Yes yes, it has already been twenty years of net in Oz. Wow.

Read on for a mail from Geoff Huston on it, and my own ramblings…

So here’s the mail from Geoff (quoted with permission):

From: Geoff Huston 
To: AusNOG 
Subject: [AusNOG] Happy 20th Birthday Australian Internet
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 20:27:03 +1000

On the night of the 23rd June 1989 Robert Elz of the University of  
Melbourne and Torben Neilsen of the University of Hawaii completed the  
connection work that bought the Internet to Australia. It was a 56kbps  
satellite circuit, and the Australian end used a Proteon P4100 router.

Since that day we've evidently connected some 56.8% of the population,  
or 12,073,852 Australians, to the Internet (according to user  
statistics published by the ITU-T)

  I think thats a pretty impressive record, and worth noting!


Amazing stuff. It got me thinking about my long past with all things Internet, FidoNet and whatnot.

I obviously wasn’t around for this specific moment, but I do recall my first “Internet” experience, back when it was still AARnet (at least in Australia), and connected to MILnet 🙂

Some personal highlights for me:

  • UUCP, and bang-seperated e-mail paths, eg uunet!!!monu6!!s1170796
  • Completely awesome Unix boxes at Monash, like monu6, silas, yoyo and mother/father
  • VAX VMS and the incredibly-long command lines, like “SET DEFAULT DISK$DATA:[PULSAR.OBS]” to just change directories
  • COBOL! Sweet, sweet COBOL!
  • Getting given this amazing gift from DEC and others called X Windows, and this amazing new thing called Mosiac (the precursor to Netscape Navigator!) running on DECstations
  • It taking about a day, maybe more, to compile X
  • Being able to run open network services, including finger, open to the world and without fear — firewalls were only something put into cars
  • telnet chat BBS’s like Olohof and RJ BBS, and writing my own called Parabolis
  • When Undernet IRC was all there was (and later meeting a little-known bloke called Darren Reed)
  • goofey, one of the first realtime chat clients, and eventually meeting another hero of mine, Tim MacKenzie

Meh… there’s probably a whole lot more, but that’s enough reminiscing for one night.

And this was all after the FidoNET days!