First Dutch digital city
At first the information and communications services were presented in texts, but from October 15 onwards the interface became graphic. The organization received a grant from the city of Amsterdam to set up the site. The initiative received a lot of public attention on radio and television and in the press. Marleen Stikker was the virtual mayor of DDS and the media spokesperson. And the initiative did receive a lot of attention. In fact thousands of potential online users were clamouring on the gates to get in and get a dial-up connection through DDS. After six weeks, the project already had more than ten thousand registered users. Not only internet provider XS4ALL was surprised by the interest, but also line provider PTT Telecom.
The initial enthusiasm of DDS caused a rise and fall. DDS became an ISP, but eventually could not manage to stay in business and disappeared from the internet scene. The remains were buried with the other archives of Amsterdam Museum (the first Dutch museum to recognise digital heritage).
In the fall DDS version 4.0 will be shown. It will be an emulation completely programmed anew "to create a modern, stable and secure functioning site”. In this version users will be able to select an avatar and can move through the city from bar to post office and library using the subway. It will bring back some of the first feelings, experienced at the introduction of DDS. As one can still walk through Pompeii in Italy and experience the Roman city as it was, so users will also be able to visit and experience the first Dutch virtual city of 1994, complete with map and guide.
10+ years back in time
"DDS resuscitated' is a first web archeological project in The Netherlands, which offers a view of internet as it was between 1994 and 1996. It will allow users to look back a little over a decade. Hopefully the project is a first incentive for more online projects like the first online Dutch public service Viditel 1980. It would be great to recreate this service and make it available online. It could bring back the feeling of how users digested information through the Prestel based videotex system. Perhaps the former PTT museum, now named the Museum of Communication, or the successor of PTT Telecom still might have a few tapes in their archives.