pat.txt

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My "Old Days Rant"
by Patrick Guenette
June 18, 2001
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I received my first computer from my grand-mother when I was 12.

A 486sx25 with 2MB of RAM oh baby! (in 1991) 

I had never touched a computer before in my life (except for those Unisys 
computers we had at school) It came pre-equipped with Windows 3.1 over 
DOS 5.0.  I accidentaly erased windows (I don't know to this day how I did 
it .. hehe).  But I ended up with only DOS. 

A command prompt for me who had never touched a computer before.  Some of 
my friends had IBM computers too, so they taught be how to install
games from disks. (it was funny over the phone the first time when they 
said BACKSLASH and I kept typing in "backslash" instead of the "\". After 
a few weeks, I became a pro and was using DOS smoothly!  I got some games
(KQ5, Stunts etc) that I played alot!

For my 13th birthday, I received a multimedia kit!  A CD-ROM and a sound 
card! WOW!

(installing it was hard and I had to go to the computer store so that
they could put the proper string in the config.sys and the autoexec.bat
too heheh.

I eventualy learned how to do this, and got interested in creating
batch files! (came in handy for copying files, uptimising conventional
memory with modified startup batch files).

Later that year, I got a new 486dx2/50 with 4mb ram and guess what..a
2400 baud MODEM!! So I learned to use TERMINAL!

I was currently signed up for those "PC computing" magazines and looked
at the back for BBS numbers :)  Me being in canada, I was too young
to realise thos boards in New York were long distance!  After a big
phone bill and my mom screaming really loudly, I gave up BBSES for about
6 months!

My friends at school were talking to me about LOCAL bbses here in Ottawa
(Canada), and they told me about this awesome datacom called Terminate4.
<br>I installed it, and looked in our local computer magazine (www.monitor.ca)
for local bbses...there were about 350 bbses in Ottawa back then!

I started calling them and learning a bit about the diffrent kinds (and
yes, I had FULL ANSI compatibility with Terminate4!!).

I began to learn more and more and soon tried out my own bbs! (terminat
host mode) and learned the diffrent modem commands, ansi creation etc)

my BBS was awesome, I managed to get a database of over 1500 users!

I started getting into Underground BBSes and that's what I BBS slowly
became.  HPAVC is what they called it back then.  Hacking Phreaking
Anarchy Viruii and I forget what the "C" stands for :)

I began to learn the security flaws in Renegade, Maximus, PC Board etc
and was having alot of fun playing tricks on those dumb sysops :)

By the time I turned 15, I discovered "CHAT" BBSES! WOW!  I met
MANY friends from those, including my current GF of 5 years (fiancee now).

I used to go on at 11pm and go to school at 8am :)  It put a big
strain on my schooling, all that hacking and learning and yes...CHATTING
:)

during the summer, a group of friends from school were on our so called
"hacker diet".  If there's light outside, SLEEP!  When it gets
dark, it's time to get up and eat some pizza and POP and get online!
<br>I soon had a HUGE collection of hacking files, HPAVC files, jokes,
stories etc and was having alot of fun running my new BBS that I proudly
called "The Dark Portal", running off some software called "Iniquity".

One day, during my usual weekly glance at my local computer magazine
for BBSES, I noticed one that said "25 modes" .........WOW!  I called
it, and yes there was 25 diffrent users online at all times!  This
BBS was the best!! It's where I met ALOT of friends, and eventualy had
GTs (Get Togethers) at our local Malls and restaurants.

I met my current GF from this BBS after over 1 year of chatting it
up and learning all the chat jargon and meeting so many interesting people
in my local area!.. ( <grin> <hugs> <smile> :) :(  etc..)

Well, by the time I turned 16, the internet had gotten a bit popular
with some EXPENSIVE local ISPs.  But I managed to get an acount to
check it out!  The internet was much less "personal" and MUCH too
slow with my 14.4k modem.  BBS ANSIs were much faster to load, and
I could download any files I wanted from all the many BBSES around! 
So I did not continue to explore the internet at the time!

By the time I turned 18, There were only a mere few BBSES left here
in Ottawa.

No more "l33t" bbses ..with NUPS (New User Password ..and questions
to make sure you are elite enough to join).  There were however some
boring BBSES left, and yes the 25 node bbs was still there (ChatCan) Although
they were now providing Internet Access via SLIP/PPP aswell.

Me and my GF started getting more serious, I graduated HS and got a
job (in computers of course) and I stopped going on BBSES!  My life
was just too busy!

Last year (I was 20), I opened up my Terminate4 (yes, I copied the info
from new computer to new computer..I still have ALL my old files) and tried
to go on some BBSES.  THERE WERE NONE LEFT!! NOT EVEN ONE!!
<p>I occasionly meet some old friends on IRC, but 99% of the people I used
to talk to every night and used to feel a kind of bond with, are all gone!
:(

The BBS scene was what really got me into computers and programming
(C++, Pascal, Basic) and it's what allowed me to have a good job today,
but I miss the good old days so much!  Looking back, those were the
best years of my life!

To those of you who never experienced the BBS scene, and use IRC, I
can tell you by experience, IRC is sooo IMPERSONAL.  You are talking
to people from accross the world, there is no sence of "belonging to a
group". And that's what I miss most.  Being part of something..something
great! Something that helped shape the world of today...

I have so much to say and skipped so many details, but this email is
getting VERY long, and I'm a VERY bad writer so I will end it here.

I will sign this letter with my old user names : Striker, Evil_Guy and
DarkShade.

To anyone who see's this and remembers me, I miss you too!
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