Paleocomputing watch: Tech magazines cover the BBS scene

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Fido net takes me back. I remember how we were so clever doing text versions of the Monty Python Spam sketch…
Spam spam spam spam
Wonderful Spam…

The Sysadmins got bent out of shape over it because it cost them $$ to do their nightly transfers of all that text.

We were asked to stop Spamming

And that is how it started


Thanks for the link! It brings back good memories of terrible computing. I am still pals with many of the folks I met through BBS communities… it was one of the few cool things that I could do in Lubbock in the late 80’s.


I hope Steve got the gig as a SYSOP at a major telecommunications firm!


My first experience with the internet (I think) was visiting a friend at the university of Iowa dorms in 1993. He had some thing on his computer that looked like a dos based message board where you could talk to students from other universities. Being immature teenagers we used the opportunity to anonymously insult random strangers. I feel bad about that now.
Anyway, I’m wondering if that’s the sort of thing we’re talking about here or some different sort of network just between those schools.

Hard to say for sure, but if you were chatting in real time, sounds more like Internet Relay Chat (IRC).


Good times.

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At the Imperial Public Library?

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Ah, the good old days. 407 (and eventually 561) represent.

Don’t forget about the wonderful BBS Documentary that came out a while ago.

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what’s a “magazine”

The good old days of my fifth iteration of a QuickBBS portal opened up the world for me beyond the district boundaries of my suburban home. It led me to a trailer park north of the river, and into the ECHO forums south of the river, across the state line road to meet-ups with a cane wielding ueber-geek, and then became an advertisement for animation film festival tours at our local art house theater. It really was a scene. Flash tanks! I felt like a prince with no power with my new 2400 baud modem. Pre-everything.

Still have my licensed versions of Procomm and Pkzip. Ah the days of BBSes.

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And the lead page graphic is of a CoCo! :grinning: I still have my Radio Shack Color (sic) Computer in a closet; I don’t dare turn it on without testing the power supply capacitors first.

It all started to go down hill with 1200 baud modems… too fast to read.

To this day I don’t understand how my parents let me sit on the family phone line for hours on end in the evenings. I suppose it kept me quiet.

And “paleo” computing!? I guess that puts me solidly in the “neanderthal” camp.

Then again, I was checking a box of 3 1/2" floppies from the late 80’s early 90’s (only 3 didn’t read!) and my daughter was amazed… she’d never seen one of those before.


I wonder if the phone companies are glad that the days of scores of modems continually dialing and re-dialing a BBS line are over?

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I had completely forgotten about some BBSes having “hours.”

At one point I had my Amiga 1000 on the left playing games and a VT100 compatible terminal hooked to a modem on my right, so I could chat with people while computing. My parents splurged on a second phone line for me (!!) then got surprised and pissed when I would be online with one phone line and talking to someone (via voice) with the other. Oh, those were the days.

I had completely forgotten about some BBSes having “hours.”

They were strictly after store closing at the local Radio Shack. The owner ran it from the store computer.

All day on Sunday though, since stores had to be closed back then in Ontario…

so we could go to church… :innocent::church::roll_eyes:

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I think I caught the very tail end of the BBS era. I remember getting a shiny new 56k modem and dialing up the US Robotics UK BBS to get the high-speed firmware patch.

The first iteration of my BBS had hours, like, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. because my parents just had one phone line. The neighbors would complain about calling in during those times and hearing the beep, or the 2-hour busy signal. Great, my transmission needed a restart whenever someone picked up another phone. Finally, the parents splurged for a second line, and then it was 24-7.

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