Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Bit of Nostalgia: Internet in Israel in 1994

A friend of mine sent me an article about the 25th anniversary of the Smiley.
You know :-)

This brought back some memories. Back in 1994 when I started to give lectures about the Internet in Israel, I created a plastic card that on one side had explanations about the Internet and Internet tools (in English and Hebrew) and the other side it had dozens of Smilies with English and Hebrew titles. Everything from a "Mr. Bill" to a Turban wearing Smiley. I have a scan of this nostalgic card at:

It is amazing that in 1994 there were very few people "surfing" the Internet. Back then, Internet was mostly used by computer people and access was through the school systems or research facilities. If you want to really find out who was active back then, ask a person what was Archie or Jughead or Veronica. (yes they are comic book characters BUT they also were names for something else).

I remember my first big lecture at the Dan Panorama hotel in Tel-Aviv. I gave the morning session and the afternoon consisted of 30 minute presentations by each of the new ISP's.
The presenters that I remember were Amir from Actcom and Avi from Netvision. Selling the concept of the Internet and what you can do with it was something new. Most of my lectures were diskette based because it was not easy getting connected to the Internet in a lecture hall.

Today the Internet is everywhere. According to a recent survey by comScore Networks, Israel ranked second only to Canada in the average amount of hours spent on-line. Israeli web users spend an average of 37.4 hours/month online. Most users in Israel have a high-speed Internet connection and I would say that the pricing is reasonable. My connection is a 2.5 meg and I am paying less than $25 a month for the ISP and Bezeq ADSL. This is much cheaper than my 33kb modem connection back in the early 90's.

Now if we really want to talk about nostalgia, I have a few stacks of Brooklyn College punchcards in one of the storage boxes in my home. Anyone out there remember what a punchcard looks like ?

Time to start cleaning for Peasch.
Shavua Tov and Chodesh Tov,

1 comment:

Lady-Light said...

You're not gonna believe this (I hope you get this comment in your email!), but my husband (then boyfriend)and I went to the computer room at Queens college-our alma mater-and wrote punch-card notes to each other! The computer looked like a huge main-frame (which it probably was)and filled a whole room!
Those punch-cards bring back memories...