dial-up experiences (was Re: question aaout ISP's)

Keith M keithvz at verizon.net
Fri Aug 8 08:56:26 CDT 2008

Ethan Dicks wrote:

>> I am a product of the 80's -- got interested in computers and modems 
>> right when WarGames came out, along with Whiz Kids, if anyone knows that 
>> show.  You'll never guess what I did during my teenage(and later) years? :)
> Heh... I pretty much kept my nose clean back in those days, but I had
> older friends who were quite a bit more reckless.  I don't know anyone
> that ever built a blue-box, but some of the kids were big into wardialling.

I always enjoyed wardialling.  It was like pot luck, and you had no idea 
what numbers you'd wake up to the next day.  Then *69 came, and then 
Caller ID, then the internet was much more interesting and widespread. 
Although Tymnet, Telenet/Sprintnet(not to be confused with telnet) were 
fun just to key in random addresses and see what happens.  You could 
connect to all sorts of goofy stuff.

The phreaking stuff was a lot of phun too. :)

Anyone remember PC Pursuit?  Basically a flat rate service (maybe it was 
$25/month?) you could dial up local access numbers(for telenet), and 
then connect to BBS's anywhere in the cities they supported for free. 
Back when long distance calls cost big $$$.

> One story from those days - I wasn't there to verify that it actually
> happened, but it sounds plausible - was that one kid had use of the
> family station wagon when he learned to drive - he piled an Apple II
> in the back, with monitor and all, and parked behind a K-Mart by the
> garden center, because they had two important resources near each other...
> a payphone and an outdoor 110V outlet... he parked as close to the phone
> as he could, plugged the computer in and used an acoustic coupler to
> do his wardialling from the tailgate.  He was ready to unplug and go
> if the authorities came sniffing around, but I don't think he ever got
> noticed.

It's quite plausible, and I know there were a lot of paranoid people 
around who went to such extremes to avoid doing stuff from home. 
Realistically, unless you were doing really bad stuff, you'd be unlikely 
to get in trouble --- the chance of the local police finding him in the 
parking lot (and then being pretty suspicious) was much greater than the 
threat from anywhere else.

> -ethan


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