|"Neon2" by Massacre - Own work.|
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The author of WWWTXT, Rehn explains the project: "1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet."
"The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+).
"WWWTXT digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts.
"The project also unearths and reveals the visual culture of the era, including: magazine scans, early digital artwork, and screenshots/screencasts of early software."
Most of the excerpts come from old BBS's, Usenet and early services such as CompuServe, but some also come from "abandoned personal documents"
I've chosen some of my favourites, below:
Predictions that were horribly wrong.
I don't think that the net as we know it has a future. ☯93DEC— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) February 17, 2015
Predictions that were horribly right.
I just discovered Pogs! They're basically cardboard bottle-tops that are a mania in Hawaii and a potential craze for the mainland. ☯93AUG— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) July 26, 2014
And predictions that were close enough.
Maybe I'm just a pragmatist, but I think that headmount-style VR for the masses (other than for entertainment uses) is 30 years away. ☯91JUL— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) March 26, 2014
This frustration 00's kids won't remember.
HI AGAIN. I AM SORRY ABOUT THAT, SOMEONE PICKED UP THE PHONE. ☯92NOV— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) January 27, 2015
This foreshadowing of Vevo.
I hope to eventually pull MTV out of the dark analog eighties and make it ftp-able, telnet-able, and email-able. ☯93AUG— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) June 8, 2015
These pieces of sage advice that are often still ignored.
Please, think before you post next time. ☯88SEP— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) August 6, 2014
Try and remember that on the other end of the Net are real people—I personally know some people who don't recognize this. ☯94JUN— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) July 7, 2014
This BREAKING news.
A new virus has shown up on the Amiga. It was written by someone calling himself “The Byte Bimbo.” ☯87SEP— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) July 15, 2014
These early adopters.
Has anyone else here seen the World Wide Web? It's one of the best new things on Internet. ☯94MAY— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) July 7, 2014
This new console hype.
Never in my entire life have I been left so totally awestruck and speechless as I was tonight at the launch of the Commodore Amiga. ☯85JUL— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) April 24, 2014
Before people moaned about smartphones ruining the kids, it was gameboys.
I shudder to think of a generation of kids growing up illiterate and cross-eyed because they spend all day glued to these handhelds. ☯89SEP— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) April 21, 2014
This hot rumor that turned out to be caller ID.
I heard that one of the big phone companies is testing a system where you see the number that's calling before you answer the phone. ☯84DEC— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) March 16, 2014
A lot of things have changed since then.
I think that a lot of huge GIFs on a page is not appropriate for the Net at this time. ☯94DEC— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) March 12, 2014
There is no publicly-available Internet encyclopedia. There are indeed encyclopedias on the net, but they all are closed systems. ☯94MAY— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) February 7, 2014
But a lot of it is just the same.
I heard about the Apple Watch recently and was going to check it out—but not now. It can't even transmit or input data. ☯93JAN— wwwtxt (1980-94) (@wwwtxt) May 6, 2015
Check out WWWTXT on Twitter and Tumblr. And if you want to see what Google might have been like if it was around in the days of BBS's check out GoogleBBS.