Older user, fed up with the 'Buy it Here' Internet!

Since Windows 1, a Dragon 32 and saving data to a tape recorder, the world moved on with commercial enterprise drowning the internets value as a research tool.

Ok, so I’m 76 years old, but used to write software in ‘basic’, but it worked.

Today’s internet search providers are so commercially driven, that finite research is excluded from results obtained, despite claims of ‘23m hits’.

For me and I guess innumerable others, it’s no longer a valid tool, but a nightmare and hardly worth using.

Hoping that others may agree!

p.s. In the early 80’s met up with Clive Sinclair and his p.a. at Milton, Cambs, where we jointly agreed that using water sourced heat-pimps would contribute to his Sinclair45 production. OK it didn’t help the eventual ugliness of the design, but it proved to be a successful development!


I get your point but … several commercial enterprises offer also free services and resources for developers to experiment with new technologies. And there are many developments such as Linked Open Data and the DAT project to increase the value of the Internet as a research tool. My point is: there is still hope.

Ps, the Sinclair QL was a brilliant computer for its time and might disclose something about my age.


Welcome Chris, I was in Cambridge during that period, and being as old as Enzo also had a QL which was a very nice machine indeed. I visited the Sinclair office in the city at one point, though I’m struggling to remember why (but not to see Sir Clive!), and I remember someone had one of the first C5’s running it up and down the road in Milton on launch day.

EDIT: just remembered, I did meet Tony Tebby who wrote the OS for the QL and asked him for some clues on how to write a driver for a hardware project add-on I was thinking of designing for the QL. He was already working with someone on the same thing so was a bit cagey though!

I digress :slight_smile:

I agree it is hard to find things on the Web these days and there are many things that I don’t like, and some I am very concerned about, but the Web is still one of mankind’s greatest inventions [tips hat to Sir Tim] and is far from useless to me. It does take a lot of skill and effort to escape the swamp of manipulative commerce and other abusive forces though, so for many I imagine its strengths and value are hidden from view and out of reach. Most people are no longer free actors, but fodder for those with the power to manipulate their behaviour. And that is of course the motivation behind Solid.

BTW Twitter gets a lot of bad press, but by curating your follows it becomes a good source of news and discussion in any sphere of interest, so I recommend that in spite of its downside (ads and commercial imperative). I content myself by muting almost every account that promotes an ad onto my feed :wink: on one account and use an ad blocker on the other.

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I agree it can be a bad experience. But you can do a lot to improve it for yourself. Starting with e.g. Firefox + Privacy Badger (preferably non-Windows 10 too) already gets rid of most Ads. DuckDuckGo ostensibly has no filter bubble when searching, and you could use a meta-search engine to search across all engines (and with privacy). Instead of Twitter, you can use federated Mastodon. And you can go further from there. Takes a bit of effort, but it is worthwhile.

PS. I maintain an awesome list with a number of OSS tools that may be useful. For searching you could give Searx a try.


@aschrijver Cool list! Curious to see all the different techs available.

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This is indeed a very cool and impressive list ! I was unaware of most of the tools. Thanks for sharing the link to awesome-humane-tech.


Guys, Thank you all for your responses, which show a degree of commonality amongst our thinking about today’s internet.

Interesting to also be aware of other software and add-ons to provide better strategic control.

It is a sincere wish that ‘SOLID’ will provide that future platform to meet our, and who knows how many others similar needs.

p.s. Innovation needn’t be so commercially orientated to provide benefits. For those from Cambridge who are aware of the St. Johns Innovation Centre development. The concept of minimal energy usage was employed from the 1st application of Heat Pump and phase change thermal storage, all technical data sourced via ‘dial up’ (non-broadband), internet connection.

Well along came netscape and it lured us in; we got complacent. Maybe BBS and Fidonet could be dusted off and given an upgrade:-)