As I write this, my first e-mail address may finally be out of commission. R.I.P email@example.com
I obtained the address in the spring of 1995 from the Greater Columbus Freenet. Actually, the first address was the unwieldy firstname.lastname@example.org. (Somewhere along the line it was shortened.) I didn't have a strong conception of the internet at the time. In fact, I was wowed by the ability to see pages of text. A trip to the Westerville Public Library introduced me to the wonders of the Mosaic browser and the graphics that my freenet connection displayed only as [GIF] and [JPEG].
Like other net-related things, the so-called freenet became a pay service. The price wasn't much, but they claimed to need the nominal charges to keep it running. At the time I was still using this as my primary address and was willing to continue to do so, especially since I could check it for e-mail from anywhere. As the years intervened, though, the Pine e-mail program proved to be clunky and unfriendly to more common use of html coding in messages, although it was virus-proof. The spam increased to an alarming degree. (I estimate that I was getting three to four hundred spams a day.) Ultimately, it outlived its usefulness. With free e-mail available from Yahoo!, Hotmail, and the like, there was no reason to keep the address. Anyone who needs to get in touch with me should have one of my other addresses, so that justification for keeping it plugged in has fallen away.
But let that humble freenet e-mail address stand proud for many good years of service.
(Hey, I know this is the first item I've written here in some time, and it's about an e-mail address of all things. I have to ease back into the habit. Hold your breath for some thoughts on THE AMAZING RACE, the recent films of Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola's startling run in the 70s. "He'd kill us if he got the chance.")