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.
I 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.