January 23rd 2014
By Mike Flaminio
Lee Hutchinson for Ars
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.
This is a great love letter to the long-forgotten world of BBS. In high school I found myself with a modem and an Apple IIgs. I tied up the phone lines so much and complained furiously about getting knocked offline with caller waiting my parents got me my own phone line. I even ran a BBS for a few years on a Mac Classic. If you ran a BBS you could get a killer deal on US Robotics modems, which were the bees knees.
Good times before the interwebs.