Remember When...

The Loony Bin ( )
Wed, 19 Feb 03 01:25:44 -0000

Hiya All...

Time now for us geeks to indulge in some computer nostalgia...sent in by

Wishes & Dreams...


******* THE LOONY BIN **** *******


*********** ANDROMEDA **** Internet Goddess ***********

  ------- Forwarded foolishness follows -------

>From TT: Technology And The Net
An exchange among posters...

*Back in the day when a 2400 baud modem was cutting-edge technology,
there was a fellow on a local BBS who ended many posts with "but that's
another story entirely..." which became immortalized as "BTASE."

*I ran a BBS and dreamed of the day I could afford a 2400 baud modem. 

*(smiles, rocking in rocking chair, tapping cane)
Why you young whippersnappers! I remember the days of my 300 baud modem
the size of a Los Angeles phone book, wired to a dial phone. And those
damn tiny switches, trying to get them right. And the contest to imitate
the sound of making the connection.

*You had 300 baud? We would have killed for 300 baud! We had 110 baud,
half-duplex, and WE LIKED IT! Yellow-paper chattering teletypes and all!

*Bah. We had to use punched cards and paper tape. I can remember how
amazed and awed I was by my first teletype machine, chunking along at
something like 4 or 5 characters per second. Then, one day, someone
invented one that saved time by typing while the head was moving from
both left to right AND right to left.

*Luxury! We used to use semaphore flags to move data from one server to
another in the same office.

*Flags! We would have given our right arms for flags! It was so smoky in
our offices (back in the day, of course) that you could not see flags
from across the room. We had to relay data in envelopes hand-carried by
midgets. I believe these were the first "packets". Occasionally the
midgets fell over (hard to see in the smoke) and produced what we called
"compressed headers". I think there's an RFC on that.

*Midgets! We DREAMED of having midgets! We had to get up at 5 in the
morning, go out to the woods, cut some sticks, sharpen the sticks, and
punch the cards by hand!

*Cards?! We had to chip flint into pieces with sharp edges, then use the
edges to peel the bark off the trees and then use the sticks to punch
pieces of bark.

*Bark... ah, how we dreamed of bark! We had to chew wood fibers with our
own teeth, spit them out and roll them flat with stones and leave them
to dry in the sun!

*You had stones? We had to mix water and dirt and let it dry in the sun
for centuries!

*How we used to dream of the sun! We had to wait for eons in the
formless void, waiting for The Word to separate the light from the

*Word? HA! All we had was an amino acid soup!

*Amino acid soup! How we dreamed of amino acids! We had big piles of
hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen and had to assemble our own
organic molecules. FROM SCRATCH!

*You had elements?! All we had were protons and electrons. We had to
mine our own subatomic particles to make neutrons and then in a single
precarious step, combine the neutrons with protons and send electrons
into precise orbits. And you think your system crashes were hard to deal
with? Imagine the fallout *we* handled every day...And we didn't have
any of that wussy lead shielding, either, back in the good old days, and
we *liked* it that way.

*Electrons?!?!? God, how we DREAMED of electrons, sitting there, all
alone in our probability fields.

*Matter? They had MATTER? Man, you guys are lucky! Back in my day we had
to create the molecules out of quantum vibrations. BY HAND. And you had
to be lucky enough to find someone to do it for you - it's not like we
could go to and read the FAQ, you know?

*Quantum vibrations!? A formless void!? We could only dream of a
formless void... we were all packed into a singularity of spacetime
having no dimension, and we liked it!

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