As time went by, more and more soda and coffee machines were hooked into the Net. When I first got hooked into the net in the early 1990s, I heard about the soda machines connected to the net and Telnetted into various University's computers to check for myself. These machines were already legendary, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one checking on their Coke Machine Status.
It seems as if the Internet Memes time line on dipity agrees with me. The first two entries are William Gibson's book, Cyberspace, which is a name that people adopted for the Internet; and The CMU Internet Coke Machine. Also the same year, the time line claims that the First Emoticon :-) was created on Sep. 19. The smilie meme also came from Carnegie Mellon University. Scott E Fhlman claims credit for the First Smilie.
The Internet was slower in those days, plus there were fewer Netizens. The best way to get on the Net at the time was via a University, and I was lucky that my school system hooked into UNM's internet. Memes spread a little slower than the lightening fast viral memes of today, but nonetheless, once people were congregating on line, silliness was bound to ensue. More Links about this topic:
- The Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Department Coke Machine speaks for itself.
- From the Living Internet , a History of the Internet up to 2000, Internet Coke Machine.
- A Usenet discussion on the history of the CMU coke machine