for example, when using the internet from work.

      In short, I'm not sure there's a good way to determine "online time".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:17PM (#536596)

        Not same AC, but I initally asked by dad for high-speed intertnet: not for the speed: but the "awlays on" aspect.

        Downloading GNU/Linux updates overnight was painful.

  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Wednesday June 28, @08:52PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday June 28, @08:52PM (#532634)

    I've been sporadically connected to the Internet for more than 30 years. If you count non-Internet remote access to computers, it's longer.
    I've been personally responsible for a continuous connection to the Internet for more than a year on occasion.
    If I look at all the kit I'm personally responsible for right now, the longest uninterrupted connection to the Internet is probably a few weeks.
    I've had a working email address for roughly 30 years.

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 28, @09:05PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 28, @09:05PM (#532643) Journal

    Pretty sure the single 2-5 years vote is from Bot. That's some pretty uptime my fiend!

  • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Thursday June 29, @12:38AM

    by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday June 29, @12:38AM (#532716)

    Compuserve in 1993 maybe
    Then 1994
    Amiga 500 (before, a C64)
    BBS, fidonet, web via FTP so I count that as online.
    bocamodem 14.4, 19.2, and later a USR 33.6Kbps
    My first ADSL was in 2006.

  • (Score: 2) by Spamalope on Thursday June 29, @08:53AM

    by Spamalope (5233) on Thursday June 29, @08:53AM (#532869) Homepage

    81-82 for Ti-99 and Apple ][ (the black bell and howel ones) - I remember the 1200 baud modem breaking and having to borrow a 300 baud one. The horror!

    '87 for 1st Internet access via terminal server dialup. I was getting Atari ST software from Europe where they'd caught on in a bigger way.

  • (Score: 2) by Webweasel on Thursday June 29, @01:48PM (1 child)

    by Webweasel (567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 29, @01:48PM (#532945) Homepage Journal

    Got my first PC around 1986.

    I remember being online with the Delphi ISP sometime around 1994/95. This is where things get a bit hazy. When we signed up with Delphi, IIRC what you got was a Telnet session into their unix environment. You were not exactly online unless you knew how to connect to other servers from the shell prompt. AFAIK there was no web browser available via this method. Late 1995 the web really got noticed by the media (The information superhighway!). Delphi got bought by BT and customers were migrated across. We lost our Unix session, but got sent a windows 95 CD so we could upgrade the PC and have a web browser. Now considering Mosaic came out in 1993, I wonder if I just misremember, or could have used a browser and just didn't know.

    How does this tally with your experiences fellow soylentis? Was anyone else signed up to an ISP that only gave you a Unix shell session back in the early 90's? Could I have "surfed the web" and was just too stupid to know it? All I wanted to do was look at porn and play Doom with my friends. What I got was ASCII porn and it taking all night to download a 1mb file of a crappy 80's EGA game.

    --
    Priyom.org Number stations, Russian Military radio. "You are a bad, bad man. Do you have any other virtues?"-Runaway1956
    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 10, @04:25AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 10, @04:25AM (#537026)

      I remember living in CA for 1 year -- summer of 92 to summer of 93. If my memory serves, it was at some point in that timeframe that Delphi started giving access to internet services. I think there was an extra charge too. Of course, at that time, it was all text based.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday June 30, @04:08PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 30, @04:08PM (#533522) Journal

    My first computer experience was all the way back in '81. TRS-80, cassette load, no drives, just a CPU a display, and a tiny bit of memory. I upgraded a couple of times after that, but I had no genuine use for high-dollar computers. My upgrade to a 386 happened at an estate sale, and the ladies really didn't seem to know what they were giving away for a hundred dollar bill. Internet though, was a long time in coming. My first experience was at the community college. Someone hooked me up, and I FTP'd some games for the kids. I would never have found anything on my own at that time. I guess that was about 1997. Soon after, dial up came to my little town, so I could go to the library to get online. It didn't take very long for me to get in touch with the ISP, and get my own internet access for ten bucks per month. So, early to middle 1998, I started roaming the internet, using Windows 95. I'm not real sure now if I was still on the 386, or my first Pentium. My modem was 56k, can't remember what brand or model, but I know that I never saw 56k during the day, and seldom saw that fast late at night.

    The internet opened many, many horizons though. Want to know something? Just do a search, no need to go to town, to visit the library or college libraries. TBH, there wasn't a lot of searching to be done in those libararies. Small town libraries are seldom big enough to get lost in, you can browse through everything in a few hours.

    --
    This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, @09:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, @09:57PM (#535898)

      Assuming you were born in 1956, I'm two years older. First computer was an Apple II+ in 1980, used for engineering simulations in our home-based engineering business -- Apple Pascal on floppies for the floating-point win (gawd was that slow)!

      Then we were given a Z-80, S-100 bus CM/M system, set up to also be a remote terminal to a VAX-11/780. This was so we could work remotely for one of the big video game companies -- 1981. Seemed pretty advanced to use a 1200 baud modem from a home office. The VAX ran BSD Unix (not VMS). If my memory serves (and it's not too reliable anymore...) that VAX was upgraded from BSD 4.1 to 4.2 in 1982 (or maybe it was 3.1-->3.2?) While I think the VAX was on ArpaNet or early internet, we didn't have anyone to email to, except other users on that VAX.

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday July 01, @12:48PM (1 child)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday July 01, @12:48PM (#533889)

    Bought in '79. Few years later got a 300 baud modem and started messing with BBSs. Got Usenet in the mid-80s, discovered WWW around 94 or so.

    Back when I had the 300 baud modems a friend and I made accounts on dating BBSs. Got nuthin for weeks. One day we made a fake profile showing us as women. In an hour or two we had over 100 replies.

    • (Score: 2) by KGIII on Tuesday July 04, @12:23AM

      by KGIII (5261) on Tuesday July 04, @12:23AM (#534618) Journal

      Yup. Since before there was a WWW.

      --
      "So long and thanks for all the fish."
  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Wednesday July 05, @08:28AM (1 child)

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 05, @08:28AM (#535103) Journal

    Baby-AT motherboard
    4MB RAM (30-pin SIMMs)
    Goldstar Prime MK3 I/O card
    Oak 067 VGA card
    110MB harddisk
    Sound Blaster 2.0
    Sony 2x CD-ROM
    3.5" and 5.25" floppy drives

    I had Prodigy for a little while, then AOL, then after upgrading to a 486 and 14.4kbps went to a local dial-up ISP.

    An earlier version of this page http://phantasy-star.net/ [phantasy-star.net] had a discussion board on it. That's where I found out about these nifty things called "emulators." That got me into assembly language, import console games, and later the Japanese language.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @03:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, @03:22AM (#537936)

      Nice rig.

      My first home computer Z-80A 4MHz w/ 4k of RAM, with dip switches to enter a program. Built the motherboard with sockets and wirewrap. Now that was learning to program.

      My current oldest is 486sx25 with 12MB RAM and 213MB disk.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:10PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, @06:10PM (#536592)

    The workd wide web was only invented in the early 90's.

    Before that I used terminal emulation software to dial into the library that had lynx for accessing gopher holes. They also had their search catalog, as well as magazine seraches; with full-text available.

    Before that there was BBSs, but I was never too interested in that. My dad kept in touch with people around the world with some kind of batch mail or news service (may have been usenet).

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 10, @04:29AM (1 child)

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 10, @04:29AM (#537028)

      There is -- or was -- more to the internet than the WWW. I have vague memories of gopher and archie. Less vague memories of usenet. At least usenet is still around.

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday July 10, @04:30AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Monday July 10, @04:30AM (#537029)

        oops -- I only read paragraph 1 before firing off some light snark. Sorry about that, my bad.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, @04:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, @04:20PM (#537644)

    I'll have to ask my parents. I remember playing some educational type games on DOS when I was very young (can't recall whether I could read or not at that point), but I don't think we got internet until later, around 19-20 years ago.

  • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Friday July 14, @06:42PM

    by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday July 14, @06:42PM (#539266)

    How long has this esteemed site been online? I would estimate 2-5 years, but I didn't mark my calendar, and time has a way of slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future, so it could be longer.

    --
    Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Monday July 17, @11:30PM

    by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @11:30PM (#540632) Homepage Journal

    When dinosaurs ruled the Earth!

    That would be 1978 with a TRS-80 Model 1, first with a cassette drive, then a single-sided double-density(!) 5.25" floppy drive (360KB! Woo-hoo!)

    First on the Internet in 1990 via multi-mode fiber to my dorm room on a PC/XT running KA9Q [wikipedia.org] from my dorm room and on various devices in the computer labs.

    I was really excited when I could stop using anonymous FTP lists and could use Archie [wikipedia.org] instead.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
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