“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

2:40 am PHT

Connie, over at Write Life Guide, asks “Can you remember your first Internet experience? How was it like?” Well, surprisingly, given the fact that my non-work waking life is centered on the Internet, I can’t remember exactly when I first got on the Internet or what was the first web page I visited.

What I can distinctly remember is that my early Internet life in 1997 was punctuated by a MIDI version of U2’s song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. While visiting websites on an early version of Netscape Navigator (the one that had a big throbbing N) with PhilWorld Online as our ISP, I played the MIDI file so much to the point that my siblings got annoyed. One website that I visited often was John Walker’s Fourmilab, which had tons of free scientific programs that I gleefully downloaded (yes, I was a geek back then and still am).

My first significant e-mail experience was when I wrote to John Walker himself asking how to compute the position of the sun above the earth (since I wanted to write a program that showed which parts of the earth was in daylight and which ones were in darkness). My younger self was extremely amazed back then when he replied back. While his e-mail didn’t contain formulas and instead helpfully pointed me to just check out books in the library (which I was sure my high school library didn’t have) I was quite awed that he replied at all and I knew then that this Internet thing was going to be big.

It’s been more than a decade and while, contrary to U2’s song, I’ve found most of what I’m looking for online, thanks to Google, it’s still an open question of whether the Internet will continue to be a large part of my life. I’m thinking that, yes, I will continue to be online for the forseeable future. It has definitely changed my life and I really can’t imagine the rest of my life without it.  :)

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