Discussion:
Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
(too old to reply)
Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2014-04-06 14:10:32 UTC
Permalink
Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.itworld.com/business/264694/internet-golden-age-online-services

from above:

Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.

... snip ...

then back when 300BPS was "high-speed" (and before)

various virtual-machine based online services ... original cp67 based
like NCSS and IDC ... which fairly quickly moved up value stream into
financial information
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_CSS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_Data_Corporation

both NCSS and IDC got some people from the cambridge science center and
lincoln labs (which was first location running cp67 outside the science
center). NCSS was bought by dun & bradstreet. IDC continues as online
web-based service.

The NCSS wiki mentions a hacking story that made NYT in July1981 where
the master password list was compromised.

then tymshare & tymnet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tymnet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tymshare

tymnet was spun off in the 80s when M/D bought Tymshare. I've mentioned
before that tymshare started offerring their cms-based online computer
conferencing free to the SHARE IBM user group in Aug1976 ... archives
here
http://vm.marist.edu/~vmshare

past posts mentioning virtual machine based online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/submain.html#timeshare

somewhat dwarfing all of them was the internal HONE system providing
online sales&marketing support applications world-wide. some past posts
mentioning HONE (&/or apl)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subtopic.html#hone

silicon valley location trivia: in the mid-70s, the US HONE datacenters
were consolidated in silicon valley. when Facebook started in silicon
valley, they were in new bldg. built next door to the old HONE
datacenter.

I've also recently mentioned NCSS & Tymshare recently with respect to
4th generation language ... Ramis, Nomad, FOCUS (& SQL, all going on
virtual machine based infrastructure) )
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014c.html#77 Bloat
refences
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramis_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomad_software
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOCUS

and of course original sql/relational System/R at bldg.28 some past post
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/submain.html#systemr

I've mentioned IDC with reference to the last decade financial mess. In
the congressional hearings into the major role that the credit rating
agencies played in the whole mess, there was testimony that rating
agencies where "selling" triple-A ratings for toxic CDOs when they knew
they weren't worth triple-A. Part of this was attributed to the rating
agency business process had became mis-aligned in the early 70s when
they switched from the buyers paying for the ratings to the sellers
paying for the ratings. IDC had bought the pricing-services division
about this time in the early 70s (could make snide reference that the
rating agencies no longer needed to know the value of what they were
rating). Then in Jan2009, there was a very brief reference to IDC
helping value toxic assets ... when there was still the facade that TARP
(trouble asset relief program) funds were actually supposed to be used
for buy toxic assets (rather then the CEO compensation enhancing
program)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009.html#21 Banks to embrace virtualisation in 2009: survey
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009.html#31 Banks to embrace virtualisation in 2009: survey
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009.html#32 What are the challenges in risk analytics post financial crisis?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009b.html#49 US disaster, debts and bad financial management
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009e.html#53 Are the "brightest minds in finance" finally onto something?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009f.html#49 Is the current downturn cyclic or systemic?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010n.html#50 TARP Bailout to Cost Less Than Once Anticipated
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011j.html#45 S&P's History of Relentless Political Advocacy
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013k.html#82 spacewar
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014b.html#2 Royal Pardon For Turing
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
2014-04-06 14:55:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident
that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT <http://patriot.net/~shmuel>

Unsolicited bulk E-mail subject to legal action. I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail. Reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me. Do not
reply to ***@library.lspace.org
Stanley Daniel de Liver
2014-04-06 20:12:17 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident
that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4
times the speed!
--
It's a money /life balance.
Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2014-04-06 20:41:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4
times the speed!
re:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#34 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services

When I switched from 2741 to CDI miniterm at home, i went from 134.5 to
300.

then when I switched from CDI miniterm to 3101 (ibm glass teletype), i
switch from 300 to 1200.

then from 3101 to ibm/pc went from 1200 to 2400.

home images of cdi miniterm, 3101, and ibm/pc
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/lhwemail.html#oldpicts

code name for 3101 was topaz ... misc past posts
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006y.html#0 Why so little parallelism?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007e.html#15 The Genealogy of the IBM PC
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007h.html#39 sizeof() was: The Perfect Computer - 36 bits?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007k.html#40 DEC and news groups
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007t.html#74 What do YOU call the # sign?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008m.html#37 Baudot code direct to computers?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008m.html#51 Baudot code direct to computers?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008s.html#22 IBM PC competitors
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009j.html#40 My "Green Screen" IBMLink is still working
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009j.html#66 A Complete History Of Mainframe Computing
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009s.html#0 tty
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010b.html#27 Happy DEC-10 Day
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011d.html#15 I actually miss working at IBM
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012m.html#27 Singer Cartons of Punch Cards
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013k.html#16 Unbuffered glass TTYs?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013k.html#24 spacewar
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013l.html#21 Teletypewriter Model 33
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2014-04-06 22:19:06 UTC
Permalink
re:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#34 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#37 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services

ibm had done threat and vulnerability study of allowing dial-ins to
corporate infrastructure and built a special corporate encrypting 2400
modem. semi-related to requirement for link encryptors on internal
network (not just home terminal program, one of the major
vulnerabilities was considered hotel telco closet) ... recent posts:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014.html#9 NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#7 Last Gasp for Hard Disk Drives
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#25 Is there any MF shop using AWS service?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#27 TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

next step was 14.4 telebit trailblazer (early 90s)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telebit
... some past posts
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000e.html#19 Is Al Gore The Father of the Internet?^
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000e.html#20 Is Al Gore The Father of the Internet?^
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001e.html#62 Modem "mating calls"
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003g.html#6 Oldest system to run a web browser?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003k.html#33 The Vintage Computer Forum
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004e.html#8 were dumb terminals actually so dumb???
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#24 August 7, 1944: today is the 65th Anniversary of the Birth of the Computer
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012m.html#27 Singer Cartons of Punch Cards

I also got a satellite 9.6kbit full usenet feed ... for doing a couple
drivers and co-authoring article in boardwatch mag old pictures also
have one of the sat. dish for the article (1993) ... as usenet increased
they had to double the sat feed to 19.2kbit
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/lhwemail.html#oldpicts

past posts mentioning corporate encrypting modem
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002d.html#11 Security Proportional to Risk (was: IBM Mainframe at home)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003i.html#62 Wireless security
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004q.html#57 high speed network, cross-over from sci.crypt
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006p.html#35 Metroliner telephone article
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006t.html#5 Are there more stupid people in IT than there used to be?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007c.html#30 Securing financial transactions a high priority for 2007
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007g.html#66 Memory Mapped Vs I/O Mapped Vs others
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008i.html#16 should I encrypt over a private network?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009c.html#30 I need magic incantation for a power conditioner
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010c.html#60 Cybercrime Checks Into The Hotel Industry
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011f.html#25 Fear the Internet, was Cool Things You Can Do in z/OS
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011j.html#19 disclosing "business" information on the internet
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011k.html#35 Chase, Bank of America credit cards too hacker-friendly?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012d.html#20 Writing article on telework/telecommuting
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012g.html#31 IBM bans Siri: Privacy risk, or corporate paranoia at its best?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013l.html#23 Teletypewriter Model 33

posts refs boardwatch mag article
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000.html#38 Vanishing Posts...
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000e.html#39 I'll Be! Al Gore DID Invent the Internet After All ! NOT
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001h.html#66 UUCP email
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2005l.html#16 Newsgroups (Was Another OS/390 to z/OS 1.4 migration
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006m.html#11 An Out-of-the-Main Activity
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007n.html#17 What if phone company had developed Internet?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2007p.html#16 Newsweek article--baby boomers and computers
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008m.html#19 IBM-MAIN longevity
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009j.html#19 Another one bites the dust
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009p.html#84 Anyone going to Supercomputers '09 in Portland?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009r.html#74 bulletin board
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010c.html#75 Posts missing from ibm-main on google groups
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012b.html#92 The PC industry is heading for collapse
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013l.html#26 Anyone here run UUCP?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014b.html#67 Royal Pardon For Turing
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
Michael Black
2014-04-07 00:34:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident
that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4 times
the speed!
It was a long span, too. Byte in 1978 had an article about the first BBS,
and of course they ran into the nineties.

The Radio Shack Model 100 (that came with introductory time on one of
those big online services, I think Compuserve) had only a 300baud modem,
and it came out in 1984.

I got my first external modem in 1989 for a $100, it was a 1200baud.

Michael
Charlie Gibbs
2014-04-07 02:42:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems
were "high-speed", millions of people used online services, like
AOL, CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and
share Star War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite
confident that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
But never paid for one personally, I'll bet. I remember noting
around 1980 when the price of modems fell from $1 US per bps to
$1 Canadian. You could get 9600 bps, but it'd cost you ten grand
(plus the lease of a conditioned phone line).

A few years later when I got into BBSes and bought my first modem
(a 300-bps manually-operated model) it cost me $150. Later I got
a 1200-bps modem for $160, still later a 2400-bps modem for $250,
and in the late '80s a ZyXEL modem that could do 14400 bps set me
back nearly $500.
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS.
4 times the speed!
s/4/8/

USR gave sysops a special deal on their Courier 2400 to try to generate
demand. When it first came out, list price was about $900.
--
/~\ ***@kltpzyxm.invalid (Charlie Gibbs)
\ / I'm really at ac.dekanfrus if you read it the right way.
X Top-posted messages will probably be ignored. See RFC1855.
/ \ HTML will DEFINITELY be ignored. Join the ASCII ribbon campaign!
Michael Black
2014-04-07 05:20:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems
were "high-speed", millions of people used online services, like
AOL, CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and
share Star War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite
confident that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
But never paid for one personally, I'll bet. I remember noting
around 1980 when the price of modems fell from $1 US per bps to
$1 Canadian. You could get 9600 bps, but it'd cost you ten grand
(plus the lease of a conditioned phone line).
A few years later when I got into BBSes and bought my first modem
(a 300-bps manually-operated model) it cost me $150. Later I got
a 1200-bps modem for $160, still later a 2400-bps modem for $250,
and in the late '80s a ZyXEL modem that could do 14400 bps set me
back nearly $500.
I waited till they were a hundred dollars or so.

I already mentioned buying a 1200baud in late 1989 when I found an
external modem for about a hundred dollars. My next modem was an ISA bus
2400baud bought at a garage sale for about five dollars, that was June of
1995. I was using a Mac Plus at the time, so I desoldered the UART on the
ISA board, added a daughterboard with RS-232 line drivers and receivers,
and interfaced the Mac that way, the ISA modem now being a serial modem.

That couldn't work for later models, since they were better integrated,
the actual UART going into the actual modem IC. And by the next year,
there were the WIndows-modems, requiring the computer to do the work, so
you couldn't have turned one into an external modem even if you had access
to the serial lines.

Then that fall of 1995, I got a USR 2400 modem, which included some
technique that speeded things up, if you had a similar USR modem. That
seemed to help, but it wonly worked with BBSs that had the USR modem. By
the time I had an ISP in the fall of 1996, ISPs sure weren't using
something that fit those old modems.

The next modem I paid a hundred dollars for was in November of 1996, a
14.4K. After that, I never bought a new modem, using that one for about
five years, until I moved to an "IBM PC Clone" and Linux, and that
computer had a 28.8K modem internal. My 33.6K and 56K were externals, the
latter taking some time to find cheap and used (I assume since the next
step up was high speed internet so people kept their 56K as a fallback,
while lower speeds could be tossed when they got a faster modem).

But I paid five or ten for the 33.6K and 56K used modems.
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS.
4 times the speed!
s/4/8/
USR gave sysops a special deal on their Courier 2400 to try to generate
demand. When it first came out, list price was about $900.
If they didn't upgrade, nobody else would.

I can't reember the time period, but some of those big online services
like Compuserv (or maybe it was Tymnet that was sometimes offered) tended
to carry a premium for the higher speed (and I don't remember what speed
was topical at the time). That never seemed quite fair, since yes, you
could transfer things faster, but if you were just sitting typing, it
didn't cut back on your time online, so they didn't really lose money from
the base per hour rate.

Michael
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2014-04-07 14:31:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Black
I already mentioned buying a 1200baud in late 1989 when I found an
external modem for about a hundred dollars. My next modem was an ISA bus
2400baud bought at a garage sale for about five dollars, that was June of
1995. I was using a Mac Plus at the time, so I desoldered the UART on the
ISA board, added a daughterboard with RS-232 line drivers and receivers,
and interfaced the Mac that way, the ISA modem now being a serial modem.
Around the time that the industry was evolving from 286 to 386 machines was when I got an internal 2400 modem (late 1980s?). IIRC, it was $60.


BTW, do modern PCs still come with a built-in modem to do dial-up and faxing?
Post by Michael Black
I can't reember the time period, but some of those big online services
like Compuserv (or maybe it was Tymnet that was sometimes offered) tended
to carry a premium for the higher speed (and I don't remember what speed
was topical at the time). That never seemed quite fair, since yes, you
could transfer things faster, but if you were just sitting typing, it
didn't cut back on your time online, so they didn't really lose money from
the base per hour rate.
To save connect time charges, in Teletype days we always prepared our programs in off-line mode first. We'd dial-in, submit our paper tape, and get some test results. We'd then go off-line to review the output and debug. Depending on the steepness of the connect charges and competition for terminal access, we might do some debugging on-line.

I once had Compuserve, but I tended to be afraid of doing anything with it because the meter was running and there were surcharges to just about anything of interest. I knew full well that it was very easy to get wrapped up in a task for a long time without watching the meter, and then unknowingly running up a huge bill.

Email would've been nice to use, but no one else I knew had a computer at that time.

I do recall Compuserve had a feature where one could send WU Mailgrams (extra charge). I never made use of it, but thought it was interesting to have it.

Did anyone do anything interesting on Compuserve?
Michael Black
2014-04-07 17:04:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Michael Black
I already mentioned buying a 1200baud in late 1989 when I found an
external modem for about a hundred dollars. My next modem was an ISA bus
2400baud bought at a garage sale for about five dollars, that was June of
1995. I was using a Mac Plus at the time, so I desoldered the UART on the
ISA board, added a daughterboard with RS-232 line drivers and receivers,
and interfaced the Mac that way, the ISA modem now being a serial modem.
Around the time that the industry was evolving from 286 to 386 machines
was when I got an internal 2400 modem (late 1980s?). IIRC, it was $60.
There's a lot of variables, I needed an external and those tended to be
more expensive. And I am in Canada. If I could get a 2400baud modem used
in 1995 for five dollars, then that has to indicate a reasonable length of
time that they'd been available.

I know I was watching till a modem hit the hundred dollar mark, a price I
was willing to pay, and that had 1200baud and 1989 intersecting, but yes,
the price drop probably meant something else was there for a reasonable
amount.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
BTW, do modern PCs still come with a built-in modem to do dial-up and faxing?
I doubt it. At best I've seen "wifi included", which makes more sense.
And of course, the built in modem for a long time was as cheap as it could
be, one of those Windmodems. The cost low enough that they could use
"modem included" as a selling point without raising the overall price
much.

Even the 1GHz computer I got as a handme down in late 2003, that only had
one RS232 port, which meant I could use a modem, but there were times when
I needed a second serial port.

Actually, that computer caused me to get an external modem, because it
didn't have an ISA bus for my older internal modem. I suspect internal
(and thus built-in) modems started disappearing as the PCI bus took over.

I suspect current computers, at least intended for the average consumer,
no longer have serial or parallel ports, you're expected to use USB.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Michael Black
I can't reember the time period, but some of those big online services
like Compuserv (or maybe it was Tymnet that was sometimes offered) tended
to carry a premium for the higher speed (and I don't remember what speed
was topical at the time). That never seemed quite fair, since yes, you
could transfer things faster, but if you were just sitting typing, it
didn't cut back on your time online, so they didn't really lose money from
the base per hour rate.
To save connect time charges, in Teletype days we always prepared our
programs in off-line mode first. We'd dial-in, submit our paper tape,
and get some test results. We'd then go off-line to review the output
and debug. Depending on the steepness of the connect charges and
competition for terminal access, we might do some debugging on-line.
I once had Compuserve, but I tended to be afraid of doing anything with
it because the meter was running and there were surcharges to just about
anything of interest. I knew full well that it was very easy to get
wrapped up in a task for a long time without watching the meter, and
then unknowingly running up a huge bill.
It was a different model. I avoided it all, because it was expensive. In
Canada for a while, Bell had "Alex" based on that system in France,
Minitel, a terminal you could rent and then various for pay services.
The prices for the service seemed quite high too.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Email would've been nice to use, but no one else I knew had a computer at that time.
I do recall Compuserve had a feature where one could send WU Mailgrams
(extra charge). I never made use of it, but thought it was interesting
to have it.
Did anyone do anything interesting on Compuserve?
People didn't spend all that money to do nothing, so there had to be
things. Of course, to make matters worse, one service would be the home
of some group, so even if you were online, you might not have access to
it. For the Radio Shack Color COmputer, it seemed like Genie was the
place to be, and then Byte magazine had their Bix system. And magazines
would print content from their online service, except it was just a lure.
The didn't print the hard information that was being typed online, just
pages of teaser. A waste of the magazine space.

Michael
Slp
2014-04-07 17:47:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Michael Black
I already mentioned buying a 1200baud in late 1989 when I found an
external modem for about a hundred dollars. My next modem was an ISA bus
2400baud bought at a garage sale for about five dollars, that was June of
1995. I was using a Mac Plus at the time, so I desoldered the UART on the
ISA board, added a daughterboard with RS-232 line drivers and receivers,
and interfaced the Mac that way, the ISA modem now being a serial modem.
Around the time that the industry was evolving from 286 to 386 machines
was when I got an internal 2400 modem (late 1980s?). IIRC, it was $60.
BTW, do modern PCs still come with a built-in modem to do dial-up and faxing?
Yeah, particularly with laptops.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Michael Black
I can't reember the time period, but some of those big online services
like Compuserv (or maybe it was Tymnet that was sometimes offered) tended
to carry a premium for the higher speed (and I don't remember what speed
was topical at the time). That never seemed quite fair, since yes, you
could transfer things faster, but if you were just sitting typing, it
didn't cut back on your time online, so they didn't really lose money from
the base per hour rate.
To save connect time charges, in Teletype days we always prepared our
programs in off-line mode first. We'd dial-in, submit our paper tape, and
get some test results. We'd then go off-line to review the output and
debug. Depending on the steepness of the connect charges and competition
for terminal access, we might do some debugging on-line.
I once had Compuserve, but I tended to be afraid of doing anything with it
because the meter was running and there were surcharges to just about
anything of interest. I knew full well that it was very easy to get
wrapped up in a task for a long time without watching the meter, and then
unknowingly running up a huge bill.
Email would've been nice to use, but no one else I knew had a computer at that time.
I do recall Compuserve had a feature where one could send WU Mailgrams
(extra charge). I never made use of it, but thought it was interesting to
have it.
Did anyone do anything interesting on Compuserve?
I did something very similar to usenet, with the place
I was working for paying for it.

Stanley Daniel de Liver
2014-04-07 09:54:03 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 07 Apr 2014 03:42:37 +0100, Charlie Gibbs
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems
were "high-speed", millions of people used online services, like
AOL, CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and
share Star War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite
confident that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
But never paid for one personally, I'll bet. I remember noting
around 1980 when the price of modems fell from $1 US per bps to
$1 Canadian. You could get 9600 bps, but it'd cost you ten grand
(plus the lease of a conditioned phone line).
A few years later when I got into BBSes and bought my first modem
(a 300-bps manually-operated model) it cost me $150. Later I got
a 1200-bps modem for $160, still later a 2400-bps modem for $250,
and in the late '80s a ZyXEL modem that could do 14400 bps set me
back nearly $500.
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS.
4 times the speed!
s/4/8/
Yup, very bad maths there! and I was thinking of the user end; I think
(now) that the OP meant modems at the host BBS end.
Post by Charlie Gibbs
USR gave sysops a special deal on their Courier 2400 to try to generate
demand. When it first came out, list price was about $900.
--
It's a money /life balance.
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
2014-04-07 12:35:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Gibbs
But never paid for one personally, I'll bet.
No; in that era asynchronous modems were used for interactive
terminals and synchronous modems were used for batch terminals, where
speed was more important.
Post by Charlie Gibbs
conditioned phone line
I don't know about 9600 bps, but 4800 worked just fine on an
unconditioned line. OTOH, 56Kbps required a leased line. Then DDS came
along and leased lines became less attractive.
--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT <http://patriot.net/~shmuel>

Unsolicited bulk E-mail subject to legal action. I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail. Reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me. Do not
reply to ***@library.lspace.org
Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2014-04-07 13:23:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
I don't know about 9600 bps, but 4800 worked just fine on an
unconditioned line. OTOH, 56Kbps required a leased line. Then DDS came
along and leased lines became less attractive.
re:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#34 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#37 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#38 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#39 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services

the IBM mainframe telecommunication controller ("37x5") boxes only had
support up to 56Kpbs. In the early and mid-80s, I had HSDT project with
T1 and faster speed links
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subnetwork.html#hsdt

and T1 was becoming more and more of an issue. in the mid-80s, the
communication prepared a report for the corporate executive committee
explaining whay IBM (mainframe) customers weren't interested in T1
before the early to mid-90s.

The 37x5 boxes had "fat pipe" support where multiple parallel 56kbit
links would be treated as single logical link. They showed survey of
customers using "fat pipel" ... numbers with 2, 3, 4, 5, etc 56kbit
links ... and didn't find any operating with six. What they didn't know
(or bother report) was at the time, telco tariff for T1 was about the
same as 5-6 56kbit links. We did a trivial survey and found 200
mainframe customers with T1 links ... what they were doing was
installing T1 and switching to some non-IBM vendor box. recent
post discussing their biasing the methodology for report to justify
that they didn't have more than 56kbit/sec support
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#13 The IBM Strategy

I've claimed this was factor in senior disk engineer claim that
communication group was going to be responsible for the demise
of the disk division. posts reference communication group dumb
terminal paradigm and install base
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subnetwork.html#terminal

other past posts mentioning "fat pipe":
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001.html#4 Sv: First video terminal?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002j.html#67 Total Computing Power
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003m.html#28 SR 15,15
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003m.html#59 SR 15,15
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004g.html#37 network history
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004l.html#7 Xah Lee's Unixism
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2005j.html#59 Q ALLOC PAGE vs. CP Q ALLOC vs ESAMAP
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006l.html#4 Google Architecture
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006w.html#21 SNA/VTAM for NSFNET
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008e.html#45 1975 movie "Three Days of the Condor" tech stuff
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008s.html#19 Nerdy networking kid crashes the party
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#24 August 7, 1944: today is the 65th Anniversary of the Birth of the Computer
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009l.html#44 SNA: conflicting opinions
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010e.html#80 Entry point for a Mainframe?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010e.html#83 Entry point for a Mainframe?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2010i.html#69 Favourite computer history books?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011c.html#16 Other early NSFNET backbone
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011c.html#40 Other early NSFNET backbone
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011h.html#54 Did My Brother Invent E-Mail With Tom Van Vleck? (Part One)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011p.html#98 Has anyone successfully migrated off mainframes?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012c.html#41 Where are all the old tech workers?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012g.html#41 VM Workshop 2012
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012h.html#80 A joke seen in an online discussion about moving a box of tape backups
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012j.html#87 Gordon Crovitz: Who Really Invented the Internet?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012j.html#89 Gordon Crovitz: Who Really Invented the Internet?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012k.html#29 History--punched card transmission over telegraph lines
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012m.html#24 Does the IBM System z Mainframe rely on Security by Obscurity or is it Secure by Design
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2012o.html#47 PC/mainframe browser(s) was Re: 360/20, was 1132 printerhistory
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013d.html#45 What Makes an Architecture Bizarre?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2013j.html#66 OSI: The Internet That Wasn't
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#7 Last Gasp for Hard Disk Drives
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
greymausg
2014-04-07 09:18:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident
that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4
times the speed!
1200/75 was standard for many net services, download at 1200, upload
(single chars usually) at 75. 300/300 was the next seed, unfortunatly
US and UK standards aat that speed were incompatible. With some trouble
I got a 300/300.. wrong standard.
--
maus
.
.
...
Slp
2014-04-07 17:40:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by greymausg
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:55:17 +0100, Shmuel Metz
Post by Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident
that you've used 208B modems or better in that era.
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4
times the speed!
1200/75 was standard for many net services, download at 1200, upload
(single chars usually) at 75. 300/300 was the next seed,
You've got that backwards, 300/300 came before 1200/75

unfortunatly
Post by greymausg
US and UK standards aat that speed were incompatible. With some trouble
I got a 300/300.. wrong standard.
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
2014-04-07 12:41:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley Daniel de Liver
It might have depended on geography; I recall 300->2400 dialup BBS. 4
times the speed!
Access to a BBS normally used asynchronous modems, which were slower.

Conventional wisdom was that anything faster than 1200 bps required a
wired connection, which was a royal pain in the DAA (ptui!) era; then
Courier came along with an acoustic coupler that ran at 3400 bps.
--
Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT <http://patriot.net/~shmuel>

Unsolicited bulk E-mail subject to legal action. I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail. Reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me. Do not
reply to ***@library.lspace.org
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2014-04-07 01:31:31 UTC
Permalink
By the BBS era, 2400 bps was no longer high speed. I'm quite confident that you've used 208B modems or better in that era. --
If memory serves, most lay users in the BBS era connected by 2400 modems, but many had slower ones. I'm pretty sure faster modems were available, but they were quite expensive and more for commercial use, or the very serious hobbyist.
Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2014-04-07 03:04:44 UTC
Permalink
re
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#34 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#37 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2014e.html#38 Before the Internet: The golden age of online services

one of the vm/370 developers from the old burlington mall development
group, left the company and was doing mainframe consulting ... including
Dialog (in silicon valley, had spun off from lockheed. He would invite
me to visit him & dialog ... they had gotten as9000. past posts
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006b.html#38 blast from the past ... macrocode
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2008r.html#27 CPU time/instruction table
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009q.html#44 Old datasearches
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011p.html#56 Are prefix opcodes better than variable length?

including some old email
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006b.html#email810318
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006b.html#email810421

past post about "online before the internet"
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009q.html#46 Old datasearches

references

diaglog.com history site:
http://www.dialog.com/about/history/

Reflections on the Beginnings of Dialog: The Birth of Online Information
Access
http://support.dialog.com/publications/chronolog/200206/1020628.shtml

Online Before the Internet: Early Pioneers Tell Their Stories
Part 1: In the Beginning;
http://www.dialog.com/about/history/pioneers1.pdf

Online Before the Internet: Early Pioneers Tell Their Stories
Part 2: Growth of the Online Industry;
http://www.dialog.com/about/history/pioneers2.pdf

other past posts referencing dialog:
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001g.html#33 Did AT&T offer Unix to Digital Equipment in the 70s?
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2001g.html#46 The Alpha/IA64 Hybrid
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002h.html#0 Search for Joseph A. Fisher VLSI Publication (1981)
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2002l.html#61 10 choices that were critical to the Net's success
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2006b.html#30 Empires and Imperialism
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009m.html#88 Continous Systems Modelling Package
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2009q.html#24 Old datasearches
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2011j.html#47 Graph of total world disk space over time?
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2014-04-07 14:20:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anne & Lynn Wheeler
Before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400 BPS modems were
"high-speed", millions of people used online services, like AOL,
CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star
War jokes.
In the early 1960s, newspaper articles talking about computers predicted the future would have home terminals with people connecting to super computers to do the functions the above services once provided. I don't think entertainment was included as a possibility--computers were seen as too expensive to waste resources on that. However, things like computer assistaed instruction, travel reservations, and shopping were featured.

One notable difference between now and then (and even now and the green-glasse ra) is that back then it was assumed people would have hardcopy catalogs, and would make their sections by merely entering the code numbers of the desired items. Today, of course, the computer serves as the catalog in itself, with pictures of products and links to possible accessories and add-ons. (Buying a dress-shirt--here's a bunch of ties to go with it).

It was similar in the green-on-glass era. A typical on-line application made hjeavy use of coded fields. Users were typically given a typed document explaining the codes and their representations, oft times a reference card would be taped to the terminal or desk. Today, we have drop-down selection menus and linked help messages.

It's interesting to compare the "fluidity" of on-line conversations of today vs. yesterday, and what was proposed.

As an example of an 'unfriendly' user interface, here is a reservation system description from 1968. Check out the very terse command structure. It was necessary to code a punch card and feed that in to a reader.
http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/archives/technical/western-union-tech-review/22-2/p062.htm

But lots of 1960s on-line systems had interfaces similar to the above. The host machines and communications lines were very limited, so they had to keep character count down to the absolute minimum.
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