Take a walk down memory lane with this 1996 tutorial video on how to use the internet | GeekComparison

The Internet Archive’s extensive library is a veritable treasure trove of digital content, including media from now-defunct formats such as VHS, with the aim of preserving our cultural heritage. Example: a video from 1996, Everything you need to know about… Introduction to the Internet (listed as 95021 in what is believed to be a series), was recently uploaded to the archive.

Even the minimum technical requirements to log in give an idea of ​​how far we’ve come since then in terms of sheer computing power. Viewers required a Macintosh or IBM (or IBM compatible) personal computer with Windows 3.11 or Windows 95 installed; a modem suitable for 14.4 transmission or higher; “at least” 8MB of RAM; and a hard disk of at least 500 MB. (For comparison, the 2020 MacBook Pros come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage and 1TB of hard drive storage, configurable to 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB.)

It’s probably a good thing we don’t get intermittent sound effects, because the classic sound of a dial-up modem connecting – however slowly – would undoubtedly bring back painful memories of those times when someone’s connection kept dropping and you had to reconnect over and over again. again, just to send some measly emails. Dial-up access is still used, especially in rural or remote areas where broadband hasn’t yet been installed, but it’s in danger of dying out: A 2013 Pew survey found that only 3 percent of American adults still depended on dial-up at the time .

The video promises to guide the viewer through this mysterious world of the Internet without resorting to technobabble, and focuses on the three major service providers of the time: CompuServe, Prodigy, and the much-maligned America Online (AOL). Viewers are introduced to the various welcome screens within each service, followed by a tour of the sign-up process and a tour of the main tools available: notably electronic mail, newsgroups/Usenet, web browsing, bookmarking, chatting, and file transfer through FTP.

Granted, it’s not the most sparkling discussion, but despite the stilted narration and raw, grainy visuals, Everything you need to know about… Introduction to the Internet captures some key cultural elements from the early days of widespread public use of the Internet. (I’ll admit I felt a pang of nostalgia during the Usenet demos: I made some great lifelong friends through rec.martial-arts in the 1990s.) You can watch the full 30 minute video here, if you are inclined to do so.

Frame image by Diamond Entertainment Corp

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