I remember all of them. I started with AOL then switched to The World (www.theworld.com), which claims to ne the first public access internet provider. They are still in business but I don't know how the do it.
When DSL came around, I switched to Galaxy Internet a competitor of The World. They were a DSL reseller. About a year ago, Galaxy stoped DSL and switched me to DSL Extreme, based in Calif. DSLx tech support is excellent, which is why I keep them. I had some trouble at first when using the modem/router that Galaxy provided. I switched to a modem from DSLx and things have worked well ever since. They were great helping me set up my wireless router. I learned a lot from them.
I started online in December 1978 with The Source, a dial-up service that charged $2.75/hour for connection. It was quite good with connection to the UPI raw news feed, stock market quotes and even cross-compilers for compiling your assembly code if you were into writing software (which I was).
I was online with a 300 baud acoustic coupled modem. I used to love that sound! Eventually went with Compuserve then Prodigy and AOL. Anybody remember them?
Weren't we all stunned and amazed when dialup speeds went from 300 to 1200 to 2400 to 4800 to 9600 to 14.4k to 28k to 56k? DSL is a marvel of signal processing using multiple frequency bins to get mutli-megabit speeds from a 3kHz POTS line.
@Robert I agree with you about the DSL speed. I have one grade up from Grandpa, 3Mbps and we can have a PC and an iPad streaming video and another stream on a third PC or phone streaming audio.
I live close enough to a Verizon central office that my line can support 7Mbps for another $20 a month. I don't need it but it's nice to know I can upgrade without having to switch to the evil Comcast.
@SteveP67 thanks for the tip on the wall phone filter. I may need it for the next task, getting Grandpa's friend to give up her AOL dailup and go DSL. She will never put up with a hanging filter in her kitchen.
A wall phone is no problem. I had DSL for years (gave it up only because AT&T wouldn't give me a new modem to replace my old, flakey one). I had 2 wall phones. Went to RadioShack and bought 2 wall phone DSL filters. It hangs on the wall plate and has it'sd own posts for hanging the wall phone. Neat, clean, not unattractive.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...