November 14, 2013 3:50 PM   Subscribe

This scared my cats, which made me feel old. My childhood cats and parrots were accustomed to modem noise, but these young cats nowadays wouldn't know a BBS if it were waved in front of them on a stick.
posted by yomimono at 3:54 PM on November 14, 2013 [8 favorites]

What's the word that describes nostalgia for something that never was?
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:54 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

Weak effort. It needs to return LINE BUSY at least 70% of the time.
posted by Jimbob at 3:59 PM on November 14, 2013 [15 favorites]

This makes me nostalgic as hell. It needs to randomly knock you off because either

a) Call Waiting interrupted your session or
b) Dad picked up the phone downstairs and started dialing. A moment later, a voice calls up the stairs GET OFF THE DAMN PHONE WITH THAT THING.
posted by jquinby at 4:03 PM on November 14, 2013 [11 favorites]

It's broken. I tried searching for +++ATH0 and I got disconnected.

(Also it's broken because they're out of quota and Google can't afford to support fun things.)
posted by Nelson at 4:09 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

What's with that news stuff? Cluttering up the classic clean Google design.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2013

Too much ASCII, not enough ANSI.
posted by ckape at 4:29 PM on November 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

Don't forget the Mad Men era punchcard and line printer version - Google60.
posted by dragoon at 4:34 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}NO CARRIER
posted by Westringia F. at 4:43 PM on November 14, 2013

planetesimal had the same idea I did. Of course, searching for "boobs" is pretty much how I used BBSes in the 80s, so it was kind of soothing to be taken back to those golden days.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:51 PM on November 14, 2013

I used the image search to search for "pinkie pie" (what? what??) and ended up with a lot of familiar silhouettes of hair, but nothing else. Apparently their ASCII-ifier is hyper-attenuated towards certain shades of pink above others. I started thinking about why that might be -- and then had my question answered for me by planetesimal's comment, above.
posted by JHarris at 4:55 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Found an ASCII image called "Nice pair of hooters", turned out to be two owls :(
posted by Ad hominem at 4:57 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

The hell? Type a website into a command prompt and it autoexecutes a dialup script as if the protocol and terminal client operations were written into the OS? And how that modem is expected to communicate without any proper handshake or agreed upon speed designations?

+1 for whimsy
- several million for realism
posted by mediocre at 5:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

All hail The 404. Word up to The Headboard III.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:06 PM on November 14, 2013

Or, they are running a program called, since com is an executable file type.
posted by ckape at 5:12 PM on November 14, 2013

- several million for realism

Right, especially because in the 80s and as late as 1992, the idea of a search engine delivering pretty much instantaneous results was inconceivable given computer and network speeds. There was some work done at the MIT Media Lab at that time around the idea of "autonomous agents" that would go to work for you and maybe overnight deliver you some interesting results. The notion of a "search engine" wasn't around until 1994 or so when WebCrawler was launched.
posted by beagle at 5:15 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

"But, Boss, you really need to upgrade to 2400 bps, a 300 baud modem is too slow." Paraphrase of an actual conversation I had when I worked at a newspaper circa 1990. A few years later I was an early employee at a startup ISP. I miss Mosaic...
posted by CincyBlues at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

What, you're not all browsing in Lynx?
posted by loquacious at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is not realistic. You would log into the BBS and immediately look for warez. Then the sysadmin would call you a couple hours later and ask you to upload something you freaking leech.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:57 PM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]

Also, I actually remember hitting hotbot and proto-Yahoo with a BBS door link that led to a super rudimentary SLIP/shell kind of account.
posted by loquacious at 5:58 PM on November 14, 2013

This one time, I used my 2400 baud ZOOM modem to wardial an entire exchange worth of phone numbers overnight looking for carriers because, well, why not? The next morning, the local police called my mom, explaining that they'd been talking over coffee and had discovered that several among them had been woken in the middle of the night by calls from our house's single phone number. Picking up, they'd heard only a series of mysterious bongs and bings, followed by silence.

When confronted about this mysterious occurrence, I feigned ignorance, suggesting that perhaps there was a virus on our computer. Later, I dialed into the HVAC system of an office park (one of many interesting open systems which I'd found during the night's foray) and screwed around with its buildings' thermostat settings.

There was a certain magic to all of it that has been lost in this era of ubiquitous connectivity.
posted by killdevil at 7:00 PM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

Wait, how am I getting data while the handshake is still happening?

And WTF? The handshake never got beyond V.8? I'm stuck with Bell 103? BUY A REAL MODEM, GOOGLE. Do you have any idea how much I paid for this Telebit Trailblazer, you think I want to fuck around at 300bps?

I am so old. I think I still have a Telebit T2500 around somewhere. So old.
posted by eriko at 7:31 PM on November 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

The notion of a "search engine" wasn't around until 1994 or so when WebCrawler was launched.

Veronica, anyone? WAIS?
posted by adamg at 7:39 PM on November 14, 2013 [6 favorites]

This is awesome!!
posted by rmmcclay at 7:45 PM on November 14, 2013

Makes me long for the days of calling down the dot-matrix printed list of local BBS's in my area and hoping that I connect to one before I hit the ones that will show up on the phone bill.

Still, the modem sound seems all wrong (there is something towards the end that I don't remember hearing). I never remembered seeing "loading..." stuff either - usually the BBS computers could keep up with the 14.4 kBps you'd get printed out on the screen. And where would the sound have come from while searching?!?
posted by montag2k at 8:15 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

What's the word that describes nostalgia for something that never was?

posted by hapax_legomenon at 9:30 PM on November 14, 2013

If I remember correctly, you could have the modem emit its wonderful sounds only during the handshake OR during all the connection. Not just when data was being transferred.

This looks like more a hollywood version of a bbs. (Hear? we are doing the weird sounds? eh? eh?)
posted by yann at 5:03 AM on November 15, 2013

Veronica, anyone? WAIS?

They used to have these insane scavenger hunts where people were tasked with finding all kinds of obscure information in FTP archives and Gopherspace using Archie, Veronica and WAIS - lists of winners of an oddball technical Oscar award, recipes for obscure cuisine, untranslated medieval texts. It was amazing what was online and searchable before the WWW and webcrawlers (of which Google is one.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:21 AM on November 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

needs more tradewars.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:30 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

HAYES AT command set all up in this

posted by cavalier at 7:46 AM on November 15, 2013

HAYES AT command set all up in this

Y'all think this is funny? Let me show you part of my sad life.
gsmodem: ~/NewOps/Bin -> kermit
C-Kermit 8.0.211, 10 Apr 2004, for FreeBSD 4.0
 Copyright (C) 1985, 2004,
  Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.
Type ? or HELP for help.

(/usr/local/NewOps/Bin/) C-Kermit>set host
 Trying (OK)
 Negotiations.. (OK)
(/usr/local/NewOps/Bin/) C-Kermit>set modem type usrobotics
(/usr/local/NewOps/Bin/) C-Kermit>connect
Connecting to host
 Escape character: Ctrl-\ (ASCII 28, FS): enabled
Type the escape character followed by C to get back,
or followed by ? to see other options.


USRobotics Courier V.Everything Settings...

   B0  C1  E1  F1  L2  M1  Q0  V1  X4

   &A3  &B1  &C1  &D2  &G0  &H1  &I0  &K1  &L0  &M4  &N0
   &P1  &R2  &S0  &T5  &U0  &X0  &Y3  %N6  #CID=0

   S00=000  S01=000  S02=043  S03=013  S04=010  S05=008  S06=002  S07=075
   S08=002  S09=006  S10=014  S11=070  S12=050  S13=000  S14=000  S15=000
   S16=000  S17=000  S18=000  S19=000  S20=000  S21=010  S22=017  S23=019
   S24=150  S25=005  S26=001  S27=000  S28=008  S29=020  S30=000  S31=000
   S32=009  S33=000  S34=000  S35=000  S36=000  S37=000  S38=000  S39=000
   S40=000  S41=000  S42=126  S43=200  S44=015  S45=000  S46=000  S47=000
   S48=000  S49=000  S50=000  S51=000  S52=000  S53=000  S54=064  S55=000
   S56=000  S57=000  S58=000  S59=001  S60=000  S61=010  S62=000  S63=000
   S64=000  S65=000  S66=000  S67=000  S68=000  S69=000  S70=000  S71=056
   S72=125  S73=121

Ports 2100-2115 all have modems, all USR Couriers.

Laugh it up, kids. Laugh. It. Up.
posted by eriko at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just for realism's sake, I ran around the apartment making sure no one was on the phone or was going to use it for the next 20 minutes before I tried this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:07 AM on November 15, 2013

eriko, so you're saying the machine you're on now has a bank of 16 US Robotics modems? What do you use them for? Are you running a BBS? Is there a web interface to it so we can play Green Dragon?
posted by JHarris at 4:19 PM on November 15, 2013

ob1quixote: “All hail The 404. Word up to The Headboard III.”
I was on my phone, and now I realize that maybe I should have waited and pulled in some links.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:47 PM on November 15, 2013

And maybe I should be more careful about cursor placement when typing on the laptop…

Anyway, point being in the before-time, the long-long-ago the Atlanta 404 area code was huge (Both 404/678 and 770/678 in this map). The entire area is a toll-free calling zone — the largest toll-free calling area in the world, actually.

This meant you could call BBSes run by people so far away it would take hours to drive there. Thus, there was a surprisingly large and diverse BBS culture around Atlanta. There were hundreds of boards and many, many meet-ups, or as we called them in those days "bashes." I remember one in particular where I had to drive for over an hour to get there.

So this made me nostalgic for all of that.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:01 PM on November 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

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