[Chugalug] Reminiscing about times I was too young to remember!

wes wes at the-wes.com
Sat Oct 13 21:33:58 UTC 2012

The problem with writing about using these services is any description we
could give in words would make it seem lame compared to what's around
today. I still occasionally connect to BBSes and play games and trade
messages and such, but it's mostly for nostalgic purposes as those methods
are largely impractical with email and IM in the state it is today. 20
years ago it was really hard to even imagine things evolving like they did.

I suppose it's somewhat akin to reading books compared to watching TV. In
the early days of TV, the quality was so bad that it was actually easier to
imagine the world you were being thrown into by reading about it than by
trying to fill in the gaps left by the screen. As time moves forward, these
gaps are closing more and more, and as such, the visual medium is catching
up to the written word in its ability to convey a story or setting.

In a world paid for by ads, it's even harder to imagine how these old-timey
services even existed. It all started as an academic exercise, and then
expanded to some of the larger companies with needs to communicate data
more efficiently. It was a wide-open infrastructure until people started
abusing it.

To finally get to your question after too much ado, I would get on and
start looking for people who liked the same things I did. Not easy to find
for someone who likes things not a whole lot of other people liked. Message
boards, newsgroups, etc. A lot of research material was being offered in
text format at the time, so I did a lot of digging in those fields too. All
text, on a 80x25 terminal, moving at exactly the speed of mud. It was still
faster than schlepping down to the library and digging through the books
manually..... but only if what I was looking for was even available. With
BBSes came color and crude animations, and thus the cycle repeats.

in summary: it was just like what we have today, minus the pictures and


PS welcome to the last, best hope for good sci-fi :)

On Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM, Alex Smith (K4RNT)
<shadowhunter at gmail.com>wrote:

> I've been researching on Wikipedia, and came across the articles for
> Tymnet and Telenet. I was reading the Wikipedia articles for Babylon
> 5, which linked to GEnie, which linked to CompuServe, which linked to
> Tymnet and Telenet. I was *too young* to have used these networks, but
> I imagine there are people who did use these.
> Anyone want to talk about what it was like? It would be cool to learn
> about what it was capable of, etc. At least learn about your
> experiences.
> Anyone willing to reply about this to the list would be cool to get a
> short history lesson. Cheers!
> --
> " ' With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech
> censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied,
> chains us all irrevocably.' Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron
> Satie as wisdom and warning... The first time any man's freedom is
> trodden on we’re all damaged." - Jean-Luc Picard, quoting Judge Aaron
> Satie, Star Trek: TNG episode "The Drumhead"
> - Alex Smith (K4RNT)
> - Dulles Technology Corridor (Chantilly/Ashburn/Dulles), Virginia USA
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