Amazing what kind of world this little city of San Francisco has become! When I was a kid, the only thing I knew about it was the Golden Gate bridge, the earthquakes, the steep streets, and of course, “The Streets of San Francisco”.
I grew older, and it became the city of flower power and gay power. Then hi-tech started picking up, and San Francisco became a suburb of Silicon Valley, dominated by such beacons of civilization as Cupertino (Apple), Sunnyvale (Atari), Palo Alto (PARC), etc.
As I moved to America in 1998, it became clear there was more to it than that. San Francisco was becoming visible as the hub of West Coast Internet activity. In ’98, as I recall, the web was already launched as the next biggest thing, and people from all over the world were flocking to the Bay Area for the new Gold Rush.
And all of a sudden it happened: the cute thing that had been the Internet became a mainstream medium, and all the cute things that had lived on the early web became monsters onto which to pour millions and billions of dollars.
And yet, once in a while, you will find some unadulterated early web. I was looking for a webcam to tell me whether the weather at the beach was ok, and I found FogCam. That’s what the web used to look like.