Wow. BBSes are as old as I am.

18 February 2010

Thirty-two years ago (plus a day or two - real life happens) two computer hobbyists stuck at home in a blizzard not unlike snowpocalypse named Randy Suess and Ward Christenson created something wholly new, which geek history remembers as the bulletin board system. At the time, the idea was revolutionary - with a computer, an auto-answer modem, and some disk space you could set up forums for people to leave public and private messages to one another. As disk space became less expensive, file archives were often added for people to trade files. By the mid-1980's boards were all over the place and there were even magazines devoted to hanging out on and running BBSes. There were picnics, bowling parties, bar crawls, and wing wars where users met offline, and discourse and flamewars alike raged online. By the time I got into BBSing in the early 90's, what wound up being the last generation of callers was just getting into the swing of things (!'s Land, Data's Exchange, Triumvirate, Lady Di's Place, Slacker BBS, Screaming In Digital... all requisat en pace). By late '95, the Net had taken over and that was pretty much all she wrote for dialup BBS culture though there are a few folks keeping the spirit alive (hey, Diamond Dave!).

I think I'm going to toast the Renegade and EBBS softwares this weekend.