Questions tagged [internet]

Use this tag for questions about historical computer's connections to the internet, or historical aspects of the internet, its software, hardware or protocols. It should not be used for questions about finding things on the internet today about historical computing.

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81
votes
9answers
18k views

Why did modems have speakers?

Everyone who used early telecommunications services, not to mention the early dial-up Internet services, is familiar with the tones and hissing sounds of a modem establishing a connection. I recall ...
70
votes
6answers
8k views

What technological factors drove the rise of “high-speed” modems in the early 1990s?

The first inexpensive modem I ever purchased was a 300 baud direct-connect unit for the C64 User Port in late 1983. I recall that a couple of years later (1986), 1200 baud modems were affordable and I ...
39
votes
4answers
3k views

What was the design rationale behind multi-port and multiple connections (and back-connections) designs of the early protocols like NFS or FTP?

Originally, the FTP protocol connected back from the server to a client to actually transfer files through that new connections. 14 years later after the introduction of the FTP, the 'passive mode' ...
39
votes
1answer
7k views

What warning was given on attempting to post to USENET, circa 1990?

I recall a confirmation/warning message that read something like "this will post to thousands of sites... are you sure?" What was a typical such message in the days of pay-per-minute dialup access?
36
votes
5answers
20k views

Latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98

Do you know which is the latest web browser compatible with Windows 95 / 98? At the moment I have an Opera 10 working fine; it is very lightweight but very outdated. I assume that software that works ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Was the Stack Exchange “Happy April Fools” page fitting with the '90's code?

We nostalgia fans were all treated to a nineties-esque page on the various Stack Exchange sites, complete with guest books, obnoxious tiled backgrounds, Comic Sans, etc. However, when I went to view ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I construct a dial-up network in my home, purely for the kicks?

All the technology in my house is modern, but I want to build a dialup network that I can use to produce sounds from Bell 101/103 (if I can find the proper softmodem) to V.92bis. I honestly don't know ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

When connecting to the Internet via Dial-Up, why did ISPs require a username/password to authenticate the session?

It's been many years now, but when I used to connect to the Internet via Dial-Up back in the day I noticed at the time that as well as entering the phone number for my Dial-Up provider, a username/...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How did 36-bit computers format ARPANET packets?

The contract to develop ARPANET, the first version of the Internet, was awarded in 1969; usage of the system expanded exponentially through the seventies. The size and format of ARPANET packets were ...
20
votes
9answers
7k views

Why weren't audio decoders used to create a makeshift internet in the 70 and 80s?

I know ARPANET wasn't available to the public until the '90s, but why didn't people just build modems (which most phone companies already had anyway), connect their phone's phone connector to it, dial ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

When TCP was first invented, was the initial sequence number required to be random?

In current time, when a TCP connection is initiated, the initial sequence number is required to be random. But I am wondering, when TCP was first invented, was the initial sequence number required to ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

What was the equivalent of “America Online” (AOL) outside America?

The rise in popularity of home PCs with modems in the U.S. coincided with the rise of America Online. Of course, many of us in America were online for years before this - using Compuserve, GEnie, and ...
14
votes
1answer
496 views

What is the “Data Language” paper referenced in RFC 309?

RFC 309 is an announcement of the 1972 Data and File Transfer Workshop announcement. The suggested reading section has 12 entries, 11 of which are RFCs and the last of which is: 8. Data ...
12
votes
1answer
681 views

What was the first dedicated core router?

From 1969 up through the early 80s, the Internet used general-purpose Honeywell minicomputers for its core routers. At some point after that, purpose-built machines started being used. What was the ...
9
votes
3answers
231 views

Format of “Pound” domains in RFC 821

This is a bit of an archaeological question, but RFC 821, page 31, paragraph 3 describes a syntax for mailbox addresses that is of the form local_path@#123, where the pound and the following number is ...
8
votes
5answers
449 views

When connecting to the Internet via Dial-Up, were computers directly accessible via their allocated IP address?

From carrying out some brief research, it appears that as is the case today, when using Dial-Up to access the Internet customers were often allocated a dynamic IP address by their ISP. Typically, when ...
8
votes
1answer
463 views

How did WebTV (MSN TV) work

Wikipedia says: The WebTV product was an adapter that allowed a television set to be connected to the Internet, primarily for web browsing and e-mail. The setup included a web browser, a corded or ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

When was internet access first available to public in USA?

I was reading this Wikipedia article that says that the U.S. Government formed the "Internet Engineering Task Force" (IETF) in 1986. This seems to imply that at least the term "internet" was in use ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

First implementation of a visual cue for visited hyperlinks?

Who first proposed using a visual cue (of any kind) for hyperlinks the user has already visited? If the individual is not known, what hypertext viewer first offered this feature? My guess would be ...
4
votes
3answers
813 views

What were some of the earliest common webservers and how did they work? [closed]

And by Web server I mean actually web server (not BBS), meaning it had to run on the actual IP internet and be browsed with a dedicated browser program. So what kind of tools were used in the late 80s/...
4
votes
2answers
596 views

TCP over RS-232 with Windows 3.1 and Internet Explorer 5 dialer

I am restoring a Windows 3.1 computer that has Internet Explorer 5 installed. I would like to connect it to the internet using a Linux-based laptop as an intermediary. The physical connection is ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Networking WfW 3.11 between modern ethernet and 56k internal modem card

Is there any way i could use either of those networking cards and use them on a modern ethernet system? We have aDSL where i live. If i couldnt connect it to my home network, is there any way i could ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Could somebody remind me how to access the WAP browser on the Nokia N73?

From memory, the Nokia N73 had two web browsers; one WAP browser, and another, fully-functional HTML application. Would somebody be able to remind me what both of these options are labeled as when ...
3
votes
1answer
401 views

Contiki on Apple IIe without Uthernet card

Can I run Contiki on my Apple IIe without an Uthernet card? For example, I was thinking that I could run my Raspberry Pi to emulate a network card through the serial port as a null modem. Any ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Using “vintage proxy” with dial up simulator

I am in the process of building a dial up simulator involving a 1990s era desktop and laptop. The desktop, which is connected to Ethernet, acts as the dial-up server and the laptop computer dials in ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Webservers: When did www.domain.net/dir/file.html first not point to $WWWROOT/dir/file.html but to something virtualized?

If I'm not mistaken, the first webserver simply served all files and directories in a certain local directory (WWWROOT) in the identical hierarchy at a certain domain. This is in line how e.g. an FTP ...
2
votes
1answer
364 views

How to configure NETWORK and TCP on a DOS VM

I'm trying to install and use the Arachne broswer under DOS (6.22). I've DOS installed on VirtualBox VM (5.2.34) under Linux Ubuntu (4.15.0-88-generic #88-Ubuntu). I'm in trouble in configuring ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

What information exists about WD-xsl?

Whilst working on a personal project, I discovered the existence of an old version of the XSLT specification, identified by the namespace http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-xsl instead of the modern https://www....
1
vote
3answers
255 views

Connecting multiple computers through dialup

I have several IBM ThinkPads with an RJ-11 port that can be used for dialup internet connections. Currently I have one ThinkPad connected to a dialup modem, that connects to the internet through a ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

Problem accessing Internet from old devices (HTTPS, SSL, certificates, compatible services,…) [closed]

I am trying to find information and resources about connecting 18-12 years old devices to Internet, and more specifically PDAs and phones (*). The purpose is recreational and curiosity, so no the ...
1
vote
3answers
161 views

How were customers typically charged when purchasing Dial-Up Internet services from an ISP? [closed]

This is a follow-up from my previous question - When connecting to the Internet via Dial-Up, why did ISPs require a username/password to authenticate the session?. In the above question, we ...