So, as a weird aside, Kevin Mitnick is, to this day, widely hated on the WeLL, a BBS that is still around that he hacked in 1995
I dreamt of being on the WeLL, in the 90’s. I was too poor and too far away to have an account there, but I read about it in Wired and thought of how cool it would be.
I ended up joining years later, just for fun, but ended up canceling a couple of months later as it ended up being too much money per month for what was essentially a mid-life crisis purchase. :)
I think we read the same article. Did it lead with a WeLL member describing meeting his birth mother?
Back then (this was when “The Web” was cool, kids) it was presented as “the text-only meeting place for the people who designed the Web”. IIRC Bruce Sterling was active there. Maybe still is.
Even then, to me, it had the faint whiff of men in older middle-age in loose jean and comfy sneakers. Maybe I was unfair.
Sterling is indeed still active on the WeLL, he regularly sits in on the yearly State of the World discussions.
I joined in the late 90s and still host the Linux conference there. It was far more vital back in the 90s and I can understand not being terribly impressed with it if you joined later. It is like a second home to me now though, and if you stick around the same people online for 25 years they eventually grow on you :)
Heh. I may have to join again. Nostalgia is creeping up on me.
I remember logging into 8BBS back in 1981 — it was named that because it ran on a PDP-8. In those days only one person could be on a BBS at a time, because you were literally on the phone with its one modem.
I didn’t associate with the phreakers there, though. My high school friends and I were more interested in getting access to the MIT system that ran Zork. We had an ARPAnet dial-up number, but not the octal code to connect to that system (only to ITS, which was interesting in its own right but not part of the Great Underground Empire.) We never did get access to it.