My Secret Life as an 11-year-old BBS Sysop

Oh my, did this article take me back. I was at Murdoch Uni from 1992-94, and I remember sitting at a friend’s house watching TV while in the background was the continual dial/attempt to handshake sound of the modem, and as soon as the handshake was accepted and the two modems started screaming we all leapt to the computer.

Murdoch had six modems at the time to cover the requirements of all staff and students, and the fourth modem would accept a handshake and then die, so the system wouldn’t pass any calls on to the fifth or six modem. So we only had three modems across all of uni!

I remember when we first got email addresses and how fucking annoying and frustrating it was. If you couldn’t do command line, you weren’t able to access or check your email.

I ended up working in an Internet Service Provider in 94, initially with a skill set of “I was blocked from the internet for ten hours because I didn’t know what a modem looked like or how to turn it on after an electrical storm” to memorizing modem strings and knowing how to lock down a 56K modem to 48K so the connection was more stable, and doing it all over the phone with people who knew even less about the internet than I did.

Yah, get off my lawn kiddos! 😀

The internet today is a lot more fun!

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About Ming Johanson
Ming works with businesses across the globe from business development to managing (with her team) complex digital strategies that deliver tangible and desirable financial returns. Recently recognised and awarded for her ongoing contribution to the technology industries in the 2019 Women In Technology Tech [+] 20 Awards, Ming is a passionate mental health Ambassador for R U OK? Day, a mentor at Startup Weekend Perth and a regular Australian Media Commentator as a Tech Evangelist on a range of topics in Mental Health, Social Media & Technology.