Matt Radford

Messing with links since <blink>

It began here

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In 1996 I was studying at UEA for a Masters degree in American Studies, under Professor Richard Crockatt. This involved literary and cultural analysis of works since 1960, and I was asked by Prof. Crockatt to review Douglas Rushkoff’s recent book “Cyberia“, along with William Gibson’s classic Neuromancer. Cyberspace was all a bit woo-woo back then, wrapped up in the hippies’ acid-dipped ideas of group consciousness, but at the same time very open, and hopeful of the possibilities that the Internet could bring.

I thought the best way to review these books was to get on to the web myself, to explore, make connections and then design my own web pages – to try and show rather than tell. And so I took my own trip of discovery, first around campus to try and find the gatekeepers to getting online. I remember no-one seemed to know how the university created web pages, nor where they were stored. But eventually I headed down the green-screened rabbit hole of the terminal, and the magic command vi index.htm which – amazingly, and much later – made my own web pages visible within the NCSA Mosaic browser.

Here are my first ever webpages, rescued a few years ago from a 3.5″ floppy disk (a what?), and modernised a little in 2006. These pages were written before the dotcom bubble burst, so you’ll have to ease around the hyperbole 😉

Enter cyberspace