Flutterby™! : Memories

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2009-01-28 02:35:57.341849+00 by meuon 9 comments

I just bought some analog modems and a refurbished Portmaster for a project. As I configured the Portmaster, old commands started to flow back into my memories, and it all just started to come together. Hearing one modem call out, connect to the other, and make all of those wonderful modem noises evoked memories of a room full of modems on wire bread racks and the early days of the internet. AT commands, PPP connect strings, and PAP secrets all combined to bring me back to the smell of Chaco's cooking while we discussed the fledgling internet and what it would be like to have a true 64k or faster connection. We knew the internet would change the world, we were just wrong on how and when, some things took much longer and other things we could not then imagine, happened overnight.

[ related topics: Food Net Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Livingston made: 2009-01-28 16:19:25.403727+00 by: ghasty

I'm still in Awe of the portmasters and can still remember when you showed me how to make a "poor man's T1" from the bonding. ahhhh, memories.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-28 16:52:27.241309+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm sure it'd take a minute or two of typing, but those days before we got the Radius server up and running, when we were entering customer logins into the Portmasters by hand are coming errily back to me.

The other "knew the internet would change the world" comment was that meeting we had with the guy from the News-Free Press, where he wasn't willing to offer anything to a web site, and said "show me the business case." I still don't know what the business case for him is, but I like to think that, if he's still in the newspaper business, he might remember the guys who walked into his office and showed him the future a decade and a half before it came to him.

#Comment Re: ahh made: 2009-01-28 21:26:30.518505+00 by: ghasty

Yeah, I can also remember trying to convince Alltel and the VAR I worked for that this innernet was important. I did wind up being a weekly "business & technology" columnist for the Dalton Daily-Citizen News which when internet@Dalton started was a great free advertising space. Ran the old Comfy Chair BBS side by side with the "virual ISP" until Mike showed me the wonders that are Portmaster...Alltel started their ISP about 6 months later.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-29 02:45:32.308564+00 by: ebradway

My favorite memory: Larry Burton coming in to lunch at Chaco's raving about a new browser called Netscape.

#Comment Re: netscape made: 2009-01-29 15:27:29.898816+00 by: ghasty

Yeah, I can remember being at our Dalton Computer User Group meeting at Dalton College Library (just an excuse for the BBS geeks to socialize) and having a demo on gopher and archie...then we downloaded this beta thing called Netscape (like .9 or something) and all kinda went, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-30 00:00:39.98212+00 by: Larry Burton

While I don't think that I really got it when I discovered Netscape and came in raving about it I do know that it really opened my eyes to the possibilities. The neat thing about the Internet is that every couple of years or so I find something that gives me almost that same thrill all over again.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-30 00:09:31.063718+00 by: Dan Lyke

So Gary brought up a point about excuses for BBS geeks to socialize. I miss Chia, and the Net 362 saturday morning breakfasts, and a whole bunch of other times when people doing cool stuff got together to talk. I don't know whether I've just gotten old and cranky and middle class or something, but when I've gone to tech meetups recently out here in California I seem to find a lot of people who aren't as exciting as what I remember coming out of those times.

Where are the people doing the modern equivalent of wiring up 30 modems? Or hacking together experimental protocols on dial-up lines?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-30 02:28:12.507191+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Some of the "Camps", like the BaconCamp, you mentioned are probably the closest modern equivalent. The problem is that when we were younger there was maybe 1/100th of the number of people attempting this kind of stuff. It's now hip to be geek! But that means most meetups are flooded with geek-posers and wannabes.

CHUGALUG always took the stand opposite of CALUG (the other Chattanooga Linux Users' Group) because we didn't do installfests. We didn't want to get flooded with people who couldn't get a distro installed on their box. Instead, we were trying to do things like build large webservers, mail servers, firewalls, databases, etc.

Your Sunday Hikes were always compelling in a very different way - more social than technical.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-31 21:28:32.499329+00 by: skrubly

Dan, have you been up to check out NBLUG? I was around there when it started and it was kind of exciting - haven't been to a meeting in years, though, so I'm not sure how its changed.

I was way, way into the BBS scene in Sonoma County all through my teen years. It was a unique time to be a part of, that's for sure, and I still have friends that I made online (and eventually in RL at BBS meetups at Round Table).

Good times, good times...