A rough history of the web industry in South Africa

A A rough history of the web industry in South Africa by Jarred Cinman
This article made me remember: Sitting in a dark office as a grad student late at night, staring at green text on a black screen, amazed at the generosity of the anonymous guides who helped lead the way through the labyrinths of Archie and Veronica. Surviving a move to Bloem with telnet and the UOFS VAX. Distracting myself from bathfulls of bad student essays by following the hilarious flame-wars scorching through alt.politics.feminism.
The strangely consoling sound of a dialup modem connecting during the dusty build-up to a Free State storm. Writing my first HTML pages in Notepad, twisting a UOFS sys admin friend’s arm to let me publish it. Begging for permission to use the web in teaching at UCT. Excited discussions about how the web would change everything in higher education …. The first email I got from my Dad (one sweet sentence written telegraph style ♥) The humiliation when Stacey Stent said my first Photoshop nav bar design looked like a gravestone. (It did.)

Oh, and the shocks and general recriminations when those Telkom phone bills arrived …

Some more academic histories of the industry:
Robert B. Horwitz and Willie Currie Another instance where privatization trumped liberalization: The politics of telecommunications reform in South Africa—A ten-year retrospective Telecommunications Policy Volume 31, Issues 8-9, September-October 2007, Pages 445-462
Charley Lewis. South Africa Global Information Society Watch Available online at http://www.globaliswatch.org/files/pdf/GISW_SouthAfrica.pdf
Charley Lewis. 2005. “Negotiating the Net: The Internet in South Africa (1990–2003)
Information Technologies and International Development Spring 2005, Vol. 2, No. 3, Pages 1-28
Richard Collins 2005. From Monopolies, Virtual Monopolies and Oligopolies to … What?
Media Policy and Convergence in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Available online at http://link.wits.ac.za/journal/j05-collins-convergence.pdf

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