May 05 2017

Bits And Bytes – Program 5: Communication Between Computers

Alright, finally we’re getting to something that will feel familiar to everyone: networking! More correctly, the pre-internet computer networking methodology known as BBS’s, via literally dialing a number and putting a phone on the modulator-demodulator – a modem, if you are old enough to remember those kinds of things!

This episode shows our friend Billy Van dialing into a BBS to leave a message, explaining how modems work, and following that going into some general explanation on how to take advantage of BBS and fileserver systems, and also local networking methods and data sharing on these networks.

It’s interesting to look at the infancy of what would eventually become, at least via design ethos, the principles of the Internet we know and (debateably) love today. Some principles shown here are still, at their core, used today, even in the very methods you are using to read this text!

Networking is somewhat crazy to me, the fact that it all works; It’s one of few computer principles I can’t totally wrap my head around, but you don’t need to know the explicit details to understand how it works, or to appreciate it for what it is.

Enjoy this callback to the early days of networking, and watch those long distance charges!

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