Screen shot of Boing Boing circa 1993

Sometimes I miss the original format. Back then if you wanted to leave a comment you had to prove your worth by slaying a cave lion first.


National BBS that pop to mind from then was WELL, the “site” Fringeware hosted, and Steve Jackson Games original Illuminati Online. Guess you can tell what my interests were back then…

Pull up a chair and I’ll talk about Usenet in my old guy voice also (“You kids with you on-screen buttons and fancy gizmos…”).


I like to think the original BoingBoing site was a Citadel BBS, but that may only be because I still get nostalgic for the local BBSes where I spent too much time hogging the house phone line, except on Thursday nights when several of us would get together at a local Fuddrucker’s.

And now, oddly enough, I work right across the street from where that Fuddrucker’s was. I saw it become a TGI Friday’s and then an empty space.

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Mmm, ASCII art. The limitations of the medium provoked such creativity.

All this time I thought Mr. Doctorow was there in the beginning.

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“Waiting 40 seconds for Connect”

Things have changed a wee bit, haven’t they? 40 seconds is about where I reach behind the desk and hard reboot the cable modem.


You can get close!

If you’re using windows, install cygwin and include lynx in your installation.

Otherwise, most linux installations already have lynx or can get it easily enough. Pretty sure you can get it for macos too.


My 386 IBM 16 MHz PC may be long gone, the sound of a 56k modem (connecting at 26k) is a sound that still elicits sweet Brain Candy memories, indeed…
I have very fond memories of the WeLL of The 1990’s.
Thanks to the WeLL, Gar and Mark for shaping the early online world for me.
It is your fault I am on line today.

yet, the comments were so familiar:

  • Another post about looking at fire? What has BoingBoing become, a directory of flammable things?
  • I’ve been reading BoingBoing since before it went paint-only, but this is only my first post, and I wanted to say that tribe enforcers who are killing Neanderthals have their reasons, I mean they are charged with protecting us and have a dangerous job.
  • Why do all of these hand-avatars suddenly have missing fingers today? @beschizza are you bikecaving again?
  • I make pre-forms knife, arrowheads and toma hawk blades out of obsidian. I also have all kinds of antlers full antler or cut for handles. I make antler boppers and flakers out of wood and antler. Best quality and prices once you buy you will come back
  • Copper is just another fad, flint is not only tried-and-true, but coming out with new models each century. The so-called “Copper-punks” will be gone before you know it.
  • The way @Mindysan33 stands behind me waving a torch to make it look like her pictures are moving is freaking me out.

Sneak peek of the next redesign!

  • I’ve hit my daily limit for “likes”!


It’s come a long way since 1933…


About the only visual change I make to any new Linux install these days is to change the terminal to green-on-black. That’s how I interacted with my first computer, and it just feels right. (I just checked: that would have been eighteen years before “The Matrix” was released.)

I keep meaning to try Cool Retro Terminal, but I might just die of reminiscence.

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CRT is totally awesome. I have a 24 inch monitor dedicated to it running ncmpc or glances mostly.

Or you can have the other flavors, links and elinks. I personally use the latter.

…and alpine for email. It’s wonderful, all you need is a ssh client. Saves a lot of money when on roaming data, too.

…and yes, it is all set to be green on black. (Actually, with all the highlighting options it looks like an angry fruit salad, but the green on black is the base.)

I remember the WELL, (aka Whole Earth 'Lectric Link) but I quit it before Boing Boing appeared. Initially, you paid by the hour, and not only was I going broke in grad school, but my (real life) friends were starting to look at me funny when I kept talking about these people I only knew from online (at least until I started going to Odd Sundays in SF…)

I’m going to have to steal that one.

Feel free to. I nicked it from the Jargon File way over a decade ago.


WANT. (Please? Just for a day?)

The well is still there going strong, just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary.

And you can still SSH (instead of telnet) to it and view it in green on black.

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