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Quarter of a century of www...

Apparently the world wide web is 25 years old today.

Back in 1991, when it was all very new, we had something at work called a "kilostream" link to the company for which we were an outsource.  We had some software called "teamlinks" that allowed us to send what would now call emails to each other... and we used to take turns to get onto a computer to use it!  Within a few months the "kilostream" had to be upgraded to a "megastream", still a kind of glorified dial-up modem, that was left on all the time, and we had our own "personal computers" set up to control precisely what we could, and could not, access!

I remember setting up my first email account in 1999 - and which I used until last year when, after two takeovers, Dialstart finally vanished off the face of the earth.  The squeaks and whistles of the modem, the need to log out when not needing to be online, because it was an expensive business, and the wonder of internet where it was possible to discover all sorts of new things, quickly.

From there to DSL and later ADSL broadband in my manse in Dibley - as computer power grew and faster downloads became possible.  Emails flying so swiftly that it was almost impossible to keep up.  Spam and junkmail and scams and viruses, the emergence of blogs and social media.

Now, whilst at church I am still on ADSL, and it is more than adequate, I've been on fibre optic broadband at home for several years.  Although I never take advantage of all the data available, I can download video clips, music, stream television programmes and films.  I can read decent (and dodgy) Bible commentaries, check the spellings of words, book travel and holdays, pay bills, upload files to "clouds" and have video-calls with people on the far side of the  planet.

Twenty five years since the first www links were made (modems had, of course, been around a lot longer, connecting people over smaller networks).  Whether or not that's progress, is open to debate, but for me, it has definitely been a boon - rather than summoning up the courage to speak to people I can just type a few words and up pops my answer!  For shy people and introverts, the www has opened the way to stress free connectivity!!

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