Sunday, February 22, 2015

Internet Driver's Test

Back in 1993 the Internet was still a very new thing to the public and was still mainly in the hands of specialists like scientists, computer engineers and science fiction fans. I got illustration jobs through my fan connections with magazine editors and marketing people. This is one of a series I did for a long-gone magazine called "Internet World." In those days the builders of the Internet had no idea that it would take over the world and they imagined it as a place only for the educated and specialized. They speculated that you would have to take a test just to participate, just like you would take a driver's test (which I failed three times and remember with anxiety and horror). Thus the signs which appear in front of the driver with his big old monitor. I hardly remember what these signs meant, like "GREP" and "WAIS" but one or two of you readers might.

1993 was my first year on the Net. I got connected as part of the payment for one of my illustration jobs. The "access%" was what I got on the black screen before I typed in my login.This was well before the first public use of the World Wide Web. My first  internet provider was a company in Maryland called "Express Access DIGEX" and my first Internet e-mail address was Ah, the nostalgia.

"Internet Driver's Test" is watercolor and computer printout collage on illustration board, 8" x 10", December 1993.

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