TBT: My Very First (and Last) ISP

Zipco Communication 1

At the end of 1997 I started a small ISP with 2 friends in Los Angeles called Zipco Communications. Not my choice for a name. I wanted us to be called Big Fat Pipe but was overruled. We paid a ridiculous amount of money to have 12 phone lines run into my Hollywood Hills house so we could get a T1 run into my bedroom. In the photo above you can see the TSU and routers as well as our Windows NT server boxes. We were high-tech!

Zipco Communications 2

This was my desk from where I built websites for some of the hosting customers but mainly ran my website Spewww that was subsidizing the monthly bandwidth bills with ads. It’s insane to think that all that was for a connection that’s literally 100 times slower than the connection at the house I’m staying at now at about 100 times the cost. We had a 1.3 Mbps connection for reference. The screengrab below was from a few days ago.


The experience was a good one because I learned a lot about doing business with friends and crazy people but was also pretty terrible because I knew nothing about business. Still don’t as a matter of fact but it’s probably too late to learn. Those pics were taken with my Apple Quicktake 100. Now there’s some retro tech. Lastly here’s a pic of what I’d have looked like hacking away until the wee hours of the morning. This one was taken with my Connectix Quickcam.

Hacking on Zipco

Poopcasting FTW