Back in 1990, when I first got myself on the Internet at the University of British Columbia, one of the Computer Services staff people I knew asked me to test out a new service over my modem, using software called MacTCP and Fetch. Fetch was what was known as a "File Transfer Protocol" (FTP) program, and when I set everything up and launched it, what I saw was a miracle.
There I was, on my Macintosh IIcx, browsing files and folders in a little window. Except those files and folders weren't on my Mac. They were blocks away, in the Comp Sci building on some Unix server somewhere. I was looking at and manipulating files over the Internet. Holy crap.
Now, I no longer use Fetch (I switched to Transmit some years ago, while Fetch was languishing for awhile), but there's a soft spot in my heart for it, the first dedicated Internet application I ever owned.
There's a cool story to it, too. Several years ago, Jim Matthews, who created Fetch back in '89 while working at Dartmouth College in the States, won a bunch of money on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? TV game show. He used some of it to buy back the rights to Fetch from the college, then started updating the program again. Now he's teamed with TidBITS for a giveaway that includes a Fetch license for Mac, plus a stuffed toy of the program's doggy mascot.
You can use this link right here to enter the contest yourself for free (before October 9, by the way)—and if you win, I'll also get the same prize for referring you. That's some fine link mojo.
TidBITS is one of the the Internet's longest-running and most reputable publications (they've been around since 1990), and as soon as the contest is over they throw away your email address, so don't worry about getting spammed. You'll just get a confirmation email, and then another one if you (er, we) win.