Nostalgia For The Days Of The BBS

from the take-me-back dept

Uh oh. The internet crowd is getting old. Salon is running an article from a guy reminiscing about the good old days of BBS systems, when you dialed into just another computer at 300 baud. The writer wins points, of course, for having an Atari 800 (my first computer as well). However, I’m getting a bit sick of “back in my day…” technology articles. They’re too often used just to brag “hey, look how long I’ve been around…”.

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Comments on “Nostalgia For The Days Of The BBS”

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u2604ab says:


I was so jealous of Atari 800 owners as I sat at home trying to type BASIC programs on the membrane keyboard of the Atari 400. Actually, I guess I was playing lots of pac-man and asteroids, for which the membrane keyboard didn’t matter as much… I was never sure, either, what the extra cartridge bay bought you, but I sure as hell wanted the extra cartridge bay.

Chris (user link) says:

No Subject Given

I think the thing that we lost when we BBS’s died and the Internet grew up was “community.” (Oh, no, not the C word…) When you dialed in to a 4 or 6 or 24 line BBS, odds were very good that the same people would be there night after night, week after week. Listservs and Usenet never really had that feeling. I do see a little of it in blogs, because small circles of people tend to have the same blogs on their daily read lists – so you end up passing the same people in the comments. However, not being real time – it still isn’t quite the same.

TheCaptain says:

Re: Hear! Hear!

Yep, the C word is what made it good. In Montreal, a big part of the BBS scene was the “GT” (Get together) where events were planned on a semi-regular basis (movies, pub crawl) so that if you wanted, you could put a face to the postings/conversations you participated in daily. I miss those days…most of our BBS gang still hangs out (Shouts to the BrueCrue!) regularily…but we miss having an online home.

TheCaptain says:

Re: Re: Re: Hear! Hear!

83-84 was a little early for me, at that time I was living in Ontario and BBSing from my Commodore 64 and a 300 baud modem.

I moved to Montreal in 91, that’s when I hit the BBS scene with a 2400 baud modem and a few numbers…Jessica Lovecraft’s Magikal Hourglass, Wild Munchkin’s Castle, Gotham City BBS etc…

Ron Sharp says:

Re: Re: Re: Hear! Hear!

As much as we’d love to claim responsiblity for the HYCGTs, nope, not a bit. The SISPG fondly disclaim the HYCGTs. That was all due to .. Damn, I hate the years, David? .. (crap, he had an MC-10, and one of those Radio Shack pre-laptop things), but can I remember the name? Lovely GTs however. Don’t ring the bell by the bar.

Ron de SISPG.

Joe Schmoe says:

No Subject Given

It’s not so much we have lost as what we have gained (Joe Public)… “Back in the day” we were on equal footing because it still required geektavism to dial up and get online. Today, we have our own version of “here comes the neighborhood”. ’nuff said, lest I sound like I am complaining…

Speaking of geektavism, yo Mike – cool to hear! I had an 800XL strapped to a 40meg harddrive and half meg of ram by the time I finally gave up on that machine… Sniff…

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