Before there was Facebook…

Not long ago, about all you could do with your computer, unless you were a technology geek, was read the news, send e-mail, play digitalized card games and visit rudimentary Web sites. Like this one. Speaking of Web sites, I want to thank those of you who visit my pages on The home office, so to speak. Early this year, we had a few conversations about the new realities, about the future importance of the Web to those who draw comics and those who enjoy them. I told you that when you visit any creator’s site on GoComics, it helps them directly, if only in a small way. However, the effect is cumulative, so there must be something to accumulate. If you “like” something or “share” it, that helps further. I encourage you to be objective in this. I am sensitive to artificially goosing the numbers: I prefer to know what’s really going on. I say I want to thank you, because the numbers for Arlo & Janis are up demonstrably over the past few months and are continuing to climb. You are doing that, and with only a little goosing from me.
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24 responses to “Before there was Facebook…”

  1. Did anyone else use Prodigy? It was touted as the first graphical online service. I’d used Compuserve and other, grass-roots, bulletin boards hosted using RBBS software. I was so stoked to get a 2400-baud modem!

  2. “Any Southerner will tell you that the miracle of the loaves and fishes was the only church supper in history that didn’t include fried chicken” ~ Rick McDaniel in An Irresistible History of Southern Food

    I saw this in another book and thought folks here would appreciate it.

  3. There is apprehension and sadness at the Decorah eagle nest: dad eagle has not been seen for several days. Search parties are out, probably hoping for a trapped foot case or a damaged wing situation, but fearing worse. Mom eagle, I read, is capable of tending to the 3 chicks alone, though I am concerned that a marauder might harm the tykes when she leaves for provisions. Fortunately, her major “store” – the fish hatchery – is very close by.

  4. Dave,
    I did not use Prodigy but did use Compuserve. When they first connected to the internet, they only had the text based Mozilla at that time. I found a way to use Netscape 2 over Compuserve and thought it was great. And yes, a 2400 baud modem. But it only included about 6 hours a month before they charged by the hour. Then I started using an unlimited internet service provider that only charged $20 a month. It sure beat the BBS’s.

  5. And then before there was Google, we had Excite, Lycos and others but AltaVista was the gold standard back in the mid nineties .

  6. c x-p: Then there was my 1983 Epson QX-10 and my older son’s K-Pro. He’s now a tablet fan. Sorry about dad at the DN nest. Biology is like that. If an insomniac GH owl is out in the daytime, watch out! That -tch at the end reminds me: that’s how you pronounce the c with the diacritical mark at the end of Elena Garanca. Listen:


  7. Sorry, that should be “Don & c-xp”. When nobody was incubating in the Great Spirit Bluff nestbox yesterday, saw 4 eggs.

    Elena’s English is great. She is also fluent in German and Spanish, and of course Latvian, the only language I’ve not heard her use. Search “Elena Garanca interviews” to learn more. She and her conductor husband have two daughters and two homes; she is very much not the woman she portrays, with Gustavo Dudamel, in Bizet’s “Carmen”.


  8. In answer to your question, Don, I was quite active on local BBSs in the mid to late ’80s, but I was never on Compuserve, Prodigy or AOL In part that’s because they were all based on the East Coast and I couldn’t have afforded the long distance charges. (remember those?) I also couldn’t have afforded the monthly fees, but the phone charges alone were enough to keep me away from them.

  9. Dear emb, that bit of satire about the Nutria is a gem. It’s really funny, and well written too. I’m glad you sent it out to us. Also glad there are none of those rodents in NH, or Minn. either … or are there? You are the expert.

  10. Charlotte, I expect there are none. They’ve been released here and just N, in Canada, either as escaped captives or as potential furbearers. They’ve largely replaced muskrats in many wetlands in the former Confederacy. Basically, they cannot handle the cold, so their northern limit fluctuates with the severity of the winter. We’re not in much danger, yet. Here’s a URL.

    Interesting: When I searched, found that there is a Nutria St. in Ramsey, MN. House for sale there.

    Wonder if coypu tastes as good as muskrat. Muskrat was my older son’s first solid meat. Nutria [coypu] weigh perhaps 3x as much. Maybe some Villagers from the South will try them for us and report back.

    Peace, emb

  11. Ruth Ann, Not sure any dish is obligatory at any Yankee church SUPPERS, but at church potlucks in MN, think I can guarantee at least one jello “salad” and a tuna casserole. Peace,

  12. I’ve been playing Ultima Online on a free server for over 10 years, and when it goes offline I revert to the MS Solitaire, Minesweeper and Jigsaw games because I don’t have any other game to play. I’ve tried other games and other UO free servers but I never found anything quite like my game and my server. When I read this comic it is like JJ is looking over my shoulder at my life. My server has been offline for 2 days for maintenance, which never ever happens, and I am jonesing, and I probably look worse than Janis! The first time I read this in 2009 the same thing was happening! My server was down for a very extended time and I was playing Freecell and Minesweeper!
    I don’t play 24/7, I used to play after work nights only until I became disabled, and now I play whenever I can sit down which is not all the time, my tail bone and the bottom bones in my spine are disintegrating, I have sciatica, and arthritis. Sitting is not easy!

  13. When we got home (after interminable grocery shopping ????) I got out my fancy new telescope that, once aligned to a know star, can track whatever I tell it to. So, I put the moon filter on and tried out several eyepieces, resulting in views of 20x, 44x, 73x, and 110x. At 44x the moon fills the entire field, at 110x you feel like you’re hovering over the moon. Throw in some side-to-side movement and you feel like you’re flying over the craters, deciding where to land.

    Next time I’ll add in the Barlow (an optical doubler) to see what that’s like.

    BTW, sad to say, I played hooky from orchestra to do all that, but it was worth it after going well over a week waiting for decent viewing.

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