The Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

Oldest Trace of You on the Internet

For a lark, and in response to this tweet:

I started on the Internet in the late 1980’s when it was still called Arpanet. I connected our University of Cape Town UNIX boxes via UUCP to Rhodes University in South Africa which in turn used UUCP to talk to Oxford University in the UK, which in turn connected to one of the Ivy Leagues in the USA. The first message I sent was on behalf of my Professor to Donald Knuth, and we got a response. But all traces of that are gone.

I spent the early to mid 1990’s in Bulletin Boards, CompuServe, browsing Gopher sites and in the Lotus forums. Then moved on to hosted Internet in the late 1990’s. But all traces of that are gone. Or are they?

Google 1998

The earliest trace that Google could find was in a 1998-05-26 press release reported in The Age | Hard Drive, an Australian Newspaper, highlighting is my own, skipped the bumf to see the reference:

BRACKIN SIGNS UP A CAST OF HUNDREDS

AAG Holdings chairman and Netbridge managing director Allan Brackin continues to boost his national team, now 250-plus, adding more aces to his Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney offices.

Project management specialists Jan Priest and Hilton Lipschitz join Melbourne and Sydney teams on a contract basis.

The search was performed using “Hilton Lipschitz” as the search string (quotes included), then clicking Search Tools on the results page and setting a custom range under Any Time. I ignored any references where the page was created later, for example, old school photographs from the 1980’s but published in the 2000’s.

Lotus Forums 1995

When I dug deeper, I found these gem’s in the Lotus forums which must have been loaded into Google Groups at some point, so in 1995:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Hilton Lipschitz                                             9/20/95

Michael Menta <mmenta...@ultraman.delmarva.com> wrote:
>I need some good looking notes demo prgs. and the like to show off
>notes.  Know where I can find some?
try ftp.worldcom.com, www.lotus.com or the sample templates with the
application

Hilton
=============================================================================
Hilton Lipschitz              || Mail: hil...@ozemail.com.au
Seltex Ventures Pty Ltd       || WWW: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~hiltonl
Glebe NSW AUSTRALIA          //  CompuServe: 100236,3672
Phone: (+612) 660 4880      //   Notes: Hilton Lipschitz @ SELTEX
Fax: (+612) 660 1442       //           @ COM TECH @ LOTUSINT (@ NOTES NET)
=============================================================================
         "You want to be somewhere - so there you are!"
=============================================================================

That’s one helluva message signature! And I even spread rumors:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Hilton Lipschitz                                 Oct 26 1995, 3:00 am
c...@cs.utexas.edu (Jimmy Gunawan Jusuf) wrote: 
>Hi, does anyone know what is the latest version of Notes ODBC driver? 
>I got an ODBC driver from 
>ftp.ccmail.com:/pub/comm/notes/workstn/drivers/notessql. 
>Its version# is 1.01.2203, appears to be made by Casahl Technology for Lotus. 
>I'm looking for an ODBC driver that allows writing to local Notes db 
>using VB's DAO (database access object) or from MS-Access (as attached tables). 
>The driver I have doesn't allow me to do this due to a bug in the driver. 

Try ViP if you like BASIC and want to play notes and other databases. 
ODBC and Access only work when there is a unique index and there is no 
such thing in Notes.  Microsoft - so it is rumoured - is working on 
this. 
Hilton 
===================================================================== 
Hilton Lipschitz          || Phone: (+612) 566 4729 
Seltex Ventures Pty Ltd   || Fax: (+612) 566 4724 
190 Bridge Road           || Mail: hilt...@ozemail.com.au 
Glebe NSW 2037 AUSTRALIA  || WWW: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~hiltonl 
===================================================================== 
         "You want to be somewhere - so there you are!" 
===================================================================== 

The Wayback Machine 1996

Which led me to The Wayback Machine and my home page circa 1996. I’d forgotten had done this one. Besides the horrible graphic work and default font, I love that:

  • The javascript hack to add a scrolling message on the browser status bar still works in 2013! Check it out!
  • I used a better software development methodology than waterfall back then (and documented it): Software Development Methodology
  • I published my first blog (?) article, but had to spread it over many pages as Australian bandwidth was limited in those days: Lotus Notes vs the Intranet (Private Internet). This page was was linked to from Lotus at the time.
  • I had a lot of hits, 7216, over the life of that article. That was a lot for 1996!
  • I was talking about coffee back then on the Home Page. Does that make the the earliest tech coffee nerd?

The site was taken down in May 1998 when I migrated to the Indaba Solutions domain.

I guess anything you do does remain on the Internet somewhere. What’s the oldest real trace of you on the Internet?

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.

Comments