Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 01:18:32 -0500 From: Jason Artman To: email@example.com Subject: BBS list additions Hi, I have an addition to your BBS listing. Here's the info: BBS Phone Number: 517-655-3838 BBS Name: Merry Olde England Town, State: Williamston, Michigan SysOp: "Robin Hood"/Jason Artman Software: TAG 1994-1995 If you happen to come across a copy of the Lansing BBS Listing from this timeframe, you'll find verification of my board's existence. (I searched the textfiles.com archive without any luck, but as I recall the listing was always named lbbl(date).txt.) Sadly, I don't think that I archived any of the listings - or even my board or any of the ANSIs, for that matter. Sad. I wish I'd had a little more foresight. I discovered BBSs as they were nearing their peak in numbers, which means that my time with them was sadly limited (under ten years, for the true dial-up variety). I miss those times. The 517 area code has a very rich BBS history, and I was there for the massive explosion (at one point, I believe there were over 100 active boards in the area code), and the long, steady decline. Currently, there is one BBS left in Lansing, and it's telnet-only (lhqi.com). It doesn't see much activity anymore. The thing about BBSs was that each one was a little community. I'd be shocked if I met someone on the Internet today who happened to live in my town. Every forum that I've ever been a member of has had posters from all over the world, and I've never had much desire to meet someone from the Internet in real life. On the other hand, every BBS that I called was populated by other kids from my school or other local high schools and colleges. Several of them became great friends, and a few still are today, though we're now spread out all over the country. I like the Internet. I like the fact that if I want to find a whole bunch of people to talk to about Pocket PCs, home recording, or my favorite sports team right now, I can. But it's all so impersonal now. I'd kind of like to see the pendulum swing back in the other direction a bit; regain a bit of the local focus that BBSs used to have. Pretty much every single person you run into nowadays has an email address and some kind of Internet access, but there's so many possible places where they could gather online that they just don't. It's really too bad. As for my board, I loved the TAG BBS software. It was so easy to use. I had to spend a while tweaking my modem's initialization string (it was a 9600 baud external USR Sportster, as I recall), but aside from that it pretty much ran itself. All I had to do was customize. I would tell friends from my school to call - people who had basically no idea how to use a computer or comm software - so my big thing was that I was going to make the menus as simple as possible. I designed ANSI menus that removed every option that wasn't necessary to get to the major parts of the board, while still leaving in advanced versions of the menus for my friends from other BBSs. And that's what the board basically was - a gathering point for my friends, who were kind enough to give me a call and post a few messages every night. I always thought my handle, Robin Hood, was a little lame. But, I was about 12 when I thought of it, and by the time I considered changing it, that was my identity and it just seemed like it was too late. A small subset of my friends continued to call me "Robin" for years. Legion Headquarters (LHQ) Now telnet-only (lhqi.com). The phone-line version, running TAG, lasted until 2000 or so. East Lansing, Michigan Original SysOp: Evil Dude Current SysOp: Tont0 These guys have all kinds of stories and I think contacting them would be worth your while. One of the cool things about Legion was that they had several affiliated BBSs, and a post in the Legion-Net section of one Legion BBS would echo out to all of the others. The discussion boards spawned all kinds of funny non sequiturs and slang terms that eventually were used by pretty much every young BBS'er in the Lansing area. (Example: "CHeaP", an easier way of doing something previously thought extremely difficult, or a free way of doing something previously thought extremely expensive.) Definitely the heart of the 517 scene - and not on your list. :) The Barking Pizza Can't remember what software this BBS was on. I know it was Mac-based while Charlie was running it. Haslett, Michigan (I think) Final SysOp: Charlie ( Original SysOp: Xao Silverclaws (Apparently, judging from your text file) I didn't discover this board until Charlie had taken it over. It was sort of Legion's antithesis - where Legion was the home of the crackers, hackers, and anarchists, The Barking Pizza was nothing but very intelligent, sometimes very pretentious discussion. It was always entertaining. The core users of this board became close friends in real life, and I still talk with a few of them today. Disgraced Kosmonaut TAG Williamston, Michigan SysOp: Child of the Media This board was not unlike my own in concept. It was one of the only local boards that had participants from both the Legion and Barking Pizza crowds, and it was also one of the very few boards in the area code with a female SysOp. Katy and I actually went to the same high school, but we weren't in the same social circle and only became friends because we were both on BBSs. (Can't remember the name!) Searchlight East Lansing, Michigan SysOp: Kian Jorry I was confused by this board's login screen, so I actually ended up being practically the only guy on the BBS who went by his real name instead of a handle because I thought that was what they required. I'll probably remember the name of the board as soon as I send this email. It was the gathering point for students at Michigan State who were into BBSs, and it was THE place to go for some intense political debate. They'd tell me that I held my own, but I think they were just being nice. ;-) Take care, Jason Artman "Robin Hood"
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