Relive the Early Days of the Internet at Telehack

By Jason Fitzpatrick on May 18th, 2011

Once upon at time before the age of HTML, the internet looked like a command prompt and a world of text. Telehack is a simulation site that recreates the early internet experience.

How exactly does it recreate the experience? From the Telehack FAQ file:

Telehack is a simulation of a stylized arpanet/usenet, circa 1985-1990. It is a full multi-user simulation, including 25,000 hosts and BBS’s the early net, thousands of files from the era, a collection of adventure and IF games, a working BASIC interpreter with a library of programs to run, simulated historical users, and more.

It’s a well fleshed out project that allows you to use commands, load games, navigate the network, interact with real users (currently logged in) and see significant historical users (simulated for posterity). You can access the project either via web interface or by firing up an actual telnet client and connecting in the old fashioned way. Hit up the link below to access the web portal and type telehack.txt at the prompt to read more about the project.


Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/18/11
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