Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Have You Heard Of. . . INTERNET?

This news report on that new fangled invention called "INTERNET" is a Canadian Broadcasting Company report from what I can only assume is the very early 1990s. Then again, it *is* Canada, so the report could be as recent as 2002.

Whenever it was recorded, the report is so incredibly quaint, I advise you to change into a corset and a dusted wig before you watch it, in order to appreciate the full effect.

I'm not going to ruin the funniest moment in the video; just listen for the internet "expert" begin discussing the "interesting kind of restraint that you find" on the internet. After listening to him, I can only imagine how quickly he cried to his mother the first time he visited an Ain't It Cool News talkback.

Also watch for the reporter explain the complex language of. . . emoticons. Ya'd think he was dumbing down Sanskrit for the Canucks. ;-)!

My favorite moments in the video actually come near the end, when we see little snippets of praise from REAL INTERNET USERS!

It frees me to be me-- not someone inconveniencing others with my needs as a deaf person.
Thanks lady. But what about the limbless midgets in cyberspace? Who's freeing them to use the keyboard? Always thinking of yourself, you selfish deaf woman.

I can indulge my deep and abiding passion for all things Thai.
Not with Compuserve, pal. But once the web came along, his indulgence became an addiction, and at last report he was booking a Bangkok sex tour on

It has more soul than any human being I know!
Hey white bread, ever hear of James Brown? He ain't a character in your Prodigy game of Zork.

As I am often fond of saying, if the Defense Department-- and Al Gore-- ever knew what a den of depravity the internet would become, they would have cancelled the program before it ever began.

Good thing our government is stupid, eh? Eh, my Canadian friends?

INTERNET. Is there anything it can't do?

Well as best as I can ascertain out of the video, I'd peg it as between 90-92.

1. No graphical UIs, hell, no MS Windows even in *any* of the shots even. Having toiled for The Man in 1990 launching Windows 3.0, and figuring it took about 18 to 24 months before we reached critical mass, that puts it pre-1992. Mosaic started to appear on a lot of geeks' desks in mid to late 1993, so the fact that it's missing puts it earlier.

2. The chat boards displayed include one political one about Clinton. Even if we're talking about debate in the Primaries, that is strong evidence that this wasn't
before 1990.

3. The numbers cited ("15 MILLION users!") is consistent with the range of users from C'serve, AOL, Prodigy, et al around 89-92, depending on who's you believe.

4. The relatively low-profile laser printer seen in one shot was a series that HP and Apple (based on the same engine) launched around 1991-1992.
Wow, Thom. Brilliant deduction.

You're like a digital Barnaby Jones.
Wait, I'm confused. Who is this Internet fellow, and how do I contact him? It sounds like he's full of useful information.
Sobek, I believe you speak into your "mouse."
I'd peg it as between 90-92.Actually, it has to be at least '93, since (about 2/3 of the way through) they mention the Karla Homolka trial and the controversy about how the judge-ordered ban on the publication of lurid details was circumvented on Usenet. ("Not long ago," so it was probably late '93 or early '94.)

More details at Stumbo

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