> Where it all began, 1994

Where it all began, 1994

Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011 | 4 Comments

Just had to share the crazy stuff I just found.

Here is the text of a web page I created in 1994 when I was first starting to use this thing called the Internet. Its a scream!

Remember when you cared if your serial card had a 16550 uart for less interrupts? The computers at work had 2G disk drives, luxury. Remember having a PPP account to connect to the net? What about when windows did not come with a TCP/IP stack and you had to go and pay for one! What about recommending that people look into this thing called Linux.

For those from Australia, that DEC Alpha machine which was connected to the net only via email was set up by none other than Simon Hackett, founder of Internode.

Looking back at the site I had all these tips, technical notes and FAQs on the technology that I worked on. Obviously the seed to a future blogging career.

How technology has changed (but my spelling has not improved).

Enjoy this blast from the past. I hope it brings back some memories of your own!

My stuff!

  • Hardware
  • Internet software
  • Creating my pages
  • Providers of PPP connections in Sydney, Australia
  • Test your browser

There is a lot of software and hardware that I have come accross, especialy when it comes to surfing the net, so here is bit of a description of what I have and how I use it.


At home I am running a 486DX2-66 with 8mb of RAM, an Adaptec SCSI with a 512Mb SCSI drive and a
NEC 3Xi SCSI CD-ROM drive. For communications I use a QuickComm Spirit II modem that does 14.4K. A while ago I used a serial board with 16550 uarts for extra speed and less interupts but it seams to have died so I am back to the 8250. Still haning around is my old 386SX-16 with 4mb of RAM and a 80mb drive. Its so slow it drives you nuts, especially in windows, however I did run Linux (click to hear Linus Torvalds prounance it) on it for a few months and was able to get ghostview, a postscript viewer to run under x-windows on it, not bad for such a dud machine, of course I had a 16mb swap partition. If you are interested in unix at home you should give Linux a try.

In the office I use a variety of machines. There is a DEC VAX 4000/60 running OpenVMS with 24mb of RAM and about 2.1Gb of disk, the DEC Alpha running OpenVMS with 80mb of RAM and about 2Gb of disk and a HP running HP-UX with 64Mb RAM and 1Gb disk space. They all have huge workstation screens which I love to work on and are all networked (TCP/IP). The Alpha is connected to the Internet by mail only.

Internet software

These days I am really into the Word Wide Web (the WEB or W3) and have lots of utilities and software etc to do this. My connection to the net comes from
Magnadata who provide PPP and shell accounts. Its around AUS$40 a month for PPP access. The good thing about their charging is its not time baed but transmission size. Therefore I can stay connected and not worry about how long it takes me to read something or if I am FTPing something from the US I don't care how slow the link is. The monthly charge incluses 20mb and each extra mb isa dollar or something.

On my PC I run PC/TCP from FTP Software Inc. and use their PPP connection. It loads as a VBX for Windows but I am not sure I have it installed right and think there still might be a TSR floating around somewhere. Its very good and its dialer program which you use to make the serial connection is simple.

On top of all TCP/IP I then run lots of client programs, the most important of which is my W3 browser, Virtual Library/CyberWeb of WWW Development. I create my images by capturing them from other pages or pieces of software with Paint Shop Pro.

Creating my pages

Like a lot of people as soon as I started using the W3 I had an urge to create my own documents; after all who can resist the idea of having your ideas accessable by anyone in the world, what a medium! My first page was a simple home page that I placed on my providers server in Hong Kong (where I was living at the time). This linked to another page which had information on my son Samuel with his picture. Once these were created I started to place my URL into the signature of my home page and have done so ever since.

Today I am a little more experienced but few things have changed. All of my pages are created locally on my PC and I use the file: URL to load them, therefore they all load very fast, hense the number of images in my pages. To write them I simply use a text editor SuperPAD that comes as an example with MS Visual C++, it's basically notepad but has an MDI interface. I have tried HoTMetal bySoftQuad Inc. and HTML Assistant by Howard Harawiz but find that they really don't make the creation of a page any easier. I just write in the editor and then frequently load it into Following is the dialog for my conversion program.



  1. Anonymous4:22 am

    My TCP-IP Stack was a Chameleon :-) http://www.support.psi.com/support/common/inet-serv/tcpip/netman/index.html

    Eric Sloof - NTPRO.NL

  2. Ahh, the good old days eh? Get off my lawn!

    BTW Dialix > Magna ;) At least on my poor student budget.


  3. Anonymous8:21 pm

    This is classic, brings back so many memories.
    My first ISP was Ozemail around 1994, I remember also using PPP and kermit. My Mac didn't even have a web browser.

  4. Mr White10:29 am

    Brings back the memories even for a whippersnapper like me :)


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