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.
This talk covers how individuals could participate in local, regional and global message-based data communications in the 1990ies. It covers the technologies used to access such networks, both on the infrastructure (BBS) side, as well as on the user/client side.
At the same time, the talk is a bit of a personal journey from
- accessing dial-up BBSs using accoustinc coupler and modem
- becoming CoSysop of a BBS and learning about how to operatie BBSs
- being a Node/Point in message based communications networks like Z-Netz and FIDO
- using UUCP to participate in Internet mail/news (Usenet)
- working in the technical team of Kommunikationsnetz Franken e.V. to set up a community-based ISP with modem and ISDN dial-up banks, satellite based Usenet feeds, analog leased lines ISDN-SPV.
- helping getting Germany’s alleged first Internet Cafe (we then called it an Online Bistro) connected
I never was able to know anyone close enough to do fun stuff like back to back DSL modems, or even in this day & age run fiber optics, do ATM or anything fun like that. As they say telecoms always break down at the last mile, or in my case the first mile.