Some of us feel the same way about the Internet. It used to be a really cool place to hang out. It was full of good information, software and, well, porn. Most importantly though, it was almost exclusively the domicile of geeks. It was a more or less friendly and nurturing environment. Very few people had access that didn't need it for something, or use it frequently. Most of these users had skill and were tech people.

Well, that all changed when Rush Limbaugh married his CompuServe wife. These days you can't throw a rock without hitting a POP. Even my mother has e-mail, and constantly refers to herself as the digital mummy. That's aggravating. She still can't program a VCR and gets confused by the POS ATM machines at Wal-Mart.

Now before everyone gets all pissed and misunderstands me, please read this clarification ;

I believe that the Internet is a fantastic way to communicate. I don't think that it belongs only to the gearheads. I don't hate newbies. I'm not advocating revocation of web access for those people who don't understand it.

I just miss the days that I could place a simple search string in Lycos or AltaVista and have it return meaningful information. I miss the old days. I long for the way it used to be. I think I always shall.

ScottMan: Ahh yes, shell accounts. How could I forget the heady pleasure of Mail, Gopher, Tin and Lynx. So fast, so efficient. I recall when Pine mail was introduced at UNLV, I was nearly hyperventilating with excitement. Just imagine, mail and news, together! It was truly an exciting time.
Ah, but what of the old old days? Commodore 64's, cassette tape storage and BBSs. Oh, the trouble some of us would endure to avoid long distance charges so that we could afford to spend thirty minutes downloading a 12k demo.

As an aside, I know there are some of you out there reading this who may not remember these times. For you I have a story:
Once upon a time the web had no pictures, at least none that you could see. It was all text format. If you wanted to view a image file and you were using Lynx to browse (and who wasn't), you had to download the image to your shell account, then FTP it from your shell account to the workstation you were on, then you had to UUE decode it, then you could view it, but first you had to load a viewer because this was all back in the DOS days. If you count your modem dialer that's 5 programs just to view one file, and we liked it just fine!

Of course, if you ask my father he'll gleefully tell you about the day he wrote his first program, on cards, alot of cards.