My first laptop was a Toshiba T1000 and it’s the first machine that really brought the Internet into my home and marked the beginning of my writing everything on a computer. I bought it from a professor of mine and used it to write essays and articles. It had 512 k of RAM with a memory expansion that could be used as RAM or to store 768 k of information or programs. There was only a 720k floppy drive and no hard drive. I used WordPerfect 4.2 which fit onto 2 floppies. In 1992 when I moved to Montreal to study I bought a modem (2400 baud) to connect to the Vax at Concordia to use electronic mail and telnet. One of the first hypertext programs that I used was Hytelnet. It was written by Peter Scott and it connected Telnet sites. This was before I used Gopher and before the World Wide Web. I used Telnet and Hytelent to do a lot of research at various libraries around the world. Then I organized things in a WATCOM database from the University of Waterloo.
Then I began looking at MOOs and MUDs to explore the fascinating culture of creating worlds and community through text. I really had a great time discussing postmodernity and cultural theory in the Postmodern Culture MOO which was the online component of the journal. It’s where I first had a voice online and began connecting with people around the world. Then it started to get more popular and a bit too crowded so I moved on to the BayMOO and then to the Diversity University MOO where I took an online course in Adult Education using technology.
The Web was (and still is) very exciting to me. I launched my first Web site about 10 years ago… right after I used Cello and Mosaic and found HTML to be fascinating. My first Web site had a rant about the film “Disclosure” and (as pretty much every site then did) a bunch of links to other sites. The site was hosted at an Antarctic research station Web site that had extra hard drive space. You just sent an email asking for space and they set you up. That was before the Web was commercial…and you could know most of the people who were around… and we were happy… and walked uphill to school in snow storms….but that’s a whole other story. Now a decade later I’m celebrating the first anniversary of my own domain and Weblog. Things have changed a lot in some ways, but not so much in others.