TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Era of the BBS

Re: Era of the BBS

David B. Horvath, CCP (
Tue, 10 Jan 2006 08:31:04 -0500

Please mung the return address as usual PAT.

On Mon, 09 Jan 2006 17:44:14 -0500, burris <>

> 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 ...

> burris

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."
> PAT]

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
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.

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]

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