The Internet in 1981 — That’s 32 years ago!

Jan 26th, 2013 by adminadam in articles, videos

The video below, from 1981, shows newspapers embracing the early internet to share text-only papers with tech-savvy (at the time) readers on their home computers.

I love how the dial-up modem requires that the rotary phone handset be placed on top of it before connecting — and just the fact that the computer owner is introduced with “owns home computer”!

My first experience with the internet was at least 10 years after this, around 1992, on a Mac II (with AOL 2.0), which cost $5,500 in 1987 when it first came out! Here is a picture of one:



We sure have come a long ways in 30 years! I wonder what it will be like in another 32 years — 2045? They say the Singularity is supposed to hit us by then, so maybe we’ll store all our data in our DNA and share images telepathically and fly around with antigravity nanobots! I’ll bet few of us could have predicted back in the day that we’d all carry around these communicators which are constantly connected to the internet and act as video/audio/telegraph phones with 1 million personal secretary apps that track our every movement and remind us of what we need to do all the time! Yeah? I thought not!


  • The video is hilarious! I would love to see you do a follow-up with David Cole and the others, asking how their “experiment” went and their thoughts on progress. :)

    Also, I was wondering what the Singularity is? I’m intrigued, yet afraid…

  • It’s unlikely the internet was in use here. At the time, it was limited to the government and educational institutions. This is just a dial-up service to a central computer. In fact, I thought the ad mentioned Compuserve, so they may have just hosted the paper there.