CAS Netlink has been providing hosting and other Internet services to the local Ballarat community since 1995. Back then we were called ‘Cyberlink Access Systems’. You can see our old site at The Wayback Machine. That was in 1997 and was probably the third or fourth re-design of our website. At the time it seemed quite fancy, but by todays standards it looks a bit awful!
We like to think of ourselves as pioneers in some ways. Some of the tools and systems that we used when they were just beta (or test) versions, such as PHP and Linux, have become an integral part of websites and website hosting.
We’ve seen a lot of changes since the early 1990′s, not the least of which is speed. There was a time when a 9600 baud (that’s just 9.6k) modem was the Ferrari of online technology. The bandwidth of international Internet cable links was measured in kilobits and websites were text only as the technology to display images in a web browser had not been developed.
Later in the 90′s Compuserve was fighting an ongoing battle trying to justify its high cost when more and more similar resources were appearing that were totally free. Bill Gates and Microsoft were gearing up to assimilate the Internet into ‘The Microsoft Network’. In 1997 Telstra were lobbying the Australian government to allow them to start charging local calls at a timed rate rather than a flat fee. Fortunately the Internet didn’t get assimilated and Telstra were unsuccessful in their attempt to create an Internet access cash cow.
After 2000 and all the hubbub surrounding the ‘Y2K bug’ common sense prevailed, and as the Internet grew so did it’s importance to business, education and in more recent years communication. If you had suggested in 1995 that in 10 years time you would be able to place video calls almost anywhere in the world for free you would most likely have been labelled a dreamer – but here we are today and free international calls using software such as Skype is pretty much taken for granted.
CAS Netlink was around in one form or another throughout all of those years and I suspect we will still be here in another 15 years time talking about how primitive the internet was ‘back in 2010′!