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August 16, 2011 5:50 AM   Subscribe

The Internet in 1995 on MTV News. (SLYT)
posted by ignignokt (88 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
When did everyone stop saying "Jack in" to the internet?
posted by estuardo at 6:02 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


16 years have passed and we STILL don't have a browser that displays a gaudy multicoloured vortex to transport you between websites.

You call that progress?
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 6:06 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


WHY did everyone stop saying "Jack in" to the internet?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 6:06 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


HOW did everyone stop saying "Jack in" to the internet?
posted by beau jackson at 6:07 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I can't stop this feeling......"
posted by Fizz at 6:08 AM on August 16, 2011


They now say "Fappin'"
posted by punkfloyd at 6:08 AM on August 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Now everyone jacks off to the internet instead.
posted by joannemullen at 6:08 AM on August 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


MTV used to be awesome.
posted by DU at 6:10 AM on August 16, 2011


Is that Time "Cyperporn" cover an homage to this?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:13 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


1995... back when both Billy Corgan and Moby had hair.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:22 AM on August 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


Two things.

1) "...special-interest truckstops called 'websites'..."
2) Moby had hair
posted by likeso at 6:23 AM on August 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Besides the obvious "Moby has hair!", my first reaction to that video was, "Woah, Strange Days is from that era?" Compared to The Net and Johnny Mnemonic, everything about Strange Days has aged very well. The "New Years Eve 1999" is integral to the story, but without that it could have easily been a sort of "five years in the future of any year" story now, too.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:24 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


aaand I owe another Coke. Or just half of one.
posted by likeso at 6:24 AM on August 16, 2011


DU: "MTV used to be awesome."

No it didn't.
posted by octothorpe at 6:25 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


likeso, Fuzzy Monster: My screen flashed "2 new comments, show" just as I hit 'post', so I guess I owe y'all one, too.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:26 AM on August 16, 2011


In 1995 David Bowie had already been on the internet and quit because it just wasn't cool anymore. Truly he lives at rates of hipness beyond human ken.
posted by Kattullus at 6:30 AM on August 16, 2011 [49 favorites]


Man it's so weird seeing Moby with relevance
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:32 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


What j-school is giving out 'Cyber Journalism" degrees? Where can I get one?! Wow. Must be a lot of money in that fancy title.
posted by hot_monster at 6:34 AM on August 16, 2011


Thanks, AzraelBrown - cheers!
posted by likeso at 6:35 AM on August 16, 2011


Hearing Coolio say "Information Super Highway" is a need I didn't even know I had.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:35 AM on August 16, 2011 [15 favorites]


Cokes all around!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:36 AM on August 16, 2011


*types out some for the Classic Mac OS*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:38 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You called yourself a 'Cyber-punk' just because you had an email address?"
posted by griphus at 6:39 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


When did everyone stop saying "Jack in" to the internet?
I don't know, but it still grates on me every time I hear a directive to "log on" to a site that doesn't require me to log on.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:47 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


The HSBC site has a button called "Logoff" which I just think is hilarious.
posted by griphus at 6:51 AM on August 16, 2011


I can recall "Viz." magazines from this era suggesting that "logging on" to the Internet was something else entirely.
posted by chavenet at 6:51 AM on August 16, 2011


Metafilter: General-interest Truckstop.
posted by rusty at 6:53 AM on August 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


The Twinkies page still looks pretty much the same. Thank God.
posted by theodolite at 6:56 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Besides the obvious "Moby has hair!", my first reaction to that video was, "Woah, Strange Days is from that era?" Compared to The Net and Johnny Mnemonic, everything about Strange Days has aged very well. The "New Years Eve 1999" is integral to the story, but without that it could have easily been a sort of "five years in the future of any year" story now, too.

So many good movies were released in 1995. I almost can't believe it. Although I may have a different definition of "good" than you do.
posted by codacorolla at 6:56 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting seeing Newt Gingrich as an online free-speech crusader. To his great credit, he was an early adopter, and was instrumental in getting THOMAS online in January of 1995.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:58 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Unknown Hinson in 2002 on the Interstate.
posted by byanyothername at 6:58 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone else remember Sex Packets by Digital Underground?
posted by drezdn at 7:01 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


In a local second-hand bookshop, there's a basem,ent area where all the books are 50p - it's essentially where fad diets go to die. Down there are several Rough Guide to the Internets. Every so often I wonder whether to buy one just to see how long the URLs are.
posted by mippy at 7:04 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


sorry codacorolla, i see about 3 movies on that list i'd still say are good.. *cough* To Die For *cough*
posted by rollerball at 7:08 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, so glad we don't jack in to the cyber information highway. However, I'm really excited about how we'll look back and laugh at the iPad in 2027.
posted by hijinx at 7:11 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My brief MTV/internet story. At about that time (summer of 1995 or so), one of the things I had on my school home page was the Primus FAQ.

At home for the summer, I was watching whatever MTV show was showing rock/metal videos at the time ("Superrock" I think was the show). They were interviewing Primus in a fishing boat on a lake. At some point the host says something along the lines of "You have fans on Internet" and they show the URL to my Primus page on the screen. Keep in mind, this was a school account from 1995 or so, so the URL was a classic like "http://www2.eos.ncsu.edu/u/unity/a/aklikins/primus/index.html", and they show the entire url. (Thankfully they didn't bother spelling it out).

I was actually slack-jawed staring at the screen, since aside from being my URL on the screen, it was one of the first URL I had ever seen shown on tv.

I don't know why they picked that url, there were many others already, including a few with nice short URLs.

I didn't really have any access to the traffic logs at the time, so I don't know if anyone actually bothered to transcribe the URL and visit.
posted by alikins at 7:15 AM on August 16, 2011 [23 favorites]


When did everyone stop saying "Jack in" to the internet?

But you already know how these things work:

Everyone stopped saying "jack in" when they realized that everyone had started saying "jack in".
posted by Herodios at 7:16 AM on August 16, 2011


I'm also embarrassed to say that I actually enjoy Billy Idol's Cyberpunk album, which I ordered in 1994 from BMG's "12 CDs for $0.01" teaser rate. It is now ripped to MP3 and lives in my pocket on a small device which is more powerful than my PC was back when I first bought the CD.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:16 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite part is at about 0:20. Girl in blue shirt, sitting next to the King of Pop, just typing away. Gotta process those words and data!
posted by gauche at 7:29 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Note to Metafilter: apparently you can have pictures on your 'website'!

10-4, Over and out.
posted by mazola at 7:30 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh man Virtiousity. I think my mom picked it up in a 99 cent video bin cause she knew I liked science fiction not knowing what kind of path Russel Crowe's ass shots would set me on.


Anyone else get a visercal inward pang from seeing a Netscape logo?
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh, man, 1995! Back when it was still novel to derisively note that MTV used to play music videos!

In 1995 David Bowie had already been on the internet and quit because it just wasn't cool anymore. Truly he lives at rates of hipness beyond human ken.

As ever, he wasn't afraid to re-re-invent that shit, hence the launch three years later of BowieNet.
posted by cortex at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bowie had the most amazing lifetime companada.
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on August 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is the 1995-era David Bowie... The First Hipster?

Hipster Zero?
posted by andreaazure at 7:46 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's a great find. I specifically remember a PBS or somesuch piece being the impetus for asking for a dial-up account. The piece referred to a new thing called... "Internet"... then switched to a geeky frazzle-haired girl talking about how cool it was to connect up with other people around the world and chat.

That was it - for Christmas I got a card with an AOL activation number in it (5 free hours!!!) and thereafter moved to a local dial-up ISP. It was awesome.

Well, still is awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 8:02 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Pictures on the Internet
  / \__        .. _
  \.'  '._o    \_|_) ))
__(  __ / /      ).
\  _( ,/ /.____.' /
 '' '..-'        |
        \    _   (
         )v /-'._ )
        ////   |//
       // \\   //
      //   \\ ||\\
   --"------"-"--"--

posted by victors at 8:03 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, I also love how there's a Twinkie Haiku site shown in the video, and we just recently did Country/Folk Haiku on MeTa.
posted by odinsdream at 8:06 AM on August 16, 2011


Anyone else get a visercal inward pang from seeing a Netscape logo?

Every single time.
posted by Zozo at 8:26 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I STILL haven't spoken to someone pretending to be a penguin. A bunch of futanari, sure. But a plain old penguin? Nope.
posted by Splunge at 8:29 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here you go Splunge
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"MTV used to be awesome."

No it didn't.


Sorry for the derail, but I have to say: as a teenager who watched a lot of MTV in the '90s, I discovered a lot of new-to-me music by watching 120 Minutes (and, to a lesser extent, Headbanger's Ball). Some of it was quite obscure; some of it was famous but non-mainstream, like Sonic Youth. Also, you tended to listen to whatever was on next because hey, it's another video -- so I would end up listening to interesting, hard-to-categorize music like Tori Amos and Bjork. If that music had started playing on the radio, I might not have given it a chance since it didn't sound like other music I listened to. MTV didn't just help make bands like Nirvana and Green Day huge; it expanded the musical horizons of teenagers who started out listening to Nirvana and Green Day. I think that was pretty awesome.
posted by John Cohen at 8:39 AM on August 16, 2011 [13 favorites]


Ozzy and Newt Gingrich are still unavailable for comment.
posted by clavdivs at 8:39 AM on August 16, 2011


Thank goodness this we now live in a post-future world and our attitudes today about life and technology will not seem quaint in even the slightest
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:39 AM on August 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kids today can totally talk to someone pretending to be a penguin, and they can also beg their parents to pay real money for toys that let them get fake penguin items.

It sort of depresses me.
posted by codacorolla at 8:42 AM on August 16, 2011


This Internet thing is just a passing fad. Just like CB radio.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:48 AM on August 16, 2011


1995 is the year Internet Explorer was first released!
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:49 AM on August 16, 2011


1995 is the year Internet Explorer was first released!

Not 100% accurate - I worked on IE3 in late '94 - by then IE2 (Spyglass) was out already.
posted by victors at 9:02 AM on August 16, 2011


do'h - never mind. My life is a one-off bug.
posted by victors at 9:05 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the way Sandra Bullock holds the mouse at 0:45.
posted by migurski at 9:06 AM on August 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


From a review of BowieNet:
The first thing you'll likely to notice when you visit BowieNet is the attention to graphic design. No gray backgrounds or Times 12 fonts here! That's hardly a surprise coming from a man whose first job was in graphic design, but there's been a top notch job done here with a site design which combines seamless frames with dark, fractal-inspired and human body-part backgrounds to give a futuristic, chaotic look and feel. I'm not a fan of frames in general and the interface doesn't make use of windows wider than 640 pixels, but there's obviously been some serious effort put into the overall design and look and feel. Particularly nice is the attention paid to such small details as Flash animations for the navigation buttons (a swirling Mandelbrot) and semi-transparent navigational buttons on the Exclusives section. Somewhat irritating are a couple of backgrounds which are too light, making it hard to read the white text (e.g. Bowie's orange locks on the BowieNet journal page).
. . . WANT.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:06 AM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was surprised to see Bowie saying he was over the Internet in this video, because his 1995 concept album "1. Outside" has a lot of references to the internet and cyber-security terms in it. There's a monologue in one track that begins:

Old Touchschriek was the domain name server, suspected of being a shoulder surfer. But he didn't know from shit about challenge response systems.

I also remember the phrase "a reject from the world wide internet" being used somewhere too. Maybe all this was Brian Eno's influence. He collaborated on that album, and I could see him getting really into the internet in the 90's.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:26 AM on August 16, 2011


Bowie meant that he was physically (well, astrally) hovering in superposition over various ARPAnet backbones.
posted by cortex at 9:36 AM on August 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


not knowing what kind of path Russel Crowe's ass shots would set me on.

You know, those ass shots totally messed up my critical radar. I was like, 'Yesss, great movie' and the reviews were all, this sucks, and I was all, 'Guess I better watch it AGAIN then to determine the truth' and it went on this way until I realized that it was those ass shots.
posted by angrycat at 9:39 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember spies.wiretap.com??? Ah man... :)

And IUMA!

*sigh*
posted by symbioid at 10:47 AM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The website I put up in 1995 is still up.

Thankfully, it looks better now than it did in '95. I keep a cached copy of the original (well, close to original) design around just to remind me how much the internet sucked back then.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:52 AM on August 16, 2011


1-bit cadaver dissections! I miss the 90s.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:54 AM on August 16, 2011


Motion to resurrect the phrase "jack in" as the default expression for getting online.

All in favor, say "Aye".
posted by secondhand pho at 11:06 AM on August 16, 2011


Remember when MetaFilter had an image tag? AND TOTAL CAPSLOCKS?
posted by cavalier at 11:14 AM on August 16, 2011


I think I can comfortably admit now that Bowie briefly left the web because of the number of comments I made on chatrooms about wanting to sleep with him.

Oh, man. Now he's gone and left it again. DAVID! I'M SO SORRY DAVID!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:43 AM on August 16, 2011


Since we're all reminiscing and such... The INTERNET was a totally unique place after my BBS back in the day. It was like looking into space and at first seeing nothing but black and then seeing white dots of _something_ out there. I had a shell account at first and could FTP/PINE/IRC and newsgroups. I finally got my SLIP/PPP account (and mosaic, I think) the 1st summer into college ('95, on my warez copy of Windows '95) and the first places I went to were IUMA and the beastie boys online catalog site Grand Royale (check your head had come out earlier) because I wanted to look at skater t's with graffiti prints on them. They had no idea what I was doing, but I knew it was something that would be totally awesome once I figured it out.

I totally went to IUMA because I saw it featured on MTV.
posted by kookywon at 12:20 PM on August 16, 2011


1995... back when both Billy Corgan and Moby had hair.

Much like Infinite Jest had their years named after products, we could retroactively name years after currently-bald-celebrities based on the last time they were seen to have hair.

Year Of The Corgan
posted by mannequito at 12:24 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I worked at MTV in the mid-'90s, and can tell you that we'd get memos on what terminology to pepper our scripts with. I can't say I ever used "jack in," but I can distinctly remember writing things like, "Plug into Yack Live, coming up in the 10-spot," for the likes of Bill Bellamy.
posted by xo at 12:35 PM on August 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: It was those ass shots.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:48 PM on August 16, 2011


Heh. I had that pic of Sherilyn Fenn.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:50 PM on August 16, 2011


Motion to resurrect the phrase "jack in" as the default expression for getting online.

Not to be all starry eyed, or a pendant, but with smart phones having the market penetration that they do, it seems like a good percentage of people never actually "jack out" of the Internet. In some form a good percentage of the connected population is never more than a few inches from instant access to the 'Net.
posted by codacorolla at 1:03 PM on August 16, 2011


it seems like a good percentage of people never actually "jack out" of the Internet.

Indeed, I am jacking constantly.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2011


Thank goodness this we now live in a post-future world and our attitudes today about life and technology will not seem quaint in even the slightest

Here's what I think is going to be the "dated" technology theme in ten years: iPhone/iPad "navigation" motions in commercials -- something is pictured on the screen, and either a disembodied hand or the hand of someone on the screen swipes sideways and everything scrolls by, or they "outward pinch" and everything gets bigger, or they twist their finger to rotate. The motion may still be used, but will probably die off from media use like "mouse pointers" in commercials died out in the late 90s.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:53 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wasn't expecting an interview segment with Mike Heidorn. That's pretty cool.
posted by Quonab at 2:32 PM on August 16, 2011


I will forever give MTV a pass because of a long-forgotten, excellent thing they briefly made called BUZZ. I had taped every single episode, and eventually wore those tapes down. What I would give to have those all on a DVD box set. Realize that in 1990, we hadn't really seen anything quite like that on broadcast television.
posted by dbiedny at 2:34 PM on August 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Remember when MetaFilter had an image tag? AND TOTAL CAPSLOCKS?

Good times.
posted by homunculus at 3:52 PM on August 16, 2011


Not to be all starry eyed, or a pendant

My starry eyed pendant, how I love to see thee dangle.
posted by howfar at 6:43 PM on August 16, 2011


Hah, I specifically said to myself "don't type the wrong word," and then I did it. Ah well.
posted by codacorolla at 6:47 PM on August 16, 2011


I haven't checked out any episodes of MTV's Downtown, the animated show they ran for exactly forty seconds in 99 cause I'm worried it would be as awesome as I remember it.
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 PM on August 16, 2011


codacorolla, it's a variant on Muphrie's Law, I suppose. Blame the eternal cosmic forces, in their mad dance around the lambent flame of fate.
posted by howfar at 1:51 AM on August 17, 2011


See? I'm fairly sure that's meant to be Muphry's Law. Will it never end?
posted by howfar at 1:52 AM on August 17, 2011


I love booting up and logging on to see links like this.
posted by jonathanzoomer at 7:50 AM on August 17, 2011


I love booting up and logging on to see surf links like this.

FTFY
posted by Zozo at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2011


Please.

Hyperlinks.
posted by cortex at 9:09 AM on August 17, 2011


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