Isn’t This Where We Came In?

ioorgMy first encounter with the Internet happened twenty years ago when I connected with Canada’s first dial-up Internet Service Provider: Internex Online or io.org. Internex Online was affordable, community based and a definite break away from the Bulletin Board Systems so prevalent at the time.

Before Internex, I used to frequent the Echo BBS run with a lot of passion by someone named Karen S. I remember meeting various members of the board for Bowling and the odd BBQ. BBS’s were small, local but also close-knit. It was either on Echo or a similar BBS that someone told me about this BBS that connected you to an In-ter-net : ZOOiD BBS (The Zoo of Ids) soon to become Internex Online.

Since I was perusing Plato’s Republic at the time (Oh my that sounds pompous), I chose the handle socrates. Therefore my email account at Internex was none other than socrates@io.org (don’t bother writing to it, it’ll bounce for sure). A while later, I learned that I had my own space for building my own website.

I remember hand coding my first HTML pages with a text editor called joe in a unix shell and being amazed by the fact what I had created could be instantly be accessed by  anybody around the world … My first URL was www.io.org/~socrates/

At the time, the Internet was all about unix, ftp, ircii, usenet, gopher, telnet and eventually accessing the World Wide Web with lynx.

By November 1995, Internex Online was sold to Greenlight Communication but users were able to continue using io.org services. By 1997,  the former services of io.org were taken over by ACC TelEnterprises Ltd. who promptly ruined the service and alienated thousands of users. Today, the io.org domain is owned by Primus Canada. I don’t remember who was my next ISP (was it Interlog?) but I’ll never forget Internex Online!

Twenty years later, it feels like we’ve come a very long way. I now access the internet and the web via mobile devices, it’s an integral part of my daily life and has also provided me employment and enjoyment beyond anything I could have imagined back when I first connected to io.org.

To learn more about Io.org please check out these links

3 responses on Isn’t This Where We Came In?

  1. I remember Internex online. Was on that from the beginning. Funny enough I worked for primus in the 90’s after they bought acc, and I remember seeing a bunch of labeled io.org servers sitting around on the floor in the data center. Brought back memories..

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