In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
> Please mung the return address as usual PAT.
> On Mon, 09 Jan 2006 17:44:14 -0500, burris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Wow! -- did you bring back some really good memories of those days.
>> We didn't have the idiots who express themselves in strange ways in
>> today's NGs and forums.
>> People came on board to offer help in the areas where they had
>> expertise and interestingly, manufacturers of both hardware and
>> software were always there to help.
>> Even at 300 baud, the experience was pleasant ...
> Ahhh, but there were still flame wars and various factions of
> users/members thrashing out issues. It seemed to be cyclical --
> increasing around the start of the school year and Christmas holidays.
> The thoughts at the time were that students got to school (high school
> or college) where they found terminals and modems -- or got a modem as
> a Christmas gift.
> Of course, I have fond memories of spending an entire day printing
> (terminal, no way to download to a file) a manual at 300 baud on a
> DECWriter LA36. When the school got in 1200 baud LA120's we thought
> we had died and gone to heaven (until we realized how few 1200 baud
> modems were out there).
>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And I hate to say "I told you so", but
>> back in 1994 as the web was first getting underway, in an Editor's
>> Note here I commented (on some user's stupidity) by saying "wait until
>> ten or fifteen years goes by; right now only a small percentage of
>> Americans are hooked up to the net; check again in ten years or so."
> Don't you remember the September crazinesses PAT? When all the new
> college students (and later high school students) got on the ARPAnet
> and discovered the weirdness ^w [that's UNIX for delete the previous
> word] wide variety of viewpoints including those in complete opposition
> to what they learned from their parents and church?
> - David
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yes I do, very well. And in the big
> thing _before_ modems/computers which was Citizens Band Radio, I also
> seem to recall that Christmas Day brought a lot of new CB radios to
> guys everywhere, many of whom had never seen such an instrument and
> did not have the slightest idea how to use it in the proper community
> spirit, just "BREAKER, BREAKER, CAN ANYONE HEAR ME? WHAT IS YOUR
> TWENTY OUT THERE, GOOD BUDDY?" all day long. When CB radio got to the
> point it was solid heterodyne day and night, and people had given up
> increasing their power output and modulation to 'break through all
> that noise' they gave up on CB radios and moved onto the next craze
> at that point, which were 110/300 baud modems.
Some of us moved on to the longer and shorter wavelengths. The BS on
the 11m band is pretty much what got me into amateur radio.
Of course the 2m amateur band at one point was probably closest to the
content of 11m. But FCC rules did at least stop the foul language and
the carrier chuckers.
> And regards malfeasance on the internet, it is nothing new, not
> really. There was all the spam and scam you could ever want both on
> the earlier BBS things, and way before that, on CB radios. Anytime
> there was a new [fill in the blank] CB radio, 110/300/1200 baud modem,
> or more recently, broadband connection, there were always new, young,
> curious guys wanting to learn about their new toys. You open a new
> part of the commons for the general public, expect them to gravitate
> to it. PAT]
I came from the 'listen first' school. So I never went through those
In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Jason Scott wrote:
>> The TEXTFILES.COM Historical BBS List: An introduction by Jason Scott
>> As the age of the Dial-Up BBS draws to a close, I thought it
>> necessary to ensure a way to keep some understanding of the role of
>> BBSes in the growth of the Internet. More importantly, I thought it
>> might be fun to collect the phone numbers of every known dial-up BBS
>> and find a way to enshrine them in one easy-to-browse list. This way,
>> people could look back at the area codes and exchanges of their youth
>> and remember all these electronic places, these meeting houses and
>> hangouts that formed a part of so many people's youth.
>> A Very Short History
>> The first modem for microcomputers was invented by Dennis Hayes in
>> 1977. This device (short for MOdulator-DEModulator) allowed two
>> computers to connect to each other over the existing telephone
>> network. Previously, dedicated phone lines were used between
>> permanent computer installations. He soon founded D. C. Hayes
>> Associates, later Hayes Corporation, which was a leader in PC Modems
>> for most of the 1980's.
>> While the idea of being able to use the existing phone network for
>> computer communication was still new (and gaining interest by
>> hobbyists and others to transfer information) it was two people, Ward
>> Christensen and Randy Suess, who created the first "Bulletin Board
>> System" and put it online in February, 1978.
>> The concept behind "Ward and Randy's CBBS" was to provide a way for
>> others to dial into their computer, and leave messages for other
>> users. They described it as a natural extension of an actual physical
>> Bulletin Board they were using for their local computer club. They
>> published an article in Byte Magazine describing their software, and
>> the era of the Dial-Up BBS had begun.
>> There are many histories of the BBS and I hope to write a
>> comprehensive one myself at some point in the future, but a number of
>> links are provided below for you to research by yourself.
>> The BBS List
>> As more and more people purchased modems to go with their home
>> computers and wanted to sign up with all these "BBSes" they'd been
>> hearing about, a fundamental problem presented itself: How to find
>> out what the numbers of the BBSes were. Since anyone could set up a
>> BBS (if they had an extra phone line or were willing to give up human
>> calls) the issue was more one of publicity than opportunity.
>> Word-of- mouth was effective, with BBS numbers showing up at computer
>> club meetings and passed around schools. Some people advertised on
>> other BBSes, so that if you got one phone number to a BBS, you would
>> soon know others. Eventually, however, some folks took it upon
>> themselves to maintain BBS Lists, where they would keep track of all
>> the BBSes of a given subject matter or type, or even an area code,
>> and others would let them know if they had put up a new BBS. Over
>> time, these BBS lists could be found everywhere, and gave people an
>> easy way to know what numbers to call to log on.
>> This was the age of the BBS List; you would download the month's list
>> to see what new places there were to call. If a site didn't get on
>> enough BBSes, they wouldn't get enough calls, and would eventually
>> close down. Of course, the administrators of these lists had policies
>> of who they would let on, focusing on one kind of computer hardware,
>> or location, or what the subject matter of the BBS was. Some also
>> refused to list "underground" BBSes, making them even more
>> "underground" than they might have been.
>> An Idea Is Hatched
>> While doing work on textfiles.com, I started to think about the many
>> thousands of BBSes that had come and gone, and the effect they'd had
>> on myself and many others. I remembered the days when I would go up
>> and down BBS lists calling every last board seeing what was new or
>> what was being offered, ignoring what the board called itself or what
>> others claimed it did or didn't have, wanting to see for myself. I
>> remember running into boards with brilliance behind the wheel and
>> BBSes that had been left to die and were inhabited by a bunch of
>> squatters and power players. Many of these places are lost in my
>> memory, but seeing their names or numbers brings it all back.
>> I figured that since TEXTFILES.COM had all these BBS Lists from that
>> period of time, I might consider compiling a list. Several bourne and
>> Perl scripts later, the list is now up into the many thousands
>> (although always in need of pruning and verification) and the project
>> is well underway.
>> The way I see this project is as a lark, and a fun thing to do in my
>> spare time. I will work to always make my efforts reproducible, and
>> the data files that are generated by my scripts will hopefully come
>> of use to people in other projects, related or not. I would hope that
>> some people will browse these lists and really enjoy looking back at
>> their favorite area codes, and remember that part of their lives.
>> So welcome to the world's largest BBS list. I hope you enjoy browsing
>> it as much as I did compiling it.
>> Information was taken from the following sources:
>> Ideafinder: The PC Modem http://www.jps.net/foxnhare/cbbs.html (link
>> dead) Interview with Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss
>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: These two articles, on Dennis Hayes
>> and the 'Era of BBS-ing' are going to go in my newly revised web site
>> http://history-internet.org among the links for your review.
>> Regards very old BBS systems, I ran a couple of them during the early
>> 1980's: I had Lakeshore Modem Magazine, a social issues BBS in
>> Rogers Park in Chicago, from 1981-85. I was also the volunteer
>> 'Sysop' (or System Operator) for the Chicago Public Library BBS in
>> 1981-82 and I worked with Jerry Ablan, a Chicago southwest side
>> (Beverly) resident with a discussion forum on his 'THINK! BBS' in
>> 1982-83. The BBS was named after the old IBM-slogan in those years,
>> which was 'Think!', and I began mousing around a lot on Usenet at
>> more or less the same time. My computer in those days was an Apple
>> ][+, as was the one used at the Library. Jerry Ablan had a Tandy
>> Model 4 for his thing. Also, in the middle 1980's I worked with a guy
>> in Oak Park, Illinois who was maintaining a FIDO node on a Tandy 4.
>> My first experience with (what are called 'newsgroups' on Usenet), or
>> 'echogroups' on FIDO came on his node. 'Nodes' were the numerical
>> assignments given to everyone who maintained a FIDO system. I have
>> thought some about expanding this Digest as it stands today, through
>> a 'gateway' to FIDO. PAT]
> Wow! -- did you bring back some really good memories of those days.
> We didn't have the idiots who express themselves in strange ways in
> today's NGs and forums.
> People came on board to offer help in the areas where they had
> expertise and interestingly, manufacturers of both hardware and
> software were always there to help.
> Even at 300 baud, the experience was pleasant ...
Apparently you never had a full flame war erupt on the BBS's you
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And I hate to say "I told you so", but
> back in 1994 as the web was first getting underway, in an Editor's
> Note here I commented (on some user's stupidity) by saying "wait until
> ten or fifteen years goes by; right now only a small percentage of
> Americans are hooked up to the net; check again in ten years or so."
I too lament the day when the unwashed were allowed to use the net.
I can recall running an application called Waffle on my DOS computer --
it let me UUCP Usenet feeds from a friends machine. He had a feed from
a local university so it worked out well. I used to own the cdp.org
domain but let it lapse when they started charging. The machine I used
Back then it was the Church of the Dead Presidents -- now it's the Center
for Democracry Project.