People call me an elitist, every now and again. They say it in the same tone of voice in which you'd call someone 'arrogant', or 'self-righteous'.

I think to myself, it wasn't that long ago that 'elite' actually meant something.

...

I remember nights in my mother's basement that lasted forever, wardialing my local freenet with both lines in hopes of getting a free 2400 baud modem on the ringdown, so that I could find a Gopher site that would give me telnet, and through telnet, everything else.

I remember when 1337 actually was, and there was a certain pride taken in having the latest 0-3 day warez. If you had those files, it meant you were for real, you weren't a pretender, a lamer, a newbie. The timestamp was proof enough of your status in the world.

TRSi, Razor 1911, and the groups they grew out of. ASCII tags that would flash by your screen as you unzipped the latest release, telling you just which WHQs and USHQs the file passed through before it made its way to your hard drive.

It seems somehow odd that back then, you could use the terms 'dot com' and 'email' in conversation, and not a single person would have any idea what you were talking about.

...

IRCII, with a Phoenix or Lice script running on top of it, to prevent the Tsunami floods, and to try and prevent people from surfing the netsplits. If you lost your channel, there was nothing you could do, no recourse of your own, except for asking that friend who had an Eggdrop or two.

Free domain names.

Using mIRC when it was first released, and thinking that it'd never catch on, that no-one would ever want to give up that much control of the client to menu-systems and checkboxes.

Kermit. Archie. XModem. Fidonet. alice!bob!carol@uucp

The day they invented the web.

...

Everyone uses the internet, now. Everyone is a computer wizard, because they had Napster, and they know how to burn CDs for their friends. Every single one of your friends has an email address, if not a domain.

It makes me sad, for some reason... Not that I have any more of a claim to the internet than anyone else does, or anything... I just feel that perhaps 'the revolution', as it were, got co-opted by people who were more concerned with scooters and starbucks than they were with making it work, making it solid, and making it free.

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