Jo Eaton - Online Content Manager

“So around the time of my 14th birthday, Dad brought home a 486 IBM compatible PC and the most exciting part about that for me was the fact that it came with a modem. We didn’t really have money for Internet connections back then – it was really expensive – so I managed to go on a few local BBSs and saw a few bits of Internet content through that. Then in ’95, around May, Dad scooped my brother and I up and took us down to the City Council building and he said “Right, I’m going to get you guys on the Internet”. I was so excited. We went down there, it was a free connection through the City Council – it was called CityNet. So we signed up, we got our little email addresses. It was entirely text-based – it wasn’t the fancy browser crap we have today – and the first time I went online, I went on IRC. A friend of mine at school kept saying “You have to go on IRC” and she wrote in my school diary the instructions for connecting, she wrote all the commands. So I went home, typed everything up word for word and the first person I talked to on IRC was in Ireland. And I just went “Holy crap, there’s somebody on the other side of the world and it’s not costing me megabucks and I have no idea who he is”. And then I found the Channel #NZ and from then on in, I had a bunch of friends that were local and online.

A couple of years ago, I went to Foocamp up in Warkworth and I was talking to someone at Foocamp about my first online experiences and how I’d used CityNet and they said to me “Hey, did you know that CityNet was run by this guy Richard Naylor and he’s here?” and I said “Holy crap, this man is pretty much responsible for my whole geekiness – well, apart from my Dad” and I ran over to him and I said “Hey, oh my God, I have to thank you for CityNet because I wouldn’t have been an early Internet adopter without you... so thanks.” And he was quite taken aback.”


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.

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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.