I have been working in the online world for more years than I care to remember. I’m pre-Google, in fact I’m pre-web! When I first came into contact with the online world, I was working as a Unix bod in a university and got lumbered with looking after email because I was already looking after the university DNS. I became the Hostmaster (DNS) and Postmaster (email) for the university.
Shortly, I discovered a world of WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), Veronica, Gopher, Telnet and Usenet. It was mind-blowing for me. I could suddenly talk in realtime with people at the other end of the world. It was a step up from email. Not many people in the university seemed to be aware of this wonderful online world so I started to tell people and then then write ‘how to’ documents and dabble in a bit of training.
The next thing I discovered was even better. I found this new online service. I could install this HTTP server on one of my Unix boxes and then use some code called HTML I wrote my first web page and can you guess what it said? Yep, the usual ‘Hello World’.
I started to build a small website for the university but it was slow going because no one was that interested. It just all sounded a bit geeky. Using Lynx as a browser didn’t really help – all that text. Then along came Mosaic and suddenly it was like getting a colour telly for the web!
By now I was Hostmaster, Postmaster and Webmaster!
Businesses had started popping up with websites too. More and more people had started to hear about this new place to surf. To be fair, there wasn’t much surfing to be had then with dial up and my first courses used to be called ‘Wading Through the WWW’.
Fast forward a few years and now the online world is integral to both individuals and businesses. Who’d have though it, eh?