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Old 12-21-2019, 10:25 PM   #1
RandomTroll
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'Randy Suess, Computer Bulletin Board Inventor, Dies at 74'


Quote:
'The messaging system that he and a friend created in 1978 was a forerunner of social media services like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.'
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/t...uess-dead.html

The friend was Ward Christiansen, the author of XMODEM. I used BBSes a lot before the Internet.
 
Old 12-21-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
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I enjoyed the BBS days tremendously. When I got my first home computer, I was lucky enough to live in an area that had some great bulletin boards. Then AOL opened up its internet gateway and they all went away.

But I must wonder, if he had known that it would lead to the Zuckerborg, would he have still done it?
 
Old 12-22-2019, 12:22 AM   #3
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When I first heard of the internet, already a BBS user, I sort of wondered what the point was. It sounded like another layer of abstraction over a BBS.

In my defense, Bill Gates didn't think there was a point either. Ok, that's like saying, "In my defense, Charles Manson..." The person who explained it to me didn't do a stellar job either.

By the time I actually tried it, I was impressed. But by that time the web existed, and when I first heard of the internet, it didn't yet. I do like Gopher, though I didn't discover that until the web had already overtaken it.
 
Old 12-22-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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I remember my brother hosting a BBS and I had to call long distance to connect. I had a couple of big phone bills back then...

Remember the "100 hour" AOL CDs back in the day? Strange concept now...
 
Old 12-22-2019, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Remember the "100 hour" AOL CDs back in the day?
Oh yes, I forgot about those. Compuserve had something like that too.

AOL and Compuserve made the BBS's disappear. We used to telnet into one of those. That was only 25 years ago. Telnet and BBS.

I was thinking about that the other day. With a 56.6 modem I got a download speed of about 5-6Kbps. It took 2 hours to download a 12 MB file. That's if it did not drop out on you. And there was no resuming of partial downloads. That was around 1996. Windows 95 would lock up with a blue screen every 10 or so minutes. That's what there was for a residence. Cost me 3-5 cents to dial up to the BBS. Business had better and payed for it. Tried AOL on a dial up, it was better than a BBS.

Then I stepped up to 3Mbps DSL. The speed I got was around 2.4Mbps
I could get a 500MB file in 20 or so minutes. People were using instant messengers. No smart phones yet. That was around 2003. You could be somewhat anonymous on the web. Found Linux, threw windows away.

Then I stepped up to 100Mbps fibre. The speed I get is around 120Mbps. I can download a 500MB file in around 1 minute if the server allows. Everyone uses their pocket communicators. No need to even sit at a desktop if you don't want. You are tracked with every packet you send. Your pocket communicator tracks you by GPS and or cell phone tower triangulation.

That's all in 20 or so years. But we still have not been back to the moon.
 
Old 12-22-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
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If you haven't watched the BBS Documentary yet, get to it. It's absolutely amazing. I own the DVD boxset and I'm never giving it up.

This is a decent streaming version:
https://archive.org/details/BBS.The.Documentary

Last edited by dugan; 12-22-2019 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2019, 10:54 PM   #7
frankbell
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Quote:
When I first heard of the internet, already a BBS user, I sort of wondered what the point was. It sounded like another layer of abstraction over a BBS.
At the time (early 1990s) I had a friend (who I met through a BBS) who had internet access through his university, so I had some idea that there was much more out there somewhere, but I think that at the time it was still mostly text.

My first actual internet use was through the AOL gateway, through which I accessed several Usenet groups, primarily alt.folklore.urban (you didn't know what being flamed was until you got flamed on AFU--their flames silently sneaked up behind you and suddenly you were on fire) and rec.boats (I had a boat back in those days). These days, Usenet is but a shadow of its former self. Which is a darned shame.

I do remember once, when I was an AOLer, using the AOL internet gateway to telnet into a Brazilian newspaper to help first daughter with a homework assignment. I had no idea what I was doing, but I somehow I did it. It was like doing magic.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-22-2019 at 10:55 PM.
 
  


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