20 years of Internet

I realized last night that I’ve been using the Internet for about 21 years. I had access to it through work before it was publicly accessible anywhere in Canada. We were among the first people to sign up with NBTel when they offered dial up service to their customers. We had almost a month’s worth of free service because they gave out accounts before they had the usage tracking systems in place. Initially, the rate was $.16/minute ($9.60/hour), but within 2 or 3 months it dropped to $.10/minute and the basic service fee included 30 hours of usage.

To mark the occasion, I thought I’d list a few memorable highlights of the last 20 years:

  • 1992 – Obtained Internet access in January, bought our first computer (486DX33, 4MB RAM, 32MB HD, 1024×768 XVGA monitor). Later in the year Meaghan was born.
  • 1993 – I started working with Ultrix (Digital Equipment Unix variant) & SCO Unix at work.
  • 1994 – Upgraded to a 56K modem, I left my full time contract with the provincial government.
  • 1995 – Incorporated my consulting business, signed on with Digital Equipment as an OpenVMS Systems Specialist.
  • 1996 – Diversified my business – Andrea also had a business which needed funding. My business bought hers. That was the beginning of us being business partners as well as life partners.
  • 1997 – Signed on with StarChoice Television (now Shaw Direct TV) to be the IT lead through the startup phase. This turned out to last much longer than initially anticipated. I remained involved in the enterprise until they hit about 400,000 subscribers.
  • 1998 – Another diversification year – we had 3 part time employees each doing different jobs.
  • 1999 – Pretty well all the year was spent on Y2K projects. For that year most of my clients had their normal spending restriction removed if the purchase order had Y2K in the description of what was being purchased. A busy year for me.
  • 2000 – I did a lot of Y2K followup work, late in the year Emma was born.
  • 2001 – We moved to Miramichi & bought our first old house.
  • 2002 – I started a programming instructor position at NBCC Miramichi.
  • 2003 – I bought my second motorcycle (Yamaha 535 Virago).
  • 2004 – DSL service (1.5 Mbps) came to our neighbourhood and we promptly upgraded (from 56K).
  • 2005 – My position at the college came to an end.
  • 2006 – I took a job here. Initially, I was hired to work on an business optimization project involving the Hungarian Algorithm.
  • 2007 – After a year of unsuccessful searching for a decent rental with 4 bedrooms, we bought this house, got our first taste of satellite Internet which was the only option other than dialup.
  • 2008 – Sold the house in Miramichi, left the position that we had moved here for, started working with Andrea again.
  • 2009 – Merge of WordPress and WordPress MU was announced, we shifted our business plans accordingly.
  • 2010 – I worked extensively on the merge, switched from Satellite Internet to fixed wireless, our first grandchild Izzy was born.
  • 2011 – Andrea & I started working with and later joined Copyblogger Media.

I’m looking forward to what the next 10-20 years has to offer 🙂

Author: Ron

Homeschooling dad of 4 (ages 27 - 14), grampy to 3, WordPress core contributor, former farmboy & software developer by profession.

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