Alastair Thompson – General Manager/Co-Founder,

“My introduction to the Internet was in the very early days... it wasn’t probably that early days. I think Waikato was connected in ‘89. The first days of the Internet in Wellington... first of all the University got connected and then the City Council set up. I think they set up basically a very small modem and dial exchange that was free and only had about 11 lines on it. Hardly anyone knew about this but there was a few people that did. I don’t know if you could actually buy a dial-up Internet connection at the time. For some reason we did – we found out about this and the World Wide Web didn’t exist but there was a thing called Telnet. And on Telnet you could get into these things called ‘multi-user dungeons’ which are basically the same as multimedia online role-playing games. Just like Dungeons and Dragons but they were purely text-based so you’d say like ‘go left’ and ‘enter room’ and the monster hits you and you hit the monster. I was working at NBR at the time in the press gallery and we used modems to file our copy to Auckland. We had those tiny little wee Macs with those tiny wee screens and we hooked one of these up to the Actrix line and we would basically take turns – myself and one of my colleagues who I won’t name – to just play this game non-stop for about six months. He eventually got to level 75 which was ridiculous in the context of this game. I don’t know how he managed to do it for such a long period of time. But it was interesting as an introduction to the idea. It was exciting and it was fun, even though it was rudimentary.”


Down to the Wire is a story that evolves with your memories and contributions so please contribute personal anecdotes, key events and web resources you think others might find useful.

If you know of a good web resource with more information give us the http://www and we'll include it.
Remember something interesting from the year? Give us a quick story!
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Add a Website of the Year

Down to the Wire is a story that evolves with your memories and contributions. Let us know what you think were the exciting local websites of the year.

Even on the Internet space is limited so we can't mention every site, but we'll do our best to include your suggestion if you tell us why.