This article was published on August 6, 2008

Online: Remember Your Very First Time?

Online: Remember Your Very First Time?
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Graphical Internet access with SLIRP and MacPPP
I spent hours tweaking this…

At we like to look forward and talk about events as they happen. But today I would like to look back and make you remember the very first time you went online. How did it feel? What did you do? How did it change your life?

My first time online was in 1995. I had bought a modem after I graduated from art school and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. A local ISP was very helpful with setting up ‘Config PPP’ and TCP/IP on my Macintosh Quadra 660AV. The whole procedure took us about two hours. I was one of the fist Apple Macintosh clients the ISP had. I think the whole company consisted of just one guy with a bunch of modems under his bed.

Getting connected took a few minutes and started with the familiar screeching sounds every modem used to make when trying to connect. It generally took multiple tries to get connected and often I would get disconnected without reason mid-session anyway. My dial-up speed was 14.4k and the first browser I used was Mosaic but I used that only to get to Netscape and then used Fetch to download a version of Netscape.

I don’t remember what version of Netscape I used but do remember the 2.0 version coming out not long after I got online. I also remember that a new version of HTML was introduced which allowed background images. Suddenly the web looked so much cooler!

Macintosh Centris 660AV
My Macintosh Centris 660AV

Within a day or two I realized I wanted to build homepages too and had to learn HTML. So I got on my bike and went looking for a book that would teach me HTML. I remember vividly sitting in my parents garden reading my “HTML 1.0” book and trying to explain to my parents how incredibly exciting that was.

Within a week or so I had built my first homepage which relied heavily on my Apple Quicktake 1.0 and Photoshop 1.0. Unfortunately within a month my ISP took my site offline because it was generating too much traffic. Ever since I have been hooked.

So, now it is your turn. When did you go online and what happened?

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