John Elsbree '88:
I'm not sure what I can tell you about how life once was there... I don't know how much has changed since I left. I lived at Random for 3 years: '85-'86 in 115 (right above the dumpster), Fall '86 in 112 (the extra-large "front double"), Spring '87 and '87-'88 in 244.
The 230/240 suite used to be "D&D Central" when I lived there... there was nearly always a game taking place in either the lounge or the kitchen. I wasn't much of a gamer myself, just an innocent bystander/spectator.
Prior to Fall term '87, all suites in Random were either all-male or all-female. During the '87-'88 year, the 230/240 suite was Random's first experiment with mixed-sex suites -- it had formerly been an all-male suite.
We had a House cat, named "Thumbs" (he had an extra thumb on each of his front paws). Thumbs would just wander around the house from suite to suite, and people would let him in and out as he wished. Sadly, he met an untimely end in traffic on Mass Ave sometime in '86 or '87, if my memory serves me correctly.
There used to be only one dormline phone in each suite, located in the hallway across from the "3" room. There was a little dry-erase board next to the phone, and that's where we'd leave phone messages for each other. If you wanted a phone in your room, you had to call NYNEX and have them install an outside line.
In the late '80s, Random's computer facilities consisted of -- and I'm not making this up -- one VT100, one 1200-baud modem, and a dormline phone, in a room in the basement (near the laundry machines).