In The Beginning.....


 

Ya’ know…..I first started farting around on the Internet a really long time ago. The first browser I used was called Cello. Us Cello users called ourselves cellists. This pre-dated Netscape by quite a distance. Everything was text-based, because the speed of downloading information was restricted to, at the most, a 14.4 or 9600 baud POTS modem speed. And graphics eat up a crap-load of bandwidth. Don’t know what POTS is? Shame on you. That’s Plain Old Telephone Service. Modem was short for Modulate-Demodulate, which is now irrelevant, but the term has hung on. No, no one knows why.


I remember clearly when I bought an upgrade to the IBM 386 I had been using. The machine I got had a Pentium 60 processor, 14.4 modem, 4 MB of RAM, a 560 MB hard drive, a sound card, a color monitor and Windows 3.1. Brother, that was a MACHINE!! I bought it at Circuit City.


Back in those days, everything was freely accessible, and the WWW was only a small part of the experience. E-Mail was big, and there were completely free methods to access e-mail, including a free program (now called an “app”) called Juno. I had a Juno account.


The point here is that everything was free, there was no advertising, no commercial applications…..I don’t know of any company that had a web-site. It was mostly geeky little corners of information, universities, and the like. Users (like me) made their own one page web-sites and we called them Home Pages. I had one. We accessed information using programs with names like Gopher and Archie. We communicated in real time on IRC.


Look—It’s really hard to find anything on the web these days. Unless you’re specifically looking for left-wing propaganda or someplace to buy something without leaving the comfort of your keyboard. But places that have free valuable and entertaining content and information still exist.


Which, in my own way, brings me to my point: Here’s a couple of valuable, free places to go and waste some time in a beneficial manner:


Lileks.com


Artofmanliness.com


Go forth and have some fun. Get yourself informed. All for free.

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