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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Random: Old Internet User Makes Shocking Decision 
30th-Jul-2009 07:28 am
Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming a senior citizen of the internet. I was there pretty early on, when I purposefully set off for the computer lab in Hesburgh Library at Notre Dame, to teach myself to use a program called Mosaic to access the "internet," which at that time was only just beginning to be understood to actually be the "information superhighway" that was being predicted in those years. It was the development of the web browser program that turned the internet into the popular public system it has since become, after being the abode of military and university computer types since its invention in 1970s. I got online with the express purpose of finding my way into NASA's databases so that I could look at high-quality photographs of the Levy-Schumaker (back when it was called that) impact for longer than the second that they were being shown on CNN. I started making webpages within a year, first one for me with little purpose behind it, where the ancestor of this journal first appeared in 1997 (internet senior citizen), as practice for my fulfilling Steve Warner's request to design the first webpage for the Notre Dame Folk Choir.

So why am I feeling like an internet senior citizen? (Besides my early entry into the internet?) Because a year-and-a-half after its discontinuation, I am in the process of giving up using Netscape as my web browser.

Yes. Shocking. It's like I've insisted on driving an Edsel or a Fiero for years. And I know lots of you web-savvy friends reamed me out back then for still being on Netscape. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit, comfortable because I knew exactly where everything was? I have an overly-developed sense of loyalty, and have never quite gotten over the bliss of when Netscape became the first browser to dream up tabs, so that I didn't have to keep multiple windows open? All true. I have been part of the 0.56% global usage share of Netscape as a web browser in the second quarter of 2009 (which rather surprised me to discover, as I figured I might be the only one left at this point), down from about 90% usage share back in early 1996. But it's time for me to evolve whether I want to or not. And that's why I feel like an internet senior citizen (gross, ageist stereotypes of senior citizens aside).
30th-Jul-2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
I remember using Mosaic and then Netscape (or Netscape Navigator, to be completely accurate) in the Niewland and Fitzpatrick labs. Probably used them in the Hesburgh and LaFortune labs as well, though mostly I remember using Eudora, Gopher and Usenet in those places. The first web page I remember viewing was a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan page. Oh the glorious visual feast of black text on a grey background that was Mosaic.

At some point I had aboyandhis.com up and running, though I rarely maintained it. I'm pretty sure there was an older version, but this was the oldest link I could find in the Web Archive.

My first experience with tabbed browsing came with using Opera for the first time back in 2000 or 2001. It is a wonderful thing.
30th-Jul-2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, Eudora. That was hard to wean myself off of as well. Huh. I never knew a boy and his ever went online. I still have my a boy and his sticker on my 12-string case.
30th-Jul-2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
There was never really an online version of A Boy & His, it was more of a place for me to play around with learning HTML and throw up some thoughts from time to time (pseudo-blogging, perhaps?). For a while I maintained the Butterfly Effect portion of the page faithfully.
30th-Jul-2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ah, gotcha. So in remembrance of the paper edition of A Boy & His, I give you another old pic that maybe you have or haven't seen:

30th-Jul-2009 05:26 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, that photo. That was before I figured out how to set up the masters of a zine so that I could run double-sided copies of the whole thing, cut each collated stack in half, put one stack on top of the other and staple. Too bad I hadn't sorted it out before the issue in the picture (#5), which was the longest one I did.
30th-Jul-2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
The thing that always pops into my head about this room is that I loved the sticker you or Mike had stuck to an amp that you kept in here: the one that read "This Machine Kills Fascists". I didn't know at the time that that was the old Woody Guthrie tag on his guitar; I just thought that it was one of the funniest, punkiest things I'd ever seen.
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