Sometime over the years, I've managed to forget, or block out, most of my memories of the time in high school when I used BBSes, before the internet. Even though I still have friends from back then, and even, come to think, host a rack of computers at the house of a guy who was once a sysop. Those couple of years (how many?) are mostly a blank, and not something I think about much. I can't remember the first time I used a BBS. I can remember clearly and crisply the first time I used a unix system.
A bit of it came back when I didn't pirate the BBS Documentary, an epic 8 part series of interviews with the people who brought us the likes of XMODEM, fidonet, pcboard, and ansi art. Highly recommended. Amazing how just looking at so many of the people immediatly reminds me of the BBSers I knew at the time.
Its producer, Jason Scott, also runs textfiles.com, a huge collection of all sorts of text files from the 60's through 90's, which mostly originate from old BBSes. His historical bent in preserving and documenting this stuff really appeals.
I poked around the net today, managed to find some docs about one BBS I remembered using, and nothing about a couple of others. Logged into a telnet BBS or two and remembered just how angry fruit salad and silly to use those systems really were, and also how much they probably contributed to my enduring enjoyment of unix, muds, and email.
I thought it would be nice to not forget about this stuff, and so I coded up a reminder, merging the ancient plain text files with what's currently new and spiffy (weblogs natch), and creating this webblog which has a random text file posted to it each day. Of course, the subjects range from anarchy, to programming, to phone phreaking, to porn, so view at your own risk, just as if it were 1992, and you were were dialing a number your war dialer had found while you were away at school.
Would you like to play a game?