I started working with the TCP/IP protocol, which is the basis of the Internet, in about 1981. I attended the first “Interoperability Conference” in Monterrey in March 87 I think it was, where we were just a handful of early adopters, and Vint Cerf gave his usual “history of the Internet” talk… 😉 Later I attended the fist Internet Society meeting in Copenhagen in spring of 1991, where Vint got us all to sign up for his new “Internet Society”.
Our membership cards had a special notation on them, “Pioneer” only for those who joined at that first meeting…. so I guess I am an official Internet Pioneer!
Here’s a picture from a Federation of American Research Networks (FARNet) meeting around 1990… many pictured helped build NSFNet, which grew into the Internet we know today…. Early believers and friends are here, including Steve Wolf (NSFNet director), Bill Yundt (Stanford), and Ed Krol (U of Ill. standing next to me second row).