32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for February 1, 2014
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 21:12:59 -0500 From: Arnie Goetchius <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <email@example.com> Bill Horne wrote: > On Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 02:48:49AM -0500, Monty Solomon wrote: >> Here's how we geeked out in the era before the World Wide Web came to be. > > I am, admittedly, nostalgic for the BBS era: I used to check into Ward > Christensen's BBS with a Model 35 TWX. (It had one drawback: IITT > WWOOUULLDD OONNLLYY WWOORRKK IINN HHAALLFF--DDUUPPLLEEXX!!). > > The first time I dialed in using a 212 modem, Ward interrupted the > greeting and typed "Hey, Speedy!". Those were the good old days. Yeah! The good old days in the late seventies when I divided my online time between Ward's CBBS and Compuserve using a 300 baud Texas Instruments 745 with acoustic coupler.
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 06:42:54 -0800 (PST) From: Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <1391179374.8561.YahooMailIosMobile@web122306.mail.ne1.yahoo.com> My first experience with dial up at home was a 2400 baud modem running at 1200 ;-( It was connected to a BSD Unix computer as a terminal. I had a 50 foot phone cable to hook it to the nearest jack. The computer was a 286 and I waited until I could buy one for $2000. I used it to read my email and download with Kermit. It was a classic DARPA system and the Unix was wide open; you could write your own programs. Oh the old days when intrusions were of the "War Games" type.
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 10:53:13 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Monday, January 27, 2014 2:48:49 AM UTC-5, Monty Solomon wrote: > You've almost certainly never seen the place where I grew up, and you > never will because it's long gone, buried by progress and made > unreachable by technological erosion and the fine grind of time. What > I did and learned there shaped me, but that knowledge is archaic and > useless - who today needs to know the Hayes AT command set, the true > baud rates of most common connection speeds, or the inner secrets of > TheDraw? I am a wizard whose time has passed - a brilliant steam > engine mechanic standing agape in the engine room of the starship > Enterprise. The knowledge gained from old BBS systems is certainly not archaic nor useless. Many of the conversations in today's social media have the same style as the old BBS's. There is useful information to be gained, but plenty of junk. Some of the junk is innocent, such as someone recommending a restaurant but unaware that it closed. Some of the junk is malicious, as in intentionally sharing misleading information. Many participants on social media are nice people. But others are jerks and bullies, just as there were on the old BBS's. The BBS experience is very useful in dealing with today's social media. While certain technical aspects of dial-up connections are no longer needed, plenty of organizations have dial-up backup in case the direct lines fail, and these do get used from time to time. Further, even modern high speed direct lines have troubles from time to time, and understanding data communications can be helpful in debugging such troubles. Regarding adjusting dial speeds via the Haynes command set, I had rotary pulse service back then, but was able to adjust the dial speed to be 20 pulses per second instead of the conventional 10. This noticeably sped up making the connection. Someone mentioned shortening the duration of Touch Tone pulses, but that could be tricky. As to best to "dumping the copper network and transition people to a cellular based pseudo phone line", isn't the bandwidth in the radio sphere rather limited? I would think that dumping all landline traffic to cellular would overload it. Further, I don't think cellular would have the voice quality nor reliability of landline. My own impression is that they may seek to replace the traditional copper landline with a fibre or digital connection. That might not serve fax or dial-up computer lines, but probably some substitute for fax might be offered. Fax machine owners may have to buy an adapter of some sort. As a POTS user, having full service maintained after the mess of Hurricane Sandy was very important to me--it was my lifeline to the rest of the world (my phone remained fully operational despite electric power being out for 7 days). I'm concerned maintaining that high reliability might be sacrificed to save money.
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