Life before computers and the internet (or the internet as we know it)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Anyone remember it ? Im 43, and it wasnt really until I was 23-25 or so that I became aware of the internet, and at that time it really wasnt what it is like as we know it know it now.

    I do remember spending alot more time outdoors, and alot more time reading books. These days I spend alot more time on the 'net getting caught up news stories and just chilling after a long day at work....
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Can still be outdoors with MBP or iPad =p

    We should give complainers a taste of dial up modems.

    Future children's story: Once upon a time, in the dark ages, there was no internet...
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    You captured my first thought upon reading your thread title in your post. I have a lot less time for other things due to "saving" time by using a computer.
  4. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    I remember wondering a lot. I had thousands of questions about many subjects. Especially science and the universe. I watched a lot of t.v. - actually, I still do. I also only had a few porn movies. :D Ahhh, how naive I was.
  5. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    #5 really was a different world. The last time I really remember being without a computer was 1990-1991. First year of college ( I was a non-traditional student) in western MT. Spent ALOT more time reading for enjoyment back than, and ALOT more time outdoors as I did not have any indoor entertainment (couldnt afford cable back than). There were computers, but this was pretty much the dawn of the personal computer on a fairly widespread basis I think....I believe at that point the internet was still pretty much all words and hardly any (if any at all) pictures....

    It wasnt until 1992-1993 I became more aware of the internet and owned my first computer. An apple laptop of some sort, which I later sold for a performa 636 that I probably got a good 6 years of use out of.

    Flash forward 20 years, and I have a mac mini, imac, mbp, and iphone, and I now spend way too much time on the internet...ugh..

  6. Shyfty macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    I actually feel a pang of nostalgia when I think about life pre-internet (well aware that I am making this comment on an internet message board, before you pull that old chestnut out). I mean, you really had to do some research to find answers to whatever questions you had. There was a sense of accomplishment involved.

    Not just... "Oh, I'll wiki it."
  7. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Many of us—particularly in the 50+ set—remember a whole lot more "pre-" than -internet or -computer. The number and scope of changes and advances in technology of all aspects and in all arenas (and the resultant sociological effect) are overwhelming.

    What about any type of portable phone? Seatbelts in every car not on a race track? LED's? CG? Digital anything? Air travel affordable to the masses? The space program? Calculators? Audio reproduction not solely on vinyl or tape? The list is virtually endless of what has changed beyond recognition, or didn't even exist, much of it long before the "modern" computer era, and well predating the internet.

    "This too, shall pass."
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I remember when you actually had to look up the store's phone # in a book, and then call them to find out if they were open. If the phone rang and rang, they weren't. And if someone answered, they were.

    I remember actually having to decide, ahead of time, when and where to meet someone.... instead of "When you get to the mall, just call me and we'll meet up, eh?"

    I remember when, if you weren't home, you could actually go all day without making a call or receiving. Oh, wait. I still do that. We live in a small community, and we only bring the cell phone when we head into the city. I actually talk, face to face :eek: with a dozen or more people when I head into the village. I never ever check for text messages while having dinner.
  9. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    I remember using Mosaic and Netscape at the michigan state computer lab and being like "whats this big deal?" I also remember going to the library and checking out books to do research for papers and homework. Also buying CDs new or used and taping music off the radio. Using a landline cordless telephone where call-waiting and callerID was $5 a month add on feature.
  10. RawBert macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2010
    North Hollywood, CA
    Totally. The term "research" used to infer that you worked hard at getting information (hopefully from several resources) and that you spent a lot of time and energy obtaining your results.

    Thank God I live in this age. We live in "the future".:)
    In the thousands of years of human history, we've only wondered; we feared what we coudnt understand. It wasn't too long ago we thought the Earth was flat and the universe (a couple of thousand stars, a few planets, the sun and the moon) all revolved around us. The last 600 years has been good to us.

    Earlier this evening on Jeopardy!, one of the clues was about Lucy, the 47 million year old Australopithecus afarensis fossil (the missing link). From an ape - to the modern 20th century, to the completely globalized civilization which we are today. The evolution of humans is amazing. The Internet/WWW has evolved us even more. (Mostly for the better)

  11. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    I still have my very first computer. I believe I bought it in 1983 or so, the Texas Instruments TI-99 4A. I still have it and it still works. Even have some of the cartridges such as Pac-Man, Parsec and Donkey Kong.

    To get the thing to talk, a speech synthesizer plugged into the side and you experiment by typing different things and placing accents above vowels and such to affect the way it spoke. The office sort of did an episode where Michael was making his computer talk and certain things didn't get pronounced correctly.

    There was no storage on the computer, just it's 16K built in. Turn the thing off and everything was lost. I had to use a cassette recorder to back up anything to avoid having to type in anything I wanted to use again. It had to be loaded up in the computer once turned on. There as no internet yet that I knew of. I hooked it up to my little 13" color TV and was amazed at all this simple technology back then.

    My first computer than came with a mouse and keyboard and monitor was back in 1993. It was a 25MHZ pentium 1 with a 500MB HD. I think it had 16MB ram. I couldn't afford any extra ram back then because it over $100 for for 4MB. When I got my first 1GB HD, I think that was over $250. Modems were slow, unbearably slow. AOL and Compuserve and Genie and a few other online services was where the online action was at. It's strange to see only a handful of people in the AOL chat rooms when logging onto AOL these days using the AOL software. People have moved on. It's funny, back in 1993, you couldn't stay in a chatroom for a minute before your email box began filling up with porn....not just any porn but allot of it was under age stuff. Many will remember when AOL started making all kinds of arrests for this kind of thing.
    I got my first phone in 1993 as well. A panasonic thing that stored 100 numbers and allowed me to change the battery while in the middle of a call without hanging up. For 700 minutes, it cost me about $200. Roaming was expensive, way too expensive. I loved that thing. I was proud of it because tons of people still didn't have one and it meant not having to look up #s in a phone book or use a pay phone.

    Anyways, we've come a long ways from those days. Things were so different. Oh yeah, when there was no internet or computers, I used to read books and go hiking in the mountains. It's been years since I've done that.
  12. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Oct 12, 2007
    Forget the internet, interactive started with Pong!
  13. pooryou macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    Used to have to go to the library to research.....just about anything.
    That's pretty much the biggest difference for me above everything else, access to information.

    For me personally, access to information is a bigger deal than any of those that you listed.
    Now if you had listed electricity or running water that would be a different story ;)
  14. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I was very big into photography. I remember eagerly waiting for Modern Photography and Popular Photography to come each month. The news cycle for gadgets and gear was sooooo much slower back then. Much less instant gratification before the internet.
  15. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    I'm too young. I was born in '96 but all I can remember is the old Windows 98 computer that we used to have.
  16. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    OH Geez um before the internet Wow - I think we got it in 1998 Dialup a awesome 28000Kbps speed 4KB download on a computer running windows 95 and norton av.

    Before i found the internet i would be outside climbing trees, cutting coke cans up and putting em on our bikes and riding up and down the streets thinking we got motor bikes, playing golf in the park ( which i broke a lot of peoples fences lol ) Ah the memories
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Still waiting on the Three Seashells so that I can think back and laugh at all those neanderthals who actually wiped their butts with sheets of paper.
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Interesting that "research" is coming up so often.

    I have a young nephew who is currently enrolled in university. He complained once, in a room of us old farts, that he had not done well on a essay because on the day before it was due he had lost his internet connection.

    He lives on campus, 100m from the library. It had never occurred to him to walk that 100m. He didn't even have to go outside, the dorms and the library building are connected by a corridor. Never even crossed his mind that all the references he needed were 100m away by foot. (Or to do the essay several days earlier, but that is another story.)

    He had to put up with an evening of us adults trying to out do each other with our When I was a child, I had walk to school - uphill both ways, in the snow... stories. By the end of the evening he was definitely sorry he hadn't thought of the library - or perhaps just sorry he had told us about the essay.

    He's a bright kid, does well in school. He's just a product of his time.
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Yep, for sure. Well said.
  20. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Let's see... life before the internet? Hmmm...


    "Mom...! Do I need to look up Abraham Lincoln in the A's or in the L's?"


    "Hello, yes, I was calling to see what time you close and if you have this item in stock."

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Okay now, they said they were just off of Smith street..."


    "Anyboy got a pencil?!? I need to fix this tape again."


    "Honey, the movie times are 12:25, 2:45, 5:00, 7:15, and 9:30."


    "I really need to get one of those auto rewinder things."


    "Bad Dog! No!! I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the news."


    "Umm, yes sir, of course I'm 18!?! Do you mind putting that in a bag, my mom, no I mean, it's just easier to carry that way. Oh, can I also get a beef jerky and a pack of gum.


    "Now where did I put those stamps?!?"


    "Yeah, so I saw your ad in the paper for..."


    "I know I haven't called in a while mom, but these long distance rates are just crazy.


    "Can Timmy come over today and play Space Invaders?"
  21. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2009
    I remember pre-internet time. It was boring. All hail the Mighty Internet!!!
  22. Shyfty macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Wow. I never thought I'd see that film referenced anywhere. I chuckled, I admit.
  23. Reventon macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    Toronto, ON
    I remember encyclopedias, lol, and that my parents paid $2000 for the 1991 edition, only for it to be out of date in a matter of a few months when the USSR dissolved that year. I was relatively late to the internet, only first got it ten years ago, so I remember actually having to go to the library to do my research or use my encyclopedias.

    To entertain myself, I watched cartoons on Fox Kids and played my NES and SNES after I finished my homework using my encyclopedias as my only source. Ahh, memories...
  24. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
  25. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    Funny .. I watched it again last night. Laughed when I saw the reference.

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