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3:37pm on Sunday, 14th June, 2015:



Going through some old documents to throw out, I found my modem usage log from 30 years ago (almost to the day — it starts 11th June, 1985). It consists of pages and pages like this (which I've just chosen at random):

There's the date, when I logged on, where I connected, what I was doing and when I logged off. The red letters are for when I added up all these periods to put in my expenses claim: E was for evening calls, D for daytime. At this time, I was still working at the University but I was developing MUD2 on a British Telecom (as it had just become) VAX located in Ealing.

At the back of the booklet are these login notes:

MOBBS was a bulletin-board where MUDs were discussed. It had a lot of traction among UK modem-users, but editorially went out of its way to be abrasive about MUD itself.

The BT VAX had two direct-dial numbers; I'd use the 1200/75 for accessing the game and the 300/300 for uploading code. That's because 300baud could upload about 30 characters per second, whereas 75 baud was more like 7 or 8 — and yes, people type faster than that, it had to be buffered by your comms program.

CompuServe and BT could be accessed via PSS, the Packet Switch Stream that BT operated which formed part of what would later be called the Internet. You called the local number (mine was in Ipswich, so not exactly local...) of a PAD ("Packet Assembler/Disassembler") and told it (using the "A" character) the address to which you wished to connect. Those addresses were numbers known as NUIs ("Network User Identifiers"). Amazingly, I remember the 93132 for CompuServe; the 21880100300 for the VAX doesn't ring any bells, though.

Yes, it's an interesting little booklet.

In the bin it goes...

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