The modem and hacker scene in the 80s.

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Door hamlet

Scribe (4106)

afbeelding van hamlet

18-04-2021, 10:18

Unfortunately, this chapter passed me by. The proprietary connection of our telephone company, which did not allow outside use, and of course the watchful eye of my parents, who had long complained about local calls with friends (and at that time new: girlfriends), prevented me from making these experiences.
When I finally moved out, the situation was similar. It wasn't until the mid-90s that I came into contact with the internet on PCs.
What was it like for you?
I hope you can share more experiences and stories here!
There was no lack of modems, at least I see many on the second-hand market nowadays...

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Van Daemos

Prophet (2070)

afbeelding van Daemos

18-04-2021, 11:13

Dialing out was expensive and on top of that our computers weren't so graphically capable either. The only way to get in contact with other computer enthousiasts was through friends and family. A pc was expensive at the time. Too expensive so gaming was exclusive to the nes, snes or if you where lucky/unlucky (really depends on age cause today i find myself lucky) a msx.

I saw the first color monitor in 1991 because a friends dad was rich enough to afford one. We played the heck out of that machine. I saw the internet for the first time somewhere @ around 1992 at a friend. It was soooo slow but woooow. Downloading a picture that was something new!

It was almost a decade ago when I decided to look up what happened to the msx computer to find out that there are more enthousiasts around. Coding was impossible at that time unless you had connections. The things that I have learned from the Internet would have never been possible during the 90's.

Van ray2day

Paladin (743)

afbeelding van ray2day

18-04-2021, 14:15

I was about to go to high school and this was used as a good marketing technique to sell my dad a MSX2 computer back in 1987. My dad liked to spend his money on new gadgets and like nowadays new gadgets are expensive. We were not rich, but he did earn well those days... and yes I was a spoiled kid (lucky me!). There was a colour tv with it. But I never did someting with communication or hacking on MSX.

Later, I think it was late 80's /begin 90's, as teenager I worked in the weekends and saved money and eventualy bought myself a PC XT with monochrome monitor. My nephew also had one. I remember we visited BBS's using a Philips modem. Not that we were into hacking, but we can say the time we visited BBS's they were only visited by hackers and a few other nerds like us reading nerd stuff and watching naughty pixelart. You could transfer some (ASCII) files, but not much worthy to call it 'downloading'. Instead we printed some on our matrix printer. ;-) I remember later my uncle was very angry, because he received phone bills of more that 300 guilders and that was a lot of money that time!

Maybe that is why I like the MSX BBS's like Sotano so much, it gives me that nostalgic feeling...

Van Latok

msx guru (3938)

afbeelding van Latok

18-04-2021, 19:24

I was a frequent visitor of MSX (related) BBS systems such as The Games BBS, TNI BBS, Sunrise BBS and a bit later in time UMF BBS. And of course Waterland BBS.

Only Sunrise BBS had local telephone costs for me so my dad let me use the line later in the evening to access this BBS. It was hosted by Haiko de Boer, somewhere in Friesland, The Netherlands...

First I used my MSX to access BBS systems, later I preferred my dad his AT.... Faster modem...

It was fun downloading stuff, chatting with the sysop and messaging with other MSXers using.....Fidonet, I think?

I was no hacker.....

Van meits

Scribe (6544)

afbeelding van meits

18-04-2021, 19:49

Back in the day local calling was rather cheap. You lived in a circle and all the neighboring circles were local as well. At least that's what the phonebook made me believe. That way I could reach Sunrise BBS Noord and Piramide BBS in my own circle, and MTC BBS in the neighboring circle.

A friend of mine had a 27mc cb radio and in a neigboring village some person hosted a packet BBS for those reasons. But it was sloooooow and there were always clowns calling breaky breaky on that channel, so no file was ever transferen that way.

1200/75 baud was slow as heck as well. I remember downloading only fac soundtracker files if there were no drumkits with it. Just one drumkit took half an hour. So once in a while I took a busride to either Beetsterzwaag to visit Haiko (Sunrise) with a box of disks to just copy *.* from some directories. Saved phone costs (bus was cheaper), saved time and added fun cuz there was always a lot to do and laugh at in Beetsterzwaag.

I used to be a naughty BBS visitor as well. Once there was a funny moment between me and some other visitors. One of them turned out to be a quite important Umax person. I pulled his leg by finding out his home address and sent him an envelope full of crap (thanks to Jochem Smit's port paid stickers that was always free). To pay me back I was portrayed as a somewhat silly person in a game they released a little while later. Silly tims \o/

Then a friend of mine bought a modem. This turned out to be stuck to only call one specific number, which was some local living in Nes Ameland. Whatever BBS he called, those people picked up the phone and onlyh heard some random noise from his side. We never understood this and just laughed at the guy for picking exactly that modem when he bought it.
Only a few weeks ago I told Omega about this adventure and he replied this was a function in those modems... Too little too late to do something with that info now Big smile

Van hamlet

Scribe (4106)

afbeelding van hamlet

18-04-2021, 20:13

Meits wrote:

To pay me back I was portrayed as a somewhat silly person in a game they released a little while later.

Haha, what a nice story. Do ya remember the game it was?

Van [D-Tail]

Ascended (8263)

afbeelding van [D-Tail]

18-04-2021, 20:34

That would be Pumpkin Adventure 3 if my memory serves me right. The mall, wasn't it?

Van meits

Scribe (6544)

afbeelding van meits

18-04-2021, 20:50

Manuel recorded one of the places :D

Van tfh

Prophet (3347)

afbeelding van tfh

18-04-2021, 21:36

OMG... BBS's Smile

Long, long time ago Smile High phonebills Smile
Back in the days I did run my own BBS's. First for MSX (Fony/Tyfoon Base). 1200/75 baud 75/1200 baud when uploaden. 300/300 when chatting. Had a great time running my BBS. I think I used something called Philemon? And it looked so nice when I switched to a color version. At first only running in the evening, later 24/7. A nice way to get your Files (Yeah, that was why I was called The File-Hunter).
Later on, on the Amiga I also ran a BBS. A/V Overdose for Reality (RLY, Somewhere in Holland (S][H) anyone?). Higher speeds, more options, 24/7 online.

Back then, the PTT made a lot of money on me Smile But had a great time. Thank Gof for Blueboxing/Phreaking. That had a good influence on my phonebill Smile Smile

Van Manuel

Ascended (19470)

afbeelding van Manuel

18-04-2021, 22:49

My dad bought an MT Telcom II at some point.

In the beginning we used to call some of these ViewData systems. You could download from it, but all I remember is that we put up a notice on some notice board in one of them to ask about how to find the Vase and Dagger in The Maze of Galious.
I also discovered that one of the programs in the ROM could be used to directly call another user with the same modem. If he was set to 'listening mode', and you'd call him, you could chat. Did that once, with friends of my parents. Sometimes I would just try it again, but they never picked up. Later they told us that they got some strange phone calls.... (OK, that was probably me.... I have no idea why I thought they would JUST be having their MSX modem in listening mode when I would unanouncedly call them...)

A bit later I discovered a new modem program which would let your MT Telcom II work on 1500 baud, instead of 1200! (Was it PhilTerm?) Wow! With that I used to call some BBS'es like The Games BBS, Dinosaure BBS, UMF BBS, Sunrise BBS Nuth... I remember having chatted with Kasper Souren on the latter. For a couple of hours! The phone bill was huge and my parents were really pissed. (There was no MSX BBS in close range with the lower telephone cost rate...)
When I got PhilTerm I downloaded a few games here and there. But it took ages, of course, so I was careful with it.
Anyway, this did put me in contact with Kasper, who I met a bit later as a freshman on the university (he was in Maths, I was in Physics). I also got into contact with the UMF guys, especially after buying an FM-PAC from Roald (I think). Got into contact with UMF Zeeland, went with them to Tilburg, etc.

Around 1996 I was able to buy a 2400/2400 baud external modem from the university (for like 75 guilders, I think). I connected it to the RS-232C port of my Sony HB-G900P. I got Erix from Erik Maas. That worked pretty well and I downloaded a bit more and used it to do stuff like QWK mail a tiny bit. However, downloading from the internet at the university was a lot easier Smile
I did get an even faster modem later: 14k4 baud! The Sony's RS-232C went up to 19200 (which sounded almost infinitely high when I was still on 1200), so faster was useless. Used it still for one or two years.

Never did hacks or stuff. Just had some contact and downloaded things Smile

Van wimpie3

Champion (435)

afbeelding van wimpie3

19-04-2021, 08:45

I had my own videotex server. Started in 1988 with one line and MT minihost on an MSX, and moved 2 years later to a professional PC system with more lines. Amazing to see how much technology has evolved, and especially how cheap everthing is now (calling a server was VERY expensive!). To use the internet (which was only text based at that time) I had a CompuServe subscription.

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