What's a webcam? Brian Cooley explains (in 1995)

From the CNET vault: As CNET celebrates its 20th anniversary, we went in search of Brian Cooley's first appearance on the site. Here he explains a magical new device called a webcam.

Scott Ard
Scott Ard Former Editor in Chief, CNET
CNET former Editor in Chief Scott Ard has been a journalist for more than 20 years and an early tech adopter for even longer. Those two passions led him to editing one of the first tech sections for a daily newspaper in the mid 1990s, and to joining CNET part-time in 1996 and full-time a few years later.

Watch this: Before they were stars: Brian Cooley's first CNET spot

Brian Cooley. The name is practically synonymous with CNET.

As CNET celebrates its 20th anniversary, we decided to rummage through some dusty closets and stairwells in search of Cooley's first appearance on CNET. We believe we've found it. And it's a gem: Cooley on CNET before he actually joined the company.

On September 13, 1995, CNET Central (CNET's made-for-cable TV show) included a segment on the growing popularity of an exciting new technology called "web cams." One of the more popular cams on the Net was an outdoor weather cam operated by local CBS affiliate KPIX, where Cooley worked as the "web administrator."

So behold: CNET and Cooley's first date (or maybe, since he started working at CNET just a few weeks later, we should call it an unofficial job interview). You can hear Cooley explain in his still-developing baritone, "If you press a certain button it will make the windshield wiper work." That's soooo 1995.