We all remember the golden age of the internet, when 56.6kb/s modems zoomed across the information super highway much like the muscle cars of the 1950’s. With v92, the possibilities of dial up seemed endless. And then, like Scar and his hyenas entering the Pridelands, broadband invaded and ravaged the landscape of the internet. But let me take you back to a simpler time by reminding you of what made dial up internet so great.
There was something oddly soothing about the noise of a computer dialing up to the internet. Your computer was speaking softly into your ear, letting you know that everything was going to be alright.
Loading a new web page was like a commercial break
While looking up pictures of the band No Doubt, you would have to wait for the pages to load. This gave you plenty of time to make a sandwich, run to the restroom, or check out the latest celebrity clothing at Kmart.
That stalker can’t call you
Since your phone line was tied up by being connected to the internet that creepy guy that couldn’t take a hint wasn’t able to call you.
You couldn’t stalk
Since you were that creepy guy that couldn’t take a hint, you couldn’t get through due to the girl’s busy signal. This meant you were less likely to get arrested. Besides, calling her would mean you would have to log off the Zone and stop playing Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight (This of course came before Jedi Knight 2: Revenge of the Dark Forces, and Dark Forces IV: Jedi Robots Academy).
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Alright, so not strictly relating to dial up internet, but both took place in the Golden Age. There were many memorable moments in the first season of Buffy, such as the episode, “I Robot, You Jane”. The episode where that demon possessed the internet and wanted to make Willow his lover, by seducing her in chat rooms.
With 2 hours of your day set aside to “loading pages” you learned to surf efficiently.
Forget World of Warcraft. Playing Warcraft: Orcs and Humans with a buddy was an experience to be had. First you had to call him up to verify that you were going to play in exactly 5 minutes. Then you had to find every member of your household to tell them not to answer the phone when it rings or pick up the telephone at any point in the next two hours. Then your friend would dial into your computer and your sister would ignore your warning and pick up the phone only to hear the angry shrieks of Johnny’s computer trying to mate with her ear.
Obnoxious video ads that load at 3am and remind you oh-so-subtly that your speakers are turned up and make you jump through the ceiling didn’t exist. For that reason alone I think we should all go back to dial up.
Since downloading a song on Napster took 20-30 minutes, you had to get up and actually walk around CD and Movie stores to get your entertainment.
Even though we cannot turn back the clock, we can still think back to better days.