Were Bulletin Board Systems not as popular in the late 80s early 90s as I thought they were? I have a small circle of friends who I met BBSing. I realize not a lot of people did them but... I'm a Software Engineering student at 32. I started my first internship at a aviation software company. I'm surrounded by programmers, and tech people all the time, at work and school. And none of them know what the hell I'm talking about when I make a Renegade reference, or Terminate, or Ripterm. To me, this was the internet before it was common in households. Am I the only one out there who remembers this scene?
You are speaking of a time when modems were external and screamed at you. BBS were not popular back then and generally if you weren't part of the geek secret society, nobody knew what the hell you were talking about. Basically if you dialed a wrong number and heard screaching on the other end, you knew to use your modem and call again and see what was up there.
i love the amiga, i got an amiga emulator working on my machine, they still havent made games as satisfying as settlers 1 and k240, i love those games, the amiga got no credit for showing everyone how to make a house hold comp and its games and apps, Why did the PC beat the amiga??
I'm surrounded by programmers, and tech people all the time, at work and school. And none of them know what the hell I'm talking about when I make a Renegade reference, or Terminate, or Ripterm. To me, this was the internet before it was common in households. Am I the only one out there who remembers this scene?
The programming world is simply a lot bigger than it was back then.
Look, for example, at 1992 fidonet nodelist: http://www.textfiles.com/fidonet-on-the-internet/n1992/nodelist.003 -- there are only 15 thousand lines. What are the chances you'd be working with one of them today? (granted, not every BBS owner routed mail, but I think it's representative of the scale)
IBM is to blame, they lost control of their own product, opening the flood gates to a whole host of companies making clones.
This is not the history I remember. The way I remember it IBM seemed to have little interest in owning the software for their machines. I had no idea that software could be so profitable in the late 80's and early 90's.
I also believe that if IBM had owned the OS installed on those machines that it is possible that computers would still be tools only used by a few in business and academy.
In 1992 I only knew one person who had internet access, and when he explained it to me I could not understand of what possible use I could ever have for it. Today I was accessing information for two hours at least at work. And tonight I will read or be entertained for another two. 25% to 80% of my waking hours are spent on the internet or using a computer and in 1992 I thought the PC was a toy for the rich.
Except for a critical piece of code called BIOS, the PC truly was an open hardware architecture. Every major and minor component, enclosures, motherboards, disk, memory, bus, even the CPU would eventually be easily second-sourced.
The consequences of these IBM decisions not only spawned the PC era, but also led to the creation of a new and highly profitable PC software segment.
This is how I have always heard this story told. Now what I don't understand is why people believe that the BIOS was stolen. Was what IBM did so unique that it could have been patented in a way preventing others from imitating it?
In case it is not clear I am asking for opinions--because I don't understand enough to have a strong opinion.