Bulletin Boards – Do You Remember?

Old 1 Comment on Bulletin Boards – Do You Remember? 71

Bulletin Boards Preceded Message Boards/Social Sites

BBS (Bulletin Board Service)


Back in the early 1980’s – popular PC’s such as the Apple II and TRS-80 helped launch computer bulletin boards. These social communities used programs that were pretty much available to the PC community. It’s also the first time we began to hear about “user groups.” Take a look at this. It’s from late 1981 – and – it gives you good idea of the “bulletin board” and how it worked. Interesting – the concept was born out of ham radio – which would make sense as PC’s became more popular.

With these services – you could upload/download software, exchange messages and even form, “chat rooms.” So, this is where it all came from!

At first – tech types were the most popular groups – because after all, the exchange of PC info and programs were always on your mind. There was always a lot of tweaking when it came to running – just about – anything. Compared to today – BBS’ were clunky (as was most of the PC experience) – it’s hard to forget that, just about everything today is so much easier and streamlined. Let’s go back to late 1981:computer bulletin boards 1981, tech history 1981

Gary West


Gary West

Historian Gary West built his first website in 1998 with www.pophistorynow.com. That addressed now forwards to www.mrpopculture.com - an amazing pop culture/news database with 25,000 pages, covering the years 1955-2014. He's also the author of www.technologynewstimeline.com - covering consumer technology from 1952 to the present. West has been a contributor to numerous books, radio-TV shows, CNN & USA Today & the History Channel.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeff Newman August 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I remember fondly “Elite” bulletin boards, where software was posted for download. There was no chat, few posted messages and little of anything else of a social nature, but there were hundreds of programs. Phone numbers were a closely guarded secret and the BBS operator might have two, three or four modems for incoming calls. Some BBSes were larger.

    With the fanciest new US Robotics Courier modem at 56K, each megabyte took about ten minutes to download. A choice of transfer protocols was offered. I recall ZMODEM pretty much replacing the earlier XMODEM and YMODEM, though those and others were still offered.

    Each BBS had an ASCII-based welcome screen and various operators created custom graphics in a variety of, I think, eight colors.

    Those were the days!

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