Well, one thing hasnt changed, I was an insomniac then, I am one now. And then, as a curious 19 year old, i was introduced to the world of internet properly. And also my interest in international polictics, which till that point was limited to history chapters, the few Hollywood movies i may hav seen till that point and Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Before 2000,my only connection with computers or internet was a stray game here and there or a some story stuff people do oon internet. I had heard about Y2K bug, and worms and viruses, floppy disks and emails. It was only in sometime around Sept 2000 that we got a PC at home and i started using it and learning all i can. (The PC guy installed the thing at my place and left and i had no clue how to shut it down! Just put out the power once and windows helped me next time round. Still cant claim to be expert, Sankatmochan Doc Cardozo and Doc Ingle live in the perennial fear of when i would call them for some PC related problem!). Some days later net was activated and our was a tech savvy family!
Well, so I started and was primarily limited to email, learning MS Office and watching movies, listening to songs etc. Ofcourse, there was some 'unmentionables' checked out as well. But thats about it.
Then, 9/11 happenend. Was alone at home when I saw the news on TV, fairly detached with the whole thing. When mom came home, i very casually told her 2 planes have crashed into 2 buildings in New York, could be a terrorist strike. And then went on downstairs for a walk around the colony.
By the time I came back, it was clear what had happened. A co-ordianated terrorist attack.
DD news was still the most credible news agency then and i am not sure if Aaj Tak/NDTV etc. had all details. Morever, in the absence of information and knowledge, i was wondering whats the big deal, we have bomb blasts, they had a hijacked plane hitting them. So naturally, i turned to the Internet for info. I spent the night reading up news, updates and analysis. What happened, whats happening now, reactions, condemnations, suspects, what it means to India, and to Asian politics (funny no one thought of economic aspects then, read the STOI editorial by Mr.Aiyar or Swapan Dasgupta's blog).
More importantly, i learnt things about New York, about WTC (30K people worked there, had 2 zip codes, architectural marvel of its time and so on),about Pentagon (is it really 8 storeys underground?), about the shock in the US people, about Osama Bin Laden (was friend, now foe, till that point he would get just about a small space in the middle pages of TOI), about Taliban and so on.
And since that day i have relied on the internet for information so much, its practically a career for me!
Anyway, its 3.AM now, i am supposed to reach office by 9.30......