We found a BBC magazine about the internet from 1999 and it’s brilliant
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25 years ago today the internet became available to the public! Rummaging around moving house, I came across a BBC magazine from 1999 called Webwise, ‘getting started with the internet’ and it’s a hilarious reminder of a time when the web was still a shiny new toy. This magazine accompanied a six-part series on BBC Two. Yes, in the late 90s people needed six episodes of a TV show to tell them how to use the internet. This is from a pre-Millennium world before Facebook (hell, even before Myspace), before Google, before Youtube and if your phone could send texts and run a game called Snake it was considered advanced! For ‘digital natives’ – that’s us people who have never not known the internet - this is a bizarre and somewhat alien world. Look at some of the bizarre gems contained in the pages of Webwise. How I use the internet Ever wondered how cast members from Eastenders use the internet? No? Well in 1999, using the internet was such a rare thing that celebs were needed to shed light on its virtues. Nowadays you just need to open someones twitter feed to see how they use the internet, what they eat and their mundane thoughts on world events. There’s also another page where they ask normal people as well. e-commerce – shopping on the internet This whole article can be summed up by this quote, “’Buy Now’ means just that on the internet, there’s no going to the shops.” In 1999, going to the shops was the norm, buying stuff online scared the bejesus out of people. It was new and weird, not like now where people binge on clothes shopping just to send half of it back! Just in case you wondered, the article imparts wisdom like “The ‘e’ stands for ‘electronic’” and reassures you that if you shop online with your bank details you won’t get robbed – some things never change, except for maybe the advice that a good place to start e-commerce is yahoo.co.uk. WWWhat is the internet? Terrible pun aside, in the 90s, people really did need a double-page spread explaining what the net is.
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