Circa 1998, probably beginning of the year
From 1994 to 1998 I had limited access to a computer. I was in a boarding school up North, and computer class wasn’t part of the curriculum. It didn’t bother me much at that time because I was busy harnessing up physical hacking skill. I’ll write more about that.
We did have a computer lab back then. It’s outdated and used by few student clubs to print out their newsletters. To my knowledge, there was no other use than that. Only in 1998 the lab reopened to the students and refurnished with new machines. And get this, Internet connection included! Fun!
But we didn’t get to use it! Computer class was only for students in Form 1 to Form 3. Nothing for Form 5. Which was fine at that moment, I didn’t think much about it. Until one day, I saw my friend wrote down firstname.lastname@example.org in fiery typeface on the table. Yes, it’s was an obvious association, fire and hotmail. I think the conversation went something like this:
“Hey, what’s that?”
“My email. Cool eh!”
“Email? What’s that?”
“You can send mail to other people, on COMPUTER!”
“What? You can do that? That’s so cool man. Where can I get one?”
“Register on the Internet. It’s free.”
“What? It’s free? I want! I want!”
* Okay, maybe it wasn’t much like that, but you got my point.
Later that day I summoned one of the junior students who was good with the computer. He knew a lot about the Internet. I asked him to get me a Hotmail account. He did it the next day during his computer class. I don’t remember what was his name, I also don’t remember what was my first Hotmail username. In fact, I don’t remember if I ever used it.
That was how I got my first email account, not fancy at all. I wasn’t even in front of the computer when it happened.