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Written by:Steve Radich - Founder BitShop, Inc.
4/8/2009 3:31 AM 

I ran a BBS - Bulletin Board System - in the late 80s, in my teen years. It  was a LOT of fun, and just slightly harder than building a profile on facebook today :-)

What was a BBS?

Long before the Internet escaped from the lab, connected the planet and redefined what it meant to use a computer...

....there was a brave and pioneering band of computer users who spent their time, money and sanity setting up their home computers and phone lines to welcome anyone who called. By using a modem, anyone else who knew the phone number of these computers could connect to them, leave messages, send and recieve files.... and millions did.

They called these places "Bulletin Board Systems", or BBSes. And their collections of messages, rants, thoughts and dreams became the way that an entire generation learned about being online.

A discussion today jogged my memory and challenged me to find some of the people that used to use BBSes, I have lost touch with virtually everyone from back then. The world wasn't connected back then, you had to either use a mail system like FidoNet to send mails around, 1:109/706 was my FidoNet Node if memory serves, or call people.  We all knew each other online, not in person / phone, so we lost touch I guess.

Some noble people have made an effort to reconnect the BBS users, and I aplaud this effort:

 I have ordered the BBS Documentary and will post about it after I watch it.

This is a piece of history being forgotten, and for myself what launched a lifetime passion (and career) for online innovations.


1 comment(s) so far...

Re: Social Networking Sites, before the web browser..

Mine was 1:109/303.... and we knew people by their aliases, not real names. We could get whole discussion groups from Fidonet or have local message areas. It was a real adventure for us! We got a modem for Christmas and just had to try logging onto someone elses computer.....sheesh, what a trip that was! First time, we had no clue what we would find on someone elses computer....files to download, message areas, we could yell at the sysop and chat....what a trip! Nowadays, people just wouldn't understand the thrill....generations haven't even ever seen a dial-up modem, couldn't understand using ms-dos and not a graphical interface.... All that stuff was just and adventure every day!

By Virginia Harlow on  4/8/2009 7:09 PM

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