BBS

My teenage years IRL were difficult; I grew up in a time and place where to be a nerd was as bad as being a fag, you'd get beaten or murdered for that by the inbred hillbilly apes. Happily, there were local BBS's full of other nerds, COMER (cbbs? Terrible people, but it had dnd, a fairly complex D&D command-line game), Elvin Forest (Apple ][ board, nicer social group), Three Roses Inn (WWIV, Wil's board was our game hangout), a few others, and eventually my own, The Dungeon (first on Atari 800 running software I don't recall, later on Atari ST running STarnet) and later in Spokane I ran The Caves of Steel (Fnordadel on Atari ST/MiNT UNIX-like).

I still hit up telnet-based boards sometimes, I just tried lmorchard's Decafbad and did some turns in LORD, and I'll check back on that; I don't think he has Trade Wars, which was my game of choice, and the source of my old nickname Kamikaze. I've tinkered with reviving The Dungeon on MysticBBS and that may work out, but hosting's difficult. A better thing might be to make a web-based BBS, which is pretty trivial, but then it's not really a "board" anymore, you know?

So I watched the BBS Documentary again, it's been… 14 years?

The early days part of this, the culture of sharing and flame-warring, ah, the good old days. I had very little contact with/interest in FIDOnet and their horrible internal politics, I was on WWIVnet and Cit-net, both of which were much more chill. I loathed then and still loathe the cracker/h4xx0r parasites, totally useless wastes of skin. The ANSI art scene kiddies were wankers, but at least they made something. My bias then as now: I program, and I write, and those are what I respected back most.

But I find I'm still angry about SEA vs PKWare. SEA released public domain ARC software with source but no spec for the format, and then sued Phil Katz for using that source to make a better product, and later to make ZIP with a shared format everyone could use… Thom's sad he got some hate mail in among his giant corporate paychecks, oh no. Phil was so fucked up by it he drank himself to death. Fuck you, Thom, there is no justice in the world that you're alive and Phil's not.

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