Jon Lebkowsky: A Personal History of the Early Internet

by Plutopia News Network
Photo of Jon Lebkowsky

Plutopia’s own Jon Lebkowsky was an early adopter of digital technology and the internet. On this episode of the Plutopia podcast, Jon presents a personal history of digital tech, life online in the 1990s, the internet, and much more.

Jon Lebkowsky:

So I heard that you could get a pretty decent computer, personal computer, an IBM PC clone from a company that was called PC’s Limited. And PC’s Limited was actually a DBA for a company called Dell Computers. So I bought one of the first Dell computers, which was through PC’s Limited. And carted it home and I had this computer and this amber monitor, no color, just amber, that was it. And a stack of manuals like this [holds hands to suggest size], huge stack of manuals, one for each computer program and one for the computer itself and one for the monitor and all this stuff that I had to read through and learn. And I started kinda banging away on the computer and then it’s like, okay, Marsha, now what I wanna do next is I wanna log in via long distance to this system that’s out in California and it’s gonna be about 10 bucks an hour. And this led to a rather tense discussion. And of course, acknowledging who wears the pants in the family, we squashed that idea.

Currently cohost of Plutopia News Network, Jon was formerly CEO of FringeWare, Inc. and editor/publisher of FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer for Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; and blogger at Worldchanging. A member of the online community The WELL for over 30 years, he cohosts three WELL forums: VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.

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