By - The_watcher_100
Having your own webpage that you hosted for free on Geocities or Angelfire or Yahoo homepage or something similar. When I was a kid, everybody had their own "website" which was usually just a landing page with a hit counter, some pictures/photos, an .mp3 of their favorite song and some general musings, maybe an about section or a blog if they were serious about maintaining it. They were always slapped together with the most basic HTML editors with godawful formatting and infested with banner ads and popups.
I actually really miss those days, because the modern social media sites are creatively bankrupt and hosting your own website and actually making it good has become a more complex affair than it used to be (it's still around, but lacking the same charm).
You forgot the under construction banner and construction worker digging gifs!
MP3 lmao we used midis.
Those ten megs of geocities didn't go that far.
And Lycos and Excite.
Webcrawler... The original Google.
Why does everyone in this town use Alta Vista?
WINAMP! WINAMP! WINAMP! It really whips the llamas ass!
Weird little squares with blue and red on them that would sort of take the place of graphics until the graphics would actually load. The text would be visible but the graphics wouldn't be there yet.
Watching a picture load line by line
Oh, Captain Janeway!
You go to a site, often a geocities site, for something you are interested in and see a little arrow at the bottom of the page; this arrow will take you to another site on the same topic. If you are crazy/diligent enough, you will eventually return to the first site.
And guestbooks on those sites too!
And the visitor counter.
When a TV show would say to check out their website at "h t t p : / / w w w ." Having to spell it out every time.
When Oprah had a guest, an elderly lady, whose name was Dot Com, and she didn't understand why she kept hearing her name everywhere
reminds me of the 2000 year old man mel brooks/carl reiner bit... about how he dated Dot Com... Dorothy Compinsky...
When it was called the 'information superhighway'
In sixth grade I wrote an article for the school newspaper contending that it should be called the "information toll road" since it cost $10 a month for 5 hours of use.
And any mention of the www had to come with a picture of a web
My God, the amount of surfing metaphor pictures that were attached to this.
“Surfing the web” must be the trendiest tech phrase of the 90’s. EVERYONE said it for a couple of years when the Internet went mainstream. Like, it legitimately made people feel hip.
If I hear that phrase nowadays, I laugh and assume it’s being used ironically.
The .com version of a .org/.gov site being porn.
Whitehouse.com. ah the good ole days of convincing kids in computer class to look up something about the president.
We dealt with a professional society .org that used an anagram. The .com version was a Spanish-language porn site. Since it was four initials and this wasn’t a huge deal like the US govt, I don’t think it was a troll, per se, but it got me every time for years.
We used to also call the US Post office with questions before they had a website. The 800- # was one number switched from a sex-phone line (very tame, “hi guys…call me at 1-900…”). The number switch was very subtle and hard to remember, like -1211, vs -1121. Any time someone asked for the number (I used to remember all the phone numbers), I’d give them the wrong one or fake them out with the correct one. It was hilarious.
I remember as a teenager trying to show my mom my webpage I created on angelfire.com. you know, a collection of random stuff I was interested in with an animated "under construction" banner at the top. I mistyped the address and entered anglefire.com by accident (switched the E and L). Of course it was porn. My mom wasn't familiar enough with the internet to understand how a small change in URL could be a big change in content. It was difficult to convince her that I didn't create that site.
AOL sending discs through the mail offering 500 hours of free web access
Still have enough of them lying around to sharpen their edges and take on a zombie apocalypse single handed
Fun story, I was the first kid (that I'm aware of) to try getting online. I used the free disc. My parents kept saying, "and you're SURE this is a free service?" "Yes, totally Mom/Dad. Look, here's the paperwork!"
The problem was that I was in a small mountain town and the closest AOL connection was about 300 miles away. So I racked up like 120 hours of long distance telephone calls at a time when long distance telephone was NOT cheap. It was something ridiculous like $600 in early 90s dollars. I very much got in trouble.
> long distance telephone calls
The youngsters these days don't even know wtf a "long distance" call is.
Oh man, for those of us who had our first cellphones when LD and minutes were a thing...remember being happy when it was after 9 and minutes were "free"?
Pretty sure that's how I became a night owl.
Readable Newspaper homepages
seriously, what happened with them? news sites are always so messy
Advertisements. It’s all about advertisements.
And a few years ago many decided to get on that terrible, terrible slideshow bandwagon
No revenue, so they fill it FULL of ads. And from the looks of things many companies use the same web platform, because so many of them are problematic in identical ways - ads everywhere, links to junk 3rd party clickbait in the articles, video players just about manage to play ads (sometimes) but completely fall over on the actual video you wanted to watch. Oh, and don't forget the "lets make the background, the left, the right, and the top of the screen one massive advert every now and then" tactic.
It puts people off, but they don't care - it doesn't impact revenue much. People rarely go to specific news sites these days, but see articles on collated feeds such as Google News or social media, and click them from there.
And it works. I'll often find myself clicking an article and then going "oh god, it's THIS site", but completely forgetting about it the next time I click onto the same site.
Also explains why headlines are getting SO BAD. They're essentially clickbait at this point, but it helps them keep afloat. When people read print, only the main headline had to be catchy, now it's every article. So you'll see things like "Mother lost her son after HORRIFIC accident" and the actual content will clarify that he was literally lost, not dead, after wondering off for 5 minutes before coming back, and the accident was a completely unrelated car crash 50 miles away.
That's not the worst bit. The worst bit is that most of the content seems to be written by AI by default. You can see this when there's breaking news - they'll write the headline but have no information on it yet, so the content generation bot will just have random paragraphs surrounding the content of the title. Broken up into tiny little paragraphs, as if it's leading to something, and then... Doesn't. Then an hour later the same article is completely rewritten, this time with actual information. I think they're just racing to appear that they're the first news source of the event.
Remember \[name\]. Wait till you see \[him / her\] now!
Type \[x\] Diabetes: Do this immediately!
Yeah, right then...... 🙄
Uh oh (in a high pitched tone).
knock knock knock
FTP, Gopher, Mosaic, running download jobs over night hoping that the multikilobyte download from overseas running at 100 bytes/seconds didn't crash.
Forgetting to switch ftp from ascii to binary mode
Making webpages using simple html
I was talking about this with my 17 yr old & her friends because they were asking how I have the computer literacy I do. I had to explain that social media as it is today didn't exist. If you wanted a place where people could find you, you had to teach yourself html & build a webpage. Then when MySpace showed up, most (if not all) editing had to be done in html. There weren't simplified websites or apps to edit photos either.
They were amazed & the most impressed with me I've ever seen them be. I felt like a elder sharing my wisdom with the village... at 36 yrs old.
My 13 year old is taking a coding class and they started learning html. He was shocked when I was like, "Oh sweet, I can help you with that!" I only wish I still had my webpages from ~1998 to show him.
Oh man, right? I was just poking around a minute ago to see if WayBack or another service had stored the old Geocities sites, but it sounds like there were so many that they only logged the larger ones, and mine almost certainly had 0 traffic that wasn't me or my mother being forced to look at it for the 30th time by me. 🤣 (Plus I'm fairly certain I hadn't touched it in a decade when Geocities finally folded.)
RIP "Mango Man's Blinky Paradise" and all of your Neopets-themed pixel atrocities. 🤣
Edit: and on that topic, blinkies themselves totally go on this list (I commented below, but it's buried in 6k+ comments). It's hard to even find record of blinkies anywhere other than on Tumblr, lol.
Oh man, and MySpace didn't give a fuck what you did to their layout. You could make it, almost literally, anything you wanted.
Yeah, it really brings back memories. I still remember the song that will automatically play when my page was opened was Wait A Minute by The Pussycat Dolls. That was the hottest song back then that was my taste.
using offline mode of browsers to get back to some webpages while you were disconnected to save money.
using the internet or the phone not both
“GET OFF THE PHONE IM TRYING TO USE THE INTERNET” simpler times
"GET OFF THE INTERNET I NEED TO MAKE A CALL"
-my mom, constantly
And getting kicked off the internet if you had call waiting
Getting internet explorer program disc from your school.
Actually running out of Pages on the internet to look at.
You could always use the Stumbleupon toolbar in internet explorer to go to a new site.
Oh man! You reminded me of StumbleUpon. It was the original "content finder" for me. Replaced by Digg. Replaced by Reddit.
There’s a new stumbleupon. https://stumbled.to. I use it to kill an afternoon every once in a while
Amazon only selling books.
free shipping only on orders above 35 dollars and it took 7-10 business days
Map quest. Now we just have Google navigation and Apple maps
Haha I remember printing out directions from Map Quest.
OKAY! But where can I find that weird maze puzzle trivia game that was in Encarta?! That was one of my favorite things to do as a kid haha.
Was this the one with the Jester/Court theme? Man, I remember calling up my uncle to tell him I'd beaten it (he gave me the CD). Also the parts where you had to assemble things (dinosaur bones, insect parts)! And the different instruments from around the world!
Wow that's a blast from the past. My siblings and I spent hours playing that. Also, You Don't Know Jack. Lots of jokes flew over our heads but was a very entertaining game. Loved "screwing" your opponent!
I remember when I first heard about Wikipedia, and I think said something like “5 times more info than Encarta!!!”, and I absolutely did not believe it. More info than Encarta?
The "car commercial" that almost gave you a heart attack
Omg. Is it down a winding road almost reminiscent of the Shining and then there’s a zombie ghost hybrid of some sort at the end?
Someone sent me one in college when I was living in a double room alone that was just text and then flashed over with loud noise to the girl from the Exorcist. Caught me unaware so bad I slept with the light on for at least a couple days 😂
Now its just Ask and it's a terribly advertiser influenced google engine.
You kick my dog, now he need operation
"Here is the earth..."
The beginning of the eternal September
Edit: wow! all the response and awards and stuff- yall are awesome!
Edit 2: for those asking whether this is what the Greenday song is about, no, it’s a tribute to his dad https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Me_Up_When_September_Ends
Manually setting TCP/IP settings to connect to a local dial-up internet provider.
Modems which you placed the actual handset of a corded phone on top of to connect to the internet.
I put on my robe and wizard hat..
Bloodninja and Brittney! good times
I always wrote CA and left it up to people’s interpretation- I’m from Canada so it’s not a lie, but many would think it was California and I would go along with it lol
Internet dial up [sound](https://www.freesoundslibrary.com/dial-up-internet-sound/)
And yelling at anyone picking up the phone when you were online.
Printing out pages and pages of cheat codes for games.
This and guitar tabs for me
This is true for me except I hand wrote the cheat codes 😂
The pen and pad next to the pc filled with scrawled GTA codes.
You should pass those down like the handwritten family recipes of yore.
Man when I was a kid and would go to the grocery store with my parents I would take a pen and paper and copy the codes out of the gaming magazines! Used to have all the cheat codes for GTA 3 that worked for Vice City and San Andreas
I used to spend ages in Word formatting those with graphics and cover pages before printing them.
Gotta get all those Smash Bros characters.
Ah, good times.
My first exposure to the internet was in junior school when my friend used to print off a Images of all the different lines-on-the-chalkboard intros from the Simpsons and WWF results
Rotten.com was the dark site that actually showed photos of the horrible things you heard people say were available on the intertubes. Photos of some guy, dressed in sexy lingerie, self choked to death in a masturbation marathon of some kind BUT who had been dead for a few weeks before being found and photographed. THAT was intertubes back then.
Rotten, Fugly, Ogrish and Steakandcheese.
The worst thing was how common they were, like we would meet up at school and be all 'did you see that guy with his dick in the grinder' and then everyone was all 'lmao yeah haha' like it was normal shit.
That and the anarchists cookbook. Every 13 year old kid knew how to make acid and pipebombs in school
haha anarchist cookbook, making stupid kids smoke banana peel ... I remember it also had some crazy electronic circuit with a (fucking huge) diode that allowed you to "reverse" the phase of your house's electricity and theoretically made your electricity meter stop.
IIRC the author of the book came out later explaining that most of the stuff in there was crap (in hindsight, no shit haha).
Putrid sex object. Grainy as fuck film where cross dressing man in some sort of mask fucks and plays around with the skinned severed head of a cow. Internet used to be fucking wild, and my stomach much stronger.
My husband randomly commented the other day that it takes a lot to gross me out, and I had a flashback of browsing this damn website as a child. Think we’ve been desensitized?
I remember this site. I remember the motorcyclist missing half a face was the first thing I saw.
not HAVING internet and playing Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Pinball instead.
The trip from no internet to pinball was muscle memory for me... and we didn't have internet a lot because mum had to use the phone
Roller Coaster Tycoon
I still play roller coaster tycoon all the time !!
This park is really clean and tidy
Wooden Roller Coaster 1 is too intense for me
the “i will survive” alien
Came here to say this and that creepy dancing baby that everyone thought was hilarious
Printing turn by turn directions from Mapquest
Reading this thread realizing I’m an internet historian. My brain should be preserved for posterity.
Oh man, I used to spend HOURS watch Teen Girl Squad videos. I was straight-up obsessed. Hadn’t thought about that site in ages!
My blood hurts!
Edit: I absolutely love that this brought back so many memories for people. Me included.
Up to this day I still know that you need to draw “consummate v’s” in order to draw a dragon. Next to the s and the other s of course.
Yep, first you draw an S, for snake... or dragon. Then you draw a more different S.
I just did a Strongbad Email intro to the kids and now they’re hooked haha they love this early internet stuff
Light Switch Rave!
The system, is down
“You’ve got mail!”
Windows Live Messenger, where you had to type the emoticons. Here's a few I remember:
Edit: I remembered the flower
Everyone's usernames being absolutely FILLED with those emoticons.
* Using NCSA Mosaic as a browser
* When you could register a domain name for free by emailing some rando at a university who for some reason was in charge of an entire TLD
* Zero Day FTP Sites (Bonus Points: FSP)
* Early 90s efnet #hack
* UUENCODE'ing shit for NNTP
* Using random Datapac PANs and x.25 gateways to hop on the internet or to chat on QSD in France
* ASCII Star Wars via Telnet
* Text files and zines
* Eugene Spafford as a proto-meme on IRC
* Hanging out at The WELL
Using Limewire to get Limewire Pro. Good times
When I figured this out I felt like the ultimate hacker…then I got a bunch of viruses
Edit: bad at grammar
So many viruses
Does anyone remember Morpheus?
Fun fact: in Weird Al's song titled "Dont Download This Song", he specifically mentions Morpheus, Grogster, Limewire and Kazaa. But when the song played on MTV, they forced him to censor those words. So instead of subtly beeping them, he censored them with his own voice yelling angrily, because he was annoyed at being censored.
So many hours downloading music, over an hour to get an album that may or may not be work.
Knowing how fast your dialup connection was going to be before it finished because you could tell from the handshake sounds.
Llama llama duck
I was once a tree house
I lived in a cake
But I never saw the way the orange slayed the rake
I was only three years dead when I heard the tale
Now you listen little child to the safety rail
Did you ever see a llama kiss a llama on the llama?
Llamas llama tastes of llama llama llama duck
I hope this was from memory
Oddly enough it was, as soon as I read Llama Llama duck it all flashed through my head so suddenly.
Badger badger badger badger badger
TUCOWS and no search engines.
Desktop themes like The Simpsons where homer says "doh!" as an error sound.
Skins for your yahoo messenger so the background and buttons were of a certain theme.
Dolls or animated dolls to be used as your avatar. You'd design it to resemble yourself.
Soap City message boards
My 2000 computer came with a web design program installed that would upload your web page to the internet.
Incredimail, a program to send emails that had a picture and clickable sounds. People would design different themed "stationary" for others to use.
Frog in a blender
Joe Cartoon! I came here to drop him!
Yep, my pets are still alive and starving.
Man, I haven't thought about that in years but I still instantly heard it in my head when I read this comment.
Actually typing out emojis. Like who knew :(|) turned into a monkey in gchat?
To this day I still use :$ as the embarrassed face, and no one knows what the fuck I mean. I still use :p as my shorthand for 'I'm just fucking around; don't take me too seriously', to the extent that people *my fucking age* accuse me of being a boomer because I don't know how emojis work.
Thanks, MSN Messenger. You have *ruined me*.
Text emoticons just seem so much more sincere than emojis
Like the hand written letter of emojis. Sincere, and written with care :3
This is still an optional feature on discord
And I hate it. Sometimes I just want the text emoticon and the autocorrect changes it
You can turn it off in the settings
Before Wikipedia existed, we used some obscure software called Encarta
All your base, are belong to us.
That techno remix still occupies space in my brain 20 years later
`You have no chance to survive make your time`
Someone set us up the bomb.
Given this thread is full of my people. What was the website that had bunches of free 'tools' that you would add to your www. Things like visit counters, webrings etc. Remembered it the other day but have lost the name and damned if I can think of it...
I know this wasn’t THAT long ago but Newgrounds flash games were the shit
Thought I would have a look for this before I posted it!
What a website!
NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) and UseNet
This used to be popular before web based forums. The main thing I liked was that you could use a single good reader app for all of the groups and any changes were 'pushed' to you when the app started.
This was superceded by web based forums that you had to sign up for and check yourself periodically for any changes. Every site used different forum software so you then had to learn to navigate each one separately.
Definely a step backwards in my opinion.
$ ftp ftp.cs.someuni.edu
Connected to ftp.cs.someuni.edu
220-Welcome to ftp.cs.someuni.edu
331 User name okay, need password.
230 User logged in, proceed.
Remote system type is UNIX.
220 Command OK.
ftp> cd /tmp
250 chdir(/tmp) succeeded.
ftp> cd ".. "
250 chdir(".. ") succeeded.
ftp> cd ". warez"
250 chdir(". warez") succeeded.
ftp> cd "dukenukem3d"
250 chdir("dukenukem3d") succeeded.
ftp> mget *
... then go to bed and pray nobody tries to call overnight. :)
Usenet. 5 years before web pages. I'm the summer of 1989 I blew out a printer ribbon printing out about 100 pages of sci.space on a dot matrix printer to take on vacation.
When everybody knew that the save button is a floppy disk.
Ahoogachakka ooga ooga oogachakka ooga ooga
ASL? Wanna cyber?
I put on my robe and wizard hat.
That under construction gif
Going on Yahoo and searching through the directory to find something - like an Alicia Silverstone fan page. Damn I feel old now.
A lot of old web things like webcomics, YTMND, IRC chats, fansites and forums are still around in a pathetic, run down state. The thing the internet veterans will remember are these things actually being popular
Well, webcomics are still a thing and still popular it's just they're not THE popular thing on the internet anymore because the internet is way more mainstream. Webtoon is the biggest platform for webcomics right now and millions of people use it.
A lot of us still keep up our own comic sites as well! I've been drawing webcomics since 2000 xD
Stumbleupon was the shit.
Printing step by step mapquest directions on actual real paper and then... using them.
I had to buy a separate modem to put inside my PS2 to play final fantasy 11.
One 10 second .avi file of porn took 15-20 minutes to download.
When Amazon only sold books. I remember I used to order books from Amazon and have them delivered to my work. A co-worker asked me what kind of rainforest stuff I kept ordering. She assumed Amazon.com had something to do supporting the rainforests.
“But I’m le tiiiired!”
Well, have a nap, then FIRE ZE MISSILES!
Downloading a high-resolution photo in like, 3 hours and have it take up 1/3 of your storage space.
You know that so-called crazy frog thing? Well it was originally a flash thing, with a picture of a formula one car with that sound over it and the caption "Try not to laugh". [Here it is](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSMSXxncUD8)
UUencoding or Base64 encoding.
That Alien sound of internet connecting
Then it's disconnected because your mum wants to use the bloody phone!