Archive for November, 2012

A recent posting on an InternetNZ list mailing reminded me of just how far we have come. In March, 1995, I took the minutes of the New Zealand Internet Society of  steering group meeting.

Just so we’re clear on what the Internet was back then, the Web was only just beginning to get traction; typical data rates were 48 kbps; establishments such as universities had rates of up to 256 kbps, the total amount of Internet bandwidth out of the country was (I think) 384 kbps. That’s the same amount as six phone calls. Most traffic was email and file downloads using FTP. Interactive services usually required a terminal session using Telnet. Dial-up Internet was only just becoming available; most services that you could use from home required you to dial into an Internet-connected computer service using a terminal emulator, and running your mail program and FTP downloads from there; if you wanted to download a file to your computer, you used a file transfer program like Zmodem to suck it down from the service provider’s computer after the FTP download had finished.

So the Internet was still a new thing. We were still trying to get to grips with how things should be done. So far, all the officialness required was being done through the Tuia Society, which was simply not equipped to address interests outside the immediate research and education community. It did, to its credit, recognise that this baton needed to be passed onto a more broad-based organisation. The March meeting was to explore the possibility of creating an New Zealand Internet Society, possibly as a chapter of the international Internet Society.

The technology to record this ground breaking meeting? Pen and paper.

Here, then, are the minutes to that meeting: Continue reading ‘Old school’ »