(continued from In the beginning, there was the X)
So it was all mobile (by 1993 standards) and converged and everybody was happy. Except everybody was basically a handfull of lucky academics and things weren’t all that pretty most of the time.
At some point regular people started to get online and that was done through commercial isps or walled gardens like aol and compuserve which sold access and wasn’t all that interested in selling mobility. So the expensive storage was pushed out into the edge into people’s pcs through pop and information got basically locked up in an inaccessible dead end.
This was kind of the dark ages of the budding internet. People were trying to transition to wintel, microsoft was fighting the internet and trying to trick people to sign into their own bbs system, msn, styled after the dying models of compuserv and aol. We had html2 and then 3, marquee text and bookmarks files. Mailbox files and bookmarks files and everything was files, at least until your disk died.
You had your work email account and your home email account and pretty much nothing in between. Mobility repioneers had to rent servers somewhere in the internet to push email and bookmarks (manually sadly) back into the network. The server hosting this pages is one of those. It was expensive, and tedious to keep together.
Meanwhile the internet was getting less clunky, despite microsoft internet explorer 5.x (ye gods!!), and storage was getting cheaper and hotmail emerged of its post-buyout nonworking times and by 1998 email was liberated back into the web.
(to be continued)