Driving back from class late last night, I cursed the chilly temperatures as the windshield fogged up and I had the defogger blasting ice cold air at me. Settling back on the seat on the rather short ride home, my mind went back to class. The Prof. a rather well looking gentleman from Israel had a nice accent and a quirky sense of humor. His style of teaching was starting to grow on me. I loved his references to the good old days. As he talked about the beginning of the dot com era or made references to the very first browser I had used, my mind was a million light years away.
Huddled in a tiny cubicle with my BFF Akay, I would eagerly wait for the clock to strike 4:00 PM. That was when the IS department would authorize Internet access in the IT firm I worked for then. Clicking on Netscape Navigator, I would wait patiently for the ship wheel to finish rendering and the browser to load. No one told me then that clicking refresh does not really help. So refresh I would when patience ran thin. We learned the art of multitasking rather quickly then. We would have our emails typed up and ready on our notepads to be cut and pasted into the Compose message box. I still remember the email id Akay and I first created. When time was of essence and the luxury of individual email ids rare, we used one id to email both her brother and my uncle. The only people we knew then who had email ids. Oh the fun of emailing and waiting for responses!
I remember us progressing from Navigator to Communicator and discovering the joys of IM. I also distinctly remember an email client called Pegasus. I remember the white winged horse that was its icon. I remember Pine and the multitude of clients we used before Outlook became the standard. Talking about email and outlook brings back some dark memories as well. Those were the days when file sharing was fairly new. I remember looking through my windows explorer one morning searching for some file and noticing the folder containing my .pst file having a share icon on it. I rather vividly remember the feelings of anger and violation on seeing it. Not knowing who had been snooping on my email, I felt a sense of shame and invasion. I felt betrayed. Words I had thought were mine only were now property of some voyeur. I remember removing the share and keeping close tabs on my personal content.
I relived quite a bit of the days of yore. Of internet infancy and my first brush with the corporate world. Days sepia coated and filled with nostalgia. Days that firmly belong in the past now.