Remember This? BBS - The Computer Bulletin Board System

If you were aware of personal computers back in the 1980's, you probably knew about computer Bulletin Board Systems or BBSs. This was a pre-Internet technology that sought to emulate the pin-and-corkboard bulletin boards one might find in your local community grocery stores, church halls, bowling alleys, etc.

A computer managed by a System Operator or SysOp would run the BBS software, which allowed other computer users to connect to it via telephone modem, and to interact with the Bulletin Board itself.

I was never a SysOp, but I have certainly connected to a few BBS's in my time - it seemed like magic in those days, although now it appears merely quaint.

The content was often a little more geeky than your standard physical bulletin board, but it did instill a certain sense of camaraderie among those of us involved in such an exotic technology at that time.
The first public dial-up BBS was developed by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess. According to an early interview, with the city snowed under during the Great Blizzard of 1978 in Chicago, the two began preliminary work on the Computerized Bulletin Board System, or CBBS. CBBS went online on February 16, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. CBBS, which kept a count of callers, reportedly connected 253,301 callers before it was finally retired. - Wikipedia
The video below is from a German computer user, and even though it is not in English it gives good idea of the whole (somewhat laborious) process involved. He is using the then very popular Commodore 64 computer.

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