When the Information Superhighway Was Just an Exit Off Memorial Dr.

Still from the Internet Show, Showing Memorial Dr., Houston

Sure, you might vaguely recognize the Houston street scene shown above, but maybe you’re unclear about what kind of modem you need to make the hard right turn from Memorial Dr. onto the information superhighway? “Maybe you’ve read or heard about the internet, but you’re still not exactly sure what it is? Well if that’s the case, don’t worry. In no time at all you’ll be able to impress everyone with your amazing techno-savvy.” Just by watching this hour-long 1995 PBS program sponsored by Compaq (and Viewers Like You) all about this crazy new Internet thing:


Hosts Gina Smith and John Levine (of The Internet for Dummies sorta-fame) take no-doubt-gawking (or smugly nodding) viewers from the last century on a wide-ranging tour of internet, international, and Houston hotspots, including the campus of Rice University, where students are actually able to search the catalog of Fondren Library without leaving their dorm rooms. Before hopping online, Smith and Levine travel along a street or 2 that Houston viewers might find familiar.

Internet archivist Andy Baio, intent on preserving early views of the web, made an upload of The Internet Show publicly viewable late last year. Before that a Houstonian’s gentle transition from roadway to cyberspace had been available only on VHS.

Video and still: Andy Baio, via Christof Spieler

Houston in the Early Internet Era

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