“A computing enthusiast since 1979, Zoran Modli caught wind of Galaksija after the publication of Computers in Your Home. As host and DJ of Ventilator 202—a renowned New Wave radio show on Serbia’s Radio Beograd 202—Modli was something of a minor celebrity in Yugoslavia. This was the period in which the compact cassette tape had begun to usurp the 12-inch vinyl record as the listening medium of choice for audiophiles; portable pocket recorders like the Sony Walkman were in the ascendant. Sensing an opportunity in this media shift, Regasek called Modli one day in the autumn of 1983 with a pitch for a radically new Ventilator segment. Because all the day’s computers, including Galaksija, ran their programs on cassette, Regasek thought Modli might broadcast programs over the airwaves as audio during his show. The idea was that listeners could tape the programs off their receivers as they were broadcast, then load them into their personal machines.
During the hour, Modli would announce when the segment was approaching, signaling to his listeners that it was time for them to fetch their equipment, cue up a tape, and get ready to hit record. Fans began to write programs with the expressed intention of mailing them into the station and broadcasting them during the segment. Those programs included audio and video recordings but also magazines, concert listings, party promotions, study aids, flight simulators, and action-adventure games. In the case of games, users would “download” the programs off the radio and alter them—inserting their own levels, challenges, and characters—then send them back to Modli for retransmission. In effect, this was file transfer well before the advent of the World Wide Web, a pre-internet pirating protocol.”
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