15 Years of Email

Sitting on my deck this morning, with the first coffee of the day is a treat and a pleasure. It also gives me time to think and dream and ponder. Sometimes I’m trying to figure out a problem, sometimes I’m planning an adventure.  This morning I was thinking about how long I’ve had email for, and how bizarrely tied to technology my life is.

It’s been 15 years since my first email address (jkivell@upguelph.ca). Sure - there weren’t alot of places I could check it. I didn’t have a computer 15 years ago. But every morning I would faithfully bike down to the university library, check my email, read newsgroups and monkey around with Archie and Gopher.


I’m not sure if I’m more or less productive now with email. Wearable email, at that…. My guess is that productivity has shifted, and for brief bursts of time, my productivity is through the roof, and for other, extended periods of time, I’m about as productive as a broken shovel. Om Malik has an interesting read on mobile email and productivity… 

I remember a time, when I was working for ISPs, when I was convinced that internet access would always be free for me. Aha. And it is. But at 56K dialup speed. I couldn’t fathom fast, always on internet service as I was  giggling over the thoughts of  free internet for life.

I also remember thinking that coding web pages by hand, with raw html was the only way to go. Ahem. Now my editors let me go raw or WYSIWYG, depending on my mood. Progress? Maybe. But I’m lazy now, and have left the technical understanding of CSS and XML to the applications, instead of having to learn how they actually work.

What were *you* doing 15 years ago?