Did it feel like an adventure?

I don't think I can remember when the last time trying out a new program truly excited me. I remember when, many years ago I used to exchange disks with a couple of Mac enthusiasts I knew. Receiving those disks definitely excited me, and I can still taste the expectations (yes, again) that installing the programs and running them generated. The programs that I run today are vastly more powerful and are capable of doing much more than those early programs, but we've come to expect the impossible and anything short of that seems rather mundane. New games may still have a WOW factor, but I hardly ever play computer games so I can't really tell.

When gmail started, however, I'm quite sure I felt a healthy measure of excitement. Getting an early invitation, and then 100 invitations to distribute to others (I think that when that "offer" was suspended I still had 97 invitations left) created a sense of being a pioneer - which is of course something that Google definitely wanted to promote.

A free GB of storage was quite a big thing back then, and to me it was already clear that search was preferable to filing, so I was ripe for the adventure of gmail.


I also found it easy to disregard the advertisements, or take an academic interest in what showed up, trying to figure out why they did. Those advertisements didn't really bother me ... and I guess that back then most of us still weren't aware that "the matching of ads to content" was only the tip of the collecting of data iceberg. Yes, I still love my gmail, but today it's much less of an adventure, and considerably more of a compromise.

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