It doesn’t seem like the Internet has been around, or at least in the public consciousness, long enough to feel nostalgic about it yet. For some of us, we feel genuine and legitimate nostalgia for the early adopter days, perhaps best exemplified by tools like Gopher and telnet.
For everyone else, Nate Anderson’s and John Timmer’s review of a 1999 internet guide book actually does reveal some things that would elicit an, “Aw”, without having to have lived through a largely pre-graphical Internet.
I think the stronger focus on communications is particularly fascinating. It isn’t surprising that the folks at Ars would contrast this more with a current focus on professional content available now. I think we’re also seeing a resurgence in connections with the popularity of social messaging tools like Twitter and Facebook. It is worth taking a moment to consider how alike and different these are from the earliest chat rooms and online social hang outs. I would add it is frustrating that we still are contending with walled gardens versus open systems, ten years further on.