1st URL advertised in a computer magazine

I was digging around archive.org (now known as the way back machine) for a copy of one of the actual ads that I authored and ran in Computer Shopper between Oct '93 and Oct '94 a couple of years before the Internet was commercial for an interview today with The Daily Kent Stater at Kent State University and found one from Oct '94.

Historical 1993-94 Internet ad in Computer Shopper
1993-94 Internet ad in Computer Shopper

Usually when I tell people about my 15 minutes of fame according to Andy Warhol they'll respond "but we all know that Al Gore invented the Internet". I'll smile and respond I don't claim to have invented the 'net, or wish to take anything away from either Al Gore or Tim Berners-Lee, just having attempted to capitalize on it as ethically as possible at the time through traditional print media instead of spam (still a bad thing), for which I'm very proud to have been at the right place at the right time in history.

Historical 1993-94 Internet ad in Computer Shopper
Historical 1993-94 Internet ad in Computer Shopper

We were selling screaming fast single spin CD-ROM drives and maintained the largest selection of discs - LOL

At the time there were only two distributors in America selling CD-ROM discs and neither sold overseas. We saw that as an opportunity. Since the config.sys file was the first and most important file on a computer which told the system where the address for devices like CD-ROM drives were, we named the company config.sys (now known as config.com)

I've always joked that we didn't make our first gazillion dollars selling CD's because computers were not as popular as they have become today.

The Commerce Exchange CD
The Commerce Exchange CD

An interesting turn in our company also occurred in Oct of 1994 when I produced a CD-ROM disc called "The Commerce Exchange" which the idea was to distribute commercial catalogs bundled with what was the largest game collection available via "electronic marketing" (now known as search engine optimization (SEO) and in those days it was conducted in the USENET newsgroups instead of web pages) via the Internet. It was taboo to use the Internet for commerce in those days, but we found that if we provided Information, it was viewed differently much like advertising supporting a newspaper so we established one of the oldest commercial newsgroups alt.cdrom.reviews which was well accepted in those pre-commercialism of the 'net days.

The Internet became commercial in March of 1995 which was about two weeks after our Commerce Exchange was released. While sales initially went through the roof, then died just as quick since all of a sudden the merchants supporting our disc could get a web site. It was just another great idea, three months too late. This was when we evolved our company toward publishing and manipulating content on the Internet web and have been doing so ever since.... 

More detailed information about the history of config.com is available on our company timetable webpage

 

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