+1 (310) 559-8723
since June 6, 1987
Milliways IIN was one of the last standing examples of what sort of dinosaur once roamed Modemland. It ran at 300/1200/2400 baud, on an Apple IIGS Woz Limited Edition computer with 512K and four floppy drives. It had only one line. It had no files. And no games.
Before the World Wide Web, back when the Internet was a Governmental Cold War tool, back when the latest thing in Virtual Reality was the cool freeway noises in Frogger for the Atari 5200, back when a modem was the thing you stuck your phone on after you finished dialing (or punching; this isn't /that/ long ago) the number, so-called Bulletin Board Systems, like Milliways, began springing up all over such high tech cities as Los Angeles.
Good evening. May I take your order, Sir? 137 _____ \__mw: Blazing away at speeds of up to 1200 bits per second, and if you were /really/ rich, 2400 whole bits per, a subtle subculture of elementary and high school boys combined with adult engineer boys and computer pro- gramming boys quietly typed their innermost thoughts to one another over their (or their confused par- ents') phone lines. They weren't /all/ boys, but altogether too often, it sure /seemed/ that way. You'd find BBS lists, principally among which socalbbs.txt, still around in the form of usbbs.org, believe it or not, passed around between systems. For the first several years, there really was no other central list. The phone company didn't know which residential lines were dedicated to this sort of public service; they didn't really know what a modem was in the first place. To tell the phone company you wanted a residential line so your computer could answer the phone was madness. Even if they believed you, they didn't know what to charge.
This was part of our underground identity. ____________ Nobody knew what we were up to. The concept of an / \ email address appearing as part of a printed advertisement | END PAVEMENT | was laughable. Back then, when you were asked what time | 100 FT | it was and responded, Twelve thirty-seven, people thought | NO | you were some kind of freak. Everything was five-till, | SUPERHIGHWAY | quarter-till, half-past. Digital watches had just | ACCESS | barely surpassed cool toy status. \____________/
Making art and social contact via little blinking lights was a pretty weird thing to do. It still can be. Nobody's stopping us.