Certainly. When I was in Germany, I already practiced computer programming. But at that time, the way for computers to talk to each other was limited to the academia, to universities, the early pioneers of the Internet.
It was called the ARPANet at the very beginning. But when I come back to Taiwan in ’93, there was a revolution of personal computers with modems, so people could use this box to translates data into sound in telephone lines, so one computer can call to the telephone of another computer and they can talk to each other, but with just two computers at a time.
Then, people runned programs called bulletin board systems on the computers, so that one computer calling can leave a message for another computer, who later called the same computer. It’s like a answering machine. But then it grew into like a shared whiteboard, where people can post notes and communicate to each other.
There were a lot of bulletin board system communities, grassroots, in Taiwan, but we could not afford — because we were not a rich family — to dial internationally to join other countries’ telephone communities.
So in ’94 when the World Web arrived and the telecoms in Taiwan democratized Internet access, everybody just paid a flat rate, and you can connect to any website, anywhere in the world for the same fee, without paying the international dialing fee.
It’s three different stages. First in the universities, just a few people, researchers, can do that; then I experienced the impact at my own home to talk with my neighbors’ computers; then the third stage was with the entire world. But it was very quick. It was just one year, one year, and then one year.