I ended up running my own BBS on my C64 and had to get a job to pay for the extra phone line and the array of 1581 3.5 drives I had to buy to support it. I was up all hours of the night talking to people who logged in. Trying out new BBS software, getting into ASCII art, warez, demos, etc. was a lot of fun.
It got so bad my mom had to sit me down and tell me that I had to go outside and ride my bike, play football, etc.
Nearly 30 years later I am still working with software everyday and enjoying ever minute of it. I do have to remind myself to go outside.......
I switched to PC in the 1990s and WWIV was the closest to CNET, and if you registered (paid) you got the source code. There was also inter-BBS networking available that predated (public) email and newsgroups.
I assume this is a model number? You couldn't possibly mean 1,581 3.5" drives ... right?
(Yes I know all those numbers from memory)
Most people spent most of their BBS time in the A band obviously. That had the effect of having most of your users being very, very local to your BBS.
You didn't even have to dial the full seven digits to make the call if it was inside the local telco. Just the last five numbers.
Yes, the phone I dialed in with was rotary.
I love Sync client, it is amazing! But it is sad that old systems are slowly disappearing. A few years back I was able to find telnet BBS on some old system with very specific games. Last year I've tried to get back and all were dead. I simply cannot find it anymore.
At least I have all the software locally but it keeps harder and harder to get it running due to compatibility stuff and I don't have enough time to setup it correctly in a kind of vm.
That documentary is AMAZING in shedding light into ALL the BBS world we all knew
When I was older I ran a BBS (not on a C64) with 2400 baud modems, then 14.4 baud modems when MacMall was having a sale on them for only $89 each. I learned so much about programming as I extended my BBS's functionality. I think I still have my notes from my work still.
Had I realized it back then I probably had invented Reddit :-)
There were a collection of simpler boards used by pirate sites in the 80s, but community wise, I felt C-Net 128 was the most advanced BBS.
I spent about a year myself writing a modular BBS in assembly code to try and beat it, including a ram disk, multitasking with windowing system for sysops, federation and fast search indexing, but quit to move to Amiga in 1989.
BBS software was really the the Web 0.1 of its day and a very dynamic and fascinating field to watch develop.
I still have a fondness and warm feeling when I see an acoustic coupler or Vic Modem and the old Bell phones where you dialed manually and then disconnected the handset and quickly plugged it into the modem. Love watching Wargames because of this.
Don't get me wrong, some games time was an absolute must, but maybe not 100% computer time as games time.