Monday, October 26, 2009

Lo and behold

On October 29th (or perhaps Sept 2nd), the internet turns 40. In 1969 boffins first connected two computers at UCLA. I was introduced to it by my friend Jojo who asked me in I think 1995 if I knew about email, but the only reference I had was to a Sydney company called Email, gone now apparently.

In 1997 I signed up with Ozemail and after stuffing about for a few days I phoned them up to ask how I got any further than wherever it was I was - I was using something similar to Teletext, my only previous online experience. They mentioned the word browser. A few days later, a copy of Netscape arrived on a 5 1/4 floppy disc.

SMH - Internet turns 40

A school friend invited me to visit his workplace, the IBM building at Circular Quay in the early 70s. When the PC came along I was immediately a fan, but opted for an Apple II, and then an Apple III which did sterling service in my motorcycle shop in the early 80's. It even had a Winchester hard drive with a whopping 10 megabytes.

Jenny Walker, our devoted office person/data processor/photographer/guzzisti somehow managed to press the wrong key sequence and deleted the contents of the drive. That was the day I learned the meaning of the word "backup". Poor Jenny spent the next several weeks re-entering it all from hard copy.

That wonderful Apple was replaced by a PC inaptly named Apricot, as it was really something of a bright yellow and rather tart. I wasted a year or so stuffing about with that horrible thing before replacing it with a slower but much more reliable XT, then AT, 386, 486, Pentium...
I offered it to the Powerhouse a couple of years later but it was recycled as landfill.

Photo by Jenny Walker

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