AV-Portal 3.23.3 (4dfb8a34932102951b25870966c61d06d6b97156)

BBSs and early Internet access in the 1990ies

Video in TIB AV-Portal: BBSs and early Internet access in the 1990ies

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BBSs and early Internet access in the 1990ies
Modems, FIDO, Z-Netz, Usenet, UUCP, SLIP and ISDN
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This talk explains how individuals were able to communicate globally in the 1990ies using self-organized networks of BBSsin networks like FIDO and Z-Netz, before individual access to the Internet was possible. It also covers the efforts of non-profit organizations to provide individual access to Internet Mail+News via UUCP and later via IP during that period.
Keywords Art & Culture

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Slide rule Plotter Slide rule System administrator Multiplication sign Operator (mathematics) Bit Line (geometry) Mathematics Internetworking Software Internetworking Operator (mathematics) Software Universe (mathematics) Information Quicksort Extension (kinesiology) Modem
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Dialect System call Slide rule Multiplication sign Cellular automaton Line (geometry) Menu (computing) Distance System call Number Content (media) Acoustic coupler Acoustic coupler Local ring Benutzerhandbuch Local ring Form (programming)
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Computer program Serial port Slide rule Line (geometry) Menu (computing) Shareware Shareware Radical (chemistry) Content (media) Internetworking Telnet Cuboid Quicksort Modem
User interface Menu (computing) Bulletin board system Login Demoscene Number Newsletter Message passing Radius Internet forum Password Telnet Office suite Physical system Default (computer science) Flag
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Standard deviation Functional (mathematics) Thread (computing) Length Kerberos <Kryptologie> Limit (category theory) Software Vertex (graph theory) Office suite Communications protocol Standard deviation Multiplication Slide rule Kolmogorov complexity Point (geometry) Computer network Line (geometry) Density of states Limit (category theory) Hierarchy Content (media) Software Network topology Reading (process) Address space
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if this if
the at the end because there has been a bit and thanks to the fact that it's so why am I here and why am I talking about this topic and will 1st of all and I was involved to some extent is that I was not somebody um who had any significant role in in in that the universe neither in the eocene or in the early Internet days um I was just basically a youngster teenager who had fun playing with technology and was helping others tool to communicate using technology and there are many more people who have much more qualified than me to talk about that subject but I and that's the reason why here was submitted to stop this you don't really see many people speaking about these days a lot of topics anymore um and even if you want to research it I think it's like 1 or 2 books in German on that subject so they're very hard to get and also not very completes them so I think we have to have some sort of documented history of it for those people who have not been around at the time so this talk will not have as many acronyms as you used to from talks that I usually give and still you have titles in the slides as you can see in the 2nd line already so that didn't change I didn't invent any of the acknowledges covered here I didn't write any of the software covets I was just the user and operator or sysadmin and that's the world I grew up in from 11 onwards um yeah as is that many people like that history and to stop with that may be a quick poll in the audience who has ever dialed into the BBS using a modem raise your hands OK so I'm preaching to the converted and OK maybe I should invite all of the up to the
stage and we should make a discussion around instead that anyway so um yes circuit-switched telephony well this is the telephony from 7 1976 until about 1988 with analog voice circuits over copper wires and dial-up connections between a and B I guess everybody's the remembers these even if you young you should have seen uh accesssic telephone I think um and yet we have analog amplifiers possibly in the past uh and uh but actually the copper wires are physically switch to telephone exchanges
so this sense structural looks a bit like this we have a telephone at 1 and we have a telephone and another and and we have a telephone exchanges of switches which actually switch the circuits and hence the term circuit switched telephony uh between a and B so you have a copper wire from your phone tool the uh office of the exchange said to which you are connected and then that exchange again as copper wires to other exchanges and so on and uh based on the phone number you dial the call switched to the destination subscriber that sort of the a foundation in terms of technology that
we're using here um also something to for the international audience in Germany at that time even local calls mutant in charge by the minute that flat-rate didn't exist and that we had multiple sold so there's not just local calls and long distance calls but different depending on the distance so that up to 50 kilometers of more than 50 kilometers and so on um and given on that and and there's the pricing and not so many people could afford long-distance debiasing at least not for a long
time all of this started with a device called the acoustic coupler um it's actually also how I started even though I'm young and only started in I think about 90 or 91 um at 10 or 11 years of age you don't have the latest and greatest in technology i gotta use 2nd certain only with the acoustic coupler um from my uncle advice that even a battery we could be operated mobile it had a battery compartment with a Committee on cells um the access to own it and I still only related telephone at a started you don't have to bring it but it still exists so anyway here you have to dial using a normal phone you dial that it is of the form number and once the other side picks up the phone and they put their receiver onto the acoustic coupler and you put your receive onto the acoustic coupler then the data can be transmitted over the telephone line as that was menu dial menu pick up and uh rather extremely low speed and this
all uh looks uh the
looks looks like this and the next step in the
logical progression then was modems which is sort of you can think of an automatized method of acoustic couplers where um you don't have an air gap anymore so in the acoustic up there you literally have a couple of centimeters of the error between the speaker and the microphone and the receiver of your phone versus the acoustic coupler so the modem there's a direct connection and and also you have for automatic facilities to dial the telephone number and to and so the line and so on so you don't need a manual operate anymore to pick up a phone or dial numbers um and this thing gets transmitted over the over the
telephone line this is a stack of various different modems we will see some of us here and some of you will remember the brands of the shape so even the specific models of those modems um in but that's too much to the level of detail for the moment so
and let's look a bit at the speeds or lack of speed has that was available um it started with 300 bps I actually used 300 DP a couple of times so that it in like that around 1990 of course it was extremely slow but still it was uh what I mean could start with at the time what than the 1200 pps so this is still a rather slow and you can you can slowly read and follow the text as is being printed so unfortunately I don't have an animation or something like that and not such a multimedia savvy guide and it's all yes then this beats progress you see the years in which they were created the lines with the asterisk market years uh and that I found some secondary sources that originally had been specified then but actually the oldest spec document for all these earlier ones was from 1988 so if you go to the IT website the earliest documents you can find a from 19 88 and of those earlier documents could at least on the internet be found anywhere maybe you can go to the library or something like that um yes so it speeds progress to a different modulation schemes were introduced to squeeze ever more bits into these 3 kilohertz analog circuits over the telephone line um and uh every couple of years and you will be especially in the nineties if you follow this 91 14 . 400 bps 93 19 DOE to uh 1994 28 thousand bps um and there were of course also proprietary protocols and you have to have the same manufacturer of modem that the other side you calling and so on but these are the official standardized in uh protocols and
speeds that were used which brings us OK we we have a telephone system and we can dial numbers we have a all in that can dial numbers uh we have modems that can send bits in the exceptionally fast speed um what do we do with this and this brings us to BBSs who where could you actually dial and and what could you do that so what's a BBS fundamentally is some computer any hardware and the operating system any software some computer that accepts incoming calls are attached to a modem and offer some kind of interactive services to the people dial into that PBS and if you want to operate a previous you have to have a separate dedicated computer for that because at the time uh most of the BBS software uh and most of the stuff that people use to in general there predated multitasking operating system so that when you ran the BBS the computer was busy running running the BBS you couldn't do anything else at the same time soul and you have to invest quite a bit into several separate 2nd computer or 3rd or 4th um it to actually operate at the BS you have to have a separate telephone line and because if you operate the BBS into which people died in to of course any time of the day or nite people died in there so you cannot use a normal form than that used to make phone calls but you have to have a 2nd separate dedicated phone lines and and of course the system had to run a moralist 24 7 so people could dial in and reaches a luckily on the user side that was not so many um requirements in terms of technology that he needed uh you computer of course the only problem when you use it my and you can share the regular phone line that was the side effect as in the introduction has been mentioned that your family might have gone angry if you occupied it too long and but otherwise uh no additional infrastructure rather than a modem require no you
dial into the BBS the what kind of content do you get so what what do you do in a devious demanded their name BBS in an English is the balance in about service that's actually the the the acronym expansion um solar there were imports message boards where you could exchange messages send texts with other people other users of that BBS for the so called cis off the system operator and the guy running the previous um you could also checked with the system operator which of them didn't exist before they ability to chapter somebody else's remotely over a text-based terminal and then also multi-user games text-based uh as well as a so-called file areas where you could download files and downloading files given the speech spectrum and and so on and so on of course so it was not it was primarily text documents or small programs or something like that uh um MP3 didn't exist of course at the centre 95 or whenever it it can also maybe somewhat modifiers for your module tracker um or something like that and of course last but not least ASCII in and the artwork which basically is an entire a sub-culture and and scene and community in itself and creating uh artworks and drawings using the character set on that was used by and seat of SIS which was the in the DOS um for it's a display driver includes um in a certain character set and you could draw on graphics like this we will see some more and a and 2 people were putting a lot of effort into this um and 2 sort of competing who would make the best representation of the the most expressive art work given the limited resolution and the limited characters and colors available in this domain sold what kind of software
that 1 you is what kind of technology was used well we already had a computer and modem um you need some software soul on the media side of the software uh and this is now a limited number of different BBS software programs and extensions and modifications their of a lot of them are freeware or shareware some of them are public domain some actual free software and some are proprietary and for any operating system for any computer architecture people writing software whether you had an Amiga our Atari or and uh you had apple or in DOS PCs or you name it um software was written by hobbyists primarily um 1 concept that you will find in PBS is is the concept of so called doors and you can think of it as a similar to CT eyes in web so basically you could the BBS software could call an external program which would then take over the input and output to and from the user so you could have sort of plug-ins to your BBS software which would add additional new games or sets of where messaging or whatever and on the user side they you had primarily a so-called terminal program and it's called terminal program because actually it emulates Assyria time and some of which is a dedicated hardware device that with the keyboard and the screen and a serial line and but not a general-purpose computer and in order to make a general-purpose computer behave like a terminal you had to determine terminal program on DOS which are I was using at the time it's primarily to links in the limit I think whether the favorite ones at least on this side of the planet um and uh um a you started the program you had a serial part of this you apart attached to your modem and from there you dial to and the terminal program then was responsible for displaying the texts and the the and the graphics and and so on and exchanging files over a variety of different protocols which we will also cover later but before we
go on and that's to a quick demo of how this looks like now uh as a note that I'm not going I don't have a modem here I'm not emulating a modem um I'm not emulating a serial port uh these days you can get the same experience by using Telenet over the internet but you can actually tell it into BBSs I just want to uh basically show how it looks like and so uh
and this is the terminal program hand
there we have not connected to the previous this is sort of uh introductory a graphic that receive avoiding going into the the box um the yeah some of course the
scrolling was much slower back then so now we can go back out to actually see
what what what was there um yes
some more graphics so you still haven't seen the logging prompted if you can see a fairly graphics heavier BBS and you can chew was
the scene of the BBS the user interface so I'm I'm going to go for the classic and z here
finally I come to a login screen um and I can log into the system
worked on and my handle and the password which is now in the text for
those of you interested in it's not that there's anything you newsletters registered this morning at radius so that's nothing associated with this account yeah Summagraphics uh finally
reaI at a message board and that we see as that I just locked in already the speediest today we see there is a message Number 1 from hall covered welcome so if I want to look at that message so I could visit to say I want to
read it now this is the message reader I
go in here then you're welcome the force and so on so he welcomes need to the
BDS um now there and let's go to the
main menu of the BBS which in this case looks like that um and you have different uh in the file areas they can download files you have the door against that I mentioned given and the gallery of BBS this you can look at the last call as it
was called dismay books and you can see this on the 3 test scores from me this in the morning uhm but you can see actually other people are still looking into this deviation in is 2017 so um it's not to me this is mostly history about during the preparation of this talk I discovered that some people it for some people it is still the press I'm very happy to see that still such an active community around the DSS
um and which enables me to show all of this without firing of some emulators and and so on so young and we also can look at a one-liner
since some messages that people can leave that to other people of other users in the previous again with some quite a graphical and we don't want to leave any
additional words here um a pop up for example we can look at the end the
gallery just very quickly and can try to select something here I have no idea what I'm looking at so k so you have sort of the viewer that's
on the the so it it will show
you the sections of a sort of long our work in this in this particular case uh um yeah well
and the artwork the to me there always was a
lot of similarity between the uh sort of uh uh yeah uh between the the and out artists and uh the the people doing um and I'm making the words the street art and basically thing to sort of similarity between
that OK good that was just a very quick demo
of course I could now a look at my messages and and write messages and play blackjack can do whatever I want and which I don't know in this case so that the log
off and again someone graphics and you can leave a comment this assault if you want or you can just basically our OK and
that for a quick demo of the look and feel
now and since I'm such a technique a person looking at probabilistic so try to draw a protocol stack diagram for the BSS and which ended up with this so busy at the lower layers we have 2 parts the plain all telephony system or ICN in which would get to in a few slides and we had modem was on the on the analog telephone system we had other things on ICN in and at some point you always have hours 2 3 2 was serial port uh I emulated or real and then either you the terminal program directly on top of that or for example to transfer files you'll have used small Y modem or set modem which added error correction and retransmission and block transmissions so you could safely transfer files without on these with less the corruption and and the some algorithms were not so well scientific here in many cases um e here we then have well some other things at the point of what is that you see here we will cover that later on but if you could run different protocols in different systems on
top of that someone curiosity that I still want to mention is that which I'll I actually I forgot untill on Twitter somebody reminded me a couple of days ago that this existed and I'm all yes return and I use that quite some time ago uh um so instead of having these text-based user interfaces that some people a company called to the graphics came up with a language called RIP script which was fairly compact language of textual commands by which the BTS could control a um a vector graphic on the client side in your terminal program and you could actually draw EGA resolution graphics like the 1 that is presented to you on the slide from the videos on the screen of the user which was quite a bit if you change the compared to the ASCII art or ANSI art and that you've seen before yeah so we still the
DSS and the guesses that isolated so you can participate in the bottom bottom you can read and write messages and exchange ideas and recipes and thoughts and cheat codes and whatever you want to exchange and users looking at different times of the DBS is busy if it has only a single line while it's being used by some other user of course you can add as a BBS operators so you can add more modems and more full lines of which is of course expensive but together with the multiport serial cards and and and everything that was required um you can have time limits for each user in yeah but in the end it's sort of this a limit to how far you can scale a thing of beauty is a speedy experience while Jesus and a thing EVS at
well also this the scalability which BTS is but that's another stock and so you have which brings us to um 1 method of uh more efficiently engaging with BT assists for exchanging messages which is the concept of points or offline message treating um all the as we have just seen that in this example the log into the VGA uh that could be viewed as an end and the we have an online interactive session with the previous while we read and write the messages and of course it means the occupy the the telephone line for an extended period of time um and uh it's not used very efficiently because humans typically reads lower than at least 14 . 4 28 kilobits per 2nd and it sold to people invented there's something called points offline message reading and different concepts Different systems different standards different technologies and what they did in the end this in the compressed and batch to all the messages for you would into files um and you on your um a client side you were writing your messages off-line also compressing and patching the messages that you've written and then you make a call you quickly exchange those files in both directions even full-duplex uh if the system supports um and then you terminate the connection again so during a very short call you can exchange much more and many more messages and you have all the time to read through most messages without having to look at the full meter on your phone bill all the time so more scalability more users saw the connection time lower cost for everyone involved definitely an interesting technology
um there but still sort of scalability is limited of a single BTS which PBS in which brings us to the networks that I'm a store-and-forward networks which uh basically extended um the ability to exchange messages beyond a single BBS uh but it so basically the balloting boards or the message groups that you had at the BBS were replicated over different calls that were invented by various different people over time and so uh not only 1 BBS had all the messages of a given Boletín board but all the other men deviousness participating also receiving these messages and replicating them all over the network also for personal mail um a which is like made right between 2 where participants um you could draw out those messages across the network is the 2 users exchanging messages didn't have to connect to the same BBS anymore as so much more scalability um and also you could use it efficiently for message routing and to reduce the need for long distance calls and so on so let's look at a couple of
these previous networks and uh the technologies they used 1 large and very popular example of crosses the FidoNet um which consists of 2 parts netmail and as you may an edge may is that the private personal made and as you may allow public message boards or um message groups and a few had some on the technology used by the dual called FTN feeders acknowledging networks used also by other networks they were using the same protocols but they were not the same group of the this is of the same content and so on CheckNET for static friends was 1 garnered in Germany um was an example for that and also by other technologies and other networks such as that's and what they called it a better actually so boards the individual from the message groups uh um and again they had other offspring's uh that use the same technology but had different groups in different policies in different structures such as 2 units on that's uh um a and then there was the big uh fraction of people who did you see PE and the Unix-to-Unix Copy and which will look at a little bit and most net is another German example here uh originating from the city of Minister um which was used to up to 120 BBSs here
um let's look at the door a little bit more started so allegedly in 1984 um of course I was not involved at that time at the age of 5 and it reached a limit of 250 nodes in 1985 because apparently I suppose from using the interview you indeed was used for the node number or something like that and then about 250 should be sufficient for everyone I don't know what the other 5 and it and then they introduced in 86 the hierarchical regional routing and addressing um uh that's was more scalable and in the end at the peak of the FidoNet propagation there was 39 thousand nodes that speedy as BBS is not an individual users but 39 thousand BBSs with interconnected with an estimated 2 million users worldwide and that's for you know hobbyists um amateur network is I think quite impressive addresses looked like this um that's actually node number that I used around 95 and uh in uh number
at the time it said let's started as sets rules that so and I'm not sure if part of the 1 normally know or any of the people involved in the audience if then I will buy represents the history correctly and which is uh network from technology trade in Germany the standards are inspired uh parts different than the Usenet and UCP protocols and there are all kinds of flame was about who understood the specs wrong and the whether this improvement between that connects compared to the Usenet standards are not uh um but anyway it was different um and there was 1 program called cross which was the most popular points of track at the time I think at least on because I'm a fault segments and also for other technologies the screenshot
here at the bottom actually is a is a point screenshot and and point in the
early nineties already had features
and that I'm still missing 2 days in any make line that I have found some right uh imagine you have an eth threads that a threat that crosses multiple folders multiple newsgroups multiple whatever and you have a reading like the tree of the thread across folders and newsgroups and so on I mean that's something that you cannot do with with any of this office today maybe you have you have an answer which software today supports this but for sure nothing I have found uh has the kind of features and functionality and fortunately it was written in Pascal and it had a line length limit of 255 characters per line there which way did not very compatible to use that standards reliance could have different lengths so all of them 1 couldn't
continue to use it in today's retirement age and that he's not easily use that is another network of these BBS days um where and the messages were exchanged by a system called Unix-to-Unix copying Unix-to-Unix Copy it predates the use that it was used as well as the name implies copy something between Unix machines fire copying um and some of those files that people were copying where Internet mail at the time uh and um and then they use news format was invented the format is quite similar to Internet mail which we still know today um but it's not a personal made between person a and person B but you you could posted to a so called newsgroups and there was a hierarchy of news groups which replicated and flooded messages across the entire network across the globe and then it was flooding mechanism in in a involved to make sure that the messages get replicated in that duplicates get detected and duplicates are not uh um uh basically uh transmitted again or other shown again um and so on and then the routing was originally defined in or maps you here uh which is uh quite a bit of overtime um and uh because it's basically a static source based routing for for the usage made is at User says that they they were flooding anyway um use that was quite popular uh until well into the 90's uh my was news master of virtual news service for some time and is basically to a standardization of those boxes and just to give you an anecdote again into this context we would get to work only consumes nets finding which isn't a nonprofit organization in the area Franconia in southern Germany and there I was active and at the time the internet like when we actually got to IP it at some point IP traffic was so expensive that it was rather difficult to get the flu news feed IP because you waste a lot of your expensive bandwidth on wasted in cold but use data for news and so what we did actually is we put up a satellite dish at a building in number and then we had satellite feeds from the US so there was US companies that were streaming compressed Usenet catches up to a geostationary satellite which has a dollar link all over Europe and and then we got 2 megabits of compressed batched usenet news in I would say that's a 95 visual something like that so um that was definitely a big improvement over so we we had to uh follows news feed coming directly from the US uh um without having to pay for
all the international data transfer transfers another curiosity is the floppy prolog . no nobody's laughing yes and well not everyone have phone lines in the nineties the particularly in eastern Germany for lines was still a rare commodity um after the reunification happened in 90 uh um and took some time until people could get connected to the telephone network and so what people did is actually they exchange daily floppies by postal mail so basically rather than sending you compress patches of messages and over modems uh because well it from all the municipal lines and you will put a floppy hat I would assume 3 by 5 inch of the time time not so much uh 4 and a quarter inch uh but um it you put a floppy in an envelope you send it to your to your BBS and the guy open the envelope and put it in the BPS antisense your floppy in real time so you had 1 day or something to your transmission but then well the message the transmission speed of messages in those networks at the time was sort of 1 to 2 days or maybe even 3 days anyway so if you add another day but what does it matter it was it was such a big advantage that you could get messages like worldwide messages at all in such a short time and for basically an all cost
whatsoever OK getting to the Internet's yeah um how did size start x isn't 100 people start to access the Internet at the time well maybe a new was was sort of the Internet in the beginning of the buyer UCB um which uh is nice and fine but it's not IP at them so what you could always you could instead of dialing into a BBS you could of course use your modem to dial to the Serie a part of the TTY off any Unix machine that somewhere else so if you have a Unix workstation somewhere that's connected to an IP network using uh 10 days to or whatever was the network technology at the time or if or whatever x 21 and then you could have a modem to a serial part of such a Unix box and you can't you just get the login prompt when you when you uh connect with the modem to the box like you sit in front of you Linux system today and you have your laughin prompt and then on network workstations you wish you could remotely use that workstation um and then you could run FTP clients Ryosuke lines of telemedical for whatever on the text console um that was uh mostly uh made available to people in the academic sector of course because they have some unix machines at universities and I was too young to be at universities on um I had to use FTP may for quite some time so what's an FTP mainland well it's basically some FTP client that runs on a remote machine somewhere that's connected to the Internet and that his e-mail access and you can use input output over met so if you want to FTP to some of the FTP server you send an e-mail assess FTP is a server and analysis and then some hours later you get a response the list of the files and then after you got the list of the files you told the 1st CD to change the directory and then you get again response and and then finally you know which file you want so you see a GET command over the file and then you get this long series of UN coded that means UN code is many method of inclusion of full of sending binary 8 bits uh messages over may use the form I am existed in my mind formant which we use today for e-mail attachments on that didn't exist at the time so it was you before so yeah so our the days later you'll you got that we would worked perfectly fine and I was I was quite happy to be able to
use that at the time now then if you had died of access to Unix proxy you could also do something called slip come in which it is a serial line I G and so uh you could transport IP over the modem line and then as a result is a unified P at home in your apartment and unbelievable uh it was later have superseded by PPP which features such as configuration authentication compression and so on well there was a compressive but not not not quite as compressed as PPP and the populace of the stock at the time uh um and I'm talking about early nineties mid-nineties um is uh and basically trumpet windsock on Windows with the a mosaic them as a browser because Windows stick then didn't have TCP IP so you have to install another package to actually have TCP IP on Windows at the time and if you didn't have Windows ever get to that I'm and I'm talking about the punic stays here
so what did you do what you want to the internet on a PC before Linux was around I didn't have a 386 initially at a 286 and on the 286 of course you couldn't run any a multitasking operating system because it doesn't have a real protected-mode um so no Linux Möbius Dean and but there was something called canine Q knots and I want to see hands who has ever heard of for use canine yet OK with that the 1st of all yes it's a person's call sign was the common from the audience is correct and canine Q is still common in the US and wrote and network operating system the canine Q analysts and have a buffering system and and it is an implementation of ECE directly in the eighties with this on CPM and later ported to DOS and it implements TCP IP slip PPP including props reserva SMTP server client IP routing town of art and so on and you could do all this on DOS I used it's quite a lot so that my home and you could do routing and yet multiple applications at the same time all on top of DOS it's uh was fantastic piece of software uh um a and then we would build on router to even at and you could have multiple other machines in your home and you have more marketable in you know and and more and more connected machines you actually uh we will get to that OK PPP
superseded that I'm at some point I see an came around particularly in Germany and I see is a digital version of telephony system so instead of having analog circuits you knowledge transfer out digital bits um that could be audio device audio but of course it could be any other transparent digital data um in Germany ICN and was 1st put in operation in 1989 um 193 it used a Drummond protocol standard called 1 2 6 and from 94 onwards the European Media says 1 protocol standard was available it was usually popularized from 1995 onwards by subsidies so at the time if you if you actually ordered I in connection and at the same time you bought a uh let's say and and a small PBX of more full or a modem or something like that you could subsidies from the from the 2 telecom and so they do I think it went up to 700 marks and the true if somebody remembers the exact figures and and so we've got quite a bit of money to to buy equipment to switch to the new technology what I
see and you don't have a modem that because there's nothing to modulator demodulator stages so it's called a terminal adapter and it at that in the year um and the the the bitstream this serial bitstream of the ICN tool your um uh to your offering system on your your computer and then there was something called the of 110 as the rate adaptation to do asynchronous serial like ours to 3 2 was sort of over synchronous ICN OK and how did we get internet
access and well and it was uh if you're not in academia or something like that there were few commercialized these lakes lingo units they were very expensive and of course you didn't have local dial-in all the different layers of the cities around Germany but you had grassroots groups of enthusiasts that establish themselves in some associations tool to make sure work and the members can get that axis in my region in Nuremberg commonly sources finding was particularly active and they started with dial-up BCPs services and laid-off IP for non-commercial users and I have to say with an extremely high technical standard which I'm still fascinated by today and in the coming of of spiking had 2 points of presence in various different cities in the region because not everybody could call to number K as a local call and every user got sick static IP addresses routed to wherever he dialed in use of always PF in the mid 19 nineties to make sure you have static IP addresses wherever you dial in and some people still don't have that in the 2070 and involvement esthetic of Unisys but anyway so um in about 800 users speaker at that association at the time uh um
and there was an umbrella organization called individual network in the fall of the Iron this was established that individuals could not become members in that association so it's the name is a bit interesting is called individual network because of of networking for individuals but the members were the regional associations such as canonical so that finding who then and a basically used this um umbrella entity to negotiate decent rates to get the Internet connectivity and so on and apparently the and members of more than 300 thousand users at some point so it's getting quite a bit was dissolved in 2001 lots of commercialized these were around and also when the remaining member entities which many of which still exists today such as uh comic of source of funding and they didn't need this umbrella entity to get
decent Internet uh rates of tariffs again soul with packet-switched is the I think we just need 1 number that we call someone may not dialing into hundreds of different EDS's anymore but we actually connecting always have the same number which is our eyes high-speed um and then when we have that connection we exchange packet data with some systems worldwide uh which brought new purpose to these lines and analog
leased lines were basically telephone lines that were permanently switched are actually permanently wired at the exchange so you had 2 wires of copper between 1 location and another location and they were physically connected you could apply a DC voltage in the DC voltage would come out at the other end um you could get this from those of also Telekom at the time when I could finally afford 198 of for 900 marks installation costs and the 1 in my case 180 marks commands and was 60 marks for hot these this hop means a telephone exchange so it's between the other and where you want to connect to and where you are asked to read telephone exchanges you have 3 times 60 marks the 180 marks per month and
then I connected to a system that looked like this which is called the Nuremberg can um of this canonical so that's languages which is in the basement of some of of 1 of the members uh you have basically a PC running Linux of freebies not was BC actually um with like a 16 borders Syria crowded mn various modem cystectomy various cells and to interconnect all these different these lines and which then had 1 ice-t and leased line with 180 k 28 kilobits to was some
then adopting yeah that's the uh obligatory um I see in network termination and telephone
sockets and which brings us to and leased lines there was a product called this PVC need common interface to be no I'm in it which is not really line it's seeing the prominence UML and it's basically asks electorate call to 1 specific test telephone number which you could get in national want 6 I see in in which was rather inexpensive and what many people used who wanted more than diversity and beats OK I have to speed up a this time is running out the 1st step of abusing analog lines which we did is by deploying a device called an ICU t which is the inverse of an interview soul and I see any of so the telephone exchange and you have an upper termination interview on your line and that basically the um that the ICT was a single line and telephone exchange side of this protocols you could use an analog line which you normally used for analog modems but you remove the 2 analog modems you put an end to ETA on 1 and you put the ICT and the other end and suddenly we can get 128 kilobits over the line which previously you could only do 33 . 6 without having to pay any additional sensor or money to an adult satirical golf course and there was some specialized as which could use the signaling channel the 16 K signaling analyzing also for data to get that 1 out of 20 + 16 killer of data because well there's no signalling you not finding anyone so you can as well use that knowledge is is sort of the hierarchy of the B-spline infrastructure that this entity here am not showing every line here but basically I was at the upper left corner yeah connecting the 33 . 6 K to this have numbered which connects to 128 K tool and machine in uh Nuremberg building of the University of ally in which then connects overtakes 21 to the University of and and a web and all kinds of other these plants come together and that was the the architecture
of would be deployed are some more pictures this is flux a city of Nuremberg the collection of telephone outlets and the collection of
modems and the machine all there was
something I'm missing 1 picture sorry for that but
anyway you can see a pile of modems here and some more more this year and machine over there and
then we went into a phase 2 of abusing analog telephone lines when the 1st user modems came out so the important Sunday's India so pipes a 99 from the US and there was some fun because you operate them back-to-back with other diesel and so basically you operate 1 D is a modem at 1 end of the line another deism nobody assemble them at the other end and if you are close enough like with a single up at a single telephone exchange you could get up to 2 . 3 megabits symmetric over you and line and and that in 1999 was quite about speech and especially if you not uh they're paying for traffic anything like that some and if the less expensive 1 at and it's
cannot OK before i wrap up um uh as
short detour are 1 thing still to mention it and that of the phenomenon that back then then I'm not sure if this happened in other cities tool in in in my area and foot we had an entity called maize which was called an online stroke um made my became a regular there are 94 on a they initially ahead for DOS PCs each of them with a modem and with a dedicated uh full called charge meter and you couldn't go there it's a cafe you can have the him eat and drink and so on and you consider that the PC and you can then from their dial into BT a BBS is an and basically 2 things if you didn't have a modem or PC at home but the interesting part of course was that there are all the other people's weighing all the other devious uses a substance on and at some point the feces were network with 10 days to work and so people could play do well when it came out of thinking and motion when it reached as in Germany 94 maybe also um and and you the became more popular I started subsidiaries and we set up AIC and S PVs is to see me permanent attribute known as an Internet uplink from there and so that uh also I in you can find some sources that this apparently are allegedly was the 1st
Internet cafe I'm not sure if anyone else has a that that something like that anyway after lots of any was I want to give you some have you in a to summarize and a the 1st decades of wide area communications solar powered by a community of enthusiasts or other communities that would disjunctive not connected largely motivated by non-commercial motives of course commercial BT Mbps as part of Python and not a without much corporate or government influence right there was no google and there was no um no ministry that was putting censorship or something like that um and the BBS community is a distinct subcultures all um I had different norms and it's different values go different from them right you guys different from free sulfur guys of course some overlap but still a separate community with separate
Mormons what I personally think is to reach um loss other than the loss of a picture on the screen on is that back then the net was the distributed there was no single point of failure the infrastructure was owned and operated by its users by individuals and the connection speeds with symmetric um and there was no like data center versus consumer separation that we have the indians in a day and age of today and that's they really think this autonomy and decentralization is is a big um loss to society on the community
as a whole OK some pointers that if you want to read up more focused on on the work or log into the is the Intellipedia sky like in highly recommend that and you can also find the videos I looked into a an OK good which brings us to the point where we can have some questions few her I have found here and we want to have more 1st we have questions from the signal angels so what the question of the of the infinite wants to know what was the highest phone will you ever got bigger than and to be honest I don't remember but for sure it was 4 digits I I'm quite sure it was it was it was quite devastating yes there is another question from the internet and there's another question the you mentioned that there were very few books in the wrong to those topics which ones would you world recommend regarding the use that is I cannot respond to this directly I don't remember that I can I will I can put it together and uh market that can reach out to me I I put it in the slides and I submit them into the the the french system and sorry for that so we have requested from the microphone number 2 please it is also the voice of the breast and she direct and the technology use giving force always compressed a transfer of additional any more relations for almost the dish can survive several Codex were stored x more data transmission and I'm not the expert on that subject I know there are some Caudex yes but they are extremely slow so um you you are happy if you get something like 12 hundred uh maybe uh 2 thousand 400 bps of data through a modem that survives the multiple codecs and of course always the question of which Codex them the main from number 4 please OK and under the pressure to her actually think for the talk i would like to ask the audience because many things because of operators and we have this idea wanted to meet this evening at the same time slot and 1 of the seminar rooms were talk about that times I said something so I'm trying to conserve this session at the seminar room 14 15 I think it's quite an article OK thank you right so the user talk about good be of and some more starting think there similar people chewing on microphone number of caution about the political will involve systems and could you tell us a that of all the elements of the Fascist Kowloon between the awards but then the next and find what that what were the conflicts in those boxes I have to admit I cannot say too much about the final and of course CNN's was network uh many year for left-wing political activists in groups and the yes there was truly that's the right wing network and I knew there was discussions and so on and they were people trying to reconcile each other's boxes and so on but in a I I was not participating 1 involving in in in these discussions and to an extent that I can't really comment on and sorry microphone number 1 case I I I still remember when I started with an acoustic coupler I did that because there was a severe threat of punishment if you use the new legal modem at the time from the Dutch in this course so I was actually never aware that a little bit later you could actually do it and back-to-back DSL modem connection over an analog exchange so at that time he did that what was that the punishment situation from the from this list or whatever it was called at the time if they would ever come to remind you remember I have no clue yes about sort of and I mean the the the the the the the the uh the uh um the criminal offense I think stopped in 92 window to post was privatized and so on 292 would was a criminal offense to operate in non of proof modem at the German telephone network because was government on was so it was a crime not another a minor offense but after what's I don't really know to be honest um I don't think anyone bothered at the time and nobody and of really never had any trouble with the East India so uh things and so on that we did over analog circuits the government OK the hot on from Taiwan and I just want to show some things in just the way we want entirely on is a small country in Asia we'll it using the largest
fine and PDT and exported to use SSH or WebSocket kind it and it's scoping over a level on behalf of the suggests that you think has actually not just for Taiwan but you can find many I mean maybe more popular they're still but you can find many BBSs addressed in operation today in many different countries and even also with um a BBS software uh that's a free sovereign is maintained on GitHub on another repositories with contributors and so on so that the community still lives there but I think at least internationally it's it's very small um and I'm happy to hear the larger in some countries this is time for questions maximum working so if you talk about restoring decentralization so world so this is what you'd like to see you coming the something like the using amenable to their about the context of all pairs of money into something in this so which technologies would you like to revive all the thing or is it really was to have this information again I don't think the technology is necessarily need to be revised because they are to a large extent old and people are smarter and they're they're clear the Organisatie um that the capacity and the computational complexity of what you can do today on is much better so we can have much better technology um but the thing that I would like to see revived is more decentralization and and people operating their own technology and that's just I think I don't really have a plan and I'm not saying about I have a vision and just seeing it as a problem this development that basically the consumer producer model and especially with content delivery networks and was attacks on network neutrality and and and all these topics it's always moving in 1 direction it's basically turning the user enters stupid consumer and and uh making sure all the control and although the content and so on this side in in the in the ones in in the and of large corporations how by the way 1 interesting anecdote about that I talked about the asymmetry of the speed of light and with the it with the ocellatus ADSL in the popular technology is always the the downlink is bigger than the uplink I know in Brazil a lot of people at basically in small like in small size size fees they did the opposite way around so that did 1 modem with a basically a large downstream and small upstream and then they on on and another line next to that of the inverted it by using a master modem on 1 side and the slave mode on the other so then again you have symmetric speed and so some people had the creative ideas to work around some of the technological restrictions Sumatra from moment to please the aisles of Thailand and I want as something for my friend like allows filled by half million people commented yes it's called the yeah today and like and this there there to 100 thousand the line no yes so I think the communities now like as you can you can you know that a lot of as you as something from my friend OK it yes thank you microphone the more please of kind of dual you told all of what about the use of man what was it on is with do that you for a community you today is so possible way to get this prune bag from what you would have been better boxes only he his services they offer them there the problem could move the same today the word use old structures and so on that's the correct yes 5 definitely is much more in the spirit of the community owned and community-run uh systems and I see lots of similarities between the previous a community and what from is doing to the square coil you what you're doing something good for me personally no I'm not involved end I think microphone number 2 is waiting way too long going hello things would talk and you mentioned that most people wouldn't have the TCP IP capable of operating system that it's time and I started to recently about integrating system quality extend its xt and I X that was actually the little bang Microsoft and published in 1983
that could done on the IBM PC compatible machines and and a disease processes and I needed in the Russian media systems at least it was very popular you will encounter anything existed operating systems at that time so I personally did not encounter axenic sigh read about it yes and I know it it I could have possibly running on my 286 machine but I mean I don't think it was something that was readily available for affordable prices to individuals but maybe I'm wrong no certainly not OK some people are really shaking that's the by was going possibly I do not want to comment on the I have time for 1 moment of that you what that is the the meeting is uh search for BDS this evening at 9 o'clock Pacific and talk about all the details of running the is lot borderlines lines of some more intense and that a lot of these models that these other things so the URL at 9 o'clock the activity that they ever thank you have much what to what I
have a specific to the to the to the