We (he) had to go PC. It was the only option. Very soon after that, he purchased a beautiful, brand spanking new Personal Computer, featuring an Intel 486 CPU and Windows 3.1.
As a child, I had used other computers before. The first one was a Commodore 64, and in Malta (my maternal homeland), my Uncle Charlie had a number of Apple Macintosh computers, as he used to work for Apple Malta. (Doesn't this make my Steve Jobs bashing sound ironic! See Why I will never spend a dime on Apple products...) I owned an NES console and a GameBoy, I don't know if those count.
But this was really exciting for me, the very first PC in the Crawley household. My dad kept reminding me that it was his tool for work, but I was allowed to use it when he wasn't. I'm an only child, and my mother wasn't interested. So, I had a lot of time to get used to Windows 3.1. Plus, I taught myself hundreds of MS-DOS prompt commands from the manual we had. I enjoyed playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and Commander Keen.
Not much longer after that, we had Internet access. In mid-1994, my dad installed our very first 9600 bps V32 modem. Our very first 'sort of' ISP was Prodigy. We also had the Mosaic browser. I had plenty of time to discover what a big deal the Internet and the World Wide Web were. Meanwhile, some of my dad's publishers were accepting manuscripts via e-mail attachments! A lot of paper was saved, and time.
My Internet use, at 10 years old, wasn't closely monitored. I didn't have bad parents, it's just that it was a whole new world, and there wasn't much news yet about child predators on the Internet and the like. It was a wonderful playground for me, and I learned so much.
One of my dad's business partners said that the Web would begin the downfall of Prodigy, Compuserve, and AOL. I couldn't see it. Prodigy was so much fun, and it even had a section for the Babysitter's Club! Plus, there wasn't much on the Web, yet.
When I first used Mosaic, I tried out URLs I had heard about on Prodigy. They worked! It was so cool. Sure, JPEGs would take soooo long to download, but I never knew anything different. Even the very concept of modems getting faster, and better Internet servers and infrastructure hadn't occurred to me, let alone technology like WiFi.
We got Netscape Navigator 1.0, based on Mozilla framework, soon after Mosaic. One of the great features was that Netscape made it easy for me to view the source code of webpages I was visiting. That's how I started to learn HTML. I would compare the code to how the webpages looked. I was ten and then eleven years old. Kids learn VERY quickly.
Early webpages looked like this: