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JayJay's Story

In 1983, I saw my first home computer ... a Commodore VIC 20 that my
brother-in-law had purchased. I was amazed ... really was fun typing in
those basic programs and then playing GAMES with 3K (yes, K) of ram. In
early 1985 when the Commodore Plus/4 came out, we purchased one. Along
with the Plus/4 came a free introductory subscription to Compuserve, as
well as a 300 baud modem. I signed on that evening to Compuserve and from
the moment I saw those words coming across the screen via the phone lines,
I was hooked!  I thought it would be really, really neat if I could make
my computer work in that same fasion, where people would call it up and
receive my programming on their screen. I looked around all over in order
to find Software which could accomplish that for me on the Plus/4 - no
luck. So I decided to sit down one evening and learn to program in order
to author my own BBS software.

In a few weeks, we were beta testing ... my brother-in-law would call with
his (then) new Commodore 64, and I would troubleshoot my code while he was
online ... I actually had a full-blown BBS running in approximately a
months time.

From there, I purchased a Commodore 128 and had a fantastic time with all
the software that I could purchase for both the C128 and the built-in C64
that it contained. I also ran a BBS on the C64 end of the Commodore for
quite some time as I learned on the IBM.

In the Spring of 1988, The Twilight Zone BBS went 'live' with an IBM 286
clone from Swan Technologies with 640K of memory, a 20 meg Hard Drive and
a 2400 baud modem. I ran RBBS software. Approximately a year or so later,
I purchased and installed Quarterdeck's DesqView Multitasking software and
added a second line to the BBS. By this time, I also had 2 US Robotics
Courier HST modems (14.4K) for High-Speed callers.

Sometime in 1990, I decided in order to get the BBS to grow, it needed
both a Sponsor and more powerful software, not to mention more phone
lines. Being a member of the CWCS, (Central Wisconsin Computer Socitey), I
asked them if they were interested in Sponsoring the Bulletin Board
Service. They were, so in exchange for the use of the BBS for club
business and promotion, they presented me with Artisoft's LANtastic/AI
v4.1 to network the system. I also purchased a 386DX-33 and a 330 Meg SCSI
Hard Drive for the growing file section. I installed LANtastic/AI and
became acquainted with the operations of a LAN with my simple new
peer-to-peer style network.

Once I felt comfortable with the LAN, I decided it was time to grow and
take the next step ... I purchased 4 more 386DX-40s and turned the
original BBS machine into a dedicated file server with LANtastic/AI,
installed 2 1.2 Gb hard drives, and used the new 386s for Workstations,
each one running a single phone line for the BBS. I also utilized all USR
Courier 28.8K modems at that time as well.

In January of 1993, I purchased a subscription with Planet Connect, a
satellite-delivery method of FIDOnet Conferences and thousands of
shareware files. I hooked up a new machine to the satellite feed and
transported the newly-acquired files and conferences onto the File Server
once a day so callers always had a ton of new files and conferences to
use. We also put USA TODAY(r) online for the callers to read each morning.

Interest in the BBS service continued to grow, and in April of 1993, The
Twilight Zone BBS system was chosen from over 50,000 BBSs in the world as
one of only 7 ASP HUB BBSs! WorldWide Recognition! Obviously, the feeling
when I was notified that The Twilight Zone BBS was one of the chosen 7 is
unexplainable. We began receiving callers from all over the world and
subscriptions from people as far away as Portugal, Italy, and other

By 1995, I knew that we were in dire need of more telephone lines, and we
also needed to take the BBS one step further -- full Internet
Connectivity. I did a ton of research into which was the Best BBS software
for us to go with, which method of Internet Connectivity would best suit
us, etc.

In May of 1995, we decided upon eSoft's TBBS for the BBS Software because
of its tremendous versatility and excellent company support. We put the
operating system on a single 486DX2-66 with 8 dial-in phone lines and the
users really seemed to like the change and added new features.

In June of 1995, we purchased eSoft's IPAD, formed a corporation, and
began testing the internet capabilities. We performed countless hours of
testing to ensure our subscribers would have the fastest, easiest to use,
and most versatile internet service available to them. We went "live" on
October 1st of 1995 with 8 phone lines into our internet service and added
8 telnet lines into and out of the BBS service. In just a few short weeks
we realized that we needed more phone lines for the internet system, so we
added another 8 lines, bringing the total to 16. To our amazement, in
another short month, we required even more internet lines, so we added
another 16 lines to the IPADs terminal server, bringing the total to 32.

In January of 1996 we put up our Web Server for the Internet Service and
began offering FREE PERSONAL WEB PAGES to our Flat Rate (unlimited)
subscribers. We utilized MICROSOFT'S' Windows/NT Server v3.51 and
Quarterdeck's WebServer software. Unfortunately, we felt that WebServer
wasn't fast enough nor would accomodate enough simultaneous web "hits" so
we purchased O'Reilly's WebSite, a Fantastic Web Server for NT.

In March of 1996, we saw that we needed even more growth, so we purchased
the 32-line version of TBBS for the Bulletin Board Service, and added 16
more Telnet lines into and out of the BBS, along with 2 more gigs of Hard
Drives for the new files that come in on a daily basis.

In November of 1996, we added a live UPI NewsFeed into the BBS for callers
to get immediate newsfeeds from all over the world.

At the end of 1996, the T-Zone BBS had 10 Dial-in Lines and 22 Telnet
in/out lines. T-Net's Internet Service had 144 Dial-in lines.

By the end of 1997, the T-Zone BBS had 14 Dial-in Lines,and 32 Telnet
in/out lines. T-Net's Internet Service had 250 Dial-in Lines, and local
connectivity in Marshfield, Spencer and Wisconsin Rapids.

Growth continued ... and at the end of 1998, T-Net's Internet Service was
up to 800+ lines, the vast majority of them being X2/v.90 56K lines. We
became multi-homed with multiple backbone feeds to ensure the best service
for our customers and to minimize the possibility of downtime. We were
hooked into the backbones of MCI (now Cable & Wireless), UUNet, and
Norlight. We also installed a local system in Stevens Point for Internet

By the end of 1999, T-Net had 1400+ phone lines and growth was still

At the end of 2000, T-Net had 1900+ phone lines, growth is still ongoing,
and we began offering DSL services in the Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids

In Mid 2001, we added Nationwide Connectivity. We also have upgraded our
backbone feeds to Dual DS3s from 2 separate Tier 1 Backbone Providers to
ensure top-of-the-line quality for our customers. We built a 24x7 Call
Center manned by professional technicians to help any of our customers
with internet-related problems 24 hours a day. We also installed a 35,000
watt generator to ensure we can never lose power for our equipment at our
headquarters, again, to ensure our customers receive the best possible
service available. We know of no other ISP that does what T-Net does for
its customers!


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