This is the Modem World: The sinister side of the '80s BBS

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This is the Modem World The sinister side of the '80s BBS

Each week Joshua Fruhlinger contributes This is the Modem World, a column dedicated to exploring the culture of consumer technology.

Some of the following, for legal reasons, may or may not be fictional.

My first modem was a 300-baud Apple-Cat II. It was an expansion card for the Apple II and simply plugged into a phone line. It was, simply put, a bad-ass piece of technology that turned me into a total digital delinquent. While my parents thought I was innocently learning to code BBSes (bulletin board systems) I was actually learning how to get things for free and paving the way for software pirates, phone phreaks and straight-up frauds of the future.

The Apple-Cat II could connect to other Apple-Cat IIs at 1200 baud, which made file transfers pretty quick for the time...