I got hooked on the internet and technology early on when it was beginning to boom. I don't know how many others did as well. I was just thinking back to when I first started playing around with it. I want to say the year must have been somewhere around 1995-1998. I do remember Yahoo Search being there, quite a bit different and much simpler, but it was there. I recall entering a search term into Yahoo back then and getting 1 or 2 pages of results at the most. In some case less than 10 total results. Can you imaging that. Now a search returns thousands of results spanning pages to numerous to count.
Google didn't even exist back then, neither did MSN. Some of the ones that did exist are gone, some are affiliated with Google in some way. The ones that are still around are not nearly as popular as they once were.
Instant messengers hadn't even been thought up yet. There was no such thing as high speed internet, it was almost all dial up modem access.
Perhaps some of you have never even had to use dial up internet. Consider yourself lucky. It was so slow with many limitations. I can only imagine how long some sites would take to load now. Online video and music was pretty much impossible with such slow speeds.
Most sites were basic simple html back then. Database driven sites were limited to the bigger sites like Yahoo. You didn't see any php or mysql at the time. Cgi and Perl were fairly common, and companies were paying these programmers big money.
Now it seems the most popular combination is php and mysql.
Since uploading and downloading were limited by dial up speeds most web hosting packages were extremely small compared to today's standard. You literally had like 5 to 10 Mb's of storage space. Yes that is Mb's not Gb's. And bandwidth/transfer was similar, maybe 5 Mb's to 50 Mb's. Most of the web hosting packages back then cost as much and usually more than what we pay for 1000s of times more space and bandwidth today.
Domain name registration was controlled by Network Solution. Which meant this was the only place you could register a domain name back then. The price was $35 per year with a minimum of 2 years. So that meant you had to spend $70 just to register a domain name. Now you can register a domain name for $10-$15 per year and only 1 year at a time.
It was a crazy time, the internet and related technology was pretty much new to everyone. The dot com era boomed and everyone wanted a web site. Everyone was learning html and how to create a website. Many providers offered free web space in exchange for ads on your page. Lots of people used this as a free way to learn html and how to create web sites. Some of these free providers still exist today, but when considering the ads they place on a page, the limited features, they just aren't practical.
So many things have changed over the years. I don't know if I would say that I am lucky to have been there to see the changes, or if you are new to the internet and are lucky to have not had to deal with it.
Exploits, phishing, viruses, and that kind of thing were very rare. Some didn't even exist. I don't even recall having anti-virus for some time. It was just something that you didn't hear about or have problems with. That certainly has changed a lot over the years.
The next 10-15 years should be more than interesting.