Blast from the past

James Moffitt
4 min readSep 23

We are all connected especially if you are on social media platforms. Now it is easy for our former classmates and family to search for us by name or any other key word that you can think of. If you think that you are all alone in the cosmos think again. Our online identity was established the first time we logged on to the Internet.

My first connection to the Interwebs was through BBS’s or Bulletin Board Systems. That was after my wife Katy and I were married May 12th 1990 in a small Baptist Church in Houston Texas. Katy was a teachers assistant in Fort Bend County school district and I was a security officer. At some point I got interested in computers. I remember going to a shopping mall and looking at the AOL start up kit. It came with the software and a modem. I had to call a friend of mine to come over to change the IRQ setting on the motherboard so I could install the modem and get a connection to the phone line. Do you remember the squall of the modem as it would connect to the other end?

So, anyway, I learned how to install and configure several BBS software packages. I ran the BBS software on a 8086 processor, then an 8088 and then a 286 processor. The computer had a pitiful amount of ram and a tiny hard drive compared to today's standards. Now our smart phones have more capacity than computers did back then. The cool thing is that people could log on to my BBS and read and reply to message boards. I could even chat with them if I wanted to by having a sysop conversation with them while they were online.

Then the wonderful world of AOL was upon me. I remember connecting and being excited about the You’ve got mail notification and the letter icon showing up. AOL was my first experience on the Internet. Then I moved on to Prodigy and who knows what else. I remember a friend of mine who ran a BBS and he paid for an ISDN line connection. He charged people a fee to use his BBS to get onto the Internet. Man, those were the days.

Then there were the MySpace days. I still have an account on there I think. Fast forward to today and we have many other social networks. Lets see if I can name the ones I am familiar with.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter (now X),Tick Tok and I am sure there are some I am missing.

So, we all have real everyday lives that we live, work and play in. For some of us we also have an online presence. Our online persona will live on way after we are gone. We leave digital footprints everywhere. It…

James Moffitt

Happily married for last 33 years to Katy Moffitt, living in Goose Creek South Carolina. I love writing, bowling, and nature.