Being stuck on dial-up speeds at the moment reminds me of using the Internet in the early 90s. The Internet then was a brand new thing, my computer was a Pentium 100, it was running Windows 3.11, and my modem was running at 24kbps (24000bps then, compared to 1.5Mbps or 1500000bps and above now). It was hella cool for the time, and I fantasised a lot about being like the Whiz Kids.
Back then the Net was predominantly for two things: chatting and discussions on the newsgroups. Website browsing as we know it today did not exist – it was too slow over the modems. Even then, the sites were very rudimentary and we only ever visited “homepages“.
Chatting was either done using “talk” and “ytalk” through a telnet terminal, or IRC. IRC was where all the action was. Although it is used much less now, it still exists today indicating how addictive it can be. Sex channels and all their variants (#sex, #netsex, #cybersex, #hottub etc.) were the most popular for the obvious reasons.
The discussions on the newsgroups were much like forums and to a certain extent, blogs today. People would write up an item and people would post their comments under it. Newsgroups would have names like “rec.culture.asian.american”, and “soc.culture.tv.australia” indicating what the group was about. And as with everything to do with technology, you can’t get away from the sex and sleaze: alt.sex.stories, alt.binaries.pictures.sex etc.
The primary reason the above were popular during those dial-up days was that they were mostly text and therefore fast through those put-put-putting modems. But modems have drawbacks.
The modems are connected via the same phone line as the house phone. Unless the line was dedicated for just modem use only, and most people did not think the cost was justified, the modem would cut off whenever someone accidentally picks up the handset. Or if you have call-waiting on the line and a call is coming through, that would kill the connection too.
“Sorry, I got disc” was a very common phrase.
What was most frustrating but really funny now was that the disconnections happen at the worst times.
Scenario 1: after trolling through countless newsgroups and actually finding some good porn in a 10-part bundle, and downloading 7 or 8 parts of it, you get disconnected. Noooooooo!
Scenario 2: after trolling through countless IRC sex channels, you finally got someone to go private messaging with you. Score! As you furiously type out your sexual fantasy, “I run my hand down your back and slowly pull you in closer, and I nibble on your … *boop* You are disconnected.” Noooooooo!
Both of which had happened to me more than once. Those were the good old days. Woohoo!