Ahhhh - the good old days. Life was simple back then - no transactional systems, I could count the websites in my company on one hand and still have a few fingers left over, Ma and Pa used to take us down to the corner store in our horseless carriage for some gumdrops and sarsaparilla...
Celebrating the ten year anniversary of the Mozilla Project, a couple of the sites from the old days have been brought back online. A more comprehensive guide with links to some classic antique browsers is available from JWZ. If you're looking for some excitement this Friday night, you can download a copy of Mosaic Alpha 7 to relive the thrill of your first animated image.
Browsing these pages brought back some memories and made me curious. What first turned YOU on to the web? Here's my story...
I was doing the third shift data center guy thing. Spinning tapes, running jobs, etc;. We had some spare time - especially come 3am. I recall this thing called 'Gopher'. How cool - I could actually look at information from other places (albeit text only) from this nifty little browser type thing.
Fast forward a bit.
The text based stuff was certainly cool, but it was Mosaic Alpha 7 that grabbed me. By this time, I'd moved on to a help desk gig during the day. We'd spend all of our time trying to help users solve problems via the phone.
Times have certainly changed. Back then, we struggled with some beefy business problems...
"Hi, that square little plastic thing that I put files on got stuck in the slot on my computer. How do I get it out?"
"Hi, my friend emailed me a neat picture of the cast from Friends. How do I make it my desktop image?"
Yes. These were trying and complex times. But we seem to have survived ok.
With the user friendly nature of Mosaic, I had a self proclaimed moment of genius. "Gee", I thought, "if we put answers to the more common questions we get via the phone on this 'Internet' thing... Maybe users can help themselves???".
Bang. That was it. A couple of days later - a crash course in HTML - and we had a Help Desk Intranet launched that reduced call volume by 30% within a few weeks. Folks, I was hooked. Fast forward 14 years or so - here we are. Reflecting back on the major advancements of the web in over a decade is really quite fascinating.
We all tend to remember big things that influence our lives. I remember this little chapter like it was yesterday. Rehashing all of this made me curious - What's your story? Is there any one thing that really gave you the passion for the online world?