"Nobody really knew what belonged online so everybody decided all at once that everything did.."
I recently read a book about the 1990s, and the entire time I had that America Online modem beeping sound in my ears. I miss the very early days of the internet, when AOL stuffed your mailbox with their software CDs whether you asked for them or not. You'd finally get yourself online and then somebody would call your house phone (or simply pick up the receiver upstairs, hear that squeaky noise, and mumble "sorry") and knock you off. Everything was brand new so you had no concept of "fast" or "slow”. You didn't get mad waiting for graphics to load or when video buffered every 3 seconds. On your $2000 Compaq computer with its 1 gig hard drive and 16 mb of RAM. The experience felt like magic and waiting was part of the thrill. And when that voice would swoop in with the grammatically incorrect "you've got mail" it was as exciting as getting an actual hand-written letter.