A lot of people don't remember the day's before the internet.
Except we did have something to dial into using modems.
They were called BBS Bulletin Board Systems.
Since my father worked for IBM, he purchased a new IBM PC when they first came out. Ours had a super fast 1200 baud modem, Epson dot matrix printer and two floppy disk drives, no hard drive, with PC-Dos, not MS-Dos for around $5,000 at the time.
And I was on that computer all the time. And I was dialing into local BBS in the Tampa Bay area, as I wasn't allowed to call long distance or the paying sites.
The first one I logged into was this:
David Hacquebord. I actually spoke with him. Well not actually spoke, but we chatted. Because he was the SYSOP. And most BBS had the ability to page the SYSOP, which I did. Most BBS listings had phone numbers to other BBS. So after finding a new board, I'd look for the list, download some files, and find other numbers to call. So I accumulated quite a list of BBS at the time.
It was fun, a challenge, a mystery and it was cutting edge. I took a few computer classes in Middle School and High School and people would copy off me for some reason. In college I took Fortran on the VAX and I did well, except Pascal gave me trouble. I may have even been a CIS major for a semester until that Pascal class.
So when I got into the workforce, when I found the IT calling, I jumped on board, without needing much guidance. And things really haven't changed, although the BBS are long gone, the Internet now offers learning tools for any subject, to become an expert at anything, depending on the time you have to invest.
Here's the list of BBS in the Tampa Bay area in case you wanted to see, they really did exist:
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