re: Which computer era would have been the most exciting to take part in? VIEW POST


I think the most exciting time was the early 1990s. I wish I took part in it, or at least was more a part of it, and had learned more things sooner.

This was when the Internet was a thing and the Web wasn't. When spam and advertising were virtually synonymous. Usenet was the most interesting thing online (although Archie and IRC and some other things were also interesting). Usenet had a holographic quality to it, in that there was a copy of it in thousands of /usr/spool/news directories. That made it very hard to fake message traffic and impossible to erase it. Add to that the fact that there was no entity that could be identified as the owner of Usenet itself, and you have something the world had never before seen. I had seen talk radio, amateur radio, even BBS systems, but Usenet had multi-continent reach, effectively zero censorship, effectively zero advertising, ran on free software. It was obviously government subsidized, the Internet itself having been a DARPA project, and the bulk of Usenet traffic coming from .edu domains, so I had grave doubts about the magic of the Internet being able to survive privatization. In hindsight, I can only say my doubts were not nearly grave enough.

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