The Late Movies: What the Heck's An Internet?

Ransom Riggs

It wasn't so many years ago, you'll remember, that the Internet was just a twinkle in Al Gore's eye. Soon after its birth came Compuserv, local-area dial-up bulletin board systems, AOL -- and a slew of TV segments and how-to videos designed to address the question that seemed to be on just about everyone's mind in the early 90s: just what is the Internet? (And to a lesser degree: what do I do with it?) Witness this gem from a 1994 edition of the Today show:

More prevalent were videos like this, handy primers on things like "electronic mail" and how to get dates, find jobs, and do homework on the Internet. Also, check out these sweet computer graphics!

"Eagles and whales are just a few of the many accessible adventures that can be researched using the Internet!"

Time for an important (and highly polished) PSA: don't illegally download. NOT EVEN FOO FIGHTERS!

And while you're at it, don't copy that floppy, either!

Remember, before you start "surfing," you'll need a MO-DEM.

A lesson in netiquette: careful not to "spam" or you'll get "flamed!" Also, more surfing puns. Ugh.

Even old people can do it! This video tries to be helpful but comes off seeming derogatory toward the elderly. They're old, not stupid!

The Internet isn't magic ... it's ... magic!

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