Hit or Miss

When 300 baud was the bomb

When 300 baud was the bomb. Salon reminisces about the old days of BBS bulletin boards.

I never got into the BBS’s back in highschool, so the era that I will always fondly recall is the use of our campus VAX system at DePauw. Email, notes conferences, fingering people’s plans, simple scripting, (and later) lynx access to web… all from a beautiful 80×25 green monochrome screen. All while trying to fight for one of the 150 allowable connections to the mainframe (which sometimes took up to 30 minutes of pressing enter over and over again waiting for a login prompt). The VAX was king, and was part of our DePauw verbiage (“Want to go the Hub?” “No, I’m gonna go VAX for a while”).

Nowadays my heart belongs to Linux, but I’ll always remember my first introduction to the command line (something most students today have never seen). It’s funny to see this photo from a DePauw newspaper article — I never realized the VAX was so tiny (and is that a 5 1/4 floppy drive on the front?).