Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wednesday Factoid: First Internet

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What was your first experience of getting on the internet like?

I think technically my first Internet experience may have been sitting down at my boyfriend's roommate's computer in their dorm and talking to someone on a telnet talker?

But I'm not sure if that actually happened before or after my parents took one of those "FREE HOURS!" AOL CDs up on its offer. I was probably about 17 and we signed up for a family AOL account, which led to various screennames. I believe the first one that belonged to me was PACLFBFBBIV, which (contrary to how it looks) is NOT a keysmash. It's a relatively obscure Animaniacs reference, though.

I used the name to post on AOL-specific area forums regarding Animaniacs stuff, and later I found a kids' chat room that was sometimes open in the AOL area for kids run by the WB. I spent some time running up bills (in those days they charged you by the minute like a phone call) chatting about cartoons in the chat room and making some friends. When I graduated high school and went to college, I ended up working for that AOL area and chat room as a volunteer host in exchange for free service. Not bad.

I did a lot of weird things during that time. I seem to recall I met someone who also liked SpaceGhost Coast to Coast and I sent her VHS tapes of the show that I'd recorded off TV so she could make her own copies. And then she just stopped answering me when I wanted her to send them back as per our agreement. I thought I got duped because she disappeared with my tapes, but when I was on my own in college and looked her up to reconnect with her, she actually responded to me and said something really bad happened to her husband or something and she hadn't been around. She not only sent me the tapes back (to my new address!) but also sent me some personalized address labels with SpaceGhost characters on them. Still remember that. :)

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