For a lark, and in response to this tweet:
what’s the oldest trace of yourself you can find on the internet?— Kyle McDonald (@kcimc) March 24, 2013
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?
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
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
The Wayback Machine 1996
- 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?