Let it snow

It’s snowing in Tivoli right now which makes me think about a great DVD I just got.

It’s called BBS: The Documentary and I highly recommend it.

It chronicles the wild and wooly age of computer bulletin boards (BBS), the “online world” that existed before the Internet. I found the film absolutely fascinating…

One of the things that jumped out at me was the story behind how the first BBS came to be.

What’s a BBS? It’s a long story if you don’t already knowit, but to cut to the chase, before the web, there used to be over one hundred thousand of them. (AOL started out as a little BBS.)

Ward Christensen wrote the software and Randy Suess put together the hardware for the very first one.

What inspired their world-changing idea?


On the evening of January 15, a storm dumped a ton of snow on Chicago and neither Ward nor Randy could get to work. To keep themselves from going stir crazy, they decided to start work on a project they’d been talking about for a while: making it possible for members of their computer club to ‘upload’ content directly to the club’s computer.

A month later, on February 16, 1978, the first computer bulletin board was launched.

Let it snow!

The web site for BBS: The Documentary is here: http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/

– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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