My Retrochallenge consists of a living history of online communications. I am teaching my 14 year old Son how I used to get online back in the day.
I have had regular Internet access all of his life, with only the first two years of his life where we only had dial-up Internet access in the household. However, that is NOT what I’m demonstrating to him. I am demonstrating calling, via modem, to EXISTING BBS systems.
My equipment is as follows:
- Commodore Amiga 2000
- 68030/882 CPU/Co-Processor
- 32MB RAM (via CSA Derringer board)
- Workbench 2.1
- “Term” terminal program
- USRobotics 56K Faxmodem
- and last, but not least… a bottle of Blue Point Brewing Company Winter Ale 🙂
(for ME ONLY… Gotta keep it authentic! LOL)
I am using Vonage, a VOIP phone service, for my telephone line (which has a few operational caveats)
We have dialed the following BBS systems as of this date:
- Empire of the Dragon: (303) 679-0161
- Capital City Online: (502) 875-8938
- Xanadu BBS: (780) 439-8364
- Heatwave BBS: (602) 955-4491
Most of the BBSs are what I remember the experience(s) to be. What drew my son’s attention immediately is how fast (i.e. SLOWWWWW) the text came across the screen. I had explained to him what various BAUD rates meant and their relationship to the speed of characters coming up on the screen. I also explained how the fancy ANSI characters worked, and how the ANSI code sequence used a lot of “hidden” characters to define and code the color display.
Another interesting question he had, which almost seems too tough for a BBS veteran such as myself to reconcile for him, was, “How do you go to a website on these?”
I guess there is still more to teach him… 😉