Before the internet was widely available, virtually ALL of "online" was volunteer run (BBSes).

Commerce is not necessary for online community, and as far as I can tell it has only ever been a detriment.

@lawremipsum before the internet was widely available, I wasn't online due to lack of availability

@earthtopus "what did people do before they could be extremely online??"

"Watched something like YouTube, but they had no control over what played next."

"Like Autoplay all the time?? HOW AWFUL"

@lawremipsum there were remotes that Just Worked, though, so that's something the past has on us

@lawremipsum anyway, pining for the halcyon days when only motivated volunteers had access to online is sure taking me back to the mid-90s

@earthtopus @lawremipsum I don't miss getting 1 million AOL cds in my cereal as a "prize" tho

@britvulcan @lawremipsum yes, it's a good thing no one in computing is wasting resources like that anymore </s>

@earthtopus @lawremipsum I'm just saying there were better cd prizes. Like the Cap'n crunch video game.

@britvulcan @lawremipsum I grew up in an Apple household, so what CD prize would have worked?

@earthtopus @lawremipsum no idea lol. I grew up with shareware game floppies and way too much solitaire.

@britvulcan @lawremipsum I've got most of the childhood 3.5"s I cared about salvaged from dad's estate; even he may not have kept the 5.25"s or we decided to pitch them. There's a USB 3.5" drive somewhere upstairs too

@lawremipsum also fewer channels = less FOMO. And even when we did get basic cable, the remotes that Just Worked let you change channels with insanely low latency

@lawremipsum remember when it didn't take multiple seconds to change a channel?


When will Mastodon be upgraded so we can play Tradewars?

@apLundell if there was a thing I would learn to program for, it would 100% be to add door games.

@apLundell @lawremipsum Hmmm... I wonder if it would be possible to write a TW clone that uses ActivityPub...


now I'm wondering how commercial dial-up compared to BBSen by ... I don't know, some reasonable metric.

Like, there was The Source, CompuServe, GEnie.

I used GEnie & BBSen in parallel, for the short time after I got a modem but before I figured out, eg, how to make SLIP connections.

@deejoe @lawremipsum Usually, lots and lots of databases. Encyclopedias. Finance. Very simple search agents to run analyses for you.

Oh, and newswires. AOL used to have a direct feed from the AP.

@lawremipsum I was a BBS SysOp. It was the most fun I had with tech, even compared to now. The community, because it was local to the area code, was fantastic. I made a lot of friends via my BBS and still keep in touch with some.

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A community centered on the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and their surrounding region. Predominantly queer with a focus on urban and social justice issues.