The first users of were a motley bunch: all of them tentative; some optimistic, others outright weirdos.
Bill and Freddie Straus, aged 76 and 72, fall into the first category.
“I was worried that people would think I couldn’t get a boyfriend normally. Things were different, too – I didn’t have a laptop and certainly didn’t have internet on my phone, so I was logging on in my lunch break at work.” Then, Jane, a 28-year-old travel saleswoman from Twickenham, west London, came across Andreas Palikiras, an olive-skinned marketing manager from Corfu.
He has never spoken about the “Matchmaker”, and when I track him down he is brusque and to-the-point.Eric Klien, a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, had spent six months pondering the dilemma of dating.“Traditional methods of courting and flirting are risky generally,” he wrote at the time.“Not only are they risky, but they are ineffective.” So he created a 170-point questionnaire, covering users’ horoscopes, their preferred mode of transport, taste in music, cleanliness, condition of their hair and how often they participated in dangerous sports.He called it the “Electronic Matchmaker” and uploaded to his private internet database (called a “usenet”) just after Christmas 1992.