February 16th is BBS Day! – Less than 3 weeks away!

Less than 3 weeks away is the 45th anniversary of when the first public facing BBS (Bulletin Board System) went active.

The very first BBS

A wide group of BBS sysops and users are marking the anniversary – details at the BBS Day website: https://bbsday.org/

The Great Blizzard of 1978 was one of the worst storms in Illinois’ history. One-hundred-mile-an-hour winds whipped up snow drifts as high as 12 feet. Wind chills were so low they caused railroad tracks to buckle and break. Northern Illinois, especially Chicago, ground to a halt. And a couple of snowed-in computer nerds created a major technological achievement. It was Feb. 16, 1978, just after the great blizzard, when two Chicagoans, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess, launched the world’s first computerized bulletin board system (BBS).

Link to the transcript: https://www.northernpublicradio.org/education/2021-02-15/this-week-in-illinois-history-worlds-first-bbs-goes-live-feb-16-1978

There was an online documentary made about the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dddbe9OuJLU

The whole thing was pretty simple – two 8″ floppy disks a Altair 8800 clone “Vector 1” connected by an S-100 board, and a 300bps modem.

https://pcmuseum.tripod.com/bbs.htm explains how the BBS was here before there was a world wide web!

I didn’t join into the BBS game until about 1984, where I started to operate as a “point” and then started a USA based full time BBS in 1988.

My present itineration of SPOT BBS (SPOT= S.P.O.T. = Someone Playing On Transistors) is at spotbbs.k9zw.com ssh port 1122, telnet port 1123, and when the html part works html port 8888.

SPOT BBS is the same 1:154/154 FidoNet Node Number as when I mothballed the original 30 years ago, though today it runs MysticBBS as the original OPUS CBBS software is long obsolete..



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One thought on “February 16th is BBS Day! – Less than 3 weeks away!

  1. Dale LeDoux says:

    I ran a BBS on a Macintosh for a few years – original Mac with a Dr. Dobbs expansion to 512k RAM, 2x400k disk drives, real Hayes 1200 baud modem and a single dial-up line. Had fifty or so regular users – not bad for Southwest Louisiana. That was The Lake Charles OverBoard.


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