There was a guy in my dorm who had a couple keyboards. We bonded over synths. He was in Csci. I was not.

The subject of theremins came up. I'd been attempting to build one; I had two sets of schematics and instructions, both by Bob Moog, both from Popular Electronics Magazine, one from the 50's, one from the early '60s. I'd been incapable of completing either because one of them required vacuum tubes that were impossible to find; the other required transistors that were impossible to find.

He suggested we check "the web" for a better schematic. So we continued to talk while his 386 hammered the modem pool for a 2400 baud line. Eventually he got through - maybe 20 minutes later - and fired up Lynx.

Some command-line magic and he'd managed to find some Theramin schematics. However, he was running Lynx (Lynx, PINE, Talk and MUDS - these were your choices), which meant we needed to walk across campus to the engineering tech building because it was the only one students could use that had two machines that would run Mosaic.

So we get there, and we wait 20 minutes, and we log in, and we search, and the links don't load. They're broken. We have text, we have values, we have a parts list, but we have no schematic. My buddy is crestfallen and frustrated.

"Hang on," I say, "That's a campus phone number. Why don't we just call him?"

(back when you put your phone number on a web page)

Thus, ten minutes later, I was standing in the dorm next to mine, a xeroxed copy of a "theramin" schematic in my hand, the product of an "internet search."

Best part is that it wasn't even a theramin. It was an optical gate. Wave your hand in front of it and the oscillator makes a noise. No tone control, no volume control, but hey - it came from the internet.

Probably contributed to my jaded attitude towards all things Web.

on post: Adults of Hubski that saw Internet born and raise, what stories about the early Internet you will tell to your grandchildren?
by kleinbl00 1597 days ago   ·   link