Tag Archives: technology

Retro Communications Today

Bulletin Board Systems were in the rage before the era of the Internet for the general public. Before the Internet was opened up to the general public, the Bulletin Board System was real popular. Even America Online was a bulletin board system before they were known as a gateway to the Internet.

Bulletin Boards were either single line or multi line and they had community connections. In my local area code we had over 20-30 different systems one could call into. Unfortunately I was one of the last dialup systems in my area and basically fold the towel in 2001 after my debut in 1995 as a part time system.

With the BBS we have curated file libraries, we have text file collections and even games that do not require the user to pay 99 cents for tokens to pass difficult levels from the games such as Candy Crunch Saga.

Today we have the option of visiting systems around the world, back in 1997/1998 I faced heavy long distance charges to dial the east coast to download files, now its part of your Internet provider subscription and you can visit systems in Australia, Brazil or even Canada.

Many of the systems that ran did not have fancy interfaces to communicate into. They were like if you were using a DOS prompt and the communication was text and 16 color oriented. People eagerly awaited the new messages from Fidonet and WWIVnet and posted their conversations just as much as people use Twitter or Facebook today.

Operating and visiting the BBS systems may be not what it used to be, but many who believe in the spirit of this retro form of communication hope that if people could crave music in vinyl format, people could come back to the bulletin board. If Facebook could have arbitrary restrictions about using their service, maybe we should go back to basics with the BBS.

Even 14 years after the peak of the Internet a hundred plus bulletin boards are still in operation and you can visit them.

You may not have a copy of QModem or Terminate to dial into a bbs in the current day, but you can today by using an application such as Syncterm. Since dial-up connections are more rare than bbs callers, we use telnet to dial in through the Internet. A convenient installer is available thru the Syncterm download page.

The default dialing directory has over 40 systems one could visit. If you are looking for more, you can find some in the Fidonet BBS Ads echo.

Goodbye Blackberry

It has been a nice two years with your products Research in Motion, but I have to say is you guys have failed in the consumer market. The browser is not up to current standards, there is no space to install applications worth owning. OS6 was a promising operating system with a better browser, but there was no space to add any new programs after installing it, and not enough ram to open up pages when using the nice new OS6 browser. So I went back to OS5 and its own limitations.

Android and iphone have cleaned RIM’s clock big time. It was nice knowing the Blackberry. Too bad the 9900 was not out 6 months ago.

Daily Bulletin and Survival

The economy is tough, technology is killing the newspaper and when both are placed together the situation does seem grim.

I remember when our local newspapers were comprehensive and filled with content, but it seems like today we are here to pay for a pale imitation of the newspapers of old for double the price.

It is not fun to see quality columnists like David Allen having to face a furlough, or young people realizing that there is a fat chance in hell that there will be a job for them in the journalism industry.

I know newspapers are having a hard time making money. But maybe if the Los Angeles Newspaper Group had a cost-effective solution to help generate some revenue. I was thinking of a 6 month or 1 year subscription package where if you do not subscribe to a daily subscription, you get a preferred online subscription to the website where there would be no advertisements and  longer retention of articles instead of 7 days, it would be a 30 day retention.

Perhaps for 12.00 for 6 months or 20.00 for a year, people would more likely help fund the content that we value as readers.

And to make this more valuable, you would be able to get content from all the newspapers in the chain from the Daily News to the Sun in San Bernardino. Fred Hamilton and William Singleton I hope you can read this.