ometimes 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).