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Thread: Tell me about your "online" beginnings.

  1. #1
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    Default Tell me about your "online" beginnings.

    Were you a sysop back in the day for a bulletin board? Or did you connect to these systems and just kind of lurk around and download whatever freeware or shareware they had? Or maybe you're among the younger camp who didn't experience anything like this until the internet?

    What about Prodigy, Compuserve, AOL, etc etc

    Where did you start in what we're looking at right now?

    I'll have to eventually delve deep into my memories for my start since I was doing the BBS thing when I was about 6 or 7 to a very light extent ... it didn't really grow to the "nerd state" until about 1990 or 1991.

    But I wanna know what you were doing online or "online" when you first started. What system were you running, what where you doing. Why did you bother with it?

    This forum (bear in mind, I'm relatively new to forums since I've always been an anti-social prick) is ALMOST like connecting to those bulletin boards back in the day. You can send people messages, talk in open discussions ... the flash games here could easily be door games, etc etc

    It just kind of reminded me of a time when you had to dial in and fight with busy signals.
    David "Dhalamar" Miller
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  2. #2
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    I remember it must have been November or December of 90? We cut class and drove to the big city and literally drove all over town trying to find a 1670 the 1200 baud C64 modem... I don't remember where we finally tracked one down at, but we did!! Thus my bbs days began! I had some minor experience on my friends C64 and Amiga prior, but after I got mine, my days and nights and multiple fake handles played Max Headroom every chance I could

  3. #3
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    Wow, the memories. I was actually having trouble remembering when I first connected to anything from a computer. As far as I can remember it was '93 or '94 when I first discovered the BBS scene. Ansi graphics and a 2400 baud connection was par for the course. I remember playing hours and hours worth of Legend of the Red Dragon and Trade Wars...and some game where you played a pimp...dont remember the name of that one.
    End of line....

  4. #4
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    Well, for me, It began on a win 95 frankenstine rig, and lots and lots of doom and warcraft 1-2. I was big on newsgroups back then, and also in AOL chat groups. I miss the old days of hearing the bwoop of the dial up modem. I don't actually miss the slow speeds, but I do miss the awesome early years of cool people on the interweb.
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  5. #5
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    Oh man, where to begin, great topic BTW. I got my first modem, a 300bd AppleCat II if I recall correctly, as a slightly used modem. I got the dial up number and an account into the Ole Miss system from a scout leader who was pleased I was interested at that level. So I logged in, made directories, played with harmless system utilities such as who and ps-ef. Then I got onto a nearby BBS and learned all about that and decided to start my own and I think I was about 11 at the time. I traded a satellite receiver for a Franklin Ace which was an Apple clone so I had two Apple IIs and acquired a Corvus 5mb HD and network to link them and provide mass storage. I ran two modems that were initially the 300 and a 1200 but changed them frequently as time went on. I ran that from the early 80's until around 1990. After a few years in the Army I found myself settled in Germany for a few years and set up my own BBS again, The Electric Coolaid Board which was a tribute to Dave Rabbit and his shennanigans while he was in the Army back in the Vietnam era (you heard his stuff in the Jan show) and ran that in the Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern area until the internet became available. I had two lines that stayed busy 24 hours a day and it began declining day by day until I would come home and see a dozen logons where I used to see 3 times that many. I started messaging back and forth about that with the guys who ran the Ramstein computer club and the Kaiserslautern Commodore/Amiga club and they both saw a total collapse of use as well. So over a few months we all closed down. And I suppose my own interest in keeping it going was tempered by having internet access myself.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshWright View Post
    Well, for me, It began on a win 95 frankenstine rig, and lots and lots of doom and warcraft 1-2. I was big on newsgroups back then, and also in AOL chat groups. I miss the old days of hearing the bwoop of the dial up modem. I don't actually miss the slow speeds, but I do miss the awesome early years of cool people on the interweb.
    Ah I remember Windows 95. Got the floppy version of it initially because we didn't have a CD-ROM. Got the version before IE was forced into it. I also remember trying to install Linux onto that machine later on (was a 386SX 16mhz) and corrupting my very first partition. :P
    David "Dhalamar" Miller
    http://www.wastedseconds.com - Wasted Seconds
    The Wasted Seconds Podcast at http://podcast.wastedseconds.com
    iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/t...st/id377809676
    PSN : DhalamarWS
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  7. #7
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    Talk about "wow, where to start"... Since I'm the old fart, some of you may not remember some of the things I grew up with. My first PC was an IBM PC...no PC jr, no PC2, no PC-XT, just a PC, it was an 8088 chipset (4.77 mhz) with a green monitor. The first game I bought was a txt based "turn right, you are in a dark corrider. You can go forward." kind of game. 256k of memory. I remember when I finally upgraded to a PCXT with "turbo", 512k memory, and an Amber monitor. 2 floppy drives (the old coffee grinders) and a 5mg hard drive. I was a real "Power User"!

    My first modem was a 300 baud pair of cups you put over the old telephones. Eventually, I moved up and up, finally going RGB color with 16 colors! (all a shade of blue, pink, white and black, lolz) Back in the late 80's, early 90's, I started my own BBS. Since I finally had a 19.2 modem (heck I can't remember the brand now but you could only connect with another just like it, otherwise it was 9600) I figured I'd share the wealth of freeware software you could actually get at the time.

    At one point, I had finally upgraded past EGA to VGA and then SVGA with a 15 inch monitor!! I had 256 colors and Everything! I was working for Radio Shack at the time, and we used to have monthly meetings to swap "overstock" stuff between stores. I set up a nice little Dbase4 program you could access via my modem and started posting the stuff on the BBS for the stores. It was a hit!

    I remember something most people forget about, the old Radio Shack Tandy 1000TL. It actually was a great little machine, 40mb hard drive (hard card since the drive and the card were actually one in the same and plugged into an expansion slot) and DOS / Deskmate were installed on a ROM chip. The thing booted up in like 5 seconds. It was the first "windows" type of software for a PC before Windows became a hit...they were at MS Windows 2.0

    I could go on for hours, but I think you all get the point. When I had my own computer company in the late 80's, I remember being able to buy memory chips at Radio Shack and plugging them in to the memory card, you had to have special drivers loaded, and any video card/sound card/modem card, etc, had to have parameters set up in the config.sys file, and everything else loaded in autoexec.bat, and the card had either dip switches or clips to set the hardware parameters, and a 70 mb hard drive was near to impossible to set up.

    Ahhhh, memories...
    Last edited by TheAlien; 06-02-11 at 04:05.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubaruBrat View Post
    Oh man, where to begin, great topic BTW. I got my first modem, a 300bd AppleCat II if I recall correctly, as a slightly used modem. I got the dial up number and an account into the Ole Miss system from a scout leader who was pleased I was interested at that level. So I logged in, made directories, played with harmless system utilities such as who and ps-ef. Then I got onto a nearby BBS and learned all about that and decided to start my own and I think I was about 11 at the time. I traded a satellite receiver for a Franklin Ace which was an Apple clone so I had two Apple IIs and acquired a Corvus 5mb HD and network to link them and provide mass storage. I ran two modems that were initially the 300 and a 1200 but changed them frequently as time went on. I ran that from the early 80's until around 1990. After a few years in the Army I found myself settled in Germany for a few years and set up my own BBS again, The Electric Coolaid Board which was a tribute to Dave Rabbit and his shennanigans while he was in the Army back in the Vietnam era (you heard his stuff in the Jan show) and ran that in the Darmstadt and Kaiserslautern area until the internet became available. I had two lines that stayed busy 24 hours a day and it began declining day by day until I would come home and see a dozen logons where I used to see 3 times that many. I started messaging back and forth about that with the guys who ran the Ramstein computer club and the Kaiserslautern Commodore/Amiga club and they both saw a total collapse of use as well. So over a few months we all closed down. And I suppose my own interest in keeping it going was tempered by having internet access myself.
    There's nothing stopping you from setting aside some old piece of shit computer to run a Telnet BBS nowadays. With the oldschool crowd that hangs around here, and the "kids" who haven't experienced that stuff, it'd get some use. I'd be more than willing to do it if my ISP wasn't worthless and I had the patience to do it in the first place. :P

    The thing that stopped me from running a BBS of my own back in the day was the fact that my household only had one phone line. And it was a time before cell phones. I ran one for about a day before I got bitched at for taking up the phone line through the Renegade BBS system ... the only free one I could find at the time. I still have memories of the overall ease of use with that sucker. And I have memories of running that shit off the main PC with no multitasking. lol

    Tried DesqView or whatever ... wasn't really the multitasking I was looking for though.
    David "Dhalamar" Miller
    http://www.wastedseconds.com - Wasted Seconds
    The Wasted Seconds Podcast at http://podcast.wastedseconds.com
    iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/t...st/id377809676
    PSN : DhalamarWS
    Steam : Dhalamar
    OnLive : Dhalamar

  9. #9
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    Oh I remember desqview, it was amazing at the time. I used WWIV and PCboard.
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  10. #10
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    I was over a friend's house sometime in the early 90's. He had a Tandy computer and his brother was typing into it. Then a message would pop up from another person. It was the first time I saw online "chatting". I remember saying "so wait, that's another person you're talking to?". I remember thinking about where that person lived, who that person was, how could we talk to someone so far away without it costing so much, etc. You could feel the world get smaller in that moment of realization.

    I frequented a place called "The Social Teen Chat" and had a group of people that I liked conversing with. It was like having a strange pen pal, but in an instant way. It was weird, but I was really into it. Of course, in the beginning the Internet was all about using up the free minutes that AOL sent you (at least, that was my experience).

    Sometimes I like to look back in the Wayback Machine (that's what it's called, right?). You know, where they've archived old web pages so you can see what certain sites looked like way back when.
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