(I’m in the process of migrating from WordPress back to MovableType — and catching up from being out of town for nearly two weeks last month. Content’s imported, but cross-linking is so McBroken, it’s not even funny.)
- When were you introduced to the Internet? How did it happen?
Early 1986. I started a job in the CS department doing system backups. As this was shortly after the university switching from the ARPA addressing to ICANN-managed (what we know today as .COM/.NET), the first day my boss said: “Here’s where the tape drive is, how to login, the command to run, and where the manuals exist. I’m going on vacation for two weeks.”
- What applications got you really excited the first time you tried them?
Keeping in mind this was 1986… USENET and FTP. USENET was similar to the bulletin boards I had used throughout high school, but the participants were adults, living in other states and countries. FTP was also a novelty for similar reasons.
- Thinking back to the first time you bought something online, what product or service was your first purchase?
I’d done several purchases of book collections from people on USENET, usually by claiming “dibs” then sending them a personal check. (Though it’s inconceivable now, there were virtually no spammers and very few cranial-rectal inverts on USENET. For example, back in 1990, I was planning a trip down the west coast. Several people on rec.bicycles offered to host me for the night.)
The first real purchase was airline tickets. It’s the mathdorphins.
- What role did the Internet play in the most recent of these milestones:
- Made a major investment or financial decision – The roof was the most recent.
- Started a new hobby – Finding knitting help online was beneficial. I suppose blogging is a hobby, too.
- Changed jobs – Almost none. The internet was useful for job searching in the mid-90s. In my recent job searches, I’ve found Monster.com is, at best, useless
- Found a place to live – None. The MLS cabal had an iron grip on information back in 1997 and few properties were online. It would be very useful now, though.
- Started a serious romantic relationship – None. I’ve met several friends online. However, hypothetically speaking, it would be useful as an ice-breaker if I were seeking a romantic relationship.
- Became involved in a political campaign or organization – None. I eschew politic and non-profit organizations whose chief “business” is pestering donors for more money. (“Ooh, we have a live one!”)
- Has your internet usage increased or decreased with time? What is a key driver as to the amount of time you spend online?
Email is the most efficient way I can keep in contact with dear friends. Web browsing is entertainment and information gathering – it replaces TV.
- Have you found the Internet easier or harder to use as time goes by?
Much harder. Spammers jockeying for Google Placement suck.
- What is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you while you were online? It could be a story about how something on the Web changed your life, something interesting you discovered on the Web, or something really important or even really amusing that happened during an email exchange.
Discovering there are people who enjoy learning as much as I do makes me feel slightly less freakish about stuff like this.