We had crazy tools, used FTP to download wares, and we used gopher for documents, and then the internet appeared and we had Napster of course which sucked donkey balls, every serious person was on IRC or Soulseek... personally, I think AudioGalaxy which not only allowed you to download while you were connected but also stored it for you to retrieve once you connected later so not to waste your precious bandwidth with just sticking online, was the best.
Alas, as someone that works in the field today, the masses have lost interest... it is like the engine inside their cars... they don't care, put fuel, turn key, press pedal and rev up. People do not care in the baseline or the motor, as long as it works, easy peasy.
But at the time, it was crazy you could to things that would totally fucking scare every security pundit alive today.
I miss those times, truly, the days where you could freak out a buddy by changing his DOS prompt to make him believe that his computer was Stoned... or hijack a band's discussion boards with obscene audio tracks that would play over and over and over until they figured out that it was a really bad idea to allow cross linking...
But in the end, today is today, we have all our technology working on that backbone, and it is still alive and kicking. Like the old BOC game and other things. I am grateful for it. I guess some days, it just makes Me feel a bit old... like when My 23 year old daughter asks Me, "Daddy, what was your favorite website when you were a kid..." and you are almost ashamed to say that we were out in the forest playing gangsters and that when the Atari 2600 came out it was the best shit under the sun! Well, until E.T. and Custer's Revenge
I am blessed to have live it, so yeah, it was amazing, heady, it felt like discovering the Matrix, but in true life.
Quasar Blast! (OMG that is old!)