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How did dial-up internet work?

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

It's easier to make a video on a topic than a web page about it,  I find myself watching more videos on topics that interest me than surfing the traditional web.

The thing I've never understood about this is that, if someone wants to make a decent video on the topic at hand, they'll have to write a script anyway - so why not just publish the relevant text as well, and treat the video as a secondary way of explanation?

 

Rhetorical question, I know.  But we really are going full Fahrenheit 451 at the moment, and it drives me up the wall.  Being unable to refer to a great deal of information in a) an offline form and b) without the need for electricity are two of the biggesy mistakes we're making right now in terms of information storage and retrieval.

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1 minute ago, x=usr(1536) said:

The thing I've never understood about this is that, if someone wants to make a decent video on the topic at hand, they'll have to write a script anyway - so why not just publish the relevant text as well, and treat the video as a secondary way of explanation?

I think the better creators do this, or at least work from an outline and fill in the gaps.   Some do have websites with more information.

 

5 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Rhetorical question, I know.  But we really are going full Fahrenheit 451 at the moment, and it drives me up the wall.  Being unable to refer to a great deal of information in a) an offline form and b) without the need for electricity are two of the biggesy mistakes we're making right now in terms of information storage and retrieval.

hard to disagree there.

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1 hour ago, GoldLeader said:

Plus,   I just hate it when they beg you to Like and Subscribe!  As if we don't realize that's how it works.  These days I almost never Like a video if they've wasted valuable time asking me to Like and Subscribe.

 

It's more like Like, Subscribe, Share, and Notification Bell. That's four things.

 

And it's more infuriating when they give you an in-video graphical tutorial on how to do those four things.

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Personally, I watch online videos purely for entertainment -- not to be informed or educated about a topic. (The only exception is recipes; it is far easier (for me) to learn to make a dish watching someone than it is to just read the directions on paper.)  I frequently download videos both for later enjoyment and in case content subsequently gets removed. 

 

I also own multiple thousands of physical books and, for a variety of reasons, I do not actually have an Internet connection in my apartment. When I need to get online for a specific purpose, I tether my phone to my laptop. When I am finished, it is immediately disconnected. Important data is stored on a PC that is not connected to anything and also backed-up on an external hard drive that is physically disconnected from the PC when not needed. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Frozone212 said:

Horribly, next question

/thread

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2 hours ago, Frozone212 said:

Horribly, next question

Where can I find a good taqueria around here?  I'm particularly craving lengua and al pastor tonight.

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13 hours ago, Keatah said:

 

It's more like Like, Subscribe, Share, and Notification Bell. That's four things.

 

And it's more infuriating when they give you an in-video graphical tutorial on how to do those four things.

Notification bell shouldn't even be a thing. I think it was added because incompetent staff couldn't find a way to fix the 3 week silence algorithm, or it was done intentionally. Either way it only exists because Youtube won't simply flip a switch in either case.

 

(For those that dont know there was a thing where if you didn't upload a video in 3, or sometimes 2 weeks, your followers were not notified of new uploads or other updates. Which wasn't originally there and people found out about it abruptly through a leaker iirc)

 

6 hours ago, Frozone212 said:

Horribly, next question

I just want to add that if you run into one of those people reminiscing of the "good old days" of dial-up and that it was "better" you have my permission to run over them with truck.

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4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

I just want to add that if you run into one of those people reminiscing of the "good old days" of dial-up and that it was "better" you have my permission to run over them with truck.

If it was so bad, we wouldn't have used it.   Like most tech, it was better than what we had before and that's why we start using it.   Also like most tech, after using it for awhile, we get annoyed by its shortcomings and jump to something better when it becomes available.  (Broadband/DSL)

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At least it was commercial free in the dial up days. I miss that a lot. It kind of blew my mind when I saw the first ads. I knew that was a bad sign for the wild west internet.

 

you also didnt post your real name, or your address, or vacation pics in real time so someone could rob your home.

 

Your parents would most likely kick your ass if you were talking to someone local and telling them where you lived. On the flip side, I met tons of people on mIRC and even flew to L.A. with some friends and stayed at Alex Valle's house for a Tekken 3 tournament. We did shit like that all the time all over the country. So, you really just had to use your brain and travel in groups. Then meet up with groups you trusted when you got there.

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Just now, Draxxon said:

At least it was commercial free in the dial up days.

Unless you were using NetZero.  It was really easy to blackhole their ads, though - just set your hosts file to resolve their ad servers to 127.0.0.1.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Unless you were using NetZero.  It was really easy to blackhole their ads, though - just set your hosts file to resolve their ad servers to 127.0.0.1.

I had a friend who worked for Family Video and they had internet services.

 

All of their computers in their video stores were linked together with internet. The username was STORE, the password was PASSWORD. It never changed for a lot of years. My friend that worked there told me and that was it. 

 

The biggest issue was lying to my father about how we all of the sudden had free internet. He would have kicked my ass for stealing. i told him I just kept doing a free trial. He was just very happy that I figured it out and it was one less bill. Years later I told him. lol.

Edited by Draxxon
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23 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

At least it was commercial free in the dial up days. I miss that a lot. It kind of blew my mind when I saw the first ads. I knew that was a bad sign for the wild west internet.

It didn't take all that long for the banner ads to start to appear.

 

Then the pop-up ads came, and they were the worst!

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1 hour ago, Draxxon said:

I had a friend who worked for Family Video and they had internet services.

 

All of their computers in their video stores were linked together with internet. The username was STORE, the password was PASSWORD. It never changed for a lot of years. My friend that worked there told me and that was it.

Well, damn.  Our local Family Video store finally closed a few weeks ago along with the rest of them; I would have loved to see if that still worked 😁

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Haha... I'm getting a kick out of this thread. Totally reminds me of all the things I did when I was a kid.

 

First time I got any kind of online access was... let's see... maybe 1991? We used a program called Prodigy... which had it's own little dedicated network... basically, they set up banks of phone numbers in all the major area codes, and that's how you connected.

 

I later got into BBSing, around late 1992... with Prodigy being the only way I ever connected. We used Prodigy for DOS... I'm not aware of any other means. I did the BBS thing for several years... I even ran my own BBS for a while. The first time I connected to the internet at home, was probably 1996? ... there was actually a BBS that I could call, and then you paid $10 a month, and while connected (as long as I called within Windows using HyperTerminal), you would then "engage" internet mode on the BBS. Then, I'd have to run a couple of .COM files locally, and then Windows 95 would allow me to access the internet using NetScape Navigator 1.02. Lol...

 

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Posted (edited)

The family video stuff stopped working when they went to broadband. They never did change the password. The guy that passed the info to me gave it to about a dozen other people, I gave it to about a dozen other people. I always wondered how many people were logging in.

I only used the internet in the early 90s for video game stuff. Mortal Kombat special moves, modding PSX consoles, importing japanese games and burning backups of games (Thanks again Family Video :)), I think we paid $500 bucks for that first CD Burner. We eventually moved from the alt.games.mk boards and found mIRC. That came in handy when I went to college and wanted to talk to friends back home for free. (Remember, there were long distance charges back then.) That's how we linked up with all the pro FGC gamers in those early years. Way before EVO was a thing. It was the same clique of mIRC kids hosting players and tourneys all over the country. Outside of that, porn, and maybe some diablo 2, I didnt do a whole lot on the internet in those early years. I remember waiting a half hour about once a week for whatever new single screenshot midway was dropping to promoting mortal kombat 3 to load.

on a side note, when I got to college in 1996 laser printers were kind of new not many people had access to them. The art department at SIU-C had a very very nice one. At that same time money was very insecure. No watermarks or strips inside or microprinting or anything. You figure out the rest. Statue of limitations is waaaaay over on that one.

Edited by Draxxon

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2 hours ago, Draxxon said:

he family video stuff stopped working when they went to broadband. They never did change the password. The guy that passed the info to me gave it to about a dozen other people, I gave it to about a dozen other people. I always wondered how many people were logging in.

Fair point, but a number of companies retained at least a portion of their modem banks even after going to leased lines / broadband for store connectivity.  Since the credentials would've been useless without the PoP numbers, that would've been the first thing to dig up 😁  No PoPs, no point.

3 hours ago, Draxxon said:

on a side note, when I got to college in 1996 laser printers were kind of new not many people had access to them. The art department at SIU-C had a very very nice one. At that same time money was very insecure. No watermarks or strips inside or microprinting or anything. You figure out the rest. Statue of limitations is waaaaay over on that one.

That may have applied in the US, but I can say with certainty that Canon's 1995/6-era scanner/copiers with RIPs attached could not copy either Irish or Sterling pound notes.  Something was done in the printing processes to deliberately prevent complete image acqusition and thus not give a successful print.

 

It was disappointing to discover that :grin:

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12 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Notification bell shouldn't even be a thing. I think it was added because incompetent staff couldn't find a way to fix the 3 week silence algorithm, or it was done intentionally. Either way it only exists because Youtube won't simply flip a switch in either case.

 

(For those that dont know there was a thing where if you didn't upload a video in 3, or sometimes 2 weeks, your followers were not notified of new uploads or other updates. Which wasn't originally there and people found out about it abruptly through a leaker iirc)

 

I just want to add that if you run into one of those people reminiscing of the "good old days" of dial-up and that it was "better" you have my permission to run over them with truck.

haha, will do lol

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10 hours ago, zzip said:

It didn't take all that long for the banner ads to start to appear.

 

Then the pop-up ads came, and they were the worst!

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Did we have something better? Internet was pretty much dial from the early 80's maybe late 70's, there really wasn't any suitable access to the internet before then.

 

It was pretty much the worse way to do it, took way to long for things to evolve imo.

 

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7 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Did we have something better? Internet was pretty much dial from the early 80's maybe late 70's, there really wasn't any suitable access to the internet before then.

 

It was pretty much the worse way to do it, took way to long for things to evolve imo.

 

Most of us had BBSes and Online Services such as Compuserve.    At that time Internet access was limited to mostly those in Govt, Universities some corporations and wasn't something that most people would be interested in anyway. 

 

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 and took some years to grow into something special.   By the mid 90s it became more desirable than the old BBSes and paid Online Services.

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10 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Did we have something better?

Yes. Leased lines, PRIs, ISDN, X.25, and others.  All of which were horrendously expensive, and the price of ISDN never really came down to a point where the average person could reasonably afford it.

Quote

Internet was pretty much dial from the early 80's maybe late 70's, there really wasn't any suitable access to the internet before then.

Dialup Internet access didn't really exist in any appreciable way until the early- to mid-1990s.  Which is an important point to remember in the context of the following:

Quote

It was pretty much the worse way to do it, took way to long for things to evolve imo.

It's not so much that it was the worst way of doing it as it was simply how it was done.  Remember that modems were intended for point-to-point connections (i.e., one system dialling straight into another that it needed to access) and that TCP/IP didn't exist when Bell Labs came up with the Bell 101 modem in 1958.  Modems worked just fine until market demands at the consumer level began seeing broadband technologies (particularly cable and DSL) developed for home use, which ultimately evolved into where we are today.

 

I do giggle a bit, though, as the technologies being used for consumer-grade broadband (and, in many cases, business- and enterprise-grade services as well) are not exactly new.  Data over cable was workable as far back as the late 1970s, and DSL was essentially a development of ISDN that began in the 1980s.  Most fibre connectivity can also trace its roots back to the 1980s, though signalling technology to the premises is typically quite different from how things worked at that time.

 

Besides, modern broadband technologies still rely on a modem to MOdulate and DEModulate the traffic that they're sending and receiving.  It may not be a POTS modem, but it is doing essentially the same job as the Bell 101 was in 1958.

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Posted (edited)

I'll tell you how it worked In the Year 2000:

 

- I went on blind dates with at least two girls without even seeing their goddamed pictures (turns out they were not attractive, what a surprise!)

 

- I downloaded PS2 screenshots (I had a PS1 and was hyped, but never bought a PS2 until 2003) so I could look at them during the "expensive hours" where we never used the Internet (from 9h to 18h from Monday to Friday, this was called "flat rate" or "tarifa plana" in Spain).

 

- The following year, when my parents decided to stop having the Internet as it was too distracting for me and my sister (I guess), I went to Internet Cafés to check Spanish video game forums. When I realized there were multiple pages full of text in these heated "PS2 Vs. Xbox" debates, I pasted many of them in some TXT files so I could read them in my house.

 

- I was 20-21 and I never once checked the news on the Internet or participated in a debate about politics, sport or video games. It was all downloading MS-DOS video games and mp3 and chatting with ugly girls. It was more relaxing.

Edited by IntelliMission
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I forgot to add that, since the computer room didn't have a phone socket in the wall and my family wasn't going to spend any money in adding one, I had to use a long telephone wire to connect the computer to the phone socket in the kitchen, which was unusually elevated like a light switch, but the wire was not long enough to lay it on the floor and the kitchen door had to be permanently open so that the wire could be more or less fixed to it.

 

Also, there was some kind of bug that often caused a lost Internet connection every time someone called our phone, even if we used some special connector that was supposed to avoid that. If anyone knows what kind of device was this, feel free to comment.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/29/2021 at 3:26 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

Fair point, but a number of companies retained at least a portion of their modem banks even after going to leased lines / broadband for store connectivity.  Since the credentials would've been useless without the PoP numbers, that would've been the first thing to dig up 😁  No PoPs, no point.

That may have applied in the US, but I can say with certainty that Canon's 1995/6-era scanner/copiers with RIPs attached could not copy either Irish or Sterling pound notes.  Something was done in the printing processes to deliberately prevent complete image acqusition and thus not give a successful print.

 

It was disappointing to discover that :grin:

I'm no computer expert, but we had no issues like that that I can remember. Other art kids showed me, so maybe they worked that out. The biggest issue we had was aligning the back image with the front correctly.

 

What I showed them was how to go to a keg party at a frat house, buy a $5 solo cup from some kid with a wad of money in the dark. Pay with a $50 and launder the money. Then go right to the next keg party and repeat. There was a block of party houses. Some of the kids I was with had no clue. I would always just say "This party sucks, lets go to the next one." Wake up with a headache and hundreds of dollars.

1996 in Carbondale IL was crazy times. Remind me to tell you about the looting and riots and blowing up of cars sometime.

The Daily Egyptian, October 28, 1996 (siu.edu)

Edited by Draxxon
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