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

John Aldrich mrmaxx at spamcop.net
Sun Oct 14 00:04:21 UTC 2012

On Sat October 13 2012 2:33:58 PM wes wrote:

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 


Yeah, I used Compuserve for a short time. Then I discovered BBSes. MUCH 
better. Better graphics (mostly,) better games, easier to move around on. I 
quit using Compuserve after a VERY short time. Never used AO-Hell, or GEnie... 
I *may* have logged on to GEnie once or twice, but that was about it. It's 
been so long since I used CompuSmurf, I don't even really remember much about 
it. :D 

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