Chris J Powell

Throwback Thursday – Tech the World Has Lost – Part 5

I don’t know about you but when I think back to the early days of the Interwebz I think of how exciting it was to get an email from someone on the other side of the world…or even the first few pieces of Spam would get me to open them.  Heck, email was so shiny and new, they even made a movie out of it back in 1998 that became a cultural icon of romantic comedies called “You’ve Got M@ail”…Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are truly a perfect combination together!


Also in the 90’s (if you were exploring the bowels of the World Wide Web as I was) the world of Homestar Runner popped up and one of the cultural Icons of the early Interwebz was Strongbad and his weekly (or almost) Flash Animation of him reading out and recreating the contents of an email, one of my all time favorites is Strongbad loves Techno:

So thinking back to the 90s and the world of lost tech you may say email is still around…but the reality is…email today is vastly different than it was back then.  We all send and receive many emails every day…heck I probably spend a good hour reading, responding and deleting emails from my 5 email accounts (plus 1 at work) every day.  I miss the days getting the alert that new mail has arrived…it was exciting.

Looking back to when I first connected to the Interwebz in 1997 there was an estimated 70 million people in the entire world who had done the same thing…seems like a lot right…well that was only 1.7% of the population.  Today just 17 years later that number has grown to an estimated 2.9 BILLION users or 43% of the world’s population.  No wonder getting an email has gone from WOO HOO, I’VE GOT MAIL to OH CRAP…MORE EMAIL.

For me, accessing email back in the day was done through two now extinct programs, Outlook Express (the default email program of Windows 98 to Windows XP.

But even back then, I had a deep mistrust of the world of Microsoft and I found the world of Netscape (the base of Firefox) to be far more appealing for me.

While these programs have been eclipsed by web mail and more advanced email programs…they formed the foundation for the flood of information, advertisements and viagra ads that we now have to sift through to find that one email we actually want to read.  I miss the days when I could count the number of emails I got per day on one hand.  🙁

Well I have now broken my own rule of no emoticons in a blog post…the world may very well be coming to an end.

I ask all of you this though…what was your first email that you received?  For me I remember it well, it was a chat archive that I had sent to me from the first time that I logged on to MSN Chat (back in the day when it would populate a comic book style chat).



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