The hardest thing in the late 80’s and the 90’s is ‘how to use the gadamn computer’ especially if you’re in your “adult” life. Your age range should be around 40-ish and above.
Actually, it was really easier for office workers to adapt the computer life. It was like changing from a typewriter to the computer. They just have to learn the words floppy disk, DOS, printer, Wordstar, Lotus, and Alleycat. I guess it took them months to learn the new technology. Still, some companies didn’t want to invest with computers (SOHO companies probably) since the price of the computers before were outrageous. Really.
The 90’s came. Schools offered computer classes. The new generation accepted it with open arms.
I remember in the 90’s, we had a 286 at home (the latest model during those days were probably the 486 model). It consists of a 25Meg hard drive, 1.44 floppy disk drive, an old school printer, no windows, no mouse, and a keyboard. I was able to learn batch files (but not much), starting to learn touch-typing; Norton Commander was my Windows, and played Family Feud, Wheel Of Fortune, Duke Nukem, and Wolfenstein all night long.
My school offered me programming subjects (I ended up in a computer class in high school). They taught me Turbo C, Turbo Pascal, QBASIC, and Autocad. And up until now I’m still sure that I sucked with those classes. Mind you, I’m in the 10th spot in our technical class for one whole year (we are in a class of 40). I’m not boasting here, I’m just saying that one fourth of the class understands programming and that excludes me. And I spent the early Warcraft II days during weekends after a hefty CAT Saturday. I started using Targrod during those times (so please, I do hope nobody asks me how I got the name. I really don’t remember how).
College came (circa 1997, hahaha screw you if you say I’m that old. Do the math) and I really do believe this was the era of computer revolution for us. The precious (say it ala Gollum) Internet was now readily available. Given the fast connection of 64K (actually it was way much lower. No, lower than that. 64K is just theoretical, sabi ng nanay ko) we were able to browse the wonderful sites during those days. Let me see, there’s uhm… not much. Geocities, Yahoo, Lycos, and NBA (I think). I made my very first mail, Rocketmail (I’m still using this up until now, Yahoo bought Rocketmail) and my first website using Geocities (that I really didn’t understand way back then).
I was such a loser during college. We had to wait for the Cybernook (Cybernook is found at the ground floor of our library, it opens at 8 am and Internet usage is first come, first serve basis. There are 20 computers available and 23 to 30 of us waiting in the lobby. Do the Math) to use the Internet. My first brush with chatting was when Telnet was introduced to me. Telnet is like DOS but there’s chatting involved. Then MIRC (but I wasn’t really a fan of chatting, eherm) then I don’t remember what came next. Maybe yahoo Chat (but that’s soooooo last year).
Gaming in the Internet can’t be compared to the gaming that we have right now. I assure you that we had Archmage back then and it took most of our time during breaks (heh, which includes time when I should’ve been studying.) I won’t share much of the gaming in this post. I believe it can be told into another story.
Now, as human beings we always have that certain desire for socialization. The term No Man is an Island is true. Since chatting is eventually banned in our school I ended up with email conversation as my voice for such. E-groups came out (again, Yahoo bought E-groups, I think. So, what’s the point of adding again in this paragraph when you’re not really sure if Yahoo did buy E-groups. I’m just lazy to search the Internet for the information so please; you don’t need to make a big deal out of this.)
(Sorry. Self-inflicted Schizophrenizing is kicking in)
Where was I? Oh yeah, E-groups. It was really big way back then. In Tagalog, “super IN ka pag marami kang groups” or maybe this is just I? I was introduced to the Beerkadagroups, some groups for funny people, and a lot of school-related groups. It may not sound as big as it is but checking your mail for almost fifty to a hundred mails in one day is no feat. From group updates, to forwarded mails, to ‘ligawans’ (no, there’s no goto and tokwa’t baboy in ligawans), to hi-I’m-a-newbie, to hell with the newbies, to fights amongst the members, and to leaving-because-people-don’t-love-me-in-this-group mails.
Another one that matured with our social lifestyle is a forum site. I really don’t remember the first forum site I member-ed (or dis-member-ed), I believe it was Pinoy Exchange (look for Chamachile, I just lurked a lot in that site). Then, PHP forums, GA.net, and then other forum sites that I joined for an hour and I left after I found out that it is really a cult against the Asian (think Klu Klux) site. Just kidding.
Lastly, social networking sites emerged after all of these. Friendster started with this one. It was really fun at first. Imagine, you can connect with your old high school and elementary classmates, your crushes, your exes, your flatmates, your sisters, your brothers, and your bastard friend who borrowed two hundred pesos from you but didn’t pay you because he’s always saying that he has no money. As the saying goes, ‘this too will pass’, affected my relationship with Friendster. It ended up as sucky as ever (sorry to Friendster fans out there, I’m sticking with Multiply for the meantime). Imagine, people who collects people and they’ll blurt out ‘Yeah, like I have fifteen accounts in Friendster all with five hundred contacts. It was like, yeah, I’m so famous like Britney and Michael Jackson’. I ended up removing contacts that I really don’t know. It was like cleaning my Friendster and left it as it is.
I did say I was a loser. I joined other network-related sites. There’s Everyonesconnected, Multiply, Myspace, Berkzter, and some other sites that I really can’t remember. I’ve added Facebook and Shelfari lately.
Imagine a life without Internet. We’d probably end up in the streets picking flowers and watching Moro-moro in CCP.