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In The First Days Of The Internet, A Surprising Group Of Early Adopters

BillGatesInternet.jpg
Barry Sweet
/
AP Photo
In the mid '90's, everyone was trying to figure out thise new thing called The Internet. Bill Gates on Dec. 7, 1995.

If you're in your 20s, it might be difficult to imagine, but there was a time when there was no web to browse, no Internet to access, and when few people outside of an academic setting had an email address.

This was in the early 1990s.

By the mid-90s, the internet was becoming available to the general public. There was a lot of buzz about it. On late night TV in 1995, David Letterman famously asked Microsoft founder Bill Gates about "https://youtu.be/rsvuQlyrfy0?t=3m5s" target="_blank">this internet thing."

"What the hell is it, anyway?" Letterman asked.

In Microsoft's backyard, the Seattle Public Library was the first major library in the country to get connected to the Internet. One thing librarians and others working to teach people how to use the new technology noticed right away was that a lot of people standing in line to get online were homeless.

These "homeless hackers," as a newspaper article at the time dubbed them, were more than willing to help others get on the new "information superhighway."

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.