Sunday, May 20, 2007

Blast from the past....

Everybody who remembers what a BBS is, raise their hands..............ok, three of you. Well, I like to think of them as the infancy of the Internet - when one computer could connect with one other computer over the phone lines. One-to-one connections only, if someone was on your favorite BBS you just had to wait until they got off. Information transfer rates were originally (for my experience) 300 baud, which meant you could watch the letters of a post like this one come in one at a time, like someone was typing it just for you. Rich people had 1200 baud, a whole sentence at a time. Pictures? Uh, yeah right. First of all, computer screens were all monochromatic, my Apple IIe had a black background with green letters. That's it. But the BBS was almost exactly like this blog here - the sysop would write about something and the rest of us could respond.
The one I hung out at was "The Motel West", run by Sir Duke. My alias was Dirty Bastard Rat (started out Lucifer, but thanks to "Your Conscious" and some BBS type siblingish rivalry, Sir Duke ended up changing my alias when I wasn't looking.) The Motel West, like many other BBSs, was not just a couple computers talking to each other, it became a community. There was a core of us that met through the BBS and we ended up becoming good friends and spending a lot of time together in the real world - to the extent of renting a house in West Valley together (dubbed "HQ"), and 20 years later still being in weekly contact with at least one of the people I met there.
So, today I got an e-mail from Sir Duke himself, who disappeared off the face of the earth over a decade ago. It was good to hear from him, good to remember the times we had, things we did and trouble we always seemed to just barely miss getting into.
Sir Duke, glad to hear you're faring well.

1 comment:

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh my heck.
I didn't recall what it was called, but, as I am the ex-wife of a programmer, I actually remember watching the ex (may he rot in nether regions) doing this. Whoa. Dude.
Hey, my first school computer had a black screen with ORANGE type. On this I did grades back in about 94-ish or so.
Oh, how things have changed -- thank heaven. I couldn't stand to look at black and orange that often now.