While working from home in 2020, Dr. Gough Lui decided to recapture the full sensory experience of dial-up internet from the 1990s. He then visited modern websites using Windows 98 hardware.
A video where I demonstrate the late 1990s dial-up experience using near period-accurate hardware, connecting to modern websites using outdated browsers over a 31.2kbit/s dial-up connection.
Gui notes that at this point, all of us take internet accessibility for granted. Yet, it was only 25 years ago that the process was a bit more onerous.
The internet has become a vital part of our everyday lives, but the way we experience it now through broadband high-speed connections is not the way it was in my childhood. Back in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, I was dialling up from my Pentium 133MHz non-MMX machine equipped with 48MB of RAM running Windows 98SE (and later, Windows 2000 Professional). This experience was in itself, reflective of the fact that “always on” internet was not considered a necessity or normality – back then, “ttyt” short for “talk to you tomorrow” was a thing.
Michael Feeney had conducted a similar experiment with a Mac OS 9.