I was on Twitter the other day and was having some great conversations with a few people. It struck me how this type of communication has actually been around for 20+ years. This will date me and label me a huge geek, but who remembers a time before the internet?
A time when monitors were 1 color (amber or green). A time when learning BASIC in school was the gifted and talented program. On Atari 2600’s with the membrane keyboard. A time with 5 1/4″ floppy disks. How cool it was when a 3.5″ disk could hold 1.44 MB of info on it. A time when “online” meant “modeming”. Calling into some local guys server and chatting with 20 or so people until you got bumped off by a timeout at 1 hour.
This was the BBS system. A BBS was a bulletin board system. It was a place to upload and download stuff, leave messages, and chat with people. And it was DOS based! Gold star if you can remember the command to move up and down in the directory. I loved DOS mainly because it bugged my dad that I knew how to mess with his computer.
I am specifically focusing on the chat rooms in this discussion. The chat rooms were set up so I could type something, hit enter and it would go out to anyone who was looking in that same forum. Then I could read their stuff and go back and forth all night. Now we have Twitter. The only real difference despite the worldwide internet, cable modems, windows upgrades (Remember win 3.1 that you had to start every time???) is the 140 character limit. Most of the time when we were chatting, responses were not that long.
I was really drawn back to those fun old days when I was tweeting the other night. Sad though the demise of the humble BBS, it was a great way to interact with people. Hell, I met my wife in one of those chat rooms. We started going out and didn’t modem much after that. That was 17 years ago. Bah!
They were also good to piss off my dad because he was convinced I was going to download a virus. I never did get one, but one leveled his system just 2 weeks ago…Norton be damned.
Does anyone else remember the BBS glory days? Leave a comment and lets chat about it!
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