Life Before Twitter

I've been messing around with computers since around 1980. I've seen a lot of changes over the years.

I created this site to show some people what it was like in the "Frontier" days and what the future may hold for us.


Update:  December 18th 2018
Life Before Twitter will be made into a documentary film.  It will be the 8th documentary film I've created as part of The Documentary Factory.  It will study all aspects of and the history of the digital era,  as well as what the future might hold for us.

Coming soon - In the meantime, please check out our other documentary films


The Documentary Factory - which is a division of AVS Production Company now has 11 films which are either in production or pre-production. They are:

Life Is EL - - Living and working under and around the elevated train tracks in New York City

Step Streets - - Where did the Street go?

Education In Smithtown - - Lots of pencils, lots of books, and we loved our teacher's dirty looks

Sake in America - - The love for and growth of what used to be a Japanese exclusive drink in America

Scams Are Us - - You have it, we'll take it

In Search of Whale Vomit - - It'll help you smell better

Oh Deer - - How we live with our forested friends

Life Before Twitter - - The history of the digital era

Volunteers Of America - - Without Volunteers, we would all be in trouble

Legendary Smithtown - - How a man named Smith settled in for the long ride after a short ride

Tea For Two Billion - - Our love for the second most consumed beverage in the World

The Life Of Death - - Who is there in the end

Today,  March 12th 2019 is the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW)

Today,  September 27th 2018 is the 20th anniversary of Google Search.  Did you know Google is a verb?


Happy 10th Anniversary Facebook!

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 3.47.27 PM

Founded February 4th, 2004

It is another sad day as the inventor of the device you used to get to this page has died.

The earliest Computer Mouse

It was unveiled in 1968 by Douglas C. Engelbart

Douglas C Engelbart Inventor of the Computer Mouse

Thanks Doug. You were someone who really clicked with the world.

Arpanet Directory

What the internet looked like in 1982: A closer look at Danny Hillis’ vintage directory of users

Today we lost another pioneer in the computing world, Jack Tramiel 1928 – 2012

He wasn’t nearly as well-known as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore, was just as important. Mr. Tramiel gave his computers exactly what they needed and nothing else. Commodore’s popular C64 was functional, inexpensive, and downright ugly. This is exactly what Tramiel wanted. He wanted products that got the job done with no regard to aesthetics. Tramiel was forced out of Commodore and bought Atari where he produced the Atari ST in direct competition with Commodore, Macintosh, IBM PC platforms of the time. From his humble beginnings making typewriters and LED watches, he made a lasting contribution to the world of personal computers. He is survived by his wife Helen and three sons.

Commodore C64


Four great BBC Radio shows on the early days of computing

The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix

Thank you very much Steve

Sad Apple


Life Before Computers

It looks like LifeBeforeTwitter is not that long ago as it just turned 5 today, March 21st, 2011. Happy Birthday Twitter!

Happy 5th Birthday Twitter

Happy 5th #Birthday @Twitter

(CNN) -- The message was cryptic. Two words. No context, no punctuation, just: "inviting coworkers"

But that short statement proved to be enough to launch a global phenomenon that has launched careers, reunited long-lost relatives, and even, some would argue, topple dictators.

It was the first tweet.

Since Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey posted it on March 21, 2006, Twitter has registered nearly 200 million users who now post more than a billion tweets every week.

Dorsey has spent the last few days tweeting a timeline of sorts, sharing what he was doing just before the big launch.

On Sunday, he tweeted: "5 yrs ago today, the eve of launching twttr to the company. Moving from @Biz, @florian & me, to all of our peers using it. Nervous. #twttr"

His anxiety certainly paid off.

Since its launch, Twitter has played a role in a wide range of headline-making events, from the Egyptian revolution to Charlie Sheen's battle with CBS.

It's also become a business tool, with many major companies now using accounts to advertise deals and encourage word-of-mouth marketing.

Twitter's importance in communication was made plain during the moments after Japan's earthquake and tsunami this month.

Twitter says it set a record of 6,939 tweets per second immediately after the 9.0-magnitude quake struck on March 11, and 177 million tweets went out as the day wore on.

It took three years, two months and a day for Twitter to get to one billion tweets. The site now averages 140 million tweets a day.

Twitter is a privately-held company, so its finances are not made public. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that suitors were valuing it at $8 to $10 billion.

This is friggin awesome:


Thanks to my friend Joshua Hatton for posting this.

Great article by Guy Kawasaki about the different Twitter Types.

Life Waaaaay before Twitter. Did Archie marry Veronica? What was the outcome of that recent announcement? Confused? Just Gopher it. That's what we used to say before Google became a verb. Archie, Veronica and Gopher were the terms for some of the tools that I used to search the Internet for articles and files. Just around the same time that one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day was released, there was a different kind of Gopher running around. This article is also from 1993 and offers some definitions.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the occurrence this event, I am posting this New York Times Op-Ed article: How the Internet Got Its Rules. Enjoy.