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I used to wake up in the middle of the night and sneak downstairs with my brother, lugging our family's first computer, a Compaq Presario all-in-one (similar to the gumdrop iMac) onto the dining room table so we could connect to the internet. With a 486DX2/66 and 4MB ram, we'd load up Tabworks and use the /worst/ browser in existence (don't recall the name, but it was probably a rip off of Mosaic) and dial out to IDT.net to connect to the internet.

Later on, after saving money to upgrade to a whopping 12MB ram and Windows 95, that same computer allowed to to play multiplayer Diablo, which was my first taste of IRC. Naturally it was all downhill from there, and I played Diablo for two years straight.

There were a lot of fights in our household over phone bills and busy dial tones, and I'm sorry that my sister was left stranded at school with no ride because I was busy downloading FreeBSD, but now I'm a successful software engineer and budding entrepreneur in the education space, and it's all thanks to those formative moments panicking at 3 am, trying so hard to muffle the sounds emanating from my 9600 kbaud modem as it connected me to an exciting new world.

Thanks, Peter. Thank you so much.

ATL0 was a great command that muted the modem so that your parents couldn't hear that you were dialing up. :-)

Oh wow, now I feel old.

Wasn't ATH0+++ used to cause modem users to hangup via IRC CTCP requests? Good days.

A popular multi-line BBS back in Colorado had one faulty modem and if you were to post that in chat the person on that line would get disconnected... good times, good times.

It probably had a modem that didn't pay Hayes to license the patent on enforcing a delay in switching from data mode to command mode (+++ did that, and then ATH0 was the AT command to hang up the phone -- normally you'd have to wait a couple seconds, type +++, wait a couple more seconds, and then you'd get an OK and could type AT commands).


Oh man, I used to have the exact same phone line fights with my dad. A friend of mine had two phone lines at his house, and was the object of great and furious envy. I'd all but forgotten the days when an internet connection was a special treat.

I don't think I am nearly as old as you, my first touch on the Internet was on a 133 Mhz Compaq Pressario with 64 Mb of ram.

My dad finally got a second line installed as it was starting to get annoying that I was on line pretty much 24/7. Never did use Trumpet Winsock but the Windows 95 built in dialer still gives me nightmares.

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