Goodbye, old friend

Friday, February 29, 2008

Remember the first time you were introduced to the Internet?

Home computers had just become almost common place, but connecting them to the outside world was a revelation.

McCook residents got their feet wet with local computer bulletin boards in the early 1990s, but when the first Internet pipeline came to town, there were no holds barred.

Most of us had slow modem connections in the 300 to 2400 baud speeds, so much of our time was spent watching that little "N," straddling a globe, in the corner of our computer monitor. The spinning globe indicated that we were, indeed, connected to the Internet via our telephone lines.

That "N" is no more.

Founded by Marc Andreessen, who had co-authored the first popular browser for the new World Wide Web version of the Internet, the first Netscape was released in 1994.

For a while, few of us knew Netscape and the Internet were two different things, with 90 percent of people online using it.

That caught the attention of Microsoft, which started bundling its own browser, Internet Explorer, with its Windows operating systems. Today, the Windows software has 80 percent of the market share, and Netscape is down to 0.6 percent.

It's to the point that AOL, which now owns Netscape, informed its users that after March 1, 2008, it will no longer support the Netscape browser.

The software's cousin, Firefox, lives on, and AOL recommended users install that browser instead.

A lot has changed since Netscape introduced us to the World Wide Web, and most of us, as the statistics prove, already use some other software. And, most of us are on some sort of high-speed Internet that makes waiting a thing of the past -- almost.

Still, we'll miss that N with the spinning globe.

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  • That is the new age for you. It used to be that a person had to remember back forty or fifty years to be able to remember the 'Good old Days.' Technology is expanding so quickly now, I cannot deduce how anyone can learn fast enough to 'graduate' from any school, especially Grade-school. The 'Over Sixty' club can remember cars that had a manual transmission, no: cruise, air-conditioning, radial tires, ABS, etc.

    I have four computers. Three of them will no longer work on-line (too slow). Oh well.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Sat, Mar 1, 2008, at 9:07 PM
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