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Comment Re:Ah, BBSs (Score 1) 387

Wonderful! It's great to see folks still carrying the torch. I would probably do so as well but my interests have moved onto guitar (from all things computer) and specifically, the blues. I always preferred OS/2 until it just became impractical as the businesses I supported that were initially on DOS moved to windows so I went where the market was. Still held out though in my programming language of choice. For internal business apps I still used Delphi up until last year when I retired. I actually had a recruiter contact me last week about a Delphi position so it's still in use, though it has a very very small market share.

Anyway, you may have been a latecomer but you're keeping this stuff alive. Good on you! Besides, you never know, given all the stuff that governments and corporations are doing to the internet these days. We may end up back to "the good old days" again at some point.

BBSing is definitely a niche hobby these days but it's still alive in its own unique way. It seems that there seems to be more nostalgia now for the "old ways" of BBSing even though a majority of boards are available via telnet. There are a lot of Linux and BSD-based BBSes around now that can support rlogin and SSH too, not just telnet. Interesting you talk about Delphi as I still write DOS-based BBS doors using Turbo Pascal (I also use Virtual Pascal for my sysop utilities). I've dabbled a bit in Delphi being an amateur programmer but haven't done much programming except for within the BBS realm. I do use a bit of REXX too for the BBS. As for OS/2, well, it's always worked for me. I've never had a reason to switch. In fact, I used to offer my BBS users IRC, FTP (out), telnet (out), and a few other Internet-based utility programs under DOS via an OS/2-based door and a program called HSTART (allows DOS programs to start OS/2 programs in the shell). But mainly, what I use just works and I enjoy still running a BBS. Having internet capability is a good thing though.

I've been told by other sysops who have noticed a surge in callers on their BBS that because of people's fears of more government snooping on the internet that people are calling up their POTS-capable boards. While I can't exactly say that I know that fear to be true, I can appreciate people wanting to do something a bit retro these days. I don't get a lot of callers on my BBS as I'm "strict" by today's standards since I ask for a new caller's personal information if they apply for an account (but I have guest access if people want to look around) but it's nice to see that there's still interest in BBSing.

I've been enjoying my ham radio hobby a lot more these days as a stress-breaker for being a full-time college student then working on my computers or BBS. I mainly work on the BBS on my "weekends" or when I'm told the BBS needs to be looked at. Generally the BBS only breaks down when I start fiddling with things I shouldn't really mess with since I know they already work . . .

A lot of "common internet practices" of today owe their existance to BBSes, I've been told. I guess that could be true in many ways. But for me, while I enjoy the internet and the Web, the comradarie and community of a local BBS is something I miss a lot. You know, the user meetings, the sysop knowing everyone's birthdays, or even seeing the sysop in a local grocery store and saying hello. That, sadly, is something I don't think is going to come back any time soon.

As for being retired, a close friend's father who recently retired remarked to me lately that he seems to be even busier now that he's retired yet isn't getting paid half of what his work is worth. <G>

Comment Re:Ah, BBSs (Score 1) 387

I think my first "taste" of the Internet was in 1987 through a friend who was a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson. While the Internet was nice, I loved using BBSes much, much more. In fact, I'm still running a free BBS. I'm using ProBoard v2.17 under OS/2 Warp 4.52. My board's now available via telnet and my BBS's website (yep, don't need a terminal program to connect). I'm a member of FidoNet and I run my own FTN-style network (have since 2000). I think I've been running my BBS since 1996 and yeah, I was a latecomer to the BBS scene. BBSes are still alive and well. You can find a very up-to-date BBS list at http://www.telnetbbsguide.com/ or, if you are a Synchronet BBS fan, http://www.synchro.net/bbslist.html. I don't get a lot of callers, to be honest, but my board has daily activity. I'm a full-time college student at the age of 39 and while I can't be on the BBS as much as I want to be, I enjoy still running a BBS.

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