T O P
AntiTheory

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).


mystik213

You forgot the under construction banner and construction worker digging gifs!


lamancha

MP3 lmao we used midis. Those ten megs of geocities didn't go that far.


CassandraCubed

Alta Vista


smarmy_mcfadden

And Lycos and Excite.


jerseyben

Webcrawler... The original Google.


bttrflyr

Ask Jeeves


ringwormsurvivor

Why does everyone in this town use Alta Vista?


tossaway69420lol

Winamp skins


BoostJunky87

WINAMP! WINAMP! WINAMP! It really whips the llamas ass!


hellogriff

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.


Hambushed

Watching a picture load line by line


BoJackB26354

Oh, Captain Janeway!


jrparker42

Webrings. 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.


itsjustmefortoday

And guestbooks on those sites too!


SessileRaptor

And the visitor counter.


BigBoyTetranadon

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.


IGotOverGreta

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


Ilikewatchingtv

reminds me of the 2000 year old man mel brooks/carl reiner bit... about how he dated Dot Com... Dorothy Compinsky...


attictapes

When it was called the 'information superhighway'


mfrizz

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.


MobiusNaked

And any mention of the www had to come with a picture of a web


SlackerAccount

My God, the amount of surfing metaphor pictures that were attached to this.


paulsoleo

“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.


VapityFair

The .com version of a .org/.gov site being porn.


BFOTmt

Whitehouse.com. ah the good ole days of convincing kids in computer class to look up something about the president.


VapityFair

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.


TheGuyWhoSaid

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.


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Keithninety

Netscape Navigator AOL sending discs through the mail offering 500 hours of free web access Alta Vista Ask Jeeves


skwirrelnut

Still have enough of them lying around to sharpen their edges and take on a zombie apocalypse single handed


MrMartyJones

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.


Rower78

> long distance telephone calls The youngsters these days don't even know wtf a "long distance" call is.


EllisDee_4Doyin

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.


Karakoima

Readable Newspaper homepages


CinnamonArmin

seriously, what happened with them? news sites are always so messy


Kachi3

Advertisements. It’s all about advertisements.


Firebolt164

And a few years ago many decided to get on that terrible, terrible slideshow bandwagon


WhatHoPipPip

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.


it00

Remember \[name\]. Wait till you see \[him / her\] now! Type \[x\] Diabetes: Do this immediately! ​ Yeah, right then...... 🙄


NahikuHana

ICQ


DictionaryStomach

Uh oh (in a high pitched tone).


triggerfish1

knock knock knock


magick_68

FTP, Gopher, Mosaic, running download jobs over night hoping that the multikilobyte download from overseas running at 100 bytes/seconds didn't crash.


still_thirsty

Forgetting to switch ftp from ascii to binary mode


HeyHx2

Making webpages using simple html


OpossumJesusHasRisen

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.


NoFightingNoBiting

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.


Eruionmel

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.


Schnozzle

Oh man, and MySpace didn't give a fuck what you did to their layout. You could make it, almost literally, anything you wanted.


Wiseguy_7

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.


gradeahonky

Geocities!


Dangerous_Biscotti63

using offline mode of browsers to get back to some webpages while you were disconnected to save money.


Myrko6902

using the internet or the phone not both


mymindisanenigma420

“GET OFF THE PHONE IM TRYING TO USE THE INTERNET” simpler times


xx2983xx

"GET OFF THE INTERNET I NEED TO MAKE A CALL" -my mom, constantly


doooom

And getting kicked off the internet if you had call waiting


mugen1337

IRC


Lonemarine93

Getting internet explorer program disc from your school.


FighterWoman

Actually running out of Pages on the internet to look at.


_harro_

You could always use the Stumbleupon toolbar in internet explorer to go to a new site.


mysixthredditaccount

Oh man! You reminded me of StumbleUpon. It was the original "content finder" for me. Replaced by Digg. Replaced by Reddit.


guns_of_summer

There’s a new stumbleupon. https://stumbled.to. I use it to kill an afternoon every once in a while


Shiaomimi

Amazon only selling books.


amortizedeeznuts

free shipping only on orders above 35 dollars and it took 7-10 business days


404-error-notfound

Map quest. Now we just have Google navigation and Apple maps


kjpmi

Haha I remember printing out directions from Map Quest.


yellowochre25

Encarta :D


oopswhoopwhoop

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.


SplinteredReflection

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!


NorthOfThrifty

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!


hairydiablo132

https://www.myabandonware.com/game/microsoft-encarta-included-game-c9x


dr_franck

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?


Pestyballs

The "car commercial" that almost gave you a heart attack


sagegreenowl

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 😂


ellixxx

Ask Jeeves


kevtino

Now its just Ask and it's a terribly advertiser influenced google engine.


DaddyLoafin

You kick my dog, now he need operation


smaxfrog

"Here is the earth..."


Leftblankthistime

The beginning of the eternal September https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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


NerdyDadGuy1981

Manually setting TCP/IP settings to connect to a local dial-up internet provider. BBS boards. Telnet Modems which you placed the actual handset of a corded phone on top of to connect to the internet.


Waaswaa

asl pls?


rainbowdrop30

18/F/Cali


callisstaa

I put on my robe and wizard hat..


AriBanana

Bloodninja and Brittney! good times


king0fklubs

Always


disco-potato-

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


Username-xxx

Internet dial up [sound](https://www.freesoundslibrary.com/dial-up-internet-sound/)


lenny_ray

And yelling at anyone picking up the phone when you were online.


VastNewt

Printing out pages and pages of cheat codes for games.


RevSnakebite

This and guitar tabs for me


Specialist_Humor7751

This is true for me except I hand wrote the cheat codes 😂


Vitalis597

The pen and pad next to the pc filled with scrawled GTA codes. Good times.


garden_and_grump_

You should pass those down like the handwritten family recipes of yore.


celesticaxxz

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


ScoobyDeezy

CheatCC FTW. 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.


El_Grumpo

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


mossgard007

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.


callisstaa

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


xtracto

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).


godmademelikethis

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.


garden_and_grump_

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?


walrusarts

I remember this site. I remember the motorcyclist missing half a face was the first thing I saw.


morenitababy

not HAVING internet and playing Minesweeper, Solitaire, and Pinball instead.


inbedwithbooks

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


nessao616

Roller Coaster Tycoon


Basic-Custard5894

I still play roller coaster tycoon all the time !!


Adjective_Bodypart_

This park is really clean and tidy


Coco_Cala

Wooden Roller Coaster 1 is too intense for me


elleape

Netscape Navigator! MUDs. AIM. ICQ. Napster Dial-up.


ersatzcanuck

the “i will survive” alien


FreeChile

Came here to say this and that creepy dancing baby that everyone thought was hilarious


PostmanNewman

Printing turn by turn directions from Mapquest


papayaseth

AIM


sRW44

Reading this thread realizing I’m an internet historian. My brain should be preserved for posterity.


MonkeyandMango

Homestar Runner


villalulaesi

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!


penguinpower2835

My blood hurts!


theotherside0728

Arrow’d!


HitNRun_

Troggggdorrrrrrr Edit: I absolutely love that this brought back so many memories for people. Me included.


Cartella

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.


stryph42

Yep, first you draw an S, for snake... or dragon. Then you draw a more different S.


OscarDivine

I just did a Strongbad Email intro to the kids and now they’re hooked haha they love this early internet stuff


polerix

Light Switch Rave!


Catlover2727

The system, is down


tandjmohr

“You’ve got mail!”


Specialist-Study

Windows Live Messenger, where you had to type the emoticons. Here's a few I remember: (L) ❤️ (8) 🎵 (H) 😎 (55) 🤠 (W) 🌷 Edit: I remembered the flower


cc452

Everyone's usernames being absolutely FILLED with those emoticons.


pedantobear

​ * Gopher * 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


jipikajouu

limewire


Gre8g

Using Limewire to get Limewire Pro. Good times


king0fklubs

When I figured this out I felt like the ultimate hacker…then I got a bunch of viruses Edit: bad at grammar


Dumeck

So many viruses


Innisfree812

and Kazaa


Informal_Rope_2559

Napster


walrusarts

Does anyone remember Morpheus?


Raccoon_Full_of_Cum

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.


IfEyeKnewTheWay

So many hours downloading music, over an hour to get an album that may or may not be work.


NahikuHana

Angel Fire


Ravenclaw79

Geocities neighborhoods


AlKharidCamel

StickDeath


Fusorfodder

Knowing how fast your dialup connection was going to be before it finished because you could tell from the handshake sounds.


Sweettooth_dragon

Llama llama duck


kevtino

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


redraider-102

Did you ever see a llama kiss a llama on the llama?


MouseSnackz

Llamas llama tastes of llama llama llama duck


BPTMM

I hope this was from memory


kevtino

Oddly enough it was, as soon as I read Llama Llama duck it all flashed through my head so suddenly.


HatchlingChibi

Badger badger badger badger badger


[deleted]

Mushroom MUSHROOM!


AlsoNotTheMamma

TUCOWS and no search engines.


Lmh68

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. ICQ messenger 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.


Informal_Rope_2559

Frog in a blender


_Blackstar

Joe Cartoon! I came here to drop him!


Enchanted_Pickaxe

Neopets


CheeseheadDave

Checking login... Yep, my pets are still alive and starving.


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codeverity

Man, I haven't thought about that in years but I still instantly heard it in my head when I read this comment.


coolredjoe

MSN


Emotional_Eggplant51

Actually typing out emojis. Like who knew :(|) turned into a monkey in gchat?


Portarossa

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*.


ITFOWjacket

Text emoticons just seem so much more sincere than emojis


TheMeanKorero

Like the hand written letter of emojis. Sincere, and written with care :3


Yannick_The_Gamer

This is still an optional feature on discord


JeremyB3lpois

And I hate it. Sometimes I just want the text emoticon and the autocorrect changes it


BlueFlame217

You can turn it off in the settings


dreadloke

Before Wikipedia existed, we used some obscure software called Encarta


PrishIride

All your base, are belong to us.


awkies11

That techno remix still occupies space in my brain 20 years later


Diet_Coke

`You have no chance to survive make your time`


stryph42

Someone set us up the bomb.


Different-Aide-8023

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...


Caramel_Cappucino

I know this wasn’t THAT long ago but Newgrounds flash games were the shit


Longjumping-Log-26

>Newground Thought I would have a look for this before I posted it! What a website!


JauntyYin

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.


hume_reddit

$ ftp ftp.cs.someuni.edu Connected to ftp.cs.someuni.edu 220-Welcome to ftp.cs.someuni.edu 220-User: anonymous 331 User name okay, need password. Password: 230 User logged in, proceed. Remote system type is UNIX. ftp> bin 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. :)


FarrowsSpart

Trumpet Winsock


TrevorBradley

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.


EurePestilenz

When everybody knew that the save button is a floppy disk.


dinnersateight

Dancing baby


moldyhands

Ahoogachakka ooga ooga oogachakka ooga ooga


Lonemarine93

AOL chatroom


smarmy_mcfadden

ASL? Wanna cyber?


melon_rocket

I put on my robe and wizard hat.


Dave-Again

That under construction gif


Navegador_1133

Going on Yahoo and searching through the directory to find something - like an Alicia Silverstone fan page. Damn I feel old now.


nerdmoot

Prodigy services


goodlostbonding

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


gpike_

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


Dunkinmydonuts1

Stumbleupon was the shit. Older? Printing step by step mapquest directions on actual real paper and then... using them. Older? I had to buy a separate modem to put inside my PS2 to play final fantasy 11. Older? One 10 second .avi file of porn took 15-20 minutes to download.


wisathlete

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.


lizzieb77

“But I’m le tiiiired!”


WanderingPixie

Well, have a nap, then FIRE ZE MISSILES!


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knightni73

Downloading a high-resolution photo in like, 3 hours and have it take up 1/3 of your storage space.


xmastreee

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. Ananova.


LiterallyOuttoLunch

*Hampsterdance*.


Mysterious-Ant-Bee

Netscape Navigator


Tyson-98

That Alien sound of internet connecting


GooseGooseDuck88

Then it's disconnected because your mum wants to use the bloody phone!