It's Google's thirteenth birthday, apparently! Do you remember what the internet was like before Google? I do, and it was rubbish. But then, nobody really knew or cared about the internet back in those dark and distant days before 1998. I got my first computer in that year (I've still got it now, and it still works just fine, thanks, although it's a teensy bit too slow for everyday use) and I'd only used the internet a handful of times in the years before that - searching with limited success on things with silly names like WebCrawler and not finding anything interesting.
It alarms me that there are so many young and even not-so-young people going around these days who've never experienced life without the internet. Things were different back then. I mean, look at the World Memory Championships and the people who complain that there isn't enough about it on the web. Back when I started out, there was nothing! Maybe a write-up on Michael Tipper's personal website, or a word or two on the MSO page, but there wasn't an official website. And it didn't get covered on the BBC News website because there wasn't one. And if you wanted to go to an international memory competition around the world you had to go to a travel agent to buy your tickets, and when you got there you'd find that there wasn't a competition in whatever country you'd flown to, because the only memory competition ever, anywhere, was the world championship once a year in London.
I tell you, everything was cheaper then, too, and young people respected their elders.