"it is actually possible, by law, to avoid any mention of Kim Kardashian"
Singaporean photographer Aram Pan has been taking some fascinating photos of the world's most reclusive country, North Korea. Alongside pictures of beautiful landscapes and rundown buildings, however, one picture caught our eye: a map of the starving country's "internet." It sounds ludicrous, but thanks to North Korea's …
I can remember when you used to be able to buy an Internet directory in the book store. It was a large book printed on cheap paper, very much like a phone book, which listed all the world's web sites. They published new editions on a regular basis. Before the advent of search engines it was how you found things on the web. I never bought one, but that was because I couldn't get local Internet service where I lived at the time.
I imagine that the North Korean Internet would be very much like going back in time for anyone from the rest of the world.
One very practical reason for them restricting Internet access out to the rest of the world by the way would be the cost of bandwidth, which would be massively one-sided against them when it comes to balancing payments. Their foreign exchange reserves could be completely drained from one heavy night of browsing on any of the popular western porn sites.
There was only a very short period of time (18 months or so) between the launch of NCSA/Mosaic (1993 on UNIX and Amiga), and thus the web proper not the Internet, and the founding of the Altavista search engine (1995). And during this time, public use of the Internet was almost non-existent, and I very much doubt other services were popular enough to merit a generally available book. And DNS operated, so you often had a starting point for looking for something.
Windows did not get Spyglass Mosaic until 1995.
So where is the gap?
If you are talking before the use of HTML, then there were lists of Archie and Gopher sites, but they were really just paper copies of the services own indexes.
I think the previous commenter was referring to this book, which I rememember seeing in a university bookshop at the time: "The Internet White Pages", published in 1994, right in the gap between the web exploding out of academia, and the emergence of AltaVista and its ilk.
I know about that, but it was very little about "web sites" (as stated in the original article), and more about gopher, archie and email, often down to individual's email addresses.
At the time, my major go-to was one of the sunsite ftp and gopher mirrors. I would say that what is now called the Internet started with Altavista, Excite, Infoseek et. al.
Sunsite, now there's a flashback.
Pre-mosaic this was all lynx on dumb terminals on an IBM3090. And glorious gopher helped me find snail.stack.urc.tue.nl which had a few nudie pictures on it!
Then Altavista was a sub domain of digital, and I remember 'hacking' their load balancing when I discovered they had 14 servers! 14 whole servers!...servicing search requests.
IIRC that was around the time of the Beta trial of BT Internet.
The development team were so proud that they published all the email addresses in the White Pages so the people would know that we did email.
Strangely, my original email address still has orders of magnitude more SPAM than any of my more recent ones.
I mean DNS, tell very recently, could only do latin characters. So people would not only have to remember the domain name, but also it's latin transliteration.
Just imagine having to type Korean transliterations of your favourite websites. Remembering numbers seems easier than that.
The nation just held its regional elections at the weekend, and scored a 99.97 per cent turnout. Not surprising given that if you don't vote, you disappear.
So the re-education slave labour camps have just gained something like an extra 57,000 inmates? Charming fellow, that Kim.