I was just thinking today about how before we had the public Internet we had Bulletin Board System's or BBS'. I can still remember pestering my parents to buy me a Hayes Smartmodem 1200 which was around 300.00 in 1984. 10 years later I started my own WWIV BBS, and as you can see in this post, at an early age, I was already using the Internet for marketing! Notice that by then, the speeds were 9600 Baud. Who could forget the sounds made by a modem connecting. It's crazy, but listening to that sound actually triggers old memories I have.
On a related note, I can distinctly recall in college at Middle Tennessee State University that the Internet they had was a T1 line that was 1.5u/1.5d Mbps. Back then, that was incredibly fast because you must remember there were no high resolution cameras, and games were very small files because the graphics were not hi-res either, so the files you were transferring were small.
Early on, there were already Internet addicts. There was a guy that lived in the dorm that was totally addicted to IRC Chat. He was a little Indian guy of short stature who was the child of a well known heart surgeon at Vanderbilt. I remember finding a file he had stored that said "Girls I have had Netsex with". He told them all he was 6'0" tall, and I actually now wonder how many of them were actually guys pretending to be girls. I know that we would send out e-mails with forged addresses like God@mtsu.edu which ironically freaked people out. Again, back then they had no authentication for sending messages or spam filtering so it was easy to pull off. The Indian student ended up flunking his classes because he spend all his waking hours online. That summer, he was arrested and given a no tresspass for breaking into the dorm to use the computers. Back then there was no automated system to activate/deactivate accounts, so after the semester was over his access was still active.
Some of you know this, but Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) actually paid me to teach students once a week how to access the Internet via the VT100 terminals in the dorm computer room. I also did a little computer repair which landed me full access passes to the Girls dorm which was very nice at the time. lol
That's all for now! 20 plus years on the Internet for me, wow that is hard to believe!