BBS: The Documentary...

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Chickenhead

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Jul 10, 2005, 6:15:41 PM7/10/05
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Hey Digital Man:

Just got my copy of "BBS: The Documentary". GREAT set of discs. It was nice
to be able to put a face to the scene, past and present. I must say, you're
the least geeky of the bunch interviewed!


(Heh..and they spelled Art Cancro's last name wrong... :)
--- Synchronet 3.12b-Win32 NewsLink 1.83
* Vertrauen - Anaheim Hills, California - telnet://vert.synchro.net

Time Warrior

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Jul 11, 2005, 5:22:19 AM7/11/05
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To: Chickenhead
Re: BBS: The Documentary...
By: Chickenhead to All on Sun Jul 10 2005 11:15 pm

> Hey Digital Man:

> Just got my copy of "BBS: The Documentary". GREAT set of discs. It was nic

> to be able to put a face to the scene, past and present. I must say, you're
> the least geeky of the bunch interviewed!

He's a geek in dummer's clothing! <G>

:-)

--
.---------------------------------------------------------------.
| [TiME WaRRiOR] aka [Dave Kelso] AIM: Twar782 | +o Malkavia BBS |
| www : synchsupport.net - malkaviabbs.com - xpresit.net |
| www$: josephsjewelersonline.com - preferedinsurance.com |
| @: time.warrior@malkaviabbs. com |
\______________________________________________________________/
--- Synchronet 3.12a-Win32 NewsLink 1.76
* Malkavia - Chicago, IL - telnet://malkaviabbs.com

Digital Man

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Jul 11, 2005, 10:30:46 PM7/11/05
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To: Chickenhead
Re: BBS: The Documentary...
By: Chickenhead to All on Sun Jul 10 2005 03:15 pm

> Hey Digital Man:
>
> Just got my copy of "BBS: The Documentary". GREAT set of discs. It was nic

> to be able to put a face to the scene, past and present. I must say, you're
> the least geeky of the bunch interviewed!

I need to get me a copy of that.

> (Heh..and they spelled Art Cancro's last name wrong... :)

Who's that? :-)

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #103:
Frowning burns more calories then smiling.

Chickenhead

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Jul 12, 2005, 10:14:17 AM7/12/05
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To: Digital Man
Re: BBS: The Documentary...
By: Digital Man to Chickenhead on Mon Jul 11 2005 07:33 pm

> Re: BBS: The Documentary...
> By: Chickenhead to All on Sun Jul 10 2005 03:15 pm
>
> > Hey Digital Man:
> >
> > Just got my copy of "BBS: The Documentary". GREAT set of discs. It was

> > to be able to put a face to the scene, past and present. I must say, you

> > the least geeky of the bunch interviewed!
>
> I need to get me a copy of that.
>

It's quite geeky, but it really is well done, especially for an indy flick.

Disc #3 covers the whole ARC/PKARC controversy of yesteryear...it's kind of
like watching an old train wreck. Thom breaks out into tears when he starts
talking about the hate mail he received (and then goes on to say "But I'm over
it, it's all in the past!").


> > (Heh..and they spelled Art Cancro's last name wrong... :)
>
> Who's that? :-)

~>

Oh one of those Citadel people. :)

Frank Vest

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Jul 12, 2005, 11:58:53 AM7/12/05
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Digital Man wrote:
> To: Chickenhead
> Re: BBS: The Documentary...
> By: Chickenhead to All on Sun Jul 10 2005 03:15 pm
>
> > Hey Digital Man:
> >
> > Just got my copy of "BBS: The Documentary". GREAT set of discs. It was nic
> > to be able to put a face to the scene, past and present. I must say, you're
> > the least geeky of the bunch interviewed!
>
> I need to get me a copy of that.

You should get one free since your were interviewed. Ask Jason about it
and be sure he has your correct address.

brad

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Jul 13, 2005, 1:16:31 AM7/13/05
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"Frank Vest" <f...@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1NRAe.606$Bo3...@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com...

link to this site...cost for dvd etc etc etc

thanks
brad
former sysop lost-gonzo.com


Sinister x

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Jul 31, 2005, 2:03:06 PM7/31/05
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You think that was a great documentary? I thought it had a lot of defeatist
attitudes towards BBSing and a lot of people pining over the 300 baud days
and pay-for BBS's acting like a bunch of vietnam vets... The ansi scene part
really pissed me off as well as it was only the views of people who had come
and gone in the ansi scene, not from any of the people who still do it b/c
they enjoy it and aren't into all of the politics that existed before. We've
got the technology nowadays to do tons more than we ever thought possible
when dial-up was the only option.

"Chickenhead" <chick...@vert.synchro.net.remove-mjp-this> wrote in
message news:42D19E13....@vert.synchro.net...

Frank Vest

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Jul 31, 2005, 5:21:03 PM7/31/05
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Since it is a history, what did you expect?

sinister x

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Aug 1, 2005, 1:29:40 AM8/1/05
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To: Frank Vest

> From Newsgroup: alt.bbs.synchronet Since it is a history, what did you
> expect? Sinister x wrote:

Something that wasn't completely biased. (: Overall I just wasn't impressed
with the film, and I expected long before I watched it that it wouldn't be a
fully accurate account of everything that's gone in the bbs world, and
everything that's still going on today. You're exactly right, it was made as a
"history", so of course he would focus the film as a historical account,
instead of showing the sides of the scene that are still going on.

--

---
ş Synchronet ş theroughnecks.net - you know you want it

Frank Vest

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Aug 1, 2005, 5:58:10 AM8/1/05
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sinister x wrote:
> To: Frank Vest
>
> > From Newsgroup: alt.bbs.synchronet Since it is a history, what did you
> > expect? Sinister x wrote:
>
> Something that wasn't completely biased. (: Overall I just wasn't impressed
> with the film, and I expected long before I watched it that it wouldn't be a
> fully accurate account of everything that's gone in the bbs world, and

I was also disappointed in some aspects. In defense, however, I know
from being interviewed that Jason tried to find and get interviews with
a lot more people than what are on the documentary. He asked me several
times before I finally agreed and then asked if I knew how to contact
several other people that he wanted to interview. I'm sure that many of
the people he tried to find were either impossible to locate or flat
told him to shove it. I agree that the program could have been more
positive, but one works with what they have. :)

> everything that's still going on today. You're exactly right, it was made as a
> "history", so of course he would focus the film as a historical account,
> instead of showing the sides of the scene that are still going on.

I think that the future is yet to be written and those of us that remain
will write the future. In reality, there is only past and future since
the present instantly becomes the past. Even then, the future is only
something that we can look towards. :)

Perhaps, in 10 or 20 more years, some "Jason" will come along and ask
you for an interview. ;)

Regards,
Frank

Digital Man

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Aug 1, 2005, 5:30:25 PM8/1/05
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To: Sinister x
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Sinister x to alt.bbs.synchronet on Sun Jul 31 2005 07:03 pm

> From Newsgroup: alt.bbs.synchronet


>
> You think that was a great documentary?

I thought it was very educational and entertaining.

> I thought it had a lot of defeatist
> attitudes towards BBSing and a lot of people pining over the 300 baud days
> and pay-for BBS's acting like a bunch of vietnam vets... The ansi scene part
> really pissed me off as well as it was only the views of people who had come
> and gone in the ansi scene, not from any of the people who still do it b/c
> they enjoy it and aren't into all of the politics that existed before. We've
> got the technology nowadays to do tons more than we ever thought possible
> when dial-up was the only option.

I agree. I think in general Jason did a poor job of covering the post-80's BBS
era, but he hit the "high points" with good detail. And the episodes were very
professionally produced.

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #74:
You share your birthday with 9 million others in the world.

Digital Man

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Aug 1, 2005, 5:56:46 PM8/1/05
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To: sinister x
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: sinister x to Frank Vest on Sun Jul 31 2005 10:34 pm

>
> > From Newsgroup: alt.bbs.synchronet Since it is a history, what did you
> > expect? Sinister x wrote:
>
> Something that wasn't completely biased. (: Overall I just wasn't impressed
> with the film, and I expected long before I watched it that it wouldn't be a
> fully accurate account of everything that's gone in the bbs world, and
> everything that's still going on today. You're exactly right, it was made as

> "history", so of course he would focus the film as a historical account,
> instead of showing the sides of the scene that are still going on.

To be fair, a "fully accurate account of everything that's gone in the bbs
world" (not even including what's still going on today) would've been way too
much content for documentary. As it is, the DVD set is 3 (chock-full) discs!

I agree that Jason could've done a better job of covering the history of:

o Other networks besides FidoNet
o Terminal/client programs
o Door games
o Multi-user chat
o Graphics (e.g. NAPLPS, RIP, WIP, MaxGrafix, Robo/FX, etc.)
o the post-80's BBS era in general

But still in all, I'm impressed and appreciate that *someone* gave BBSes their
due spotlight, even if it is a bit late. :-)

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #103:


Frowning burns more calories then smiling.

Joe Delahaye

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Aug 1, 2005, 11:03:57 PM8/1/05
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To: Digital Man


> I agree that Jason could've done a better job of covering the history of:
>
> o Other networks besides FidoNet
> o Terminal/client programs
> o Door games
> o Multi-user chat
> o Graphics (e.g. NAPLPS, RIP, WIP, MaxGrafix, Robo/FX, etc.)
> o the post-80's BBS era in general
>

I have not seen it, but I'm told that the European BBS scene,
including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
basically correct?

--- SBBSecho 2.10-Win32
* Origin: The Lions Den BBS, Trenton, On, CDN (1:249/303)

Digital Man

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Aug 2, 2005, 2:49:05 AM8/2/05
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To: Joe Delahaye
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Joe Delahaye to Digital Man on Mon Aug 01 2005 10:29 pm

> > I agree that Jason could've done a better job of covering the history of:
> >
> > o Other networks besides FidoNet
> > o Terminal/client programs
> > o Door games
> > o Multi-user chat
> > o Graphics (e.g. NAPLPS, RIP, WIP, MaxGrafix, Robo/FX, etc.)
> > o the post-80's BBS era in general
> >
>
> I have not seen it, but I'm told that the European BBS scene,
> including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
> basically correct?

No, Tom Jennings (and others iirc) talk quite a bit about FidoNet in Russia. He
didn't actually *interview* any Europeans or Russians, but it was discussed
here and there in different contexts (but mostly in the context of FidoNet).

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #93:
A Kangaroo can jump 30 feet.

Time Warrior

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Aug 2, 2005, 5:37:46 AM8/2/05
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To: Frank Vest
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Frank Vest to alt.bbs.synchronet on Sun Jul 31 2005 10:21 pm

> Sinister x wrote:
> > You think that was a great documentary? I thought it had a lot of defeatis

> > attitudes towards BBSing and a lot of people pining over the 300 baud days
> > and pay-for BBS's acting like a bunch of vietnam vets... The ansi scene pa

> > really pissed me off as well as it was only the views of people who had co

> > and gone in the ansi scene, not from any of the people who still do it b/c
> > they enjoy it and aren't into all of the politics that existed before. We'

> > got the technology nowadays to do tons more than we ever thought possible
> > when dial-up was the only option.

> Since it is a history, what did you expect?

When people are negetive, all they see is negetivity. The BBS Documentary is
about where we've been (mostly) and where we're going. The vast majority of
the old dialup stuff *is* dead. I don't see how SX can say it was defeatist
when Scott does say the BBS Scene still exsists. Even Vinton Cerf and Ward
Christensen acknowledged that it does. Randy STILL runs Chinet.

The BBS Scene is evolving, and as well it should. I'm GLAD I have broadband
speeds, no long need to dial LD to get to a BBS outside my "calling range",
to have access to easily send / recv echomail, usenet, email, etc... world
wide without the large bill attatched and the extremely slow reply
durrations.

Things like IRC, AIM, etc... allow BBS'ers to communicate more easily,
Synchronet (and other developers) to be able to share ideas and cooperate. I
think SX's bitching is the "defeatist attitude".

So Frank, I agree with you. I personally thought The BBS Documentary was
extremely well done.

Time Warrior

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Aug 2, 2005, 5:41:35 AM8/2/05
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To: Frank Vest
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Frank Vest to alt.bbs.synchronet on Mon Aug 01 2005 10:58 am

> I think that the future is yet to be written and those of us that remain
> will write the future. In reality, there is only past and future since
> the present instantly becomes the past. Even then, the future is only
> something that we can look towards. :)

This is true. Nothing really dies, it just changes. The BBS Scene from here
forward will become what the collective whole decides to make it.

> Perhaps, in 10 or 20 more years, some "Jason" will come along and ask
> you for an interview. ;)

That would be funny. A SX interview. lol

I can see it now....

"fuckin scene man... what the hell happened? you got all these sellouts like
<insert names of ansi artists here> and all these crappy lame boards like
<long list here> with sysops who <list of accusations here>. Then you have
your real problem users, like Time Warrior, Dribble and others who <more
accusations here>. Yeah, and that fucking arm band is lame!"

<G> :-)

Yes, I'm evil. I know. But I could *not* resist! :-)

Joe Delahaye

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Aug 2, 2005, 11:59:16 AM8/2/05
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To: Digital Man

> > including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
> > basically correct?
>
> No, Tom Jennings (and others iirc) talk quite a bit about FidoNet in Russia.

> didn't actually *interview* any Europeans or Russians, but it was discussed
> here and there in different contexts (but mostly in the context of FidoNet).


Ahh, not quite the way it was told to me then. At least one
complained that he in particular, and none from Europe in general, was
interviewed even though he responded to the request. The other
complaint was that the first European IC was also not mentioned.
<shrug>

--- SBBSecho 2.10-Win32
* Origin: The Lions Den BBS, Trenton, On, CDN (1:249/303)

Digital Man

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Aug 2, 2005, 3:56:03 PM8/2/05
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To: Time Warrior
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Time Warrior to Frank Vest on Tue Aug 02 2005 04:37 am

> > > You think that was a great documentary? I thought it had a lot of defea

> > > attitudes towards BBSing and a lot of people pining over the 300 baud d

> > > and pay-for BBS's acting like a bunch of vietnam vets... The ansi scene

> > > really pissed me off as well as it was only the views of people who had

> > > and gone in the ansi scene, not from any of the people who still do it

> > > they enjoy it and aren't into all of the politics that existed before.

> > > got the technology nowadays to do tons more than we ever thought possib

> > > when dial-up was the only option.
>
> > Since it is a history, what did you expect?
>
> When people are negetive, all they see is negetivity. The BBS Documentary i

> about where we've been (mostly) and where we're going.

I don't remember seeing anything in the documentary about "where we're going".
It referred to the sysops and users of today as "holdouts" and claimed that
"only a few hundreds BBSes exist today", which is plainly false.

> So Frank, I agree with you. I personally thought The BBS Documentary was
> extremely well done.

I agree and glad you got a chance to see it.

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #61:
Pigs get sunburn.

Digital Man

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Aug 2, 2005, 4:10:27 PM8/2/05
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To: Joe Delahaye
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Joe Delahaye to Digital Man on Tue Aug 02 2005 10:11 am

> > > including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
> > > basically correct?
> >
> > No, Tom Jennings (and others iirc) talk quite a bit about FidoNet in Russ

> > didn't actually *interview* any Europeans or Russians, but it was discuss

> > here and there in different contexts (but mostly in the context of FidoNe
>
>

> Ahh, not quite the way it was told to me then. At least one
> complained that he in particular, and none from Europe in general, was
> interviewed even though he responded to the request. The other
> complaint was that the first European IC was also not mentioned.
> <shrug>

That's all probably true. I doubt Jason had the resources to fly to Europe/
Russia. I'm sure there could've been more coverage of non-US BBSes in general
(there was one Mexican BBS sysop interviewed quite a bit).

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #148:
The tallest man was 8 ft. 11 in.

Joe Delahaye

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Aug 2, 2005, 10:10:29 PM8/2/05
to
To: Digital Man


> > Ahh, not quite the way it was told to me then. At least one
> > complained that he in particular, and none from Europe in general, was
> > interviewed even though he responded to the request. The other
> > complaint was that the first European IC was also not mentioned.
> > <shrug>
>
> That's all probably true. I doubt Jason had the resources to fly to Europe/
> Russia. I'm sure there could've been more coverage of non-US BBSes in genera
> (there was one Mexican BBS sysop interviewed quite a bit).

I meant the first European ZC actually, but as for the IC person it
also holds true. He still thinks he is one <G>

--- SBBSecho 2.10-Win32
* Origin: The Lions Den BBS, Trenton, On, CDN (1:249/303)

Time Warrior

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Aug 3, 2005, 10:17:53 AM8/3/05
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To: Digital Man
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Digital Man to Time Warrior on Tue Aug 02 2005 08:56 pm

> I don't remember seeing anything in the documentary about "where we're going

> It referred to the sysops and users of today as "holdouts" and claimed that
> "only a few hundreds BBSes exist today", which is plainly false.

Where we've been and where we are always dictates where we are going by
default. As far as how many BBS's are left, that figure is always dynamic and
theres no way to really tell. BBS's are always going up and down. I'm sure
there are thousands that "exsist" but I'm sure most people only KNOW OF a few
hundred or less. It would be cool if there was a means of knowing exactly but
unfortunately there isn't seeing as the # of exsisting BBS's is extremely
dynamic.

For all I know there may only be less than 1,000 in exsistance. However I
also know that the scene is growing again. Slowly, but it is.

> > So Frank, I agree with you. I personally thought The BBS Documentary was
> > extremely well done.

> I agree and glad you got a chance to see it.

I purchased my copy :-)

How did it feel to have your moment in the spotlight? :-) I was on the
interview list as well and myself as well as at least 100 others did not get
interviewed due to Jason's means being limited. However I am content that I
at least got a paragraph in on the third DVD.

A documentary like this can't be 100% accurate because as with any
documentary, opinions and facts are mixed. Within the facts also were the
opinions of the people being interviews as well as Jason's opinions.

Most saw it as being inspirational where as Sinister X and a few others saw
it as a let down. The message being relayed, as is the perception of life in
general, is always in the eye of the beholder, as are most things.

Time Warrior

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Aug 3, 2005, 10:22:09 AM8/3/05
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To: Digital Man
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Digital Man to Joe Delahaye on Tue Aug 02 2005 09:10 pm

> To: Joe Delahaye
> Re: Re: The Documentary... By: Joe Delahaye to Digital Man on Tue Aug
> 02 2005 10:11 am

> > > > including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
> > > > basically correct?

> > > No, Tom Jennings (and others iirc) talk quite a bit about FidoNet in R

> > > didn't actually *interview* any Europeans or Russians, but it was disc

> > > here and there in different contexts (but mostly in the context of Fid

> > Ahh, not quite the way it was told to me then. At least one
> > complained that he in particular, and none from Europe in general, was
> > interviewed even though he responded to the request. The other
> > complaint was that the first European IC was also not mentioned.

> That's all probably true. I doubt Jason had the resources to fly to Europe/
> Russia. I'm sure there could've been more coverage of non-US BBSes in genera

> (there was one Mexican BBS sysop interviewed quite a bit).

ALOT was left out, but is that not true of ANY documentary? The History of
BBS's and The Internet, dare I say, is even more extensive than the history
of any War in world history. You could make documentaries about WWII till you
are blue in the face and still not say EVERYTHING that there is to be said.

DJCanDeeFlip

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Aug 3, 2005, 10:57:22 PM8/3/05
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To: Digital Man
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Digital Man to Joe Delahaye on Tue Aug 02 2005 02:10 pm

I'm curious .... where would I be able to get a copy of this documentary to
check it out? Thanks..

- Vito AKA DJCanDeeFlip

> Re: Re: The Documentary...
> By: Joe Delahaye to Digital Man on Tue Aug 02 2005 10:11 am
>
> > > > including Fidonet, is not even included, or mentioned. Is this
> > > > basically correct?
> > >
> > > No, Tom Jennings (and others iirc) talk quite a bit about FidoNet in R

> > > didn't actually *interview* any Europeans or Russians, but it was disc

> > > here and there in different contexts (but mostly in the context of Fid
> >
> >

> > Ahh, not quite the way it was told to me then. At least one
> > complained that he in particular, and none from Europe in general, was
> > interviewed even though he responded to the request. The other
> > complaint was that the first European IC was also not mentioned.
> > <shrug>
>
> That's all probably true. I doubt Jason had the resources to fly to Europe/
> Russia. I'm sure there could've been more coverage of non-US BBSes in genera

> (there was one Mexican BBS sysop interviewed quite a bit).
>
> digital man
>
> Snapple "Real Fact" #148:
> The tallest man was 8 ft. 11 in.
>


---
ş Synchronet ş A Web Of Kayaus -- www.kayaus.com

Digital Man

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Aug 4, 2005, 5:01:24 AM8/4/05
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To: DJCanDeeFlip
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: DJCanDeeFlip to Digital Man on Wed Aug 03 2005 07:56 pm

> I'm curious .... where would I be able to get a copy of this documentary to
> check it out? Thanks..

http://bbsdocumentary.com/

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #15:
All porcupines float in water.

text...@gmail.com

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Aug 4, 2005, 4:23:04 PM8/4/05
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Hi, everyone.

Jason Scott, BBS Documentary director here. Saw some nice discussions
and debates and, well, accusations. Thought I'd jump in here.

First of all, I want to thank, again, Rob Swindell and Frank Vest, who
both opened their homes to me and my equipment, knowing nothing of my
"work" before then. In Rob's case, I showed up many hours late (I
misjudged travel time from San Francisco to Los Angeles) and in
Frank's, well, there I was jamming a lot of lights and cameras into his
home, and after his marked reticence to being interviewed at all. I
appreciate both of your allowances for this, and of course for the
hundreds of others I interviewed.

I think it's important to note what function the BBS Documentary is
attempting to fulfill and what it took to achieve that function.
Previously, and I am not exaggerating, there was nothing like it. There
were written articles about BBSes, a few scattered photographs and
collections, and there were names and concepts in danger of fading away
forever. There was nothing to hang one's hat on, no work to say 'It was
like this....'. That's what I shot for, basically an overview of a 25
year history that at first blush seemed impossible to really capture.
This is, basically, why we didn't see something like it before and why
an amateur with a film degree had to do it.

I didn't expect it would take 4 years to accomplish; had I known that,
I don't know how much I would have taken on, or if I'd try to do what I
did, but there we are, I started in 2001 and ended work in 2005 and
that's more than 10 percent of my current life spent making the film.

The focus of this documentary is the experience and the situation of
dial-up BBSes. It's not meant to be about Internet BBSes, not meant to
be about web forums, not meant to be about current "scenes" that have
their roots in BBSes, and it's certainly not meant to cover the cutting
edge of BBS technology. This isn't hard information to garner, and if
someone thought that the video format would be the way to tell this
story, then they would do so, or even better, have the assembled people
available an e-mail or website away to do so. Applying that standard to
the BBS Documentary will inevitably lead to despair.

Also, it's important to take into consideration the issue that
"complete is the enemy of interesting". In the case of these episodes,
they are meant to be INTRODUCTIONS to their subjects, to cover them in
as universal and straightforward as possible, without getting captured
into that horrifying geek loop of "but this exception... and this
one... and these.... and this..." and then each episode is a three-hour
laundry list of every variant concept. I am fully aware, and I state so
in the commentaries of all of these episodes (all the episodes except
COMPRESSION have director commentary or statements) that the episodes
represent a scoop, a sliver of the "full story".

The lack of non-north-american coverage was a decision, one I made
months into the filming when I determined that just trying to capture
the nature of BBS activity in the United States and Canada was going to
be a years and years effort. How good could it have possibly been for
me to travel to countries I'd never been, in languages I do not know,
arbitrarily interviewing people with no knowledge on my part of who did
what (due to the aforementioned lack of language skills)? It would have
been a disaster beyond disasters. So I pulled away from a global view.

When I said "a few hundred BBSes" were left, I meant in the United
States, and I meant dial-up. This number came from consulting fidonet
and other BBS lists. And I think I was being generous.

Remember, it's all about dial-up, not internet-based BBSes. So I have
to take exception to it not covering something it was never meant to
cover.

Now, all this aside, there are two things I've worked to do to make up
for obvious deficiencies in the documentary's coverage.

First of all, there's over 250 hours of interviews, of 205 people. With
one exception, I have full rights to do with these interviews as I
wish, so I will be making pretty much all of them available! I have
made a deal with ARCHIVE.ORG to have a large sub-collection of all
these interviews, with salient points covered in them and who and what.
For example, there's two hours of Rob Swindell where I only used
roughly 45-60 seconds of this footage. Same with Frank Vest. In their
interviews, and in dozens of others, MANY subjects were covered, many
of the same ones people are unhappy I didn't put in the documentary.
ALL OF IT WILL BE AVAILABLE, under a Creative Commons Attribute
ShareAlike license, meaning they can be used in almost any way people
would want to, including as the basis of further documentaries. This
will hopefully put to rest the idea that my documentary quashes
additional BBS concepts that were covered. 250 hours. That's 10 solid
days of BBS discussion.

Second, I will be continuing my work with TEXTFILES.COM and the
BBSDOCUMENTARY.COM sites to add more and more information, information
which might not have been easy to portray cinematically (remember, the
documentary is a movie, not a book) but which can have that
all-important critical mass as a location to save this history.

Again, it's history, I focused on the past because the past wasn't
being told in this fashion. I do not pretend, anywhere, that it's the
final word. It's the first syllable of the first word. The problem I
attacked was that the first word wasn't even being spoken. Now it is.

So keep talking.

Frank Vest

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 6:06:41 PM8/4/05
to
Hello Jason,

text...@gmail.com wrote:
> Jason Scott, BBS Documentary director here. Saw some nice discussions
> and debates and, well, accusations. Thought I'd jump in here.
>
> First of all, I want to thank, again, Rob Swindell and Frank Vest, who
> both opened their homes to me and my equipment, knowing nothing of my
> "work" before then. In Rob's case, I showed up many hours late (I
> misjudged travel time from San Francisco to Los Angeles) and in
> Frank's, well, there I was jamming a lot of lights and cameras into his
> home, and after his marked reticence to being interviewed at all. I
> appreciate both of your allowances for this, and of course for the
> hundreds of others I interviewed.

I just couldn't see where I was important compared to Tom Jennings, DM
and others that were big players. :) I'm happy that You finally pushed
me into the interview.

To be honest, I was impressed that you got Tom Jennings to give you an
interview! I'd heard that he pushed away from most attempts at anything
to do with BBS or Fidonet.

I do want to know when we can get access to these full interviews. I'd
like a copy of mine and maybe some others. Please let us know.

> So keep talking.

I don't think that will be a problem. :)

For those that were not interviewed and for those that might have had a
different experience:

Jason contacted me via e-mail. Having recently left the post of Fidonews
Editor and not being too happy with things in general, I was not in a
good mood to have some stranger contact me because I was a former
Fidonews Editor. :)

I remember asking Jason at some point if he was going to see this thing
through or if it was going to be some "work in progress" thing that
would die on the vine. He assured me that he had a compulsion to see
this thing through. That's one thing that got me to finally say yes.

In case some might not know it, Jason was the interviewer, sound man,
cameraman and all the other parts of the crew. What you see on the
documentary is not the result of a big production crew... or even a
small one. It's the result of one man with a desire to present the "fore
runner of the Internet" and a compulsion to see it through to the end.
For that alone, the man deserves a round of applause. I would have
failed in the first month... if I lasted that long.

At any rate, I'm glad that I was in there and I hope that others will
view the documentary and give it a chance. It might be missing some
things and there may be parts that you don't like or think are right,
but it is better than anything I've seen so far and all things
considered, worth the cost. IMHO.


Regards,
Frank

Digital Man

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 6:18:37 PM8/4/05
to
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: Frank Vest to alt.bbs.synchronet on Thu Aug 04 2005 11:06 pm

> In case some might not know it, Jason was the interviewer, sound man,
> cameraman and all the other parts of the crew. What you see on the
> documentary is not the result of a big production crew... or even a
> small one. It's the result of one man with a desire to present the "fore
> runner of the Internet" and a compulsion to see it through to the end.
> For that alone, the man deserves a round of applause.

<stands and applauds>

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #152:
In 1985, the fastest bicyclist was clocked at 154 mph.

sinister x

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 6:57:40 PM8/4/05
to
To: Time Warrior


> That would be funny. A SX interview. lol I can see it now.... "fuckin
> scene man... what the hell happened? you got all these sellouts like
> <insert names of ansi artists here> and all these crappy lame boards like
> <long list here> with sysops who <list of accusations here>. Then you have
> your real problem users, like Time Warrior, Dribble and others who <more
> accusations here>. Yeah, and that fucking arm band is lame!"
> <G> :-)
> Yes, I'm evil. I know. But I could *not* resist! :-) --

First of all, this is a synchronet discussion, not a flaming base, so get off
your trip obsessive one. "Cease and desist!" lol....

Second, mentioning just that people still involve themselves in one small
blurb at the end isn't enough to suffice the criticisms that were made in the
film by people like mass-d. Even a single interview with some current artist
like zerovision or a current artgroup leader would have sufficed in my book.

--

---
ş Synchronet ş theroughnecks.net - you know you want it

sinister x

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 6:57:40 PM8/4/05
to
To: Time Warrior


> Most saw it as being inspirational where as Sinister X and a few others
> saw it as a let down. The message being relayed, as is the perception of
> life in general, is always in the eye of the beholder, as are most things.

I don't recall asking for your opinion in the first place. Second, no they
don't need to cover everything, one interview from someone still in the scene
could have sufficed nicely.

Quit being pissed off Davey... I wasn't even coming in here to post to or
about you in the first place but finding info on synchronet. So, if you don't
mind, return the favor please I can do without your belly aching thanks.

text...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 7:03:24 PM8/4/05
to
I approached every Fidonews editor I could find. I got four: you, Tim
Pozar, Tom Jennings, Thom Henderson. I figured that if anyone could
have some insight into the working of the day to day Fidonet, it was
the Fidonews editor, since their newsletter was the sounding board for
conflicts, resolutions, announcements and the like. So that's why you
were initially approached.

You weren't the only one to say "No way am I going on camera", not by a
long shot. Many people did, people who I've since been criticized for
not including. In some cases, they don't even want people to know they
talked to me.

I can tell you that at least two people interviewed in the fidonet
episode have indicated they have no plans to watch the DVD set at all;
they gave interviews out of a sense of duty but that period is painful
and closed. This is the stuff that not easy to explain to people who
indicated I "missed" stuff.

The fact it was a one-man operation is a nice trivia fact but it
shouldn't get more or less criticism based on it; I certainly strove to
make it work in a way that a single crew member could function
properly.

I am very pleased I kept my promise to you.

Tom Jennings was interviewed at the behest of others (they indicated I
was pretty serious and I "got it"). I have had contact with him several
times since, and yes, it's definitely over and done for him. He's done
so much, of which Fidonet was a piece. It's nice the world has people
like that in it.

Digital Man

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 7:40:29 PM8/4/05
to
To: textfiles
> From Newsgroup: alt.bbs.synchronet

>
> Hi, everyone.
>
> Jason Scott, BBS Documentary director here. Saw some nice discussions
> and debates and, well, accusations. Thought I'd jump in here.

Don't forget the compliments as well!



> First of all, I want to thank, again, Rob Swindell and Frank Vest, who
> both opened their homes to me and my equipment, knowing nothing of my
> "work" before then.

Thank you! I hadn't told you directly yet, but the documentary turned out very
professional and I (and surprisingly, my family) found it very entertaining
and educational!

> The focus of this documentary is the experience and the situation of
> dial-up BBSes.

I don't think that distinction was made clear, at least to me. I mean, you
interviewed Vincent Cerf and other luminaries that had nothing to do with dial-
up BBSes, but certainly could be argued to be instrumental to the BBSes of
today. And of course, the majority of *my* contributions to the
history/evolution of BBSes have been in the Internet era.

I'm *very* glad that my brother contacted you about my possible participation
in the documentary, but I'm pretty sure that without his intervention, I
wouldn't have been asked. I didn't get the feeling that you were persuing
interviews of those that were *still* active in the development of BBSes. Did
James Coyle, Michiel Broek, Tobias Ernst or the like fall under your radar?

> It's not meant to be about Internet BBSes, not meant to
> be about web forums, not meant to be about current "scenes" that have
> their roots in BBSes, and it's certainly not meant to cover the cutting
> edge of BBS technology. This isn't hard information to garner, and if
> someone thought that the video format would be the way to tell this
> story, then they would do so, or even better, have the assembled people
> available an e-mail or website away to do so. Applying that standard to
> the BBS Documentary will inevitably lead to despair.
>
> Also, it's important to take into consideration the issue that
> "complete is the enemy of interesting". In the case of these episodes,
> they are meant to be INTRODUCTIONS to their subjects, to cover them in
> as universal and straightforward as possible, without getting captured
> into that horrifying geek loop of "but this exception... and this
> one... and these.... and this..." and then each episode is a three-hour
> laundry list of every variant concept.

I understand. I just feel bad for those who had an important part to play in
the history/evolution of BBSes and didn't get any mention. Certainly, most
viewers won't miss the references. As an "introduction", the documentary is
more than complete.

> When I said "a few hundred BBSes" were left, I meant in the United
> States, and I meant dial-up. This number came from consulting fidonet
> and other BBS lists. And I think I was being generous.

In that limited context, you probably were being generous. But of course, that
context was not communicated to the viewer. I know this point of contention
can easily start the slide down the slippery slope of "What is and is *not* a
BBS?", but I don't think anyone can argue that the Telnet BBSes of today are
somehow *less* of what we all think of as a BBS than the dial-up BBSes of the
past. As a Telnet BBS author and supporter of hundreds of Telnet BBS Sysops
around the world, I felt slighted when I read that "fact" on the screen. It
seemed to me you were taking "creative liberties" to make your dramatic point
(about the reduction in the number of BBSes).

> Remember, it's all about dial-up, not internet-based BBSes.

I somehow missed that.

> So I have to take exception to it not covering something it was never
> meant to cover.

Perhaps it should've been called "The Dial-up BBS Documentary"? :-)

Of course RIP (and to a limited degree other BBS graphics technologies) were
pervasive on dial-up BBSes in the 90s, but it got no coverage. I thought the
attempts at a graphics "standard" on dial-up BBSes was an important point in
the evolution of BBSes and perhaps a forshadowing of the Web to come.



> Now, all this aside, there are two things I've worked to do to make up
> for obvious deficiencies in the documentary's coverage.
>
> First of all, there's over 250 hours of interviews, of 205 people. With
> one exception, I have full rights to do with these interviews as I
> wish, so I will be making pretty much all of them available! I have
> made a deal with ARCHIVE.ORG to have a large sub-collection of all
> these interviews, with salient points covered in them and who and what.
> For example, there's two hours of Rob Swindell where I only used
> roughly 45-60 seconds of this footage. Same with Frank Vest. In their
> interviews, and in dozens of others, MANY subjects were covered, many
> of the same ones people are unhappy I didn't put in the documentary.
> ALL OF IT WILL BE AVAILABLE, under a Creative Commons Attribute
> ShareAlike license, meaning they can be used in almost any way people
> would want to, including as the basis of further documentaries. This
> will hopefully put to rest the idea that my documentary quashes
> additional BBS concepts that were covered. 250 hours. That's 10 solid
> days of BBS discussion.

Cool. I look forward to seeing more of Chuck Forsberg and Wayne Bell in
particular.



> Second, I will be continuing my work with TEXTFILES.COM and the
> BBSDOCUMENTARY.COM sites to add more and more information, information
> which might not have been easy to portray cinematically (remember, the
> documentary is a movie, not a book) but which can have that
> all-important critical mass as a location to save this history.
>
> Again, it's history, I focused on the past because the past wasn't
> being told in this fashion. I do not pretend, anywhere, that it's the
> final word. It's the first syllable of the first word. The problem I
> attacked was that the first word wasn't even being spoken. Now it is.
>
> So keep talking.

Thanks for the prompting. :-)

digital man

Snapple "Real Fact" #107:
You burn more calories sleeping than watching TV.

text...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 8:58:15 PM8/4/05
to
> Don't forget the compliments as well!

Currently, I am getting up to a half-dozen fan mails a day for the
work, all of which I appreciate. Of course, it is natural to focus on
the criticisms, especially when you know you've taken on so much. I
want it to be a perfection it can't. So I listen when someone goes "he
missed this" or "this was wrong".

> > The focus of this documentary is the experience and the situation of
>> dial-up BBSes.
>
>I don't think that distinction was made clear, at least to me. I mean, you
>interviewed Vincent Cerf and other luminaries that had nothing to do with dial-
>up BBSes, but certainly could be argued to be instrumental to the BBSes of
>today. And of course, the majority of *my* contributions to the
>history/evolution of BBSes have been in the Internet era.
>
>I'm *very* glad that my brother contacted you about my possible participation
>in the documentary, but I'm pretty sure that without his intervention, I
>wouldn't have been asked. I didn't get the feeling that you were persuing
>interviews of those that were *still* active in the development of BBSes. Did
>James Coyle, Michiel Broek, Tobias Ernst or the like fall under your radar?

I definitely also thank your brother for putting you in touch with me.
Without a doubt you would have been missed or someone I might not have
reached. The methodology for trying to find interview subjects was a
combination of "fame" and word-of-mouth. As the production interviews
grew into the dozens and articles about the project were being written,
then I got a lot of contacts from people I personally knew nothing
about. So I definitely depended on this, as really most documentaries
do. "If you talked to the guy who did X, then talk to the guy who
TAUGHT HIM how to do X" and so on.

Vinton Cerf was primarily interviewed because he was invited to BBSCON
to speak about BBSes and the Internet. I thought on a hunch that this
would kill three birds with one stone: He could give an interesting
outsider perspective to BBSCON, his celebrity status would add
prestige, and damnit, he's friggin' smart. So all of those came
together and I could get an interview with him. I'd call him a "long
shot". It wasn't specifically to talk about the Internet, per se. Other
long shots both sailed and sunk accordingly.

It's important to note the context of your interview:

http://bbsdocumentary.dreamhost.com/photos/062swindell/

You were interviewed in July of 2002, about 7 months into what turned
into a three-year filming schedule. I was reaching out in a lot of
directions, not sure where they would go. About 5 of the 8 episodes I
ultimately used were planned at this point, with the others being
subjects I removed or replaced. So it was very, very fluid, and as a
result, that's why your questions are everywhere as well.

Just like you didn't know the focus was on dial-up history, I had other
cases where my expectations and the interviewee's expectations were
completely at odds (I think our communal agreement to talk about
Synchronet and the BBS "Industry" overcame misunderstanding). There
were interviews where it was a car crash from the word go, although I
could often get something out of everything.

I simply don't have the concern about telnet/internet BBS history like
I did about dial-up history. Dial-up is now so long in the tooth (back
to 1978 and before) that there's a mortality issue with the
interviewees. That was my focus. Like I said, an internet episode could
be brought up from the footage I have.

> In that limited context, you probably were being generous. But of course, that
> context was not communicated to the viewer. I know this point of contention
> can easily start the slide down the slippery slope of "What is and is *not* a
> BBS?", but I don't think anyone can argue that the Telnet BBSes of today are
> somehow *less* of what we all think of as a BBS than the dial-up BBSes of the
> past. As a Telnet BBS author and supporter of hundreds of Telnet BBS Sysops
> around the world, I felt slighted when I read that "fact" on the screen. It
> seemed to me you were taking "creative liberties" to make your dramatic point
> (about the reduction in the number of BBSes).

And here we diverge. :)

And we better! After all, you're working in telnet BBSes and you're
working in it quite dramatically. But my documentary was trying to
capture dial-up and its unique properties. You say that you see no
difference between dial-up and telnet BBSes, and I say that you are in
a minority as far as dial-up users are concerned. They very
specifically consider it an entirely different situation. There are
very few, VERY few software authors like yourself that made the jump
from dial-up BBSes to telnet BBSes using the same software you were
developing. I can tell you you ARE unique in taking your software along
a line from "dial-up for-pay software" to "freely-distributed telnet
software", AND being the original developer doing so. Absolutely. So I
am quite comfortable and quite understanding that your take on the
whole aspect of how I cover internet BBSes would be one of slight (or
more?) disappointment.

But I throw that challenge back; after I get a lot of this footage up,
you can work with me or with others and we could assemble a "the state
of the BBS" video that shows exactly how they are now, in an internet
age.

Again, like I said, I can see where the misunderstanding came from, all
the factors that caused us to miss each other's intentions. On the
other hand, I hope it DID come across that I did NOT treat everyone who
used BBSes as weirdos or freaks or aliens that walk among the "humans".
I worked very hard to make it obvious these are people, people through
and through with joys and triumphs and heartbreaks and dreams. So
that's good, I hope.

Why RIP isn't in there is a whole other story. :)

Deuce

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 9:47:05 PM8/4/05
to
To: textfiles
Re: Re: The Documentary...
By: textfiles to alt.bbs.synchronet on Thu Aug 04 2005 17:03:00

> Tom Jennings was interviewed at the behest of others (they indicated I
> was pretty serious and I "got it"). I have had contact with him several
> times since, and yes, it's definitely over and done for him. He's done
> so much, of which Fidonet was a piece. It's nice the world has people
> like that in it.

I just can't believe you missed Pat Clawson!
*runs away*

---
ţ Synchronet ţ ``Penguins make tasty snacks''

Sinister x

unread,
Aug 4, 2005, 9:55:20 PM8/4/05