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   Anita Bora

"I was hooked since the time I first connected" -- S Anand, consultant, Boston Consulting Group, Mumbai

Also Read:
-- Atul Chitnis
-- Radhika Nair
-- Madhu Menon
S Anand discovered green tele-type terminals as a third year IIT Madras student. He borrowed a friend's ID in the computer science department and logged on to their server.

That was six years ago. Today, he dreams of bigger things he can do online and shares some with us.

What were your first impressions?

My first vision of the Net was in black and white (rather, black and phosphor green). I never dreamt it would have anything to do with multimedia. My initial inclinations, therefore, were towards reading books (Project Gutenberg), compiling software (like Perl), and playing text-based games (like Moria). These tendencies continue.

What I did see was a phenomenal publication tool. What I totally missed was that in the near future, ANYONE could create their own site and publish what they want. Having been used to the 'push' mode of information, the peer-to-peer model escaped me.

I didn't ever have to wonder how much it would rule our lives. The first instant I connected, I was hooked, and knew it would be for the rest of my life. I never understood how people could NOT be passionate about cyberspace.

What were some of your initial activities?

Initially, just email. I didn't get a permanent mail ID until 1997. I never made a post in a newsgroup or bulletin board. Guess I never felt like asking or saying anything to the world in general. In fact, the first time I chatted was as late as 2001, by which time most people I knew were chataholics. While I never did get hooked to chatting, I did have some fairly interesting sessions.

1994 My first email. Learnt SMTP
1995 My first browsing experience. Learnt about www.playboy.com
1996 My first Web mail account. Opened a Hotmail account as soon as it started. Learnt about Sabeer Bhatia
1997 My first personal site. Learnt HTML
1998 My first professional site. Learnt about corporate politics.
1999 My first online shopping order at Fabmart. Learnt about late shipments
2000 My first blog. Learnt CSS
2001 My first chat. Learnt what A/S/L meant
2002 My first P2P download. Learnt about RIAA
What were you doing two or three years later?

Around 1998, the big different was that I had a site. Not a blog -- just a personal site. Those were the days people hardcoded in HTML, a habit I still carry around. I'd shifted from UNIX to Windows, from Lynx to Netscape, and from pine to Lotus Notes. But surfing remained my prime activity.

Today, I use the Net for email, surfing (reading news, etc), blogging and chat. There's a difference in the first two, though. While I used to manage about 10 emails a day in '98, today it's about 50. While I used to just read news and interesting stuff online, today I also transact (buy, bank, etc).

How do you see the Internet evolving in the next five years or so?

I have no clue what's going to happen apart from what all the experts have already said. I'll tell you what my dreams are, though: I'll be connected wherever I am. My PDA will have a GPRS / 802.11b connection. So I'll post to my blogs via voice as I walk along Linking Road.

I'll videoconference on the move: multiple people watching each other, while traveling. Oh, and while I do that, I'll hook up to the Web Cams near Sion Circle to see if there's a traffic jam.

I'm going to watch movies online and jump from one to another by just clicking on the actors.

I'll finally take a full tour of the Louvre. Without having to buy a flight ticket.

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Also Read:
-- Indian prodigies setting the Web alive
-- Losing friends made difficult
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