Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie takes its readers on an exciting journey through the BBS era. Through the author's personal tales and adventures, readers will discover more about these amazing times and what it was like to grow up online. With tales of copyfests, BBS parties and random acts of online debauchery, those who were there will find themselves reminiscing, while those who weren't will enjoy learning about life ""before the 'net.""
You know, back when we used to modem uphill, both ways in the snow.
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Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie chronicles Rob O¿Hara¿s personal experiences with the Commodore 64 computer, the pre-Internet communication medium known as the Bulletin Board System (BBS), and other nascent computer technologies of the `80s and `90s. O¿Hara¿s personal photos and anecdotes help reconstruct an era in which personal computers were still relative novelties. Readers accustomed to carrying sophisticated, computerized equipment in their pockets will find it amusing that a young O¿Hara was once admonished by a teacher for ¿lying¿ when he told a school friend that his family owned a PC. ¿In 1980,¿ O¿Hara writes, ¿telling someone you had a computer at your house was a lot like telling people you had eaten lunch on the moon the day before.¿ That¿s not all that¿s changed. Computer-use, O¿Hara reminds us, once required commitment, and was limited to those with the curiosity and determination to decipher complicated machinery that was ¿expensive and not overly user friendly.¿ In contrast to the anonymity of the Internet, the localization of BBS traffic (usually centered in one area code due to the high cost of long distance calls) lent itself to the cultivation of face-to-face friendships with people who lived nearby. Trading software often entailed driving over to someone else¿s house to pick up a physical disk. Commodork traces the extremely rapid evolution of computer technology over the past few decades, discusses (from a personal standpoint) the ramifications of its integration into everyday life, and provides insight into the history of software piracy. While a few anecdotes might hold more significance for the author than for his audience, O¿Hara¿s brief memoir delivers a predominantly interesting and intelligently-written glimpse into an all-but-forgotten era of computer history and culture. By turns humorous and elegiac, Commodork should, as its cover states, interest anyone looking to learn or reminisce about ¿life before the `net.¿