The Darkener's Lair

A battery-powered brass lantern is on the trophy case.

Hard Drive Sounds —

It was mid-1996, it was dark outside and inside. I was 16.

I was laying on my mattress in my room, on my right side. I remember that because I was facing my wall. I had just smoked some pot and blew it out my window. I wondered if my mom was going to smell it. Probably not.

I was happy, content, optimistic.

My 386/SX @25MHz w/32MB EDO RAM (SIMMs!) adjacent to me was on but the monitor was off. The 28.8bps modem was busy, and so was the 80MB IDE hard drive which clicked and purred as users traversed my Bulletin Board System. When they logged off, the modem would click and the hard drive would purr, with no clicking.

I was able to tell what a user was doing on my board while laying on my bed with my eyes closed. Messaging would mean the hard drive was mostly purring with some sporadic clicking. If they went into L.O.R.D. or another intensive door game, there would be lots of sporadic clicking. If they were downloading from the file bases it would be very steady, almost rhythmic clicking as the file was accessed and fed through the modem to some other person’s hard drive.

That night was honestly one of the most memorable ones of my life. I was so happy (and baked, lol), so excited that my BBS was getting callers and activity – I felt like I had created a thriving community that people really enjoyed spending time on. I was proud and I guess I should have been at 16. My board was one of the most popular in Sonoma County at the time. I was exploring technology, making friends (and enemies, heh), getting in trouble being a teenager, making mistakes, learning about different people and how to be a good SysOp..

I don’t think that feeling has ever left me. Whenever I think about the best moments of my life, that was definitely one of them. :)

 


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