Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Hundreds of Hours of BBS Documentary Interviews

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the come-look-at-your-stuff dept.

Media 215

Jason Scott writes "Hi, this is Jason Scott, director of the BBS Documentary, a 4 year project to tell the story of the dial-up bulletin board systems of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The documentary's out, for sale, and is completely Creative Commons licensed. But like most documentaries, there's tons of stuff left on the cutting room floor. And that just won't do. I'm happy to announce that I have partnered with archive.org to present what will be hundreds of hours of interviews online. The BBS Documentary Interview Collection will be extended edits of the 205 interviews I conducted, presented as video and audio files, along with ZIP archives of all the photos and supporting materials for that interview. And of course, every minute is Creative Commons licensed as well. It's going to take me upwards of half a year to edit and upload the half-terabyte of files; I hope people watch a few hours here and there to get an even deeper knowledge of the history of the BBS, or maybe even make a documentary of their own."

cancel ×

215 comments

Ahhh... the good ol days. (3, Insightful)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321763)

The irony is... Back in the day (when BBS were most popular), one interview would have taken weeks to download. The comp geeks were runnin on Amiga's or Vic-20's with a 300baud Hayes modem.

Re:Ahhh... the good ol days. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321866)

But even they knew you don't use apostrophes to make plurals. The savings from not transmitting all those apostrophes alone made up for the 300 baud modem. Also, I didn't know a single person with a 300 baud when the Amiga was in full swing.

Re:Ahhh... the good ol days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321950)

Reminds me of my Commodore PET, playing some game like Missle Command

Re:Ahhh... the good ol days. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322088)

The irony is... Back in the day (when BBS were most popular), one interview would have taken weeks to download. The comp geeks were runnin on Amiga's or Vic-20's with a 300baud Hayes modem.

I recall my younger brother filching a 14.4K USR modem I had borrowed from work for a weekend of downloading Amiga stuff from various websites in FL and LA. It was way faster than the ones his friends living in a trailer had for their BBS so he figured they could use it. When I threatened to send the sherriff's deputies over the thing returned pronto. I couldn't figure why someone living in a trailer had several PCs and phone lines for BBS's. Some people had grand visions, of what I don't know, but they sure threw money away on something that made them temporarily important.

Hey Baby... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321764)

Wanna come back to my place and check out a BBS documentary?

Re:Hey Baby... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321784)

Hands off! He's mine! Such a little hottie...

Re:Hey Baby... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321858)

Sure, myself and taco will bring our child snuff/scat porn vids and we can watch that too while pounding each others asses.

Yours,
Zonk xxx

Re:Hey Baby... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322066)

Newsflash, dude: Zonk died of AIDS. CmdrTaco announced this on #slashdot yesterday. Why do you think he hasn't posted any articles recently?

Re:Hey Baby... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322337)

link plz

kthxbye

Re:Hey Baby... (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321893)

Is that sorta like a BBC documentary?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321769)

first post!!!! woooo! in your fuace, sucka!!!

Congrats... (2)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321774)

Congratulations to Jason Scott for this amazing accomplishment. There is a lot of history and nostalgia in his documentary that would have been lost otherwise.

Re:Congrats... (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321849)

Damn straight! Jason's been the ONE PERSON to take on documenting a very important, but largely unpreserved, portion of our computing past. BBS culture was k-rad.

Re:Congrats... (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322102)

Support Jason's work by buying the DVD. I was absolutely delighted with the way it turned out after hearing about the interviews he was doing at H2K2. Seeing the WILDCAT! bbs screens and ANSI graphics brought back fond memories of being a latecomer to the scene, waiting over an hour for a 4 color GIF of what may or may not have been a vagina to download over my l33t 2400 baud modem my old IBM-PC boat anchor.

The Fidonet and artscene interviews alone are well worth the price of the discs.

Why would it take you so long to upload your files (5, Funny)

supraanimo (904976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321781)

You're not uploading them to a BBS too are you?

Re:Why would it take you so long to upload your fi (2, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321939)

Can't be a leech all your life. Gotta keep that quota up.

Re:Why would it take you so long to upload your fi (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322169)

>> Can't be a leech all your life. Gotta keep that quota up.

No worries, he's using HSLINK and getting warez at the same time he uploads :)

wow (-1, Redundant)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321786)

first they use 'viral marketing' on wikipedia [slashdot.org]

now they're using it on slashdot!

like I care. i'll still read about it, because i'm at work.

And yet... (0, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321796)

No interviews with Slashdot.

The world goes on...

"ever run a dupe story?"
"oh, a few hundred give or take"

Ahh.. BBS's (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321797)

I participated in the BBS "scene" for awhile, and one thing that I truly miss is the sense of community. I got to know several fellow BBS'ers, and many would hang out regularly outside of the computer realm. We even had a yearly cookout at a local park where dozens would show up from around the area. ... to the good'ol days... ...

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (2, Interesting)

dgp (11045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321844)

wireless access points could reinvent a local computer community. there is software being worked on to provide a "friendster" like site for those using the same wireless access point.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321875)

I participated in the BBS "scene" for awhile, and one thing that I truly miss is the sense of community. I got to know several fellow BBS'ers, and many would hang out regularly outside of the computer realm. We even had a yearly cookout at a local park where dozens would show up from around the area. ... to the good'ol days... ...

I remember back in the late 70's to mid 80's we ran something called The Message System on a system at the college. Every behavioural trait you would see on USENET, BBS's and Blogs would reveal itself at some point or other. It was entertaining and I thought I'd seen the last of it when they hauled the PDP 11 out the doors.

Then came BBS's, Fido et al, and I participated in GEnie and CompuServe online chats, even unwittingly telling Jerry Pournelle's wife (who asked me a question) that he was a crack-pot. Many of the FASA people (BattleTech) hung out on GEnie, including Mike Stackpole whom I corresponded with regularly (even brought him back some british editions of his books from the UK) I thought of those as the good old days, though people were wider spread than with the local BBS's. My brother was very tied into the local BBS's and it became his social circle and a pool for potential dates.

Now with the internet it's global, millions of people you'll never meet may see your words, participate in your blog or visit your web page. The sense of community is considerably strained to almost indifference. I did travel around the northeast several years ago to meet up with a bunch of mudders and it was pretty cool, but that was about it. Now people seem to congregate at various Cons.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321895)

I'm curious. What prevents message boards on a web site from filling these spots today? Many boards I've seen have a strong sense of commmunity and quite a few have arranged meetups.

How is this different from the BBS's of old?

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321977)

Usually non-locals didn't join in because it was long distance. Fewer trolls.

: )

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322293)

Location location location....

Most of the BBS down here were run by people who had second phone lines. There were no 1-800 numbers and with max speeds often being no more than 14.4 or 33.6, most people didn't use long distance.

Anybody from Tokyo to Miami could hit a website message board.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322349)

Most?

All of the BBS's local to me were. And you got in late if 14.4 was a normal speed - and stayed too long if the speeds were 33.6.

The norm was 2400 here, and some were USR 9600's - you needed a USR modem to connect at those speeds. Eventually, the USR 16.8's hit the scene but again, you needed expensive USR modems to make use of the speeds. Most everyone else was stuck at 9600, or 14.4 later on.

It didn't matter. Downloading cool stuff was good - I got into the demoscene (as a pure spectator) after downloading a file called unreal.zip. But it wasn't about the files it was about the online games and chat boards.

Hack'n'Slash on CNetBBS (Amiga) was the best!

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (2, Insightful)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321916)

...one thing that I truly miss is the sense of community.
Really? ...ironically you posted AC.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322327)

What's ironic about it? It would have been if he posted AC on a BBS.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321984)

We even had a yearly cookout at a local park where dozens would show up from around the area. ... to the good'ol days... ...

That local scene has spread to other Internet based communities such as the one I participate the most in, geocaching.

We have a state-wide forum and routinely meet up for "Events" which are generally cook-outs drawing people in from all over the area.

While I miss the BBS days I really don't think that much has changed as far as communities meeting up outside of the computer realm.

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322251)

Things have changed, but the in-person social aspect hasn't. Fark has frequently has get-togethers in cities all over. A friend of mine who is a regular on one of the Star Wars Yahoo! chats gets together at Cons (most recently C3) whenever possible.

The bbs community may be gone, but in some respects, its be replaced with a wider audience.

BBS gtg's (1)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322259)

Our local BBS scene always ended up at the local bowling alley. It was the only place where the adults could drink beer and the under-21's could still hang out and play pool. We used to do all that about every other month.


Then of course somebody screweed somebody esle's wife while the husband was out of town on military duty...people took sides...blah blah blah. And there were the horny losers who wanted to mack on everybody's girlfriends. Hahahah

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

Yewbert (708667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322282)

Ditto. We had the Tuesday Night Drinking Society which met (of course, regularly every Wednesday night) in various local bars, as far back as the late 80's. Met a lot of funny, weird, smart, excellent people that way.

I also lay claim to being ahead of a big portion of the curve on computer dating - I met a girlfriend at a BBS party in 1994, way before all these newfangled match.coms with their pictures and forms to fill in and search engines.

Hey you kids - get offa my lawn!

Re:Ahh.. BBS's (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322350)

I just read through a list of BBSs in my area code (courtesy this site [textfiles.com] ) and it felt like reading through the obituaries.

BBS scene memoirs (3, Interesting)

dlZ (798734) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321805)

I guess I was a bit of a late comer to the BBS scene. I started in 1990, and started running my own in 1994 (and it ran until 1997.) I do miss those days, though, everything was a lot more personal with everything being so localized. We used to arrange a lot of 2600 meetings on my BBS. I actually knew a large amount of my user base, at least as associates if not being pretty friendly with them.

Re:BBS scene memoirs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322254)

By 1990 the BBS scene was almost over. You should have started in the beginning.... ah, I remember it well... Downloads were so slow that you could walk to school uphill in the snow (both directions!!) before it was over.

1990, bah! You guys had it easy!

Ethnography of BBSers... (5, Interesting)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321825)

Wow, it's great to hear that the BBS Docu's have been released. If there's one thing missing from the early years of Cyberia, it's a comprehensive look at the beginnings of what it meant to be online, and digital - especially with respect to the manufacture of digital personalities.

Now, it's all too common to read about "life online" - so much so, in fact, that where many of us have come from is often forgotten. Life in the digital - life that we all share - is not just life, but more a shared heritage & it's great that a glimpse of that heritage has been released... -d!

Re:Ethnography of BBSers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322072)

Wow. That was needlessly dramatic.

Creative commons licensed?? (0, Flamebait)

alarch (830794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321827)

what does that mean? creative commons offer many different licences, from public domain like, through open source, to closed, proprietary licences. That statement does not convey any useful info.

Re:Creative commons licensed?? (2, Informative)

aengblom (123492) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321887)

Uh, go to the site?
Rights


All material in the BBS Documentary Interview Collection is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribute-Sharealike License; it is intended to be duplicated, remixed and used as a foundation for further documentaries or research projects.

Re:Creative commons licensed?? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321948)

He's right, though. Jason Scott brags twice about how it's "Creative Commons licensed" as though that's a meaningful statement.

Anyway -- look out, MPAA! Hundreds of hours of interviews with ex-BBSers? With competition like that on the horizon, the movie studios might as well just shut their doors!

Re:Creative commons licensed?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322084)

Less reason to download Holywood movies!

The Games! (3, Interesting)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321830)

The best thing about BBSing was the games! Any fellow LORD or Usurper players out there? Can these be considered precursers to the MMORPG's of today?

Many hours wasted playing those darn text games...

Re:The Games! (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321932)

I played LORD a lot, Usurper only a little. I also played a BBS version of RISK quite a bit. I always hated it when I'd log back into LORD and it would say someone kicked my ass.

Re:The Games! (2, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321934)

The best thing about BBSing was the games! Any fellow LORD or Usurper players out there? Can these be considered precursers to the MMORPG's of today?

Absolutely, and you forgot the biggest one - Tradewars. Man, did that game start some flamewars.

Re:The Games! (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322003)

I played both LORD and Usurper, but there were a couple other games I enjoyed more. Trade Wars was a big favorite, along with VGA Planets (which technically isn't a door game). I still play VGA Planets, in fact.

Re:The Games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322097)

>I played both LORD and Usurper

I cracked both LORD and Usurper

Re:The Games! (1)

freeclimber (812767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322010)

You are all forgetting the best game of them all Barren Realms Elite.

Re:The Games! (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322278)

You are all forgetting the best game of them all Barren Realms Elite.

Hear hear! I had macros tuned so efficiently I could play 2xBRE (1 local, 1 IBBS) on a dozen different BBSs in under an hour on a 1200BPS modem. I and a group of 2-3 friends used to converge on certain BBSs to create our own undefeatable empire. There's nothing like the satisfaction of bringing down a well established BBS with teamwork and a well executed plan of attack.

The Pit (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322061)

I remember this one well. I'm not sure how popular it was on a national level. It was a d&d style ASCII game where you walked through levels of dungeons collecting weapons and challenging other players to vie for the #1 spot. You could only take about 3 hits on the other player a day, so if you waited till 11:55pm to challenge the player then took your three hits, log out, log in around 12:05 am, and take your next three hits, you might kill him before he got a chance to fight back. It went something like that, but I don't remember very clearly.

The Spitfire BBSs seemed to be the best in our area code...

Re:The Games! (1)

Kphrak (230261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322092)

Played LORD all the time in the middle '90s. I'd use up all my connect time, have to connect the next day, and find out that someone had killed me. :(

In a way I suppose these were precursors, in that you had to spend all your available time playing them to make your character any good, score with the barmaid, etc...but since you were always kicked off after a period of time, and your character was auto-run instead of disappearing from the game whenever you weren't there, it wasn't quite like that. I'd say MUDs were more like MMORPGs than BBS door games, but maybe that's just me.

Re:The Games! (1)

jownz (843106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322224)

LORD is what got me hooked to the scene.
 
The trick was to stay 1 level below everyone else so they couldn't attack you when you stayed at the inn.
Nobody could handle a 'deathblow' special attack, even when I was 2 levels below them :)
 
  jownz

Re:The Games! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322237)

If you liked LORD how about you come join the community that plays LoGD

http://www.lotgd.net/ [lotgd.net]

Its a remake of LORD for the web that is really quite nice.

Still around.... (2, Informative)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322344)

telnet lord.nuklear.org 10240

Their website is here: http://lord.nuklear.org/ [nuklear.org]

Re:LORD (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322371)

Me and a friend almost got in a fight with some guy over his wife playing that game. I guess he didn't take kindly with my friend's sleeping with his wife in the Inn option of the game.

That and I power killed him once per night out of spite. We'd use to keep camping the phone lines until we got through at midnight to take another turn.

Ah the fun day's of BBS. Reminds of me of gaming today in a sense... Except more vulgar and more young people.

Re:The Games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322380)

Ever played Falcon's Eye? Mehul Patel, who created that and some other great BBS games has created Utopia [swirve.com] which is basically Falcon's Eye evolved, and with 80k players.

Modern chat vs. BBS (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321834)

As an ex-sysop, I wonder occasionally how a modern chatter would do on an old style BBS.

WWIV-Menu>
==SYSOP Chat Mode Activated==
Sysop: Hey, i need to take the bbs off for a minute to get fido.
User: asl?
Sysop: It'll just be down for a few minutes, call back later, ok?
User: wtf hax?
Sysop: Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. I've got to reboot too, so I'm going to disconnect you.
User: omfg hax, wtf is tis, spiware? a55h013!
Sysop: Do you require medical assistance? I've got your address on record from the age-check, would you like me to call a medic?
User: roflroflflfoolol who r u
Sysop: If you're having a seizure, don't worry, the ambulance will be there soon. I'm on my parent's phone line right now.
User: wqho are u????
Sysop: I'm the sysop of this BBS. Can you breath?
User: +OPS!!!!!!
Sysop: The 911 operator wants me to stay in chat with you until the medics get there.
User: stfu, how do I gt ops??? /+ops
Sysop: Er, you don't.
User: dudez you got ops, why not for me?
Sysop: Actually, I own the computer you're on.
User: fu lier, gimme ops or I'll hack u
Sysop: ....
User: wtf is ur ip address, l33t hax coming
Sysop: What is an ip address?
User: brb, police
)@(*#)@#
NO CARRIER
Sysop: What just happened?

=SCHEDULED TASK: Fido connection starting...==

Re:Modern chat vs. BBS (1)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321991)

Holy crap my buddy and I were rolling on the floor laughing at this. Very nicely done my friend! You might think of taking it a step further and being the next BOFH.

Re:Modern chat vs. BBS (1)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322103)

i so wish i could mod that beyond +5, Funny. that made my day. kudos.

Re:Modern chat vs. BBS (1)

Kyller (160528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322114)


That was the funniest thing I have EVER read on slashdot... Thank you very much.

Re:Modern chat vs. BBS (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322195)

that was absolutely funny as all hell...

Re:Modern chat vs. BBS (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322252)

ahahahahah! I was a sysop so this was really funny for me! :) Damn, tears...

where'd the porn go? (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321839)

Hi, this is Jason Scott, director of the BBS Documentary, a 4 year project to tell the story of the dial-up bulletin board systems of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

cool

The documentary's out, for sale, and is completely Creative Commons licensed. But like most documentaries, there's tons of stuff left on the cutting room floor.

that's where the porn went

And that just won't do. I'm happy to announce that I have partnered with archive.org to present what will be hundreds of hours of interviews online.

cool! you get to announce your new retro '80s porn site on slashdot! ...sorry, couldn't resist, all in good humor

thank you Jason for making the documentary ;-)

Computer Documentaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321840)

I'm not sure how many computer documentaries I can take this close together. I'm already planning to see "March of the Penguins" this weekend.

San Diego BBSes (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321846)

The San Diego BBS scene was energetic and explosive, with hundreds of BBSes, on all topics.
Users often got together in "meatspace" to argue and party furiously.
Was anyone here a member of San Diego Connection or CSAIA (frantic humor BBS)?

Memories... ahhh!

Blogs look a lot like BBS's did. (2, Interesting)

blastard (816262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321854)

As I read the comments, I couldn't help but notice how similiar the system is to the old BBS days. Yes, we now have graphics all over, and thread organization, but the rudiments of that was there even back then. We had ASCII art, and especially ATASCII art for us Atari users. Most BBS's had some organization to the thread. Perhaps the biggest difference would be scope. Then, most BBS's were local. You made a local call and got on. The ones that were visited at greater distances tended to be Phreaker boards since one needed a way to call them without breaking the piggy bank. Now, we can reach blogs all around the world, with some exceptions. We also have greater scope in terms of interest. Most BBS material was the type that would interest those investing in the new technologies. A 300 baud modem was still an expensive toy when I got into it, and 1200 baud was way too pricey. One good thing about 300 baud was that you could read the messages as they passed by on the screen. Only thing I miss from the good old days was the sense of community that existed. This was also found on the internet until AOL let "them" On the Loose.

Ahhhhhhh the memories (2, Interesting)

killercoder (874746) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321855)

I remember the inside jokes - the burger summits - the friends and relationships.

Most of my oldest friends came from the BBS scene, I know couples that met on BBS's.........the BBS scene was more than the internet in its day. The internet is a global community - BBS's were a LOCAL community, which made things more personal - more friendly.
BBS's were the seed of many technologies we take for granted today - email networks, online chat, multithreaded communications servers, etc. Ever wondered where emoticons came from?

I remember running PCBoard on OS/2 (my last BBS), and being amazed I could run 4 phone lines on a 486 - I remember writing scripts, ANSI ART, shareware, freeware, chats, SYSOP break thru's - ah the memories.
Forgive the stream of consciousness - but viewing this flooded my head.

Thank you for the flash backs, and farewell to the BBS - you will be missed

Re:Ahhhhhhh the memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322142)

I used to be on a 32 line BBS is Minnesota back in the late 80's. The biggest thing was the chatrooms. Sound familiar? Damn if I only knew that'd be the hottest thing going for the Internet before the other 10 million applications came out... There'd be user parties since everyone was local, you knew almost every single user on that system, their home phone number (no one had cell phones) and had accounts on their BBS's assuming they had one. I remember part of a user meeting where we talked about upping the line count and what it would cost... The system ran on a collection of 'state-of-the-art' 486's, a number of digi-boards that had 8 modems on each board ($1800/ea or something nutty), the BBS license which was equally astronomical (can't remember now the damn name of the package, but it was one of the biggest and most elaborate commerical BBS packages), then of course Ma Bell's phone bill... One of the best updates was the module that let it run standard 'door' games (think very ancient CGIs) so we could get TradeWars running. THAT was the best! There were countless doors around, but TW was IT! The worst, however, and I know there are others that will recall this hell, was being in the middle of a battle to take over someone's well defended planet and losing carrier to line noise or call-waiting. UGH! And since I saw someone else's post about it, was the sysop-chat-breakin... I up that by saying that the greatest BBS feature was the ability to log users off "with line noise" which made it look like they took a hit and got disconnected, never knowing you were there on the other side of the screen laughing as they tried to dial back in -- disconnect -- dial back..... :) The simple days... Ahhhhhh...

Re:Ahhhhhhh the memories (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322289)

Maximus/2 + OS/2 + the commercial SIO for OS/2 = 8 lines of modem plus 16 TCP/IP terminal ports and modems plus as many TCP/IP virtual connections as the SIO allowed, plus an other dedicated modem for the Fido. That was one of the setting I had before we pulled the plug. OS/2 was the OS to run a BBS, never drops a single packet even under heaviest loads and the setup I describe up there was running on an ass-kicking Pentium 120 with 128MB of RAM. These days you hardly can run a modern Linux distribution on this kind of hardware. Fuck you IBM. Damn, if it weren't for Linux and modern BSDs, I wouldn't have an OS to use now.

Re:Ahhhhhhh the memories (1)

GombuMstr (532073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322324)

On OS/2? You were running pcboard in it's last dieing days. It was tragic end. OS/2 was more suitable but no one wanted to buy it they wanted windows. I used to work for them when they would have 8 instances of pcboard running on 386. ~sniffle~ that was the days.

The bad 'ol days. (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321868)

Is it just me, or does anyone else not care to remember BBSes? I ran several in my day, and the internet does everything they do, better. (God do I miss tradewars though).

Re:The bad 'ol days. (1)

MikeTwo (775582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321937)

omfg tradewars! haha! That spawned a long lost memory in me...

I remember back in the 'ol days I had a RIME address - that was effectively my email. I also still have the box from my 9600 modem. It's painfully funny...

New 9600 Baud Modem is BLAZINGLY FAST!
- No more waiting for (text?) files to download!
- Over 9 KILOBYTES PER SECOND! (WoW!)

We've come a long way...

Re:The bad 'ol days. (1)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321962)

That spawned a long lost memory in me...

Bluewave...

Re:The bad 'ol days. (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322304)

Bluewave...

The best thing about Bluewave was not supporting Hector Santos...

{cough}

<VBFEG>

Re:The bad 'ol days. (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322310)

Nah. Wolverine... [filelibrary.com]

Re:The bad 'ol days. (1)

Cmdr Niggerdale (907737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322024)

Surely thats "9 Kilobits per second" ?

Re:The bad 'ol days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322055)

and the internet does everything they do, better.

Except work with a 2400 baud modem.

thanks for the spam Jason! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321882)

thanks for the spam Jason! your pc-american centric CRAP documentary is spammed on slashdot, months after its failing release. you blow!

I remember the days... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321919)

I started up my own BBS, Once Upon An Albatross, in 1995 using Wildcat on a highly modified IBM AT (286/1MB) computer. I had dreams of building out a BBS empire while being totally unaware of this thing call the internet. I went bust long before dot coms existed and got kicked out of the university. If only I had some venture capitalists...

Never underestimate the bandwidth... (1)

nsasch (827844) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321922)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of DVDs. At half a terrabyte, it'll take over 2 months at 100KB/sec. He can burn DVDs at an average of 10MB/sec. That's 100 times faster, and than the cost and time of USPS shipping. Hopefully they don't lose the delivery. And that's under 200 DVDs so he could burn and send the DVDs for under $200.

Anyone remember the US Robotics Sysop Program? (1)

yy1 (238590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321946)

I was in that, I remember paying like "only" $500 dollars for a USR 14.4k modem "breaking the 9600 barrier" and switching from Hermes to 1st class the GUI bbs system (that people didn't like as much but it had arguably more functionality)

Remember everyone swapping bbs lists and knowing by heart which exchanges were what localies....

As others have said, I see Wireless taking the place of this as the internet becomes more "settled" and less like the wild west it is right now, local wireless networks will be the best way for people to be able to exchange information without direct interference. Such as the one that has cropped up in NYC and other areas.

Yea i was a future-forward dork with my tolkien's obscure reference "handle"...

Was "War Games" the movie, the gospel to alot of people back then or what, either they liked to pan it or liked to praise it, Please don't tell me the closest thing to this for the internet is that awful movie that Sandra Bullock made, "The Net" ugg.... Would it be Hackers 2? or is it that Linux Documentary?

Re:Anyone remember the US Robotics Sysop Program? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322082)

Anyone remember the US Robotics Sysop Program?

I still have my USR Courier 56k (bought it on SysOp deal for $289 as a 28.8) which has survived 1000s of hours and numerous loan-outs to those that lost a broadband connection or needed a sturdy analog connection.

It will be the *one* piece of hardware that will follow me no matter where I move to. You never know when you might need an analog connection and you can always guarantee that the Courier will connect at the fastest and most reliable speeds available.

Half-terabyte! (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321951)

It's going to take me upwards of half a year to edit and upload the half-terabyte of files.

And it's going to take us upwards of half a minute to bring your Web server down when you're done and the link is posted here.

Ahhh, the good old days... (1)

tao (10867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321952)

I used to be the sysop of TRIAD's BBS Virtual Light, running a heavily modded C*Base v3.23 on a C128 and a CMD HD. The BBS is long gone, but I'm still trying to hunt down that final elusive bug that'll allow me to release C*Base v3.3 =)

Download it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13321969)


just remember to buy it if you like it [bbsdocumentary.com]

the future of Media is exactly this, support the artist and he will support you

Re:Download it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322046)

I haven't found any link to download the thing. Maybe some torrent?

Blast from the past! (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13321974)

Wow, what a blast from the past! Anyone here from the old Commodore 64 BBS scene? Remember the Blackstar BBS program? (or was it Darkstar?) .. Or the Spence BBS program? Ah, good times! :-)

Re:Blast from the past! (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322177)

Darkstar. Don't remember Spence. Ran EBBS-64, modded for 80 col display, quoted replies, rudimentary threading, and FTSC-001 packets. I remember stacks of SFD-1001s clicking all night long. Still have nightmares about the 8250 I smoked.

Re:Blast from the past! (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322280)

Wow, sounds impressive! I thought my dual 1571 floppy drives and 1200 baud modem were cool! :-)

Re:Blast from the past! (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322308)

Oops, dual 1541's, I meant to say.

It's good (1)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322058)

Jason contacted me out of the blue a while back about using some of my music, so I got the DVDs hot off the press. Although I admit I get a small portion of the proceeds for the music I contributed, I think it's really well done. It looks great -- totally professional. And most important to a documentary, it's edited well.

Prior art for eFAX suit??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322107)

Refering to the groklaw article concerning an eFax lawsuit that threatens some FOSS:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200508091 4234645 [groklaw.net]

I was thinking about the old dial up BBS. If a modem was used (circuit based network) to dial a BBS (packet switched network) and the BBS used caller ID to access a user account in some fashion (I think many did - some would only allow you to call from one specific number), it seems that something could be used as prior art to invalidate their (silly) patent.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PT O1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm &r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,208,638.WKU.&OS=PN/6,208,638&RS =PN/6,208,638 [uspto.gov]

 

Way too much footage to sift through... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322111)

I'm sorry, but sitting through 200+ hours of interviews just isn't my cup of tea. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer to have a good editor sift through information before it's presented to me. I think we're in dire need of good editors in the information age - there is such a thing as information overload.

Re:Way too much footage to sift through... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322171)

Reading isnt your cup of tea either. This is left over footage from the documentary. If you want a pre-filtered, editored copy - theres the DVD Jason Scott is selling.

How to generate hype for this... (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322141)

call these new BBS documentary parts PODCASTS!

"hot bot dot yahoo!"

I do miss the BBSing days. It had a stronger sense of a local community, restricted by local area codes, something Internet-based communities will never achieve.

come on people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322145)

Was there ever a better game than Food Fite? I think not.

No Rusty & Edie's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13322163)

Those who know, remember VERY fondly...

bbs software still around... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322218)

Worth noting, is the fact that there are a lot of BBS softwares out there, still working, and still being updated... (mine included)

I ran a BBS for about 10 years (3, Interesting)

Dejohn (164452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322227)

Those were great days. My BBS never got that large - the most calls it ever handled in one day was 20 and I only had one line. I ran it off of a 286 with a 40mb hard drive for a while and later moved it to a 486 with a 4-disc CD tower. I learned tons about batch files and modem initialization strings in those days!

Some of the tools I remember using were:

  • TheDraw - an ANSI graphics editor
  • BinkleyTerm - the Fido/File net front end mailer
  • RoboBoard FX
  • Shotgun BBS - written by Brent Shellenberg right near the end of the BBS days, but this was definitely a great BBS software
  • There was also Renegade, which was free and had some nice features. MajorBBS I goofed around with for a while but it was the most "commercial" of them all and expensive, if I recall. I'm sure there were others that I used too...
  • Fileecho - a tool to enable transfer of files between BBSes
  • Anyone remember RIP graphics?
  • I can't remember the name of the small app I used as a local news/fido reader...
  • Telex - one of the nicest dialers/terminal programs
  • Then of course I remember all the door games... LORD, BRE, Usurper among many others. Later, there were also caller ID doors and other callback verification devices to ensure the correct number was given. Even later, there were telnet and Slirp doors for SLIP connections to the internet.

I'm sure there were many more programs, tools, and utilities that I used in the day, but somehow I lost the ZIP I made of my entire BBS when I closed it down. I really wish I still had it around!

Re:I ran a BBS for about 10 years (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322335)

Telex - one of the nicest dialers/terminal programs

That never worked on my machine. I had an old IBM-PC that was a dinosaur by early 90's standards. Com-it was the only one that worked reliably for me.

Re:I ran a BBS for about 10 years (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13322377)

Those were great days. My BBS never got that large - the most calls it ever handled in one day was 20 and I only had one line. I ran it off of a 286 with a 40mb hard drive for a while and later moved it to a 486 with a 4-disc CD tower. I learned tons about batch files and modem initialization strings in those days!

My BBS struggled similarly. I started by downloading a BBS software package (Remote Access, IIRC) on my 1200BPS modem on my XT (with a 20MB hard drive). When I finally got a used 286 w/ 40MB drive and paralell linked them (the XT became my fileserver) I was in heaven. I think I topped out at around 30-40 calls/day. My main attraction was a hugely popular LORD game. That game was so popular in my area I received e-mails about it for years after my BBS shut down.

The 386 w/ 80MB drive and upgraded 33.6 modem was like greased lightening. Strange to consider that my current desktop machine outpowers all my first 8 PCs combined in every respect (processor, memory, video, storage, optical media, etc.)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...