Hello World! This greeting may revive nice memories in your mind if you were young at the beginning of the 1990s and started making your first Internet page. I have a big notebook where I found my oldest notes from that time. My handwriting is awful, but maybe you can read the word ‘Freenet’ on the photo above, in the middle left.
Technological university of Helsinki organised beginners’ courses for those who were interested in the new digital technology. I was a humanist myself, a language teacher at the time, but I was attracted by the opportunities computers offered in language teaching in schools. About the same time I had started to use computers and a modem in mail correspondence of my students with schools in Brazil and Australia. As a surprise to many I can add that my school was Rudolf Steiner school in Helsinki. But it is another story.
So, as soon as I knew that TU Helsinki had founded Freenet, which was – as the name says – a free network without any charges, I joined it. And I was one of the enthusiastic participants of a Freenet course in 1991 – if I remember right – where we learned the elementary skills of HTML. For the first time in my life I was able to voice to all fellow citizens of this planet “Hello World!”
It’s hard to say how many visitors ever saw my first web page. Some hundreds, possibly. As everybody can see on the photo (provided that it’s readable), I marked down the names of Heikki Korpinen, Marja-Liisa Smolander and Riitta Varis in my notebook. Even with their email addresses, which means that I was going to be in touch with them later. And I was.
I must have been so excited about my new skill as a maker of an Internet page that I don’t even remember whether it was Heikki, Marja-Liisa or Riitta who helped me on my baby steps to the wonderful worldwide web.
Thanks for the initiation anyway :-).