Haven't been disconnected since. Ran a for-fee BBS in the early days where we sold fiction stories (don't ask) & drink recipes (we were underage). People would mail us a $5 bill in the mail for monthly access. Every month I'd go through a Lotus 123 spreadsheet to mark who stayed on and who got kicked off.
The whole racket was run after hours in my job's server closet – also doubling as the actual janitor closet. During the day the equipment was used by employees to access the Internet (via Rutgers) and email (most of which they wanted me to download, print, and postal mail to them!!!) Everything sat idle at night, so we snuck in our own homegrown machine and ran a BBS. I think the whole thing lasted for nearly a year before it was too much to manage.
I remember the World Wide Web being born (HYPERLINKS FTW.) I remember the very first computer virus. I also remember the three dozen or so of us in 2004 that started podcasting and foolin' round with something called RSS to swap MP3 files… but that's another story.
O.M.G. I'm old. Get off my lawn.
(PS – Collecting $5 per person, my partner and I cleared about $400 cash EACH per month. Entrepreneur in training… Hell yeah I think so.)
How I Grew Up On The Internet
The internet is IRL. It always has been.