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Spunky Monkey
15th Nov 2018, 17:49
I remember a time when ever i connected my dial up to the internet, it would buzz and hum, then my screen would be filled with pop up windows.
All flashing trying to entice me in to buy some nonsense product or invest in some scheme or other.
You would spend 20 mins trying to close the pop-ups, chasing them around the screen.

Opening a new web page would bring with it music and more pop-ups.
The internet was novel but infuriating.

Then some clever chappies invented the pop-up blocker.
Sometimes they linked to false sites, but eventually Google et al cottened onto this and made pop-up blockers more mainstream.

Things have gone full circle.
Now to look at a web-page I have to agree to some GDPR inspired nonsense.
Then this evening, I look at PPrune only to have a small video playing in the top corner of the page advertising something or other.
The video is distracting, so I click on the 'x' to close the video.
Does the small video go?
NO!
It gets bigger...until it fills almost the whole of my screen, the it slowly reduces and fades away.
Who in their right mind would commission such an annoying video?
The National Trust!
So bloody invasive, I am thinking of stopping my membership.
Small adverts to the side of the page are one thing, but videos like this are ham fisted and definitely stop me from buying a product.

At this moment, I am starving to death, have smelly armpits, greasy hair and don't drive a Ford.
That will teach them!

Pontius Navigator
15th Nov 2018, 18:05
You are obviously attractive to such messages. Have not seen anything like that.

Grayfly
15th Nov 2018, 18:22
I'm still waiting for the Compuserve 1986 upgrade so I can run it on my Commodore 64 or my Amstrad CPC. Maybe my cassette got lost in the post.

BehindBlueEyes
15th Nov 2018, 18:41
I'm still waiting for the Compuserve 1986 upgrade so I can run it on my Commodore 64 or my Amstrad CPC. Maybe my cassette got lost in the post.

I had a Sinclair Spectrum ZX (?) that I had to connect to a cassette player to download games. It took about 2-3 minutes of buzzing and beeping until the program was complete. One of favs was Tranz Am; some kind of challenge to drive over the US and collect trophy cups. The only way to achieve this was to drive over them! Still remember being impressed when a friend had that tennis game with the up and down controls that hit a bouncing cube loaded onto his tv screen.

A group of us, all underage, used to go to our local pub just to play the coffee table Space Invaders game. God knows how much pocket money we wasted on it. The landlord probably turned a blind eye because none of us were interested in the alcohol.

DaveReidUK
15th Nov 2018, 18:45
Opening a new web page would bring with it music and more pop-ups.
The internet was novel but infuriating.

The Internet had been around for many years before the world wide web was invented.

Gertrude the Wombat
15th Nov 2018, 20:41
The internet was "new"-ish when I first watched a demo of someone typing a command on an ASR33 and having the characters echoed, a few seconds apart and several seconds after the keys had been pressed, from a terminal server in the USA.

DaveReidUK
15th Nov 2018, 21:52
The internet was "new"-ish when I first watched a demo of someone typing a command on an ASR33 and having the characters echoed, a few seconds apart and several seconds after the keys had been pressed, from a terminal server in the USA.

And if we're talking about digital datacomms of any sort, they are as old as Marconi. :O

Pontius Navigator
15th Nov 2018, 22:08
Back in the late 50s a friend was entering banking on the new computer discipline.

in mid 60s I got my first bank card. It enabled me to get £10 after I entered a 6 digit PIN. The bank would then post it back to me. My bank manager even st me have two.

gemma10
15th Nov 2018, 22:16
What ever happened to Johnny Castaway screensaver, Did he get rescued?

Tankertrashnav
16th Nov 2018, 00:35
1991 a mate who was an inspector in the Met invited me to have a look round Hampstead nick which was where he was based. At one point he said he had to check his emails (he actually only had one) and I hadn't a clue what he was talking about. Was very unimpressed and I said "why didnt they just phone you?" !

ShyTorque
16th Nov 2018, 00:49
I remember when internet was just a football term.

meadowrun
16th Nov 2018, 01:16
All the irritating adverts get from me is a resolve not to buy any of their products.
Negative result advertising.

Anilv
16th Nov 2018, 04:09
Working in the airlines I was exposed much earlier to electronic communication than the rest of the world. In Fedex we had an early form of email for internal comms. Later I moved to Lufthansa and while there was a form of email (called 'Memo' IIRC) it was very cumbersome and really never worked well. The main form of comms in LH was still the good old SITA network.

Also we had a method of communication between workstations called OUS (this was Fedex), If we knew the workstation ID of another person or dept. you could pretty much have real time conversations.

So when internet and email came along the novelty for airline staff was minimal as we were quite used to electronic communication.

I really miss the days when you came into the office and tore about 10 feet off the dotmatrix printer and started tearing them into strips.. you probably ended up keeping about 3 feet with the rest going in the bin. The carbon would be rolled into rolls based around the GMT midnight.

Anilv

SpringHeeledJack
16th Nov 2018, 07:32
A friend's father had an electronics firm that supplied components for the US DoD. I watched a few times as he sent communications over ARPANET and was suitably amazed that it was connected to something so far away. As to personal computing, I was a latecomer and due to a peripatetic lifestyle never had the pleasure of the Sinclair or Amstrad at home. When I finally 'got on the net' it was in Internet Cafes (remember them ?) surrounded by noise and distraction, but the connections were fast and sure!

ORAC
16th Nov 2018, 08:18
Back in the late 1970s in the RAF we had a system called ASMA (Air Staff Management Aid). Standard 12” green screen and keyboard. It had a bottom text line with a character limit (think early twitter) which alarmed you and various pages/forums for longer discussions and other tools such a for working out the various twilights/dawns etc. Main frame was in the old air defence bunker at High Wycombe.

The programmers had also put in, unofficially (you had to know how to access it) an early MUD (You are in a dark cave, there is a locked door etc) which I used to play on night shifts when I was at RAF Stanley in 1985. I wonder if I was one of the first to play an interactive computer game via satellite from one hemisphere to the other?

VP959
16th Nov 2018, 08:21
Also we had a method of communication between workstations called OUS (this was Fedex), If we knew the workstation ID of another person or dept. you could pretty much have real time conversations.
Anilv

We had a similar, but very rarely used, system, which was only normally used for system administrators to send global pop-up alerts to all staff.

One of them told a colleague how to send one of these messages, and how to get hold of the ID of a specific machine to send it to, and he used it very effectively to stop a lady in his department from spending hours on the phone making personal calls during work time. He waited until she was well into a long personal call then sent her an alert saying that automated call monitoring software had detected repeated use of her phone for non-official calls and that in future she would be be billed for such calls, quoting some ludicrous rate.

Worked a treat apparently, as the pop-up appeared on her screen, she read it mid-call, and promptly put the phone straight down. Said lady went around telling everyone that they needed to stop making personal calls because of this new call monitoring system, so I suspect that the effect of this deterrent was more widespread than just the initial target.

KelvinD
16th Nov 2018, 08:21
As a callow youth in the 1960s I decided I ought to "get a trade". So I joined the Army and became a radio technician in the Royal Corps of Signals. As I was completing my training, a 'magic' system was devised by the Royal Signals & Radar Establishment. This was named "Telegraph Automatic Routing Equipment", aka T.A.R.E. I used to be fascinated as messages were complied and sent, in 5 figure blocks, from our site in Botswana to a Royal Navy ComCen in Mauritius where this magic kit would read the message headers and automatically routed to the intended recipients. It seems to me that this was the forerunner of ARPANET. Later, while working in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, I was one of a team implementing something similar providing automatic routing of messages between Jeddah FIR and a handful of neighbouring FIRs (Addis, Beirut etc). This system was implemented by Rockwell Collins and Lockheed. In the early 1990s, working for Motorola in Germany, we had 2 ISDN circuits to the regional office in UK and head office in Chicago, the UK circuit was 32K and the US circuit was 64K. Initially, this was used to collect data such as sales, bean counting etc for forwarding on to HQ at the end of each day. It wasn't long before this became a virtual internet system, allowing us to email colleagues within the organisation. I remember very well the day MOSAIC was rolled out and one of the senior managers issued a dire warning against people using this for purposes other than strictly work related purposes. That same afternoon, the system ground to a halt and the IT boys discovered this manager was downloading a Maddona music video!

Grayfly
16th Nov 2018, 08:26
In the 70's I worked for a large engineering consultancy who had just installed a computer in the office. Obviously, we would hang around after hours to play the built-in game. A strategy game based on Star Terk. There was no graphical interface so the responses from the computer had to be printed out on the dot matrix printer, a couple of feet of paper just to advise that the alien ship had just launched an attack on you. Happy days.

VP959
16th Nov 2018, 08:38
In the 70's I worked for a large engineering consultancy who had just installed a computer in the office. Obviously, we would hang around after hours to play the built-in game. A strategy game based on Star Terk. There was no graphical interface so the responses from the computer had to be printed out on the dot matrix printer, a couple of feet of paper just to advise that the alien ship had just launched an attack on you. Happy days.

We used to play dungeons and dragons on a PDP-11, using a Teletype. The advantage was that you could read back through the printout to try and peace together the map of the system and location of all the challenges. One wall of the computer room was adorned with a hand-drawn map of the dungeon, as an aid memoir.

Spunky Monkey
16th Nov 2018, 08:46
Good morning, some great stories here and very insightful.
Talking of the Royal Corps of Signals, I did an attachment with 7Sigs in Germany in the early 90s.
They used a system called Ptarmigan for secure voice and some data.
The nodes were line of sight as I recall and were set up, so that if one node was knocked out, the system wall automatically reroute the message.

Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest of systems. Motorola did something far better off the shelf for a few hundred pounds, that didn't need a full regiment to send messages a few hundred miles. (Pre small mobile telephone handsets).

At the time, I thought that there should be a system of fixed masts around Germany that could do the same thing, used for data between computers.
The system could be also be used by civilian companies and emergency services. If each computer had an address they could communicate with each other.
Also small handsets could be used to send small text messages between themselves.
Better than BATCO in the military and everyone would have one in civvy street, to order shopping, do banking or tell the misses when you would be home.

Everyone laughed at me.
I now run a small disruptive tech company, that doesn't do brutish advertising.
(Apologies for my musings).

esa-aardvark
16th Nov 2018, 09:17
Back in the early days, when I worked, one or our secretaries
starting getting suggestive messages from some guy. She asked her boss
what to do about them. That's easy he said, just reply and tell him how
old you are. Quick trip by her to 'HR', shortly after he got a new secretary.

troppo
16th Nov 2018, 10:13
The most frustrating tug I ever had...green screen, dial up, watching them tiddies load pixel by pixel, line by line :}

krismiler
16th Nov 2018, 11:10
I remember using the internet for the first time in the mid 1990s, had to go into the local library to get online. Went through all the internet stages, dial up, broad band through cable, ADSL and now fiber optic at home with 4G mobile. Saw a report on TV about how two people got married after having met online, used Napster which took 15 minutes to download a 3mb MP3, hired VHS tapes from the local Blockbuster then DVDs now Netflix.

We are the last generations that remember the pre internet age.

Mr Optimistic
16th Nov 2018, 13:56
Still a bit if a novelty round here. Less than 4Mbps :(

Blacksheep
16th Nov 2018, 14:02
This was my first passport to the internet. It included FTP, telnet, a mail application, a news reader for the bulletin boards that were used for chatting and exchanging data at the time and Gopher. We could then use applications such as Archie, Veronica etc. to search internet sites for specific files available for FTP transfer. The box also contained an application called MOSAIC - a rudimentary Browser that gave you access to something called the World Wide Web from which you could access "over 5,000 pages" of graphic information presentation! It only worked on Windows 3.1 but we were told an update would soon be available that would work on an Apple Macintosh computer. Some said this would be the future of the internet and within ten years there would be more than a million "websites" to visit.

I was already connected to the Bulletin Board of the Brunei Computer Society that included an e-mail address. You wrote your mail message and posted it to the Bulletin Board. At midnight, the board connected by landline to the Malaysian telephone network and from there all saved messages were sent out to their destinations in bulk. Replies from yesterday's messages were then received in bulk and placed on the Bulletin Board's server for collection. Securing one's own 24 hour access to the internet was pure magic!

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/500x493/lrg_66b98650786882a0954c4973b668a523e1c22192.jpg

treadigraph
16th Nov 2018, 14:59
I remember nearly 25 years ago the lovely Jan, who was our telecoms expert, telling me all about email and how it was the way forward... luddite that I was, not fer me thanks, I'd much rather phone or see someone. I now prefer electronic comms and hate people phoning as it is a distraction. Still prefer face to face conversation though.

Amazing how the www still seems to be a very new thing and yet I've had my Amazon account for almost 20 years now... Apparently I placed three orders in 1999 though it cant tell me what - one was an Olympus digital camera as I recall.

izod tester
16th Nov 2018, 15:24
"The programmers had also put in, unofficially (you had to know how to access it) an early MUD (You are in a dark cave, there is a locked door etc) which I used to play on night shifts when I was at RAF Stanley in 1985. I wonder if I was one of the first to play an interactive computer game via satellite from one hemisphere to the other? "

I played star trek over ASMA at RAF Stanley in 1982 just after we had installed it. When CBFFI paid his first visit to RAF Stanley he asked what the terminals were and who we could talk to using them and instantly ordered that we install a terminal in HQ BFFI.

Mac the Knife
16th Nov 2018, 18:39
I started with BBSes and a 300 baud Hayes Smartmodem....
Think I used Telix

Mac

ShyTorque
16th Nov 2018, 18:41
I also remember mid 1995 when this very forum was all done by email.

Buster15
16th Nov 2018, 19:51
I remember when the electric typewriter was new....

ORAC
16th Nov 2018, 20:02
And typing up Ops Wing Orders on onion skins on a typewriter with the ribbon removed (and doing corrections with tippex) and then inking and fitting them in the Roneo machine and grinding the handle like a monkey to run xx copies off.

Then trying to get all the ink off.

https://youtu.be/XFIUm0DWA74

pax britanica
16th Nov 2018, 20:13
In the 1980s i worked in Bermuda the company i worked for ran the overseas comms. There was an important NASA station on the island that radar tracked the orbital insertion stage of the shuttle and other craft- it also had a destruct button if the unmanned craft went astray at this critical phase.
To synchronise all this with NASA back in the USA they needed three 56Kbs data channels- , to provide them we had to use a whole dedicated 10.5m diameter satellite ground station which cost several million dollars dedicated to them along with operations and maintenance staff.

So for 168Kbs we had to provide all of that kit and several people whereas now even in the Uk which badly lags the world in 'fast broadband' you can get 80Mbs into your house just to send emails and play with and watch TV-the world has truly changed out of all recognition in terms of communication.

I did wonder a bit about the story one poster had about making a joke about his secretary telling problem callers her age and her going to HR-in Uk at least back in the day going to Personnel(not HR) with that story wasnt likely to get her anywhere other than 'grow up' rather than any come back on her boss.
'

BehindBlueEyes
16th Nov 2018, 20:16
Roneo machines! Remember as a kid at primary school when the purple copies were handed out? The whole class would collectively stick their noses on the slightly damp pages to inhale as much of the spirity - and no doubt, noxious - fumes that were emitted before the paper dried. Probably would be a health and safety issue now.

esa-aardvark
16th Nov 2018, 20:35
Pax Britanica,
I am the person that you quote. I used the term HR so that the youngsters would understand.
In fact she went to personnel and said something like I'm not working for that **** any more.
Boss-secretary disagreements were not that unusual, usually the secretary won. Was not in the UK.

flash8
16th Nov 2018, 20:59
1994 Liverpool University library.... on a Sun IPX in the Postgrad Lab was running the Mosaic web browser... still remember people coming up to me and asking what it was I were using.... search engine was infoseek... then some months later or so Alta Vista....

I was thinking back then... wouldn't it be great to write some software for the web.... but beer in those days had precedence..... story of my life although I've since upgraded to Vodka...

30/30 Green Light
16th Nov 2018, 22:07
Aaagh, the Roneo! Circa 2001,
I was required to renew a visa in Isfahan, Iran. After an interminable wait in a queue, finally get to the front and told I needed 2 more copies of invitation documents. Directed downstairs and find the "official copier" jammed in below the stairs, a Roneo Gestetner! A few cranks of the handle by the official, a few thousand rials and "voila"! Now back to the end of the queue!!!��

DaveReidUK
16th Nov 2018, 22:30
Anyone remember Prestel/Viewdata ?

G-CPTN
16th Nov 2018, 22:41
Anyone remember Prestel/Viewdata ?

And the French had an 'online' telephone directory via terminals in their homes.

Minitel. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel)

Loose rivets
16th Nov 2018, 23:13
British Eagle notes to pilots and course notes. I dutifully took mine home to study and left them on a window sill. Bleached to illegibility.

I bought a double height 19" rack type box with two chrome handles on the front. Inside, board after board slotted into a motherboard. Some of the boards were covered in beautiful tubular gold-plated relays. This box came from a Proops type shop but in Southend. You wouldn't have wanted to carry it far. It was a BT research modem. 300 baud would probably have made it smoke.

I got one of the early viruses. Stack overflow kept appearing on my amber screen. The Rivetess suggested a virus, and a virus it was. 'Stoned'. Format the hard drive, reload DOS and off we went. When someone asked if they could take control of my computer (1989) and I saw his cursor flying about my screen doing things, I thought, This is the future. Hmmm, didn't give much thought to the bad guys.

The one good thing Alun Sugar's CPM machine had going for it was a file management program. I used X-Tree for the next several years of running my computer company. It was the most ripped off program in the short history, which wasn't surprising. I recall charging quite a lot for the legal software.
Oh, the CPM PC had a vicious bright green screen. I put a resistor in the brightness control and it was fine. Some people put a stocking over the thing to protect their eyes. People with fat wives, presumably.

flash8
16th Nov 2018, 23:20
Anyone remember Prestel/Viewdata ?
Oh deary me... my Sister spent hours, days, weeks non-stop on Prestel on her BBC computer + Modem (?? not sure if was needed but as I recall was 1200/75 oddity).... you could as I remember send messages to people with it... but nearly everyone else on it were travel agents.... probably 99% of those sending messages..... didn't Travel agents use it to book customer flights and chit-chat to each other....??
Alun Sugar's CPM machine
Never trusted him ever since Girl flatmate at Uni typed in her entire dissertation on the Amstrad PCW8256 (took like eight hours) without (I swear) bothering to save it once..... some people I know.... she wasn't studying Computer Science I assure you.... anyway, when she finally finished and tried to save it the machine came up with some error message and she lost the entire document in seconds.... she bawled her eyes out for hours... I made a mental note never ever to touch an Amstrad (probably unfairly).... year 1991....

Loose rivets
16th Nov 2018, 23:33
I loaned an IBM twin floppy Luggable XT to a friend's son - who was doing a degree in electronics. He typed a dissertation on a disc, but filled it, and locked it solid. I don't think anyone could be blamed, though the pal that got me my first IBM had to fly to Japan, IIRC, to sort a problem. He deduced a 10mb drive was being filled so quickly it crashed the machine. So, the highest echelon could get fooled.

SpringHeeledJack
17th Nov 2018, 05:24
Minitel, that brings back memories, 3615 was dialled and then the name/code for the service you required. Really this was the real start of the internet for consumers, rather than the precedent systems linking academia/commerce/govt, Yet you almost never hear of Minitel.

Ogre
17th Nov 2018, 10:14
I am reminded about how long the internet has been going every time I log into one (of many) email accounts, because the user name includes my age when I created it!

I had to wait until the memsahib had finished her nightly telephonic communications with all and sundry before I could be guaranteed the phone line, otherwise I would be connected and downloading data and the link would suddenly drop out when the handset was picked up downstairs.

My first PC had a whopping 20 Mb hard drive, a mate at work came in one day and handed me a 40 Mb drive which was no use to him because it was too small... it was heaven for me.

Oh and the joys of trying to rebuild the hard drive after a crash, I had to start with an early version of command line DOS (on 3.5 inch floppy), then load windows, then take the floppy drive out and install the CD drive because the next version of windows was on CD...

FullOppositeRudder
17th Nov 2018, 10:41
I don't think the word Internet had been invented at that time, but in an earlier life when I used a TRS80 model IV computer (green screen - I still have it) my bank offered a dialup connection system on the Viatel model (1200/75 baud). I modified a Beemodem intended to be used with the MIcrobee computer, and used this for very basic banking. Shortly thereafter one of the Australian stock firms (Elders) came aboard with this system, offering basic weather and other similar information. It was all very primitive and slow. The modem also offered a bidirectional 300 baud file transfer system which I used sparingly. It was all fairly expensive too as it involved long distance timed calls to the remote server.

Later of course came the 'real' internet. I was a late adopter; I had to an external 33.6 modem coupled to a Windows 3.1 286 computer. That stuff was really expensive at the time; the computer cost about twice that which I paid for my last smallish Dell Inspiron i5 a year ago.

I think we've made progress since those early days (there times however when I am not so confident about that).

Pontius Navigator
17th Nov 2018, 10:50
Had a PDP 11/40 at work, late 70s, its purpose was an off-site reserve machine. One bright spark wrote a BASIC program that we used to create crew briefs. I managed to insert a couple of extra lines. I couldn't delete them.

I kept stumm.

mikemmb
17th Nov 2018, 12:20
If you go onto BBC TV catchup, there are quite a few old Horizon programmes on the emerging computer age from the 70ís & 80ís available to view. The discussion at the end gives a wonderful insight into how we/they thought things would pan out.

under_exposed
17th Nov 2018, 12:42
FullOppositeRudder, the term internet had been invented before the TRS80 1 was launched.
I was a fan of the 380Z, frightening to think my radio now has more computing power.

A_Van
17th Nov 2018, 13:04
The Internet had been around for many years before the world wide web was invented.

Absolutely right.
Many of us in military were used to computer networks long before WWW came into scene. But when modems for home arrived in early 90's it was both fun and headache.

ian16th
17th Nov 2018, 14:30
And the French had an 'online' telephone directory via terminals in their homes.

Minitel. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel)

The French Minitel was probably the most successful implementation of Teletex.
It succeeded because the terminals were supplied free!
You even found them in hotel rooms.

The worst was probably the South African Beltel. This was ruined by bureaucrats that insisted on maintaining the SA Post Office monopoly.
Free standing Teletex systems were illegal and all connections had to be routed through SAPO's Beltel m/c. This meant the customer was forced to have a Beltel subscription and pay for time spent connected to Beltel, even though Beltel served no useful purpose.

Not surprisingly Beltel didn't take off.

BehindBlueEyes
17th Nov 2018, 18:29
If you go onto BBC TV catchup, there are quite a few old Horizon programmes on the emerging computer age from the 70ís & 80ís available to view. The discussion at the end gives a wonderful insight into how we/they thought things would pan out.


Itís also interesting how many sci fi films made before the late 80s and set in the future (now) never predicted or have any reference to a WWW. The characters usually communicate via Skype/FaceTime type live screen but no one emails or WhatsApps.

DaveReidUK
17th Nov 2018, 18:46
Itís also interesting how many sci fi films made before the late 80s and set in the future (now) never predicted or have any reference to a WWW. The characters usually communicate via Skype/FaceTime type live screen but no one emails or WhatsApps.

Possibly because prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :O

I wouldn't have a clue how people are going to use computers for communication in another 30 years' time.

BehindBlueEyes
17th Nov 2018, 18:49
Possibly because prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :O

I wouldn't have a clue how people are going to use computers for communication in another 30 years' time.

So true. Who would have thought that mobile phones would have evolved into hand held computers? When they first appeared, it seemed amazing that we could communicate without the need for a landline! :O

renfrew
17th Nov 2018, 19:01
As someone above mentioned the airlines were early users of computers.
BOAC's BOADICEA arrived in 1969/70 for reservations.Nobody really knew just how capable it was.
It took a while before we realised we could use it to speak to overseas offices and get an instant reply. .

racedo
17th Nov 2018, 21:17
Was this when people spoke to each other in Coffee shops ?

ea200
17th Nov 2018, 21:24
The French Minitel was a pain in the neck when they started insisting you used it to get the weather and file flight plans. If it worked and you knew how to use it it wasn't too bad, otherwise it was off to the tower to demand they let you file a plan on paper. I remember well one night in Le Bourget when I had a queue of exec jet crew waiting to read my UK weather as I was the only one to have made the thing work.

First computer I used (while still at school) was an Elliot 803B. 8k of memory and 35mm magnetic film readers with sprocket holes. Input and output was 5 track paper tape. '67 or '68 it must have been.

SpringHeeledJack
17th Nov 2018, 21:27
Was this when people spoke to each other in Coffee shops ?

There weren't many coffee shops (the modern coffee/muffins etc) before the mid-90's outside of the USA, so in some bizarre symbiotic coincidence, coffee shops and internet have grown together.

G-CPTN
17th Nov 2018, 21:41
There weren't many coffee shops (the modern coffee/muffins etc) before the mid-90's outside of the USA.
I beg to differ - the town in which I grew up had a coffee bar with a Gaggia espresso machine in the 1950s - and there were similar establishments in most towns - viz the two I's coffee bar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_2i%27s_Coffee_Bar).

These coffee bars were places where young people under drinking age could congregate.

SpringHeeledJack
17th Nov 2018, 22:11
I agree, but I was referring to 'the modern coffee/muffins etc' establishments, the ubiquitous chains of today.

krismiler
18th Nov 2018, 01:47
I am reminded about how long the internet has been going every time I log into one (of many) email accounts, because the user name includes my age when I created it!

Same here and it’s depressing.

Pontius Navigator
18th Nov 2018, 10:41
We were shown a super brand new Honeywell office machine in about 1990. The desktop bit was monitor and keyboard. It had mapping down to about 10 inches to the mile and was a great tool.

Now the coffee bit. You switched it on, changed scale, and went for a coffee. By the time you had drunk your coffee it might be ready.

Pontius Navigator
18th Nov 2018, 10:43
An early 1990s iteration on a Command and control information system was another slow beast with system being the operative word as it was not user friendly.

Linedog
18th Nov 2018, 12:03
I do remember the phone bills from when I first got on dial-up....................

I now have the luxury of 200Mbts.

krismiler
18th Nov 2018, 12:56
I do remember the phone bills from when I first got on dial-up....................

I had a second line installed for the internet, luckily the children were still toddlers or there would have been fights. Hotels were complaining about all their lines being tied up by guests going online. The first 3G modems which plugged into the PCMCIA socket were a godsend, if you could afford a laptop which was super expensive in those days. Some people actually took their whole desktop system with them if they went away, or at least the tower if there was a spare CRT monitor available at their destination.

Later on things got more advanced and some hotels started offering WiFi, I remember this was one of the things you needed to check for when deciding where to stay. Internet cafes were sprouting up everywhere and email replaced post restante for travellers to stay in touch with home.

hiflymk3
18th Nov 2018, 13:24
Plessey Radar 1973, worked in the Electronic Data Processing dept coding every last resistor and washer in AR5s. The terminal room would just about fit into a small house. The little round waste dots of the punch tape would get everywhere, clothes, bed, even my girlfriends' pu hair.

Blacksheep
19th Nov 2018, 13:36
These coffee bars were places where young people under drinking age could congregate.Yes indeed! We almost lived in Paleschi's Coffee Shop. There and Pacitto's Ice Cream Parlour - which also served coffee.

...communicate via Skype/FaceTime type live screen but no one emails or WhatsApps.You mean you've never done a "WhatsApp" Face-to-Face call on an Apple Watch? :E

ian16th
19th Nov 2018, 14:12
Yes indeed! We almost lived in Paleschi's Coffee Shop. There and Pacitto's Ice Cream Parlour - which also served coffee.

You mean you've never done a "WhatsApp" Face-to-Face call on an Apple Watch? :E

I had idea's of your origins, and you have now confirmed them! :)

Fareastdriver
19th Nov 2018, 19:24
I have still got my first laptop from 1996. It's a Twinhead I bought in Hong Kong for HK$15,000 which was over £1,000 at the time. It came complete with a W95 backup plus a backup disc for the peripherals. Colour screen, CDR player, read only, floppy drive and PMCIA. Internet was on the telephone which was OK in China as local calls were free.

Within a few years Chinese hotels were installing Ethernet into their rooms with a cable in a drawer so you could connect. That required a PCMCIA Ethernet adapter to keep on line.

I stopped using it in 2004 when I bought an Acer in China for 4000 yuan (£260). That had XP3 and all the gizmos and I used that until my offspring bought me a Samsung with W7.

I liked W95. The cascading of cards if you solved the Solitaire game was impressive.

ORAC
19th Nov 2018, 20:46
My first laptop was an Amstrad PPC640.

https://youtu.be/Dtj-bDKfv2o

Pontius Navigator
19th Nov 2018, 20:48
So you stopped using it two years before you bought it? :)

It is PCMCIA - people can't manage computer industry acronyms.

flash8
19th Nov 2018, 21:06
Within a few years Chinese hotels were installing Ethernet into their rooms with a cable in a drawer so you could connect. That required a PMCIA Ethernet adapter to keep on line
We had those at work (PCMCIA) Ethernet Cards + a dongle cable... problem was everyone lost the cables and were stuck with the useless cards.... eventually manufacturers started making them with the sockets attached, either spring out... or the card protruded from the laptop, but by that time Laptops already had Ethernet ports!

Carbon Bootprint
20th Nov 2018, 00:48
I first went online circa 1983 with CompuServe (hard to believe it still exists, though it's only a shell of what it once was). I guess it was sort of the internet then, though it became better integrated in the 90s. I first connected from a dial-up modem at 300bps -- which was pretty bleeding edge for civilians at the time -- then later moved up to 1200, 3600, 4800 and eventually a whopping 9600 Hayes!. I still have a second phone line at home which is a legacy of the dial-up days. Officially, it's now the "fax" line, but that's another device that's largely past it's sell-by date (not that I've ever had a dedicated fax at home, just as part of a multifunction printer).

I now have gigabyte broadband and am seriously thinking of dumping the landlines.

Ah, PCMCIA cards...a true trip down memory lane.

Pontius Navigator
20th Nov 2018, 10:47
CB, I once sent s fax by CompuServe. Bleeding edge as there was no other way to contact a company in the US other than snail mail.

I also remember my first online purchase - a pair of Pearl earrings for SWMBO. Also, probably by CompuServe, mail order from REI until they stopped international mail order.

When I needed tech support from Iomega I had to ring up for a password and then log on to their bulletin board. One password was Michael Collins ,- very IRA.

Carbon Bootprint
20th Nov 2018, 15:46
CB, I once sent s fax by CompuServe. Bleeding edge as there was no other way to contact a company in the US other than snail mail..Thanks for that, PN. I'm not sure why, but your comment made me reminisce about when I was working in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid-80's. Federal Express (now known as FedEx) had a special type of express service which we subscribed to. It amounted to not much more than a glorified fax machine though it was as large as the type of copier you still find in most offices, and probably cost as much if not more. The idea was that if we needed to get an important document to Washington DC or Houston or wherever we would just scan it and this thing would send it out on the phone lines. Of course, no one we ever sent something to had one of these contraptions -- it was just transmitted to the Federal Express office nearest the recipient, where it was quickly dispatched for delivery by truck. It worked, though in retrospect it was pretty crude. But back then we had a "telex" machine also, for the folks who remember those things.

When I needed tech support from IomegaAnother blast from the past! They made the Zip drives, right? I had a shedload of those back in the day. :)

Ancient Observer
20th Nov 2018, 16:40
In 75 I joined a big UK Corp.
They already had global messaging via mainframes and dumb terminals, which had a messaging system, and owned their own phone lines to some parts of the world. Other parts of the world were linked by VPN from folk like BT.
When these devices got to India, the Board of the CO in India did note that they could no longer say that the telex was down.
However, the phone lines were down as much as the telex.

DaveReidUK
20th Nov 2018, 17:57
I first went online circa 1983 with CompuServe (hard to believe it still exists, though it's only a shell of what it once was).

Ah, Compuserve, social media pre-WWW. :O

With its wonderfully friendly user IDs, IIRC mine was 10016,2__1. Not sure why I'm obfuscating it after all this time, but you never know ...

I've probably still got that TAPCIS manual on a shelf somewhere.

DaveReidUK
20th Nov 2018, 18:01
Thanks for that, PN. I'm not sure why, but your comment made me reminisce about when I was working in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid-80's. Federal Express (now known as FedEx) had a special type of express service which we subscribed to. It amounted to not much more than a glorified fax machine though it was as large as the type of copier you still find in most offices, and probably cost as much if not more. The idea was that if we needed to get an important document to Washington DC or Houston or wherever we would just scan it and this thing would send it out on the phone lines. Of course, no one we ever sent something to had one of these contraptions -- it was just transmitted to the Federal Express office nearest the recipient, where it was quickly dispatched for delivery by truck. It worked, though in retrospect it was pretty crude. But back then we had a "telex" machine also, for the folks who remember those things.

Zapmail (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapmail)- an idea whose time never quite came. :O

Carbon Bootprint
20th Nov 2018, 19:49
With its wonderfully friendly user IDs, IIRC mine was 10016,2__1..Ah yes, the ever so elegant octal system. My ID was 75776, 2 something-or-other 3.

Zapmail (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapmail)- an idea whose time never quite came. :OI can't say I remember that name very well, but yes, that was it. I didn't know they used their own network lines instead of regular phone lines, but that helps explain the exorbitant amount of money we paid for the thing.

Anilv
21st Nov 2018, 07:06
Not so long ago you selected a coffee shop based on whether it had a good wi-fi connection. Now everyone has data on their phones we don't really bother unless your network is really slooow. Soonpublic wi-fi will be thing of the past.

Anilv

Ancient Mariner
21st Nov 2018, 09:43
Not so long ago you selected a coffee shop based on whether it had a good wi-fi connection. Now everyone has data on their phones we don't really bother unless your network is really slooow. Soonpublic wi-fi will be thing of the past.

Anilv
Depends, in the EU, maybe, at far away tourist destinations, not so much.
Ever tried roaming on an international ferry with satellite telephone? I'll bet you'll be happy to pay a small fee for WiFi.
Per

krismiler
21st Nov 2018, 11:03
Data connectivity has become essential, previously when travelling I would rely on the hotel wifi, with free logins at shopping centres and coffee shops when out. Now with ride sharing and hook up apps, being constantly connected is a priority.

Pontius Navigator
21st Nov 2018, 12:38
Wasn't it 'war walking'? Wandering a shopping mall or even a domestic housing estate looking for an open WiFi signal?
​​Occasionally still find one in the Caribbean.

Best free official WiFi I experienced was in Madeira. On a cruise ship I got a good signal across the harbour to the Funchal system.

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Nov 2018, 17:49
Soonpublic wi-fi will be thing of the past.
Erm, what about my laptop?

Pontius Navigator
21st Nov 2018, 18:54
What about your laptop?

Get a GSM dongle. Bit awkward holding it against your ear though.

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Nov 2018, 19:14
Get a GSM dongle.
Yeah, right. A pile of them as there are different standards in different places. Wi-Fi works everywhere, even in places with weird non-standard mobile phone systems like the USA and Japan.
Bit awkward holding it against your ear though.
[puzzled] Why would I want to do that?

Pontius Navigator
21st Nov 2018, 21:04
[puzzled] Why would I want to do that?
The initial premise was that a mobile using 4G/5G would obviate the need for Wi-Fi.
You hold a mobile to your ear.
You use a laptop.
The laptop has a dongle.
Your laptop is connected via 4G/5G.
Using your laptop instead of a mobile would mean balancing your laptop by your ear.

Joke

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Nov 2018, 22:28
The initial premise was that a mobile using 4G/5G would obviate the need for Wi-Fi.
But if you go into a shop in the UK and try to buy a phone for use worldwide the universal response is "you can buy any phone you like from this shop, and it's guaranteed for Europe, but outside Europe you're on your own; our phones might work, or they might not, and either way we don't care and we don't want to know".

So "the initial premise" and "the practical realities of life" would not appear to match.

krismiler
22nd Nov 2018, 00:27
The Chinese Brand’s tend to have good coverage as they are designed for world wide export. Any decent smartphone these days has a wifi hotspot feature, some even have wifi bridge which enables it to share a connection amongst multiple devices. Very useful if staying in a hotel which limits you to two connections per room.

Data connections are normally quantity limited and can be expensive, especially when roaming. Wifi is needed for large downloads such as system updates and video streaming which uses around 1GB per hour.

If the 5G network can offer unlimited high speed data with reasonable roaming rates them wifi use may decline.

KelvinD
22nd Nov 2018, 07:38
My phone provider, 3 Network, has roaming arrangements in 71 countries around the globe which allow you to use up to 15GB at no extra charge.
Personally, I am looking forward to the introduction of 5G. That will be the end of my BT land line!

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Nov 2018, 09:10
Personally, I am looking forward to the introduction of 5G. That will be the end of my BT land line!
We got rid of the BT landline years ago. It was only ever used for junk phone calls and for one elderly relative to phone us - we persuaded him to phone our mobiles instead.

Monkeytennis12345
22nd Nov 2018, 15:44
Working in the airlines I was exposed much earlier to electronic communication than the rest of the world. In Fedex we had an early form of email for internal comms. Later I moved to Lufthansa and while there was a form of email (called 'Memo' IIRC) it was very cumbersome and really never worked well. The main form of comms in LH was still the good old SITA network.

Also we had a method of communication between workstations called OUS (this was Fedex), If we knew the workstation ID of another person or dept. you could pretty much have real time conversations.

So when internet and email came along the novelty for airline staff was minimal as we were quite used to electronic communication.

I really miss the days when you came into the office and tore about 10 feet off the dotmatrix printer and started tearing them into strips.. you probably ended up keeping about 3 feet with the rest going in the bin. The carbon would be rolled into rolls based around the GMT midnight.

Anilv

Ah, good old OUS ! That lovely form of messaging managed to bag me a very foxy Dutch girlfriend for a while, way back in 1991. I was working at East Midlands Airport at the time and she was on check-in at AMS.
I was also chatting to a gate agent who was working in JFK (Don't ask me how we actually got hold of the set numbers !) and one night, she messaged my usual PC, only for my Duty Manager to reply....two years later they married and now have two grown up daughters.

Maybe it was a very early forerunner for Tinder?

old,not bold
22nd Nov 2018, 17:50
One day in 1973, our airline regional sales and admin office was re-organised so that all staff (8) had a VDU and keyboard, connected to a large box (1m X 1m X .5m) called "The Processor" in another room. Our company system was tied into the BOAC/BA system of the time, whose name I forget. Head Office had the IBM main frame for which a special house was built, and all station sales and handing offices were hard-wired back to that.

With my supervisor code, I could compose a message, enter a 4-digit code, and when I hit Return my pal's screen in Hong Kong would instantly wipe whatever he was doing (probably a long and complex reservation) and my irrelevant message would appear. He would write "F*** *ff, hit the code for my screen, and go back to what he was doing. Occasionally we would do this the other way round. It seemed like pure magic to someone like me who had only just mastered the Telex system. Email has never achieved the speed and convenience of that early messaging service, but of course email does plenty that the system could not then do.

.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Nov 2018, 19:17
1974 I did a particular number crunching course. We used a huge programmable HP desktop Calculator. It might take an hour or more to type in the .Program - no storage. Then coffee break. On return we would find someone had dumped our program for some game like Lunar Lander.

Pontius Navigator
22nd Nov 2018, 19:23
Bought a Sinclair calculator in 1974 -£79 then about £790 now.
Bought a 2nd hand desktop in 1989 for about £800. It had a 40Mb HDD. Now, £1900, whereas I bought a laptop a few years back for £200 and 500Gb HDD.

DaveReidUK
22nd Nov 2018, 19:44
Our company system was tied into the BOAC/BA system of the time, whose name I forget.

BOAC's was Boadicea, BEA's was BABS.

Head Office had the IBM main frame for which a special house was built, and all station sales and handing offices were hard-wired back to that.

Boadicea House (still survives):

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/634x355/boadicea_house_aa5c58112f5fe12838fd7007c34addcd069a1c4a.jpg

racedo
22nd Nov 2018, 19:52
The Chinese Brand’s tend to have good coverage as they are designed for world wide export. Any decent smartphone these days has a wifi hotspot feature, some even have wifi bridge which enables it to share a connection amongst multiple devices. Very useful if staying in a hotel which limits you to two connections per room.

Data connections are normally quantity limited and can be expensive, especially when roaming. Wifi is needed for large downloads such as system updates and video streaming which uses around 1GB per hour.

If the 5G network can offer unlimited high speed data with reasonable roaming rates them wifi use may decline.


In Russia during World Cup and stadiums offered "Free WIFI". I found out couple of days later than littlie had watched the ads, then set up Hot Spot with same name for a few minutes. Believe he did it (or he claimed) he did it only a couple of times in stadiums. At peak he said he had 100 users then he just switched it off. He did set up a couple of dodgy ones like "FIFA is Corrupt" etc and watched while a steward with a hand held device was trying to source the signal................. just as getting close, he shut it down.

I was bemused and not sure to tell off or and say don't do that or just grin at his ingenuity................ left it at the latter as had given him my phone passcode for a just in case situation. Bloody little git.

old,not bold
22nd Nov 2018, 21:31
Dave, thanks for that, very interesting. I should have been clearer that the IBM mainframe I mentioned was in our HQ in Bahrain. I guess our "sub-network" was connected to the Boadicea network from there. I have a vague recollection that CPARS came into it somehow, but I cannot remember how or indeed why.

Years later, in another career and existence, I had a website in 1995 (+/- 1 year or so), for a business I ran then. Just text and pictures. A lot of 30-somethings find that very hard to believe, because computers and the internet didn't exist before they discovered them, did they.