the Blizzard of 1978 and the first BBS

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Jun 18, 2019, 8:15:04 PM6/18/19
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https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/18/41_years_of_the_bbs/

While large chunks of the US used this year's Snowmageddon to binge on
streaming TV or tweet selfies with snowmen, take a moment to remember
the
Great Blizzard of 1978, which led to the first Bulletin Board Service
(BBS)
taking to the phone lines 41 years ago.

Those brought up with the seemingly endless amount of storage and
server
capacity of the cloud in recent times and the connectivity afforded by
the
internet are likely scratching their heads at the term "BBS".

...

Kind-of BBS systems had been floating around during the 1970s in the
form of
mainframe software, but it was Chicago techies Ward Christensen and
Randy
Suess who kicked things off for enthusiasts on 16 Feb 1978 with the
launch
of the very first BBS. In an interview with Byte (PDF), the duo
explained
the project took 30 days to put together an assembler in a box rocking
an
Intel 8080 CPU and 24K of RAM.

A mock-up of the system was built using MITS 8K BASIC during the first
week,
and the pair had people call into the system to critique it. Once
Suess and
Christensen were happy with how things looked, the thing was rewritten
in
Assembler language in order to take advantage of the speed and
efficiency of
the resulting binaries.

Storage was handled by floppy disk, with CP/M providing the disk
operating
system. With 240K available on a disk at the time, and a directory
able to
keep track of 64 files, the team aimed at holding 200 to 300 active
messages
on the system at a time. Those were the days, eh?

(posted in comp.misc)

--
Eduardo
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Alt119 - Alternate News
www.alt119.net - Art Culture Lusophony
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