Jamaica’s Entry into Cyberspace – prologue

Jamaica did not get on the Internet until  1995.   Most of the world was connected five years earlier.

As there were relatively few people in Jamaica who  knew anything about computers, and fewer who knew how to connect their computers to a phone line, (many computers were made without the ability to connect) there were not many of us who ventured into the early world of BBS.

BBS, Bulletin Board Services allowed you to connect via your phone line to another computer.

There were a number of BBS, some had the capacity to connect one phone at a time, some could have ten different people on at the same time.    Some were free, some cost money.

It was during that period those of us who connected learned everything we needed to know to enter the Internet not simply safely but with a lot of knowledge.

On the BBS some people used their real   names, some didn’t.   Some people had easy passwords; i.e. Banker used Bank,  Lawyer used Law.     This meant they would be hacked.   For there was, even in the Online  ‘Pleistocene’   a bunch of idle high school kids.

There were also Trolls.  These were High School Kids blowing off steam.   And because the circle was so small, they could be locked out.

We learned, from those early days, not to put private stuff online.    Even if you used a Nickname and only connected from school, you would be found.

When Windows arrived with it’s  pre-chewed food;  that is you don’t have to know anything about computers to turn it  on, and when the little pictures came up, point the arrow at the Internet button and press the mouse.

Letting people who knew nothing about the technology to get on line was like handing a ten year old the keys to a car.


What do you think?


Written by jaylar

Story MakerYears Of MembershipContent Author

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