Functional BBS-style menued interface to Google


52 Responses to “Functional BBS-style menued interface to Google”

  1. daen says:

    Aww.  We boingboinged his quota.

  2. Jim Saul says:

    It worked for me.  Turn up the volume for double-plus nostalgia. 

    • daen says:

      Did you actually try searching? I got:

      “ERROR: Quota Exceeded.  Please see”

      • Jim Saul says:

        Nope, just heard that 2800 baud handshake and started obsessing over the fact that it didn’t “boing boing” the way I recalled my old Tandy doing. I get your error message now. Though, it’s after some pleasant static.

        • daen says:

          Yes, it does bring back memories.  Specifically of BT stiffing me over the phone bill …

        • Ant says:

          2800? You mean 2400? 28800?

          • Jim Saul says:

            You’re right, it must have been one of those, though I can’t remember. I think my first was something like 800 baud.

            I do recall I was rockin’ 640k of RAM and a 4 color monitor, so I was living large.

          • Ant says:

            Jim, you mean 300. No such thing as 800. I remember these dial-up modem speed values: 300, 1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, 26400 (my phone lines — ugh!), 28800, 31200, 53000, etc. However, dial-up modems speed change on the fly. You only see these with  CONNECT results. OK, I’m old.

          • Jim Saul says:

            Must have been 1200 then. I recall earlier envying a friend’s 300 baud. He shoplifted it to get on Compuserve.

            To the rest of us, that made him David Lightman.

    • Benjamin Eugene NElson says:

      >> Might mean 300 baud.. like my first modem.  The Tandy CoCo rules!

  3. SoItBegins says:

    So it only looks like that for members of Anonymous?

  4. Church says:

    The Bing version works.

  5. blepom says:

    This reminds me. Is there any old-school* BBS still active that can be used with current-day tech such as ssh or (I know, I know) telnet?

    *old school in terms of interface. I miss the old dialup times.

    • Ant says:

      Google search. I got this: :P … I miss the old days too. :(

      • digi_owl says:

         I bumped into a claim once that BBSs (using telnet these days) were still popular in Japan or South Korea.

        • blepom says:

           Yes and no. What they call “BBS” is pretty much a 4chan-style board, both imageboards and just text. I know, it’s odd for us.

          • digi_owl says:

            Heh, hammered japan bbs into duckduckgo and it spat back a bunch of links i was unsure i wanted to click on. By the titles alone i suspect i could risk having some cops knocking on my door in short order…

          • blepom says:

            Replying here as it doesn’t let me do a direct reply.

            Well, those take any topic, and I never stumbled into any with material that could cause that effect, so no idea what titles you saw (unless you were just making a joke).

          • digi_owl says:

             @blepom well there was some references to preteens or something i think. As a certain chemistry blogger said about some highly reactive stuff, best be moving smartly down the hall.

        • Benjamin Eugene NElson says:

           User Friendly, the web comic ran one…. but last I checked it was full up and you couldn’t get in.. :(

          I wanna play LORD again… !

          • digi_owl says:

             Darn, now i am reminded that Illiad is on extended “leave”.

          • Benjamin Eugene NElson says:


            Maybe now would be  a  good time to catch up on the 5 years or so of strips i haven’t read yet…

      • blepom says:

        Thanks! Will be giving those a try!
        (And about google, I am finding their searches so unrelated to what I actually search, on a regular basis, that I am slowly getting discouraged about using it…)

    • Philip Storry says:

      There’s Monochrome:

      A UK based BBS which was created as a university student’s project, and was very popular amongst students in UK computer labs in the late 90′s.  (As in hundreds of concurrent users, requiring four or so machines to meet demand.)

      It’s quieter these days, sadly.  First Livejournal and then Facebook took their toll on the user base, which has shrunk considerably.  Many ideas have been discussed to get users in, but few actions taken – because discussing it is so much more fun than doing something!
      Oh, and much of the user base is British – so for some new users the humour can be mistaken for derisory, insulting and sarcastic.

      But users of Monochrome are never, ever sarcastic.  Oh no.  That simply wouldn’t do…

      • blepom says:

        Ah, that was precisely what I wanted to see.
        And, well, sarcasm and Britain come on the same package, usually. Thanks for the warning though.

    • toupeira says:

      Well… you can watch Star Wars in ASCII with “telnet “. For more stuff  check out

      • blepom says:

         Ah, I already saw it centuries ago. But good thing you posted in case someone didn’t! I am not even a Star Wars fan but it’s still awesome to see around.

  6. StarryGordon says:

    I suppose you could use lynx; then everything would look like the ’80s.

  7. jhertzli says:

    Is there also a Google Compu$erve forum  for the 1990s?

  8. bcsizemo says:

    There is not nearly enough ASCII art compared to the BBS’s I frequented…

  9. Quinx says:

    Oh man . . . downloading text at 1200 baud!  The 1980s were awesome on an Amiga 2000.

  10. HubrisSonic says:

    I just got a new Hayes 14,400 baud modem, will this work with my system?

  11. Paul Renault says:

    Why does the modem’s speaker turn on again when you enter the search term?

  12. As I commented to a friend, it’s pretty clear it was made by someone born in the 90s (and doesn’t quite remember what it was like to connect to a BBS).  The handshake’s good (and brought back memories), but it should’ve stopped before the screen started filling in.  Further, it shouldn’t have made any noise once you were fully connected and performing a search.  

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      Even so. It’s something to smile about.

      Sure you can complain at the lack of ansi art or the plainness of the welcome screen, but c’on. Google’s always been minimalist.

    • Ant says:

      Totally. Unless you picked up the phone to listen. Hehe!

  13. MossWatson says:

    I miss TheDraw

  14. jnordb says:

    Geez…I spent entirely too much time on local BBS systems during my youth. My favorite local one was called “The Temples of Syrinx” and had the song playing with the red star ASCII art…  luckily, it was at 2400 baud so it all loaded (relatively) quickly.

  15. JBTW says:

    I miss FIDOnet…

    God, I’m old

  16. niktemadur says:

    Can you imagine the search suggestions in such an interface?

    Iran Contra Fawn Hall bikini wallpapers
    World series game 6 Bill Buckner
    Italy politics Cicciolina parliament
    Where can I buy a real Coca Cola?
    Funny standup Andrew Dice Clay

  17. Ryan Lenethen says:

    Unless you put door games on it and TW2002 I’m not interested… :)

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