TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell Divestiture

Re: Bell Divestiture

Tony P. (
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 17:39:42 -0400

In article <>, says:

> In article <>, TELECOM Digest
> Editor noted in response:

>> Chicago is where the BBS concept got started. Randy Seuss and Ward
>> Christianson started the very first one. (In yesterday's Digest,
>> Robert Bonomi mentioned how Randy had such hassles with Illinois Bell
>> getting the lines he needed). Bell and Howell computers _were_ Apple
>> ][+ machines except for the lable on the front of them, and many of
>> them, such as mine, had not only a 300 baud modem card on a slot
>> inside, but an 'expanded memory' card as well, to go in another slot
>> inside, and a 'clock card' plus a couple of floppy disk driver
>> cards. I would guess that by 1980 there were a dozen or more BBS's
>> operating, all in Chicago or nearby suburbs, and almost none anywhere
>> else in the world.

>> The Library had their BBS (BELmont 5-3200) based on Bill Blue's
>> *People's Message System* as did a guy in Downers Grove, IL. Rogers
>> Park ABBS (973-ABBS [2227]) used some other kind of software for
>> Apple as I did with my original BBS called 'First Choice'
>> (SHEldrake-3-0001). But I soon decided to work with a different BBS
>> 'skeleton' to make 'Lake Shore Modem Magazine' on my other phone
>> line SHEldrake-3-0002 instead, and Lake Shore Modem Magazine went on
>> line in July, 1981. Tim had his Tandy Model 4 operating "Think BBS"
>> (based on the old IBM slogan) and Randy Suess kept plugging along
>> with his CBBS, until he eventually decided to go 'multi-user' with
>> his Chinet system, which was when all the trouble with the telephone
>> company got started, in 1984 I think. Ward and Randy were not only
>> first with the BBS concept, I think they were first with the
>> multi-user concept also (regards home or residential service). There
>> was a guy in Oak Park, Illinois using his Tandy Model-4 to run a
>> FIDO multi-user node around that same time, but I never did much
>> care for the FIDO people; they all seemed so prissy and
>> authoritarian, IMO. I did maintain a user group out of his node for
>> six months or so, but the FIDO bosses decided to ex-communicate his
>> entire system, so that was good enough for me: I had been off and on
>> using Usenet (via Portal) for a couple years at that point and
>> decided to give up on FIDO and use Usenet exclusively instead, and I
>> did that mostly with my Zenith Z-19 terminal and modem. From Randy
>> Suess one day I got a bunch of other very good working terminals and
>> modems as well; that was around 1983. I finally shut down my BBS
>> (Lakeshore Modem Magazine) on December 31, 1985 for good. PAT]

> Interesting about the TRS-80 Model 4 multi node. If I'm not mistaken
> that was running SIDOS.

> Here is the story behind SIDOS:

> In 1982 a friend of mine convinced me to spend hard earned money on a
> modem so I could connect the the NYBBLINK BBS here in Providence. A
> month after I'd gotten the modem NYBBLINK went down for good.

> So my friend Don Lambert decided to re-wire his Model III so that it
> had multiple RS-232 ports, and ISAM file system, as well as all sorts
> of communications enhancements to TRSDOS, enough so that it was a
> different O/S once he got through with it. After a few months of the
> two of us brainstorming and testing the crap out of the system Syslink
> was born.

> SIDOS was then run on two other BBS's in RI that spawned a major
> communications player. PowerNet and PowerCor both ran SIDOS. The
> operator of PowerCor then procured through some nefarious means a DEC
> MicroVax II and formed Intelecom Data Systems, or IDS.

> The assets of IDS were rolled up and became Conversent Communications.

> All because I didn't want to be stuck with a modem and nothing to
> connect to locally.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Very, very interesting. There are a lot
> of good stories, mostly untold, from the early years of BBS'ing and
> networking. I'll bet an entire newsgroup could be started and maintained
> with just such accounts. But was SIDOS running on Model 4 as it came
> out of the factory? My friend with the Think BBS and the guy in Oak
> Park who ran a FIDO node brought their boxes home from Radio Shack,
> and plugged them in and started their sites within a day or two; no
> adaptation needed that I recall them saying. PAT]

It's entirely possible that Don sold SIDOS to Tandy. I was out of the
loop at that point.

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