Illustration from May 1996 for the Computer Science department of Royal Holloway. Academia, of course, had been online longer than the general public but by 1996 recreational use of the web was growing fast, with home computers connected via modem (which in many households meant that you were preventing anyone else in the house from making or receiving telephone calls while you were online). The Beholder website (yes, this one) was a year old.
The windows you can just see on the screen in the illustration are probably Windows 95 windows. 1996 was the year Microsoft and AOL formed a partnership; the web’s phenomenal expansion was underway.
The original illustration was just black-and-white line-art. I can’t remember for certain but I think it was intended for photocopying on flyers or something like that; colour reproduction costs could still be prohibitively expensive in those days.
(This illustration was previously in the vintage section of the Beholder site.)