Vintage #12: Internet with The 56k router!

I was born in the beginning of the 90s. As you can probably imagine, technology was not exactly as good as it is right now. Between cell phones, phone boxes, Records and boomboxes we had so much fun with it. However, the biggest piece of technology was internet. The problem was the way we were able to connect: the devilish 56k router.

Me and Internet in the 90s.

Compared to today, it was like trying to compete in a Formula One race with a Go-Kart. If you didn’t get it, now it’s like a Formula One, the past it’s like the Go-Kart. I was a young kid at the time and computer for me was almost “forbidden”. I could only play with it for just a certain amount of time with only certain game (like Fifa 2000). My partent didn’t want that i destroyed my brain…something i did when i was a teenager anyway. Internet was only a word heard whether on tv or when my parents talked. I never personally used it when i was a kid.

However we had internet at home. My father and my sister used it for a very short amount of time. How short was this amounf of time? We’re talking of a couple of hours a week. In the 21st Century, if someone uses internet only two hours a week is a hermit or very weird person. My family was not the only one ot have an internet connection. Almost all the family had internet at home. However, they didn’t use it, because they would rather use internet at the office. Why? It was faster and for free.

Why was internet so hard to use privately? Two huge reason: costs and speed.

The 56K router.

It was a nice thing and the worst thing ever. The 56k router allowed people to be connected, but it was complicated. Not because of the cables, but because you needet to connect the router manually. Everytime you had to use internet for some reason, you have to connect the router and all the time you had to pray that this thing worked, because there was the high change to be blocked. It doesn’t matter how many times you tried, if the router didn’t want to work, you were screwed!

A technological turtle!

Damn, if internet was slow back in the day. In the middle 90s you needed a lot of minutes to download an audio file and almost a minute to open an internet page, made by few word and a couple of low-quality picture. Now we open huge internet pages instantly, full of long videos and high quality pictures and we download audio files in few seconds. Streaming was just a dream: with the upload and download speed it was just great if we were able to see a 30-seconds-clip…streaming a three-hours-movie was just madness.

Don’t you believe me? I tell you this: in 1996 Space Jam came out. Not veryone knows that there was a internet page, to promote the movie. Do you want to see how a 90s internet pages looked like? Here it is! And we already needed a good minute to open that page. Just because internet was so slow in down- and upload, pages had too much words and few animations, because animations life GIF were already too heavy. Social Media, Youtube, Streming platforms and blogs were only sci-fi.

I heard from people who stood all night awake just to download a dozen of audio-files…i’m not kidding. Oh, i almost forgot.

Once online in internet, you were missed!

If you used internet, you were not able to call, because If you used it, you needed to used the phone line to get into internet. So, if you used internet no one could call you on the landline phone and you could call anyone. The only way you had to be reachable was a cell-phone. Now calling and surfing at the same time is normal, but in the 90s it was not possible. Only companies were able to surf all day and have phones. To have something like this at home, was just too expencive. Which brings me to the second part of the story: internet was expencive.

Internet: Shine brith like a Diamond.

Now, we have plans where you pay a monthly price to receive a super fast connection, where you can listen songs, watching movies, writing a blog at the same times. In the 90s you were lucky if you were able to open a page in less than a minutes. And you paid that minute. Back in the day, we had to pay every minutes to connection. The more you surfed in internet, the more you had to pay. I can’t tell you how much we exactly paid every minutes, but my mom looked like the “The Scream of Munch”, every time she received the bill.

The problem was that during the day internet was more expencive than in the evening, because during the day too many people used internet, the line was slower, you needed more time to open a page and you paid more, because you time on internet was longer. Yes, It was a legalized scam, but in the days it was magic being together with the entire world…even if you needed a lot of money. For that reason the evening was a good moment to surf in the digital world.

I don’t miss those days, It was the beginnig of something huge and i am glad to have seen the birth and growth of the biggest invention of the Century. What i miss is the surprise and the amaze in people’s faces when they realised they were connected with the world with only one click.

If you were born in the 90s, or you were a teenager in the 90s you can understand my point!

See ya

Mauro

The Ironically All-Rounder
I'm pretty sure to know everything. If thre's nothing i don't know. be free to tell me!

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