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Bulletin Board System

1944

under construction

 

The BBS's can be seen as the predecessor of the WWW (world wide web) and important between 1978 and 1990's for all computer hobbyists

Since its inception in 1992 the WWW or Web had a lot of BBS's disappear untill they became almost extinct. There are still a few in operation in early 2000's

BBS's where mainly text oriented and driven by menus:

  1. Messages
  2. Files
  3. Newsgroups
  4. Fido

the user had to type a number from the list (and press enter) to access another menu or files list or other section of the BBS

The Fido network was one of the most extended in the world.

The first BBS (Bulletin Board System) will go "on air" in 1978 and is created by Ward Christen (USA), member of the Chicago Computer Club. He writes a program for a "home-brewed"  computer (a Northstar Horizon CP/M-machine) with a 110-bps-modem that could answer incoming calls.

Members (often a computerclub) could dial up a  BBS  via a modem and leave a message or download software(1). In the future the functionality of a BBS  will not expand much beyond the basics: download directories, special interest groups and electronic mail (e-mail).

To make it possible to maintain communication between as much as possible people many special interest areas will be created. Much like the new groups allready in existence on the internet. The contents of these "conferences" and message boards was uploaded, mostly during the night, to other computers in the BBS network.
This site for example was in these days written as a Word Perfect document that has been spread amongst various BBS's. Someone looking for the "History of Computers" could download the document from the nearest BBS site(2).
And someone looking for data on some kind of special bugs could get an answer from some one in Canada in a few days only. Because it took sometimes a few days to spread the messages world wide to various other BBS's

 

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Go Backmore storieshome pagesearch this site Last Updated on 23 July 2000 For suggestions  please mail the editors

Footnotes & References