De Digitale Stad

The Digital City or DDS

Please note that some links below to the original DDS no longer work; I am trying to retrieve these pages, but sadly, much has been lost. There is also an effort to reconstruct DDS through digital archeology by the Amsterdam Museum.

How it started (at least for me)

At Hacking at the End of the Universe August 1993) there were talks about an electronic community. The Internet was text based (gopher) and unknown to the wider audience. Autumn 1993, an early web server was set-up and hosted by the company that is now XS4ALL. Parallel to that I worked with the company and others with an interest in electronic networking and publishing to create pages. I used an Apple Quadra with an on-board web server and Hypercard for modeling what could be. The early drafts were made using NSCA Mosaïc, early 1994 Netscape Navigator became the new standard.

DDS was about exploring, learning, experimenting and making things happen, to engage with other people about stuff that matters. Many events, presentations and workshops took place in the first year and rapidly DDS became a popular communication and information platform, not yet discovered by telecom providers, publishers and media companies. Access, traffic and disk space were offered for free. Modems were sold out, people were curious and eager to learn and taught how to use email, create a web page and make use of the Internet as a toolbox. Using redundant hardware public access terminals were created in the city of Amsterdam. Very successful was the Metro, an IRC framework for live chat and file transfer. It was time when people were pioneering, exploring and constructing a network which has become a common telecommunications service throughout the world.

In 1994 DDS became an internet provider dependent on selling accounts and hosting services. Several companies have their roots in DDS, such as my own, which I founded in september 1994.

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