Here’s an email exchange I participated in last night with my brother-in-law, Richard:

Richard:
Why, you whipper-snappers, back in my day if you wanted to
network computers you had to run a cat-5 ethernet or RS232 serial
cable to a terminal device and hook that into a router or
terminal server and hook that into a server running some flavor
of UNIX using X-Windows – unless you wanted to run Windows 3.1 in
which case you had to use [something] like Novell or Lan tastic.

Jim:
You had Cat-5? We never had it so easy! When I was younger we had
to run coax to all our computers – serially! Non of this sissy
star-configuration stuff like we have today.

And then we had to hook them up to an AUI adapter. On a good day we
could get a 10Base-T connection to the server, and that was shared
by the whole company. These were connected via hubs too, which do
not isolate traffic.

And we were GLAD we had that! Before we got the 10Base-T, we had to
carry our files from one computer to another on 5 1/4″ floppy
disks!

Richard:
5 1/4″ floppy disks! You were lucky! We had to use punch cards and store them in a shoebox in the middle of the road!

Jim:
You had punch cards! We had to hand assemble our code and punch it into the machine in hexadecimal. Once we got it debugged we were allowed to burn it into an EPROM, but until then, we had to punch it in every time we wanted to run it.

We would have KILLED to have a box of punch cards we could store in the road.

Richard:
Hexadecimal! You were lucky! We had to convert Roman numerial data using a Mesopotamian binary abacus to translate the code into ASCII (or EBCIDIC for you IBM’ers) and pipe it thru a 300 baud acoustic coupler just to get our ENIAC’s tubes hot enough to keep our coffee warm. Well, it was just muddy water but it was coffee to us!

Jim:
You had a Mesopotamian abacus! Ours was Phoenician, and it wasn’t even binary – it was base-zero! And back then no one had ever heard of ASCII or EBCIDIC – we didn’t even have an alphabet until we invented our own!

Richard:
And you tell that to the young people of today and they won’t believe ya, nope!