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Here's What It's Like Working On A 2001 iMac With A 56k Modem Today

Nostalgia can be very misleading.

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Fifteen years ago, we lived in a simpler time.

If you wanted to go on the internet, you couldn't just pull out your phone. I know, it sounds insane, but you had to get on a computer. A giant computer. And then when you did get online, the internet wasn't even that cool. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter AND BuzzFeed didn't exist yet.

Back in the early 00s, I remember desperately wanting one of the fancy new iMacs in deep blue. Unfortunately, I never got one of those brightly colored pieces of heaven. We were a PC household. Or at least we were, until I crashed the computer with porn viruses in high school — then we got a Mac ;).

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Now I could finally recreate my computer experience of the early '00s.

I could be transported back to my childhood, go into chatrooms, and type "A/S/L?" a bunch of times as I pretended to be a 40-year-old dude in Minnesota.

Or, I could just try living as we did in 2001, with slow internet and even slower computers.

To truly recreate the internet experience from the turn of the century, I would need to limit my connection to below 56 kbps. You know, like dial-up.

youtube.com

Yes. I would ride the nostalgia train back to 2001 and spend an entire day working on this old iMac. I started the computer and first encountered this warning:

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

I didn't fix it, because like the computer, I wanted to believe it was March 24, 2001.

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As a reflex, I first went to log on to social media. Unfortunately, Facebook was unreadable.

facebook.com

I swear I have way more than 0 friend requests. But then again, Facebook didn't exist back then, so poo-poo to it anyway.

No images would load on BuzzFeed's site.

buzzfeed.com

I could not post on the website, which meant I could not perform the most basic task at my job under these conditions. But also — back then, my job did not exist? MY GOD, GOING BACK IN TIME IS WEIRD.

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Safari kept quitting, and I couldn't use any other internet service to get online (my computer was too out of date). I tried logging on Gmail, but the website got caught in a loop and could never get to my mailbox. I didn't even try Slack.

Adobe was also old and not very helpful. It, too, took a full minute to load.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

Staring at the screen, I got to thinking: when were wide pleated grey slacks ever in? Like, this guy looks so uncool. He is probably running to work because he's excited to do his job. He's that lame.

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Da fuq was this for?

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

Apparently back in the day we used to put CD-ROMs in computers, which is just insane because my current computer doesn't even pretend that's necessary (there is no slot).

At this point I felt like going on the internet 15 years ago was a million times slower.

speedtest.net

Turns out I wasn't far off. I checked with BuzzFeed's tech team, and at 56 kbps, my speed was approximately 2000 times slower than regular.

TWO THOUSAND TIMES SLOWER.

HOW DID WE GET ANYTHING DONE??

If I could have, I would have thrown the computer in the dumpster.

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

Unfortunately, Jon needed it back.

So old Mac currently sits next to my flashy modern day computer, just chilling. It makes for a nice #tbt, but other than that, it is totally not worth it. I did not miss out on much not having one of these as a kid.

Better to leave to 56k internet and the slow-ass iMac where they belong: in the past.