The BBS days uncovered thanks to Google

I noticed a few people had found my blog by searching for “Daniel Warne” this weekend. I wondered why they’d be doing that, as I haven’t used “Daniel” since I was at school… everyone refers to me as “Dan”. I searched for “Daniel Warne” on Google out of curiosity and turned up this 12 year old email from me.

This email was written in the very early days of email, actually before I had proper internet access and was dialling up to BBSes directly. In those days, emails didn’t get through instantly; they had to be routed between BBSes which would send batches of email to each other via periodical transfer (every few hours for the big boards and overnight or every couple of days for smaller boards.)

From a historical perspective, it’s interesting to note that the guy who replied to my email used his postal address as a primary point of contact. I know that people still do that for business postal addresses, but I suspect the postal address in his sig was more an artefact of the era, while people were still transitioning to the idea of email as a primary contact point.

indigologoI actually had a BBS myself called “Gone Cactus” which I ran off my Toshiba T1900 laptop after school and all night. My online handle was “Indigo” (see the ASCII art of it to the right). I had my own phone line in my room and people from all over Victoria would call in by modem and play my online games and post messages via Fidonet (a pre-email messaging system).

I caught up with fellow journo (and ex APC editor) David Flynn when in San Francisco recently and he pointed me towards this documentary on BBSes. Interesting stuff on the evolution of online communication.


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33 thoughts on “The BBS days uncovered thanks to Google

  1. canion

    You’re bringing back some fond memories for me, Dan. I used to love dialing in to BBSes, and getting on good terms with the sysop. There was nothing better than live chat with that demigod!

  2. Andrew

    You’re bringing back some fond memories for me, Dan. I used to love dialing in to BBSes, and getting on good terms with the sysop. There was nothing better than live chat with that demigod!

  3. canion

    Another comment, because I just realised you had an old apana address! I was a long-term member of WA APANA some years ago. The blasts from the past keep on coming.

  4. Andrew

    Another comment, because I just realised you had an old apana address! I was a long-term member of WA APANA some years ago. The blasts from the past keep on coming.

  5. Renai LeMay

    You old fart Dan … hold on I used to frequent bulletin boards as well. We only had a couple I could get to in Broken Hill without having to dial an STD number but we loved them.

    I know the modern InterWeb has so many more advantages and so on … but those days were fun weren’t they?

    Maybe there is some firmware patch that will let my ADSL modem simulate the screeching sound of an old modem whenever it loses sync from the exchange…

    Renai

  6. Renai LeMay

    You old fart Dan … hold on I used to frequent bulletin boards as well. We only had a couple I could get to in Broken Hill without having to dial an STD number but we loved them.

    I know the modern InterWeb has so many more advantages and so on … but those days were fun weren’t they?

    Maybe there is some firmware patch that will let my ADSL modem simulate the screeching sound of an old modem whenever it loses sync from the exchange…

    Renai

  7. Stuart Fox

    Ah, I remember the days of Gone Cactus, bulletin boards and echomail. FidoNet still lives on today too, although uses the Internet as a transport between fido nodes.

    Still have a few mates I keep in contact from that era, not to mention the occasional person that I once knew that shows up in some unusual place – anything from a company boardroom to a social gathering!

    For those looking for a trip down the BBS memory lane, I highly recommend checking out a 6 hour documentary titled “BBS The Documentary” ( http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/ )

    🙂

  8. Stuart Fox

    Ah, I remember the days of Gone Cactus, bulletin boards and echomail. FidoNet still lives on today too, although uses the Internet as a transport between fido nodes.

    Still have a few mates I keep in contact from that era, not to mention the occasional person that I once knew that shows up in some unusual place – anything from a company boardroom to a social gathering!

    For those looking for a trip down the BBS memory lane, I highly recommend checking out a 6 hour documentary titled “BBS The Documentary” ( http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/ )

    🙂

  9. danwarne

    I believe so, Andrew! Dad emailed me this: “Mum and I just saw you on Four Corners! They showed footage of John Howard walking to the Wheat Enquiry so we were looking for you and there you were, in the foreground, smiling at your good luck at being on the spot. We were quite excited.”

    Kate is going to tape the repeat of it for me. Ahh, 15 seconds of fame…

  10. danwarne Post author

    I believe so, Andrew! Dad emailed me this: “Mum and I just saw you on Four Corners! They showed footage of John Howard walking to the Wheat Enquiry so we were looking for you and there you were, in the foreground, smiling at your good luck at being on the spot. We were quite excited.”

    Kate is going to tape the repeat of it for me. Ahh, 15 seconds of fame…

  11. Eve

    oh tell me you had Tradewars clunking along on your BBS.

    There’s still an active Tradewars scene going on (or at least there was a couple of years ago when I was part of the “World Championship” winning team. 😀

  12. Eve

    oh tell me you had Tradewars clunking along on your BBS.

    There’s still an active Tradewars scene going on (or at least there was a couple of years ago when I was part of the “World Championship” winning team. 😀

  13. Lauriel

    I miss the BBS! I love forums, but you can’t get together and meet in person as easily as you could with a BBS (since most people were within the same area code). It might be wishful thinking, but your name, Indigo, sounds familiar, even though your BBS doesn’t. Did you ever go on Nemesis? Thanks for the link to the BBS documentary, although the trip down memory lane is already beginning.. I’ll never complain about dial up connections again..

  14. Lauriel

    I miss the BBS! I love forums, but you can’t get together and meet in person as easily as you could with a BBS (since most people were within the same area code). It might be wishful thinking, but your name, Indigo, sounds familiar, even though your BBS doesn’t. Did you ever go on Nemesis? Thanks for the link to the BBS documentary, although the trip down memory lane is already beginning.. I’ll never complain about dial up connections again..

  15. klariska

    hello
    im trying to fix a problem which is, whenever i click internet explorer two pages open at once..one is ok but another is a blank page with microsoft internet explorer written at the top and it keeps pushing to the front all the time.. im running internet explorer 7 with xp sp2..any ideas would be very much appreciated..thankyou

  16. klariska

    hello
    im trying to fix a problem which is, whenever i click internet explorer two pages open at once..one is ok but another is a blank page with microsoft internet explorer written at the top and it keeps pushing to the front all the time.. im running internet explorer 7 with xp sp2..any ideas would be very much appreciated..thankyou

  17. Grurp

    You guys might want to check out Citadel (citadel.org)(I knew it back when it was Citadel/UX). It is among other things a bbs that you can access in many ways (including the commandline).

  18. Grurp

    You guys might want to check out Citadel (citadel.org)(I knew it back when it was Citadel/UX). It is among other things a bbs that you can access in many ways (including the commandline).

  19. Magic

    Hi all,

    I used to run “The Meeting Place” (based in victoria), somewhere in the early 90’s to mid-late 90’s ???
    I was known as Magic (sysop) for anyone that may have visited.
    I started with 1 line for 1-2 years, then went to 4lines for several years with the intention of going to 10 lines, although the internet killed BBSing off and i couldnt justify buying the extra lines with no users to help pay it off. ;-(

    Before running my own BBS, i first got hooked on many single-line BBS’, before discovering Multi-line Chat BBS’.
    I quickly got hooked on Nemesis BBS (sysop=riddler), and Diamond Mine BBS (sysop=diamond (Robyn/female)), both were 8 lines at the time?

    They were fun days, and it was awesome to have so many meets with VERY local people.
    I can’t count count how many movie/pub/bowling/pinball/bbs parties i’d attended over a few short years.

    Online games like Tradewars, LORD, Usurper, and silly adult text games like Studs or Fantasy Land all bring back fun memories of those days.

    I recall updating all my modems from 1200 to 2400 baud, then a few years later updating to 9600, then upto 28K on all 4 lines.
    Eventually i had 1x 56k on line #1, as they cost $500+ and i couldnt afford the others. hahahaha.

    Funny now i can buy a BAGful of 56k for $10 hahahaha.

    BRING BACK SOCIAL BBSing !!!!

    Regards,
    Marty (aka Magic)

  20. Magic

    Hi all,

    I used to run “The Meeting Place” (based in victoria), somewhere in the early 90’s to mid-late 90’s ???
    I was known as Magic (sysop) for anyone that may have visited.
    I started with 1 line for 1-2 years, then went to 4lines for several years with the intention of going to 10 lines, although the internet killed BBSing off and i couldnt justify buying the extra lines with no users to help pay it off. ;-(

    Before running my own BBS, i first got hooked on many single-line BBS’, before discovering Multi-line Chat BBS’.
    I quickly got hooked on Nemesis BBS (sysop=riddler), and Diamond Mine BBS (sysop=diamond (Robyn/female)), both were 8 lines at the time?

    They were fun days, and it was awesome to have so many meets with VERY local people.
    I can’t count count how many movie/pub/bowling/pinball/bbs parties i’d attended over a few short years.

    Online games like Tradewars, LORD, Usurper, and silly adult text games like Studs or Fantasy Land all bring back fun memories of those days.

    I recall updating all my modems from 1200 to 2400 baud, then a few years later updating to 9600, then upto 28K on all 4 lines.
    Eventually i had 1x 56k on line #1, as they cost $500+ and i couldnt afford the others. hahahaha.

    Funny now i can buy a BAGful of 56k for $10 hahahaha.

    BRING BACK SOCIAL BBSing !!!!

    Regards,
    Marty (aka Magic)

  21. dv8

    HI Marty! i know its 42 weeks since your post but hopefully you will reply. My name is raelene and i was known OMG! as DV8..hopefully youll get back to me you can find me on facebook or maybe youll remember Lee….aka LOOPY! id love to catch up with a few ppl and hopefully youll remember their names

  22. dv8

    HI Marty! i know its 42 weeks since your post but hopefully you will reply. My name is raelene and i was known OMG! as DV8..hopefully youll get back to me you can find me on facebook or maybe youll remember Lee….aka LOOPY! id love to catch up with a few ppl and hopefully youll remember their names

  23. Anonymous

    Anyone know where Jocelyn Wachs (I think that was her name?), Sysop of Tweety Pie (or Tweety’s Nest, or Tweety Bird) BBS is now..?

    Also I’d love to get in touch with an old friend from my BBS days, Kirsty Seymour, of Mount Evelyn.

    (This post is Google fodder in case those people search for themselves some day…!) 

  24. Jospoika

    Hi – I know Jocelyn … thats me!!!!! LOL was sysop of Afternoon Delights 🙂 and yes… I have memories of Tweety’s Nest 🙂

  25. Deadbeat

    Jocelyn? Candie?

    Wow 4 years after this post I stumble across it. I knew Candie, Robyn, and Cef. I used to go by Deadbeat.

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