January 17, 2008

I was introduced to the Internet during a time when a lot of soul searching was going on in my life. The year was 1995 and I was 13. It was the early days of my teenage years and just as my peers, I was eager to explore a lot of things.

The Internet came at a pretty pertinent time. Making discoveries was my drug and the Internet was my window to the world; a tool for me to learn one new thing after another. It was a bottomless pit of knowledge; an abyss of information, if you will. My curiosity was beyond normal and often I would be confused, and maybe a little hasty in making decisions. Pretty much like Steve McClaren when he was at the helm of English football.

This is the story of my Internet life pre Firefox, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and everything else Web 2.0. This is the bittersweet story of my early days with man’s greatest modern invention, the Internet.

It all started on a sunny Saturday afternoon after we’d just got back from football. A friend thought we ought to drop by his place to check out these pictures he found on the Net. Some of us thought he was talking about a magazine but having watched that Sandra Bullock movie The Net earlier, I knew it had something to do with computers.

Strangely, once everyone was in front of the PC, he asked one of us to make sure that the coast is clear and no one else was within sight. And I was kind enough to guard the area. It wasn’t long until I was the only one making any sort of physical movement. The guys huddling the PC made no sound, their eyes straight at the monitor. It was just natural for me to leave my guard post and join them. Much to my amazement, the monitor was filled with little thumbnails of Ginger, Posh, Baby and Sporty Spice in minimal clothing.

“Hope the thumbnails are good enough... I can’t wait for the full-sized pics to finish downloading. I know you guys fancy Scary Spice but sorry dudes, I ain’t into that hahahaha...”

Before he could finish ripping on us, up comes a voice from the stairs,

“Boooyys, is everything allright up there? Come and have a drink..!”

Panicking, we scrum over the monitor and one of us unplugged the main switch. Nobody uttered nothing as we sipped Ribena off our glasses. But I remember vividly the sinister smiles on our faces.

It was either one of two back then; Jaring or TMNet, 28k or 56k, IE or Netscape, Infoseek or AltaVista, Yahoo! or Hotmail. Bar Yahoo!, the rest are now buried in the Internet jargon graveyard.

I bet many would have ‘change first e-mail address’ in their itinerary should they travel back in time. At least in my case, the excitement of having my first ever e-mail address took away all the sense I had in me. Putting my real name on it would be lame, or so I thought.

I was a huge wrestling fan back then; Rocky Maivia being my favorite. So my first e-mail address was, and I’m very sorry for this, rocky_m@yahoo.com. He later changed his stage name to The Rock, to my despair. My second e-mail wasn’t one I was too proud of either. Eminem’s dirty dozen, D12 just broke into the scene and obviously the username ‘d12’ had already been taken. The genius in me thought I was cool enough to be a part of the entourage and thanks to the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony number ‘Mind of a Souljah’, I went for d12_souljah@hotmail.com (Argh!).

Soon after, and with a bit of growing up, I decided to call it quits with the dodgy pseudonyms. MyOwnEmail.com had these amazing e-mail domains up for free; the-lair.com, the-pentagon.com, beverlyhills-90210.com, hehe.com, yada-yada.com. I could’ve even chosen smashing-pumpkins.com. I chose asrif@forpresident.com.

Unlike Judd, Ticub and Bopi who spent their teenage years searching for the non-existent nude pictures of Natalie Imbruglia, I tried to play it safe when it comes to searching on the web, especially from the home PC. I kept it clean; searching only for guitar tabs. It didn’t take long for me to freak out though. I was on my way to school with a neighbor one day. And bugger said,

“I found this neat stuff online man. Brace yourself... Cindy Crawford in absolutely... nothing! On a sandy beach.”

“Hold on, I thought you said you have no Internet at home.”

“I don’t. I used your Internet while you were getting ready just now.”

“YOU WHA..?!”

From that moment, I spent every second at the mailbox waiting for the Internet bill; thinking that they will list down the sites that you go to. You know, like how phone bills list down the numbers you called. Never been more glad I was wrong.


aku dulu jakun gila mirc. boleh chat dgn org2 random dah ajaib gile bagi aku. walaupun internet ni dah makin maju, aku tetap buta it seperti dulu.

The reeeeeehhhhhhhhhh..apa citer dude...Steady ah blogger reh... once suggestion, you should have a 2 line summary of your blog for people like me...hahahhaa.

c'mon mate, don't deny it..i know u always surf for the good stuff

Pi'e: Mana mungkin kau buta IT. Banyak benda-benda pelik dah aku tengok kat buat kat Internet ni.

Niz: Dude, I doubt you'll be flying back anytime before summer so IF by then guitar aku still ada ngan Gamal, shove it into your ship boleh? I haven't even seen that guitar man!

Najib: Ahaha, you explain your collection of weirds vids first man. I was in Austin for some two weeks..!

my first : azahis = a combination of my name and an ex. i was obsessed with him, so my friend (who was and still an IT genius) created azahis. i had azahis for yahoo, hotmail, waumail and usa.net.

dulu kalu paka usa.net bijok gilo doh. forpresident tu zame ngaji dih? silveracid_evilangel was derived from an MIRC script.

and owh MIRC. i still remember DALnet was down for weeks only for Malaysians. Tapi tok ingat doh kes gapo. Flood ko bakpo tahu. We had our school channel, so lepah DALnet hang beberapa minggu demo nih bukok channel Maher kat undernet. I hate undernet.

Hell, yeah- O' praise the mighty cyber-ge'ek'nius for d'wonders of technology blessed upon us…syukran~

Pada zaman dahulu kala, (before the existence of wi-fi tech), a family of internet junkie (like mine) would always end up fighting over the pc. A nasty fight indeed; with lagging '1511' connection, it took me a zillion years to download a decent Batistuta image only to be bawled out buggingly by my sis just because her 'PuteraKacak_82' is already online at #mencari jodoh…arghhh~

Uhh..owh..ko memang samseng kampong dusun arr..SERIP DOL!! With a sideburn like that..just grow ur hair a lil’ bit longer--resembling PAPA ROCK & i’ll definitely vote asrif@forpresident! Tee hee…


PuteraKacak_82!!?? nyahaahahahaha....


Azah: Fuh, mujur la tidok 'azahfi'. Ingat lagi mu deh nama server IRC... they do ring a bell.

Hanim: Bunyi modem sure kau dah hapal kan? Eee ooo bzztt kaching kaching badabing..! :) Sarip Dol tu kawan aku buat some 3 4 years back ahaha.

Salah: Hang jangan Yob. A/S/L tu intro fav Alee & Zulkhaliq. Banyak sangat depa guna kekadang terguna kat sama sendiri. Tapi takpa kot depa layan ja sama sendiri pun. "Nak rasa aiskrim abang tak..?"

* Kio has quit IRC (Quit: )
* TRR has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
* Aquazzz has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer)
* RiotingNerd has quit IRC (Connection reset by peer)
* flatface has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
* Bobbobs has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
* mikedepalma has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
* evolsoulx has quit IRC (Peer Pressure)

aiskrim abang...hahaha

I remember having corny nicknames on mirc and icq such as Lavender (jiwang sial), Lovelandlord (wtf?) and Gurlroxx (euww). Thank god those days are over. I'm proud to say that I never entertained strangers despite being very young, naive and yes, very jakun.

3 hari tak mandi, berkubang depan komputer. What do you expect.

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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