reminiscences, chasing rabbits, a brief history of the internet and aol chat rooms

alexa’s response to my good morning today was to inform me that on this day in 1979 the board game trivial pursuit was invented. the trivia part was that it took the creators two years to write the original 6,000 questions and they did it without the benefit of the internet.


i remembered being amazed at the information available while playing. it made you feel smarter somehow.  then i wanted to know when the internet (or the “world wide web”) was available to the general public.

august 6th, 1991     double wow… and a head shake

then i remembered my first taste of computers. in the wilds of binghamton, new york i started taking a home learning course on coding. it came with a computer (megabites worth of computer power and very little memory!). after working hours on lines of code, i remember the first time i typed in something on that black screen and waited while things whirred, then magically the words “hello” appeared. it was a defining moment and i was hooked. unfortunately life took me by the throat and shook me around for the next number of years (i don’t remember how many or maybe don’t want to remember) and sadly that was the only piece of code i ever wrote.

fast forward to post 1991 when aol, prodigy, compuserve and genie were the only online public services and everything was on dial-up which means nobody could ever call anyone! i remember hours spent in aol chat rooms, creating friendships and even attended two aol chat meet ups, one in dallas, tx and the other in west hollywood. and it all took forever, dial up was a 5 minute wait, downloading anything was hours if not days… and the entire time we were tying up phone lines, sometimes two. a good blog to read on exactly what it was like in those days is

and now after talking to a friend i realize that most of the children don’t know how to use a landline phone, that watching tv commercials just isn’t done (hear that advertisers? think youtube video where it’s only at the beginning of whatever is being watched or streaming with just a lead in ad).

and now net neutrality is no longer and how many of us knew it was even a thing and how many of us understand what it all really means?

and why is it that an artificial intelligence/social bot is the one who turned me onto all of this?


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