In the experimental music lab at my university in the 90’s there was something that looked like an ancient telephone switch board with a keyboard attached. It was an ARP 2500, and I got to learn synthesis basics on it. I loved it, but modular synths seemed dead at that point, and I didn’t know of a practical way to get one.
A couple of years later my engineering department was throwing out 6 cabinets of PAiA 2700/4700/8700 modules. They let me take them home and I spent YEARS getting them all back operating and calibrated. Eventually I started fixing design quirks (the lack of regulated power supplies…) and designed and built my own modules.
I finally started DIYing a eurorack system a couple of years ago. I just sold off all the PAiA stuff to bank roll the next stage of my eurorack master plan.