Your personal history with the Internet and computers in general

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by Solo, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Solo

    Solo Veteran Veteran

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    I'm a sucker for reminiscence and nostalgia, so I thought I'd make this topic too, along with my forum one.

    We got our first computer in late 1999 from a friend who had just got a new one. The one he gave us was an IBM Aptiva running Windows 95. I still remember how, whenever it started up, the "Aptiva Guide" program ran automatically. That MIDI music is so nostalgic, I can remember it so well. I wonder if the MIDI was preserved and is available on the Internet somewhere? Also, with the impending year 2000, there was all that crazy Y2K stuff going around.

    I actually wasn't all that interested in the computer at first (oh the irony!), until I realized all you could do with it. I remember some old games I used to play on it, like Dogz and Strategy Games of the World. That same friend, later on, gave us World's Largest Collection of Windows Software, which kept me busy for awhile (loved making levels in Watch Out, Willi!, which was based on the classic Boulder Dash, I believe). There was also a dungeon RPG called Local Area Dungeon, which I really liked, but it was old-school and very hardcore, so I gave up before long. Then there was the text adventure game Colossal Cave. I didn't get very far in that... I did get through a cave, though, and entered a "beautiful valley" where a bird was singing. For no reason at all, I entered "kill bird" and the game returned "The little birdie is now dead. :(" One time my nephew was staying over, and we stayed up very late trying out all the games in World's Largest Collection.
     
    Other silly programs I used as a kid were Creative Writer and Crayola Print Factory. My dad was really into... PGA Tour Championship Golf, I believe it was called. Don't remember if it was any particular iteration of a series.
     
    I got a laptop of my own in 2002, which I only just recently stopped using in favor of a newer one that was given to us.

    My early days on the Internet

    We got the Internet a little while after getting the computer. Our ISP was ifriendly, and that was frustrating because a lot of sites were blocked; the most standout one for me was a Dragon Quest fan site, which I had visited before, and suddenly found it blocked for "adult content" (you know, the series' lovely sense of humor), so that was annoying. My nephew came over once and found his AngelFire site blocked, too. On that note, I could never visit any Geocities sites; they just wouldn't work (I forget the error that came up).

    We switched ISPs at one point, and things got better after that. I remember my nephew loved the site "The Shadowlands," which had a lot of information on paranormal phenomena as well as cryptids (Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and so on). The site had some nice eerie music, as well.

    Some early sites I visited included the Mega Man Archives, the Mega Man Homepage, and the Odyssey of Hyrule (I became obsessed with the section on the "Z-Files," early production screenshots that depicted areas not in the final Ocarina of Time; I literally scoured the Internet and collected hundreds of such images). I also loved to collect MIDI files from various games, even ones I hadn't played. I LOVE the old theme song for the Zelda Headquarters, "Destiny" I believe it's called ("copyright TK, '96" was attached to it)

    When I began work on my game in 2006, I really didn't use the Internet so much anymore. But now that I've gone commercial, I'm a little more familiar with it again.

    Hope this didn't bore you. Does anyone else have any amusing and/or personal stories they'd like to share?
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    The first time I got a hold of a computer was in school back in elementary (I forgot which grade but I'm sure it's only on one grade that we got to use one on school), then by the time I was in grade 5, my aunt had a computer at their house which we use for when we need to type things out.


    As for the internet, I think it was in high school when I first tried it out.
     
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  3. Solo

    Solo Veteran Veteran

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    Yeah, I think my actual first exposure to computers was in school too, where we played edutainment games. Maybe that's why I didn't like the computer we got for awhile... I just didn't realize the potential for fun!
     
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  4. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

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    I don't remember my first computer or when I got it. What I do remember is being an elementary school kid with disgraphia who was given something called an "alphasmart" to type with, it was basically  a keyboard with a three inch screen that held like 12 files with a limit of like 3000 characters per file, it was pathetic and I've always utilized to many words and I do remember when I first started using a computer it felt so freeing to be able to not have to worry about keeping essays and stuff down to a certain size. 
     
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  5. Leonardo Myst

    Leonardo Myst Veteran Veteran

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    I first messed with a computer in junior high. Learned Basic and ended up getting a cheap Radio Shack  computer for Christmas. At the time I mostly used it to make random encounters for my tabletop rpgs.

    In about 1996 or 1997 I started getting online at the library. I mostly printed out the music charts from the U.K. and read comic news.

    Then I discovered a couple sites that made an impact on me. One was the Urban Diary. It was kind of like an interactive journal that reminded me a lot of Myst and had references to cyberpunk movies.

    The other was an amateur short story site that specialized in pulp fiction.
     
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  6. Lars Ulrika

    Lars Ulrika I punch Therefore I am Harvest the land Taking the Veteran

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    First flirted with a 486 pc where I basically had the right to do nothing else than playing minesweeper and some shitty buggy football game. Things got more intense when I found that amstrad cpc 464 that was lost in some box in the storeroom. It had a disket reader to connect with but this one was obviously broken as there was absolutely no disket working. 

    So...I took some big breath, checked that cassette reader, noticed I just had basic available and thought "well, whatever, I'm gonna make my own games then". 
    And this guys, is how I did my very first version of the commercial rpg I'm preparing now :D

    It was all in text, with Ascii images, some sounds during battles which was a rudimentary turn based battle system with the monsters having more or less probability to strike, exp and levelling etc. Was fun to make. 

    I remembered helping my little sister to put this system on her own basic 1.0 rpg project and adapt it into an abs. 

    Then I got my first own "modern" computer in the army, it was a pentium 3 or so with windows xp. I rushed to buy Diablo 2, Starcraft and some other games I was all crazy about and then Doom 3 got out. Crap. That's also with this computer that I started to use rpg maker 2000 and did the second version of that rpg. 

    Got a new computer some years later. It could run Doom 3. Yeah. But my custom maps were too ressource demanding for this machine. dayum. I got rpg maker 2003 and started another version of this rpg. Got rpg maker xp and started a futuristic project (still kept precisously to be done with the right ressources later.). 
    Got a new one. Rpg maker vx ace. Doom 2. Diablo 2. Sims 3 sometimes. I'm happy like that.
     
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  7. Mouser

    Mouser Veteran Veteran

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    My first computer... The first computer that was mine was an Atari 800 my dad bought. I think he still may have it somewhere - had some great games (Star Raiders is absolutely classic). Naturally you could program in BASIC and Atari had this weird character set thing going on so you could make graphical games out of text.

    In school, the writing department had this thing about the size of a small suitcase that one end would fold open giving you a keyboard and maybe a four inch screen. It was a word processor. Absolutely amazing, it had all these arcane commands that would let you delete a whole sentence or even swap two paragraphs around. There was a mini-computer with 20 seats up for typing vocational classes (I never got on that), and the school eventually got some Apple II's and called it a computer lab. Learned Pascal. Somewhere in there we had a 286 at home I think but I never used that much.

    My senior year in HS I had an internship type thing at a military base (CECOM) and worked on VAX machines running Unix V. Learned to program in C (They handed me a copy of K&R and gave me like a week to learn it - still have the book, not quite a first printing, but close).  Used Kermit to connect to the 'internet' (I'm not even sure we called it that yet) - Homes could get 300 baud modems (deluxe models came with a strap to hold the phone handpiece down). At work we had a state of the art system with 24 modems operating in parallel for 7200 baud data transfer. Blazing fast!

    And every computer lab had the obligatory ASCII art of Snoopy hanging on the wall somewhere :)
     
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  8. Ms Littlefish

    Ms Littlefish Dangerously Caffeinated Global Mod

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    My family got our first computer in 1999. I never would use the computer too much until about 2005 and never spent more than an hour or so a day on a computer until I got my first laptop in 2008. So, I guess you could call me a very late bloomer. Now I'm always on the computer!

    But that said I used computers for school all throughout my learning. I remember using the internet became a lot more commonplace in school assignments as early as 5th grade for me (2000). I also remember that goofing off in the school computer lab to watch flash animations happened at about the same time.

    I used to do a TON of word processing. Well, I suppose I still do. I watched a lot of animations and played flash games growing up. 

    In 2005 I had no idea I wanted to write music. It was kind of a volatile time because I had been learning to play music most my life but having a real struggle with my hearing. I had two ear surgeries that would dictate the permanent outcome of my hearing loss and I could not even properly hear pitch until I made my recovery. But with the help of Google (my favorite thing ever) I had stumbled upon notation software (Finale) and started entering notes. To help retrain my hearing I started listening to songs from my favorite games and transcribing the notes back into the notation software. In many ways this helped me learn a lot about music theory as well and how to start constructing my own pieces, and from that point I just grew.

    Basically, without the internet and computers I don't think I'd be even as half as good at the things I do or even know I had some interest in certain things. With my computer I can learn about just about anything I want to and even be able to tell someone across the globe about it. It's neat seeing this happen in my life.
     
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  9. Venka

    Venka Veteran Veteran

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    I had forgotten about buad modems.. commador 64 was our first computer. I barely remember playing some maze game and you had to avoid the @ symbols. I use to play a word typing "game". I call it a game because I thought it was.. it was suppose to teach you to type fast. Then we got some program that made us all laugh.. it was a talking parrot that you could type text to and he'd try to sound it out. You could get some funny translations.

    Anyway, the internet start to spread and got into Prodigy for windows 3.1 and later came AOL.. I can remember upgrading to the 9600 baud modem. We were so high tech. Pretty sure we had all the modems at one point or another. My mom was an instant addict to the whole computer thing..

    By the time I was 15, I was hanging out in chat rooms a lot and had made my very own web page using html. It was cool, you could make things happen and show stuff with all these weird combos of letters and symbols between a few <>'s

    Years later this game came out.. EverQuest. I didn't give it much thought. My mom bought a copy and tried to play it. She made an Erudite and tried to walk around the starting town and promptly fell into a puddle of water and couldn't figure out how to swim out of it (or even to the surface of the water to breath). She promptly died and never touched the game again. She said if you had to read a manual the size of a book in order to play your character.. she didn't want to play it. So a year or so later when I finally got tired of playing my online game.. (NexusTK The kingdom of the Winds, it was like a 2d online rpg). I decided to give EQ a shot. Think the Ruins of Karnak had just come out. Then.. that became my life for a while. I eventually met my husband online while playing an mmo (EQII).
     
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  10. zacheatscrackers

    zacheatscrackers Machinehead Veteran

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    I first started using a computer in 2000. My sis introduced me to the internet about 2 years after, and it wasn't long before I started emulating games, joining forums and whatnot. Initially, I mostly used nick.com/cartoonnetwork.com and other kids sites since I was 8 at the time.
     
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  11. Mouser

    Mouser Veteran Veteran

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    Ah yes... The game we had in school was an 'economic' game called Taipan (I think). You had a ship back in colonial China days. You started off selling rice, then eventually worked your way up through arms and silk until you were an opium dealer. That was the key moment of the game, when you could buy your first opium, and you hoped the market didn't tank on you (or you could get sunk by pirates...)
     
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  12. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    The first computer I ever used was a TRS-80 at school, when I was 8.  The first computer I owned was a TI-99/4A.  I remember making little games in BASIC on that.

    As for the Internet, I first used it in college, on Sun workstations.  This was back before the Web, when dial-up Internet access was brand new, and Usenet was the primary means of group communication outside of private BBSs.
     
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  13. Ms Littlefish

    Ms Littlefish Dangerously Caffeinated Global Mod

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    I remember we played "Math Blasters." We played a lot of that in school.
     
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  14. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    My first computer was a Tandy Color Computer about 30 years ago - before the C64 made the shelves, at a time when the internet didn't even exist.


    My first PC was a 386-type when I started to attend university (studying a mixture between electrical engineering and informatics), at a time when they were running DOS 3 or 4, and even Windows 3 wasn't out then, much less Win95...
     
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  15. Leonardo Myst

    Leonardo Myst Veteran Veteran

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    I Loved Math Blasters!
     
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  16. Solo

    Solo Veteran Veteran

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    Wait... that sounds very familiar. Is that the game where you could play as either a boy or a girl, running and jumping around levels set in alien worlds and touching numbers that would take you to word problems?
     
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  17. Leonardo Myst

    Leonardo Myst Veteran Veteran

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    IIRC, it's the one that played like a side-scrolling shooter and you would use the space-bar to shoot.
     
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  18. Solo

    Solo Veteran Veteran

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    Was the developer/publisher called "Apogee"? I remember that logo used to pop up before the game began, if it's the same one you're talking about
    Side-scrolling shooter, sounds right. Don't remember what the "shoot" key was in particular but it could have been the space bar for all I know.
     
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  19. Amy Pond

    Amy Pond Veteran Veteran

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    First computer aged 3, 20 years ago. First memories of the Internet are using Yahoo Games to play pool against people online (IIRC the chat interface only let you choose from set phrases!), eventually moved on to Neopets and got addicted.

    My first real forum experience was the Battleon forums in 2004, and from there my online world changed for good as it opened up so many things, including RPG Maker and learning to make my own websites.

    I had math blasters. My Dad made a lot of those kind of game, I don't know if that was one of his, a lot of the programs we used at school were though.
     
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  20. Tribos

    Tribos Villager Member

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    The first computer that I was allowed to actually use was a desktop TRS-80 with integrated monochrome (green) monitor and dual 5.25 diskette drives. Learned basic, studied simple animation and played a few video games. To be honest, I was not impressed.
    Moved from TRS-80 to Apple IIE and then on to the blazing fast IBM 8088 processer with 128kB (not MB) of RAM....we thought it was super fast....of course we were running DOS 2.0.... It is funny, I never even heard of a GB until I was in college...now I have a 128 GB USB that I backup my RPG files. My current PC is a laptop with a 1TB hard drive powered by an I-7/16GB RAM/1070 GPU....my how the times have changed!
    I was playing table top RPG's back when they were considered 'satanic,' started with AD&D 2.0. I love the genre, love the blend of games and PC's and have always wanted to make my own version of the classic RPG's.
    Now I am working with MV (my first ever RPG engine...) Who knows...maybe I will have something ready to show for the 2019 games!
     
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