Internet ~ December 1996

My first internet search was «santa». We had just been hooked up to the Internet at work. We were all clueless. A co-worker and I decided to try it. We saw an icon that said “Internet Explorer”, so we figured that must be it.

We were taken to the search engine Alta Vista … a box that said «SEARCH», so, as it was just before Christmas I typed in Santa. The first hit was some huge, animated Santa and we were in total awe!

That’s how I started my internet experience … at work, on our lunch break. The computer was a .386 and the only one that was hooked up, was placed in a conference room in the basement. The operating system was Windows 3.something … Here’s a reminder in case you’ve forgotten what it looked like: LINK

This doesn’t sound like much, but I was sort of hooked anyway. I’d heard the word ‘chat’ being mentioned with regards to the Internet, but I didn’t know how it was done or how to get a hold of it.

During the holidays that year, I read an article about chatting in one of the Swedish evening papers, and they even gave a link — I didn’t know it was a link then — to a Swedish chat server. I carefully jotted it down … made really sure that I got the http:// right.

As soon as I was back at work, I tried it! One thing I also remember about all this is how carefully I typed — like I was afraid of destroying the damned thing.. I don’t know. Either way, I was taken to a Swedish chat and there were lots of people in there, maybe because it was lunch. You could even see at which company they were … it said the company name beside their handles, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, ABB and so on…

I guess I said “hallå”. They were friendly enough and I wanted to know how to get in touch with people in other countries as I figured I saw enough Swedes in my daily life. One guy answered «look at the links to your left». Well … as I still didn’t know what a link was, I had that explained to me also, and then I bravely clicked on ‘foreign links’ [or some such in Swedish].

Landed at WBS … Worldchat Broadcasting System, but that will be another post…


7 thoughts on “Internet ~ December 1996”

  1. I read all of them…what an interesting saga. My first experience with a computer was way back in 1970. Back then to input data you had to punch cards. I learned to do this. The computer filled an entire room at the Corps of Engineers.

    So hearing about what you learned in 1997 was really interesting. By this time I owned 6 Macintosh computers and the first little laptop…still have the laptop.

    Anyway, enjoyed all the posts….I wonder if the “son” on the end of the name equates to the III and IV after my son’s name and his son’s name?

    1. My first contact with a *computer* must have been in 1974. At work, we had an IBM34 and it filled out a whole conference room. Those were the days…

      The -son part in family names in Sweden, just means that: son. Both for boys and girls. To add the III they would just put in Sr. but that is highly uncommon … not to say unheard of.

    1. They sure would, as many of them were born into all this … like I myself was with the telephone. It was always there. Didn’t matter that Mum told me about old times when they didn’t have a phone. Love progress 🙂

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