Wow… thanks for the trip down amnesia lane. I am sad to say that I remember all of the networking software listed.
I used software called CuteFTP to transfer larger files to others or download things for myself. I also, as a teenager, used to haunt the usenet groups to find info about hacks for certain things which shall remain nameless for legal reasons.
However, the usenet groups were fun from an individual interest perspective too. I remember when I was going through my Anne Rice stage, I was interested in all things related to vampires and the characters in her books. There were a few usenet groups out there related to her books and the “gothic” in general. You could pretty much look up anything you were interested in and find someone who shared the same interest. Sometimes, I used to waste time and see if I could find a topic that no one had thought of – no luck there. I also remember that these usenet groups were mainly populated by Americans and some Brits – other countries were not fully in the online world yet.
As the IRCs grew in population, people would create virtual rooms for Aussies only, or for specific interests too. Then, the online dating and love-seeking took off, and you had IRCs for singles and swingers and homsexuals, etc. I think that’s about when I lost interest – it just became too sleazy a playground, the more popular it got.
NNTP and SMTP are still the protocols in place for news and email – all of them are in some way or another. They’re just more hidden these days, as everything is web-based with graphic interfaces. Gosh, I remember when web sites were all grey backgrounds with black text and how excited we got when colours were showing up and animated GIFs were all the rage.
We all used to hand-code our grey web sites and got excited when we bolded text or inserted a non-interlaced image that took ages to load!
Gee… I’m really feeling old with these questions. When can we look to the future and what’s on the horizon? LOL