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January 02, 2006

Old Net Memories

Writing about web page

Crikey… I just stumbled onto a very, very old website I used to visit back when I first started using the internet.

I'm talking about the days when you had two choices for the net:


I ended up with AOL despite trying Compuserve first. Why? Because when I signed up for compuserve it had, for some reason, failed to accurately record my username and password… D'OH!

We're talking about early '90s here and I was using AOL for years (pretty much until BT started offering broadband) as a result. This is an eon before things like plusnet and an age before even some of the early alternate providers like freeserve. In fact, the first alternate provider I remember was Prodigy.

We're talking about the days when the use of the net would cost you £2.95 an hour + telephone bills (I nearly cried for joy when AOL introduced a monthly service option. I think it was initially around £25 then they reduced it… the phone calls still dug a hole in the pocket though).

What would I use the net for? Chat rooms and Ultima Online… Yes… I was a young geek. What were my AOL usernames?


And which characters did I have in UO?

Taishakutin – GM warrior turned GM mage.
Smeagol – My GM thief.
Al Mahdi – My Mule
Yasha – The Warrior to replace Taish

Can't remember the other characters.

Wow. I can't believe I still recall this stuff. I played on the Europa server, posted on Stratics (but was banned some time in 2002 for constantly arguing with insane right-wing Americans). In fact I think you can still find my posts there from just after 9–11 (oh U Hall OT - the fun we had!). I even wrote fanfic – two pieces weighing in at around 60,000 words in total.

You can tell I was the popular kid at school. I wonder if Imanewbie's still around?

checks the internet

Crikey it's still around… Imanewbie does Britannia ----> Imagine loading those comics up on a 56k modem.


Well, anyway, those were the days. And which site brought back this floodgate of nostalgia?

Thumper's Wavs

Ah me!

Check out the site and downloads "RadAol", "Gilligan", "Zits", "Staitbys" and "HiHo".
All instant classics I think you'll agree. Now let me put two of them in their context (gotta love topical net humour… man oh man I miss those days).


One of my all-time favourite classic internet tracks… Came in response to AOL going down for half a day, many years ago. To the tune of Ace of Base's I Saw the Sign

I put in my password
Unzipped my pants, Stood Left, I fucking freaked,
With nothing connected, no cyber sex for me
America Online, I'm a geek with no life
Have to sleep with my wife
They went offline
It was eighteen hours of pure agony
No kinky websites, to spend my weeknights
They went offline
And my packard-bell computer lost its mind
I'm not gonna pay my fee
Yes I'll probably switch to Prodigy
Switch to Prodigy

Like many a classic, this one is still relevent… It suits perfectly any MMORPGer who's ever experienced some downtime and gone to surf the official forums.

And finally:


This one parodies the old netlife in general, to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song (an ancient American TV Show):

Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
About my virtual trip
It started from my IBM
With a simple little click
I tried to surf the internet
But things did not go well
I wound up in a chatroom
With some geeks from cyberhell
(He's trapped in cyberhell)
They won't shut up
I can't escape this AOL Nightmare.
If I signed onto Prodigy
I bet they'd find me there
Those geeks are everywhere
I'm stuck inside the World Wide Web
With Weirdos I don't know
I hit F1
Unplug the Phone
I can't click out
I can't click in
It sits in chat
Oh my God
I'm trapped on the internet!

Pure… legendary… genius.


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