When I was a kid it seemed like everyone I knew got a computer. I wanted one so bad I couldn't contain myself. From about the sixth grade every birthday and every Christmas when they asked me what I wanted I answered simply that I wanted a computer. In eighth grade they bought me a typewriter.
Admittedly, it was a cool typewriter...
All of my friends had Commodore 64s or fancy new IBMs. They were playing Paper Boy and Kings Quest. I had a typewriter.
Finally my Junior year of high school, Christmas of 1993, my dad broke down and bought a computer for the family. It was beautiful. I caressed its putty colored exterior as we plugged in all of the components. Windows 3.1 sprung to life and it - was - magnificent.
I knew, I just *knew* I could use that thing to communicate with other people. I knew it had a modem. A 2400 baud one, to be exact. I called the only person I knew who had another computer with a modem who would know what to do... my best friend, Jenny.
She didn't really know what to do, either, at first. We dialed into each other's computers and typed away at each other... but we knew there could be more.
I don't know who discovered it first, but finally we found Screaming In Digital (SID). SID was a BBS back in the days before the World Wide Web. You could dial up and go into essentially a chat room where up to 6 people could be logged in at one time. I was instantly hooked.
I tied up our phone line constantly. I dreamed that my parents might get another phone line installed so I could be on 24/7. When SID was full, I had to let the computer auto-redial until someone disconnected and I would hastily run from across the house to the computer at the familiar sound of the modem connecting.
When someone called my house I was disconnected and had to start the process all over again. It was heart breaking.
Ever since that wonderful Christmas in 1993 I have all but lived at the computer. Going from SID, to my college AOL account, and finally venturing out on my own into the World Wide Web.
I still live here on the Internet, glad you've stopped by to visit. :)