18 May 2004

Old skool cyberkultur

So in the process of looking for something else entirely, I stumbled across this site of old cyber-stuff, apparently last updated in 1997. Most of the files are plain text.

There's an FTP Guide to VR sites from 1993. (For my young readers: ''VR'' stands for ''virtual reality,'' which is 1993-speak for the Matrix, and was thought to be the Next Big Thing right before the Web came along.)

There's an email from Adam Curry telling the sad tale of mtv.com. While Curry was running it, "The site quickly became a frequently accessed 'hangout' on the net, with an average of 35000 accesses daily from Mosaic clients alone.'' Thirty-five thousand hits a day! Wow! (Mosaic was a web browser from before Netscape was a company. Pages came up with a gray background by default, and you had to shovel coal into the back of your computers about once an hour or so.)

There's lots of stuff about Gender in Cyberspace. A long article by Sandy Stone, before she went to go work for Microsoft. An interview with Brenda Laurel (before she worked for Purple Moon) from Mondo 2000. An article about the LambdaMOO ''rape'' from The Villiage Voice.

There's an article called ''Fiction That Bleeds Truth'' about cyberpunk going mainstream from the pages of bOING bOING. (It was a print publication back in those days, boys and girls, so it had real pages.)

There's even samples of spam so old that the spelling and formatting are good, and there's no mention of Nigeria, Viagra, or pornography of any kind. (At the time Nigeria was a country, and pornography had been invented ... but Viagra had not.)

It makes me feel like an old man.

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