13 January 2009

It was 15 years ago today....

Duey L learned how to play.

15 years ago today, I installed and logged on to AOL for the first time. Now, it wasn't the first time I was on the Internet, as I had CompuServe and Prodigy accounts for 18 months prior to that, but it was the first time I truly figured out that the Internet was going to be something big in life.

Looking back, I probably missed the boat on making a career and some money out of it all. I learned how to program in BASIC and COBOL in the mid-80's and while in college, I used a Leading Edge (knock-off IBM) to produce my Fraternity's Alumni Newsletter.

I also wish I still had one of my computers that I bought in 1989, the MacPlus (saw tonight on NCIS a MacSE!!) but I foolishly sold it off in moment of wanting some cash. I do however, have my PowerBook 150. The entire hard drive was something like 4MB!!
Anyway, it's these sorts of moments that make me take stock in how the rise of computers and the Internet just hit me at the right point in our generation.

I see how difficult it is at times for my Dad to use his computer (and don't get me wrong he does a great job most of the time, but when issues happen, he's just totally lost and calls me), and how simple it is at times for me to fix them.

So looking back, sure, I probably missed the boat on being an IT geek, but I've put a lot of that knowledge to good use at my current company. I can move pretty easily between speaking "tech talk" and "putting it in English" and it seems that anytime people have computer issues, they call me, so that's a credit to my knowlege as well.

Finally, for the record, I never had issues with AOL, still don't. During the early 90's when people were constantly getting bumped offline, I never had those issues. I enjoyed it, learned from it and have a wealth of knowledge about how it all works. The sounds of "Welcome, You Have Mail" are sweet tones to my ears and "Goodbye" was a form of finality that said, "You really need to go to bed now, it's 3:00am!!". Of course, I don't pay for AOL anymore. I switched to the totally free version, so I still do have my old email address (not that I've used it anytime in the last 5 years!), but it's almost like wearing a badge of honor. Keeping that email address and having it handy.

Oh well, in the crazy world of Web 2.0/3.0/x.x, you sometimes need to give props to the "old skool web".

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