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In telecommunications and computing, bitrate is the number of bits that are conveyed or processed per unit of time. The bitrate is quantified using the bits per second (bit/s or bps) unit.


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Bits per second. A measure of the rate of data transmission expressed as the number of data bits (0's and 1's) sent in one second. While a modem's bit rate is tied to its baud rate, the two are not the same.


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Cycles per second. Used in carrier frequency. It is the measure of the number of discrete signal events per second. Each transition can carry multiple bits of information.

2X baud rate (2 bits per baud) makes a 2400 baud work like a 4800 bps.

V.27ter is an ITU-T recommendation for a half-duplex modem, allowing 2400 and 4800 bps.

Tiny boxes, with 4 lan interfaces + 1 wi-fi, allowing ADSL2+ access to the Internet didn't exist. Modems were huge (and sometimes ugly) boxes with 1 RJ11 conector + 1 RS232. Additional features: lots of red lights and an awsome sound, only comparable to the sound of a game loading in Spectrum!

16.7 Million colors? No... only 16 (at max!). And that was enough. No fancy Web 2.0 interfaces; no GIF transparency; nothing! Only the beauty of great ASCII designs.

Before Internet foruns and worldwide social networks, there were Bulletin Board Systems. 1 or more computers, connected to 1 or more modems (more modems allowed even more available phone lines to connect to), running at someone's house.

Some were "online" 24x7, others were available just during the night (when the phone line was available and the phone charges were low). Because long distance phone charges were prohibitive to most people, the rule was to search for local numbers in the BBS lists. To access some BBS, a minimum connection speed was required.

Who ran the BBS? The sysop (System Operator). Big BBS had several sysops. This was the person (man or woman) who made it all available to the community, free of charge (most of the times). If money was a matter, then the registry into the BBS required the payment of a fee. This, usually, would mean more "credits" for downloads or access to restricted areas.

To download something (text files, images or shareware games), one had to upload something. The download/upload ratio was set by the sysop, in the BBS configuration settings. Example: if you uploaded 100Kb, you would have permission to download 200Kb. Remember that connection speeds were low, and files were very small. Besides, phone lines were very unstable, and a big download could fail at 99%. There weren't download managers, but some (more advanced) BBS softwares were able to resume the dowload, from the failling point. This was a great improvement!

BBS - The Documentary

What could be found in the BBS, to download? Besides games (shareware, freeware or cracked), lots and lots of text files! About pretty much everything you can think of: from computers to politics; from survival to law; from food to music; ...

Some texts were interesting, others were funny, others were too technical. But, like in the Internet (and "real life"), there was something for everyone.

This is the list of categories available in textfiles.com:

On the face of things, we seem to be merely talking about text-based files, containing only the letters of the English Alphabet (and the occasional punctuation mark).

On deeper inspection, of course, this isn't quite the case. What this site offers is a glimpse into the history of writers and artists bound by the 128 characters that the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) allowed them. The focus is on mid-1980's textfiles and the world as it was then, but even these files are sometime retooled 1960s and 1970s works, and offshoots of this culture exist to this day.

- textfiles.com

    100 - No time to browse? Read my favorite 100
    Adventure - Walkthroughs and Hints for Text Adventures
    Anarchy - Files that YOU SHOULD NOT FOLLOW
    Apple II's - Apple II Technical and Lore
    Artwork - Various ASCII Artwork/Illustrations
    BBS - Running and Using Bulletin Boards
    Computers - General Computer-Related Files
    Conspiracy - They're All Out To Get You
    Drugs - An unnecessary amount of Drug information
    E-Texts - The Classics Meet ASCII
    Food - Food and Eating
    Fun - A Weird Grab Bag of Oddness
    Games - Information Files on Home and Arcade Games
    Groups - Textfile Writer Collectives
    Hack - The seamy underside of, well, Everything
    Ham Radio - Ham Radio Operation Information, sort of
    Holiday - Files evoking a Holiday Spirit
    Humor - Many, many attempts at being Funny
    Internet - You're Soaking In It
    Law - Textfiles recounting laws or their application
    Magazines - Collections of "E-Zines", including Phrack
    Mass Media - Television and Movie Minutae
    Messages - Samples of message bases from different BBSs
    Music - Files about Music or for Musicians
    News - Often poorly transcribed News Stories
    Occult - Textfiles dealing with alternate religions
    Phreak - Files about, from, and against the Phone Company.
    Piracy - All Hail the Warez
    Politics - Files of a Political Nature
    Programming - All of the Deep Geek Stuff
    School Reports - Sheets for the Cheats
    Role Playing Games - Act Like Someone Else For Fun
    Science - And not quite Science
    Sex and Sexuality - Files about trying to Make More of You
    Science Fiction - Science Fiction reviews and lists
    Stories - BBS User-Written Fiction
    Survival - Be Suspicious, Be Worried, Be Prepared
    UFO - Files indicating We Are Not Alone, or that We Are
    Uploads - The Textfiles of Today
    Viruses - Computer Viruses, Trojan Horses, and Worms