For those of us who’ve been around the Internet for quite a while, are you starting to feel old yet?

From BBS’s on a slowwww dial-up modem to the hyper-crazed, graphics-intensive, social-media world of today, it’s been quite a wild ride.

I remember hanging out in the computer lab on campus with rows and rows of the old IBM machines staring silently back at me, with nary a web browser on them!

However, today’s post isn’t about me getting all teary-eyed about scratchy modems and spaghetti piles of network cabling.  What I really want to talk about is good reading from the early days of the Internet transported to your device of choice, be that an iPad, phone or e-ink reader.  These are not bestsellers nor are they newspapers, but just good readings of what we used to share  and talk about, now located on a crazy-good site known as
Put together by Jason Scott, is a huge archive of ASCII files and BBS traffic from the early days of the 1980’s and 1990’s.  With a terminal-green site and easily searched stories, you’ll find yourself warping back in time almost instantly!
Available to read online with your phone or Internet connected reading device of choice, you can also grab the files and download them to your desktop as well.  I’m currently looking at 50+ files on my Sony as I write this–with lots more to download…
Searching can either be done via index or the sturdy Google search box located at  With topics such as the Apple II and Adventure stories as well as PNSFW and non-family friendly information, this is once again the Old West of the Internet.
However, as much as I like looking through the index, the Google search box is probably the fastest method of finding what you need.  Within moments, I was able to round lots of files on my favorite topic:  Conspiracies, UFO’s and the Moon Bases!  If you’re looking for something in particular, make sure you try this first!
Your results will be returned in a list with name, file size and the description of the topic at hand. Clicking on each file will then return the article to your web browser in plain text, where you can then cut and paste to your heart’s content.  Or, it is possible to right-click and save your plain text file as well.
But beyond the text files and the odd-appeal of the green screen monitor look, this site is a great way to look at the evolution of how we gather and read data.  With this much change in 10-15 years, what does the future hold?  More importantly, what devices will we be using to gather our information?
Oh well, so much for memory.  The take-home point is this:  Lots of good reading without any strange DRM’d format makes for good reading on your device of choice! Take a look and see what you can find today!  If you’ve been here before, what’s your take?  What other sites are there out there with plain text or html that would transfer well to our reading devices?  Let us know in the comments below!
For now, I’ve got to go read about some strange underground caverns in the Southwest United States!
Related: Chris Meadows also covered in one of his Paleo E-Books columns.


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