You Can’t Stop Progress! Lessons from the Past

I was sorting some old zip archives on my file server when I stumbled across an old text file from October 1997 with the name “INETSUXX.ZIP”.

I was intrigued and checked it out. The FILE_ID.DIZ provided already a glimpse of the things to come.

| a short statement about the |
| actual bulletin board |
| system scene !!! |
| changes are needed! |
`------------------------------- -- -
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ .

Here is the entire content of the included text file with the filename “CHANGE.IT!”. It has two authors. The initial author who also created the ZIP file and started spreading it through other bulletin board systems is an anonymous sysop who is mad that the BBS scene was going down the drain and that everybody was switching to use the Internet rather than dialing a BBS.

It was modified and extended with comments by PigPen of Poison and Surge. He made some were good and forward thinking statements back then, even though his English language skills are not the best (the text screams for spelling and grammatical errors) and border-line PG13 language used. This is true for both guys by the way. I think it was how we really talked back then. I can’t remember for sure, but the text refreshed some long forgotten memories in me.

Okay, here it comes, uncut and uncensored.

Original text....

this sux!

we had several times to change the whole thing... but no one of us
seems to care about the big problems comming over us! .. we tryed
to fight against this enemy of crime - but - most of us weren't
able to resist! ... so the wohle crap seems to go down.
should not we stand together and fight agains our worth enemy ?
the internet - which becomes bigger and bigger ... and seems to
destroy our nice bbs network scene (which seems not to be a net-
work neither a bunsh of friends). most sysops fight against each
other instad of putting their forces together agains the inter-
so stand together ... and keep this scene alife!

a sysop! ...

Added crap cummin' up:

You're right!

Definately the Inter*et is huge and growing very fast. The _BIG_
problem is: It's simply more popular than the BBS-Scene, and you
really can find there everything, even things, you really don't
WANT and surely never NEED. Also it's really simpler to use than
dialing BBS'es...
And there the whole shit goes: I-N*t is becoming a mass-media
like TV, and if someone complains about shitnet, he also could
shout out: 'Read books! Sell yar TV-Set!' Stupid thoughs, but true.
But on the other hand, sucknet is SLOWER, BUSIER, easier HACKABLE
and much more EXPENSIVE.
By the way, ever thought about all those _really_ lame dudez, who
moved to blamenet, and doesn't bother you anymore? ;)
Back to business...
So we all hate lamenet, and wanna _FIGHT_ against?
( I mean not !??! )

- What about heavy announcing for our boards in hmpfnet?
- What about email support per BBS?
- What about firin' up _ONE_ huge net like good old GSN, CDN or DGI?
- What about making our boards easier to use?
- What about making our boards friendlier?
('What means ICE?' , 'Be sure you have a good reason to page!' ,
'No beginners!' , or those ratios we have but glblbnet don't)
- What about all those suckers, who would call and give the
remaining scene the rest?!?

But what's about the _meaning_ of 'The Scene'? Is the scene a
huge mob of people who call BBS'es and spread drivers and chat
about Java, HTML, sexdolls and helicopters?
Or is the scene a small crowd of active, friendly and sometimes ;)
productive freaks with abilities, not only a mouse to click with?
I'd really prefer the second...
Also if you want to keep the scene together, a first step would be
to sign with your handle, not with .
Imagine all those dudez, who have the same opinion like you,
and don't know, who you are... Nice, 'eh?

Pressin' all this in a short sentence:
[Internet grows, Scene selects.]


Yep, the good ol’ days, gone forever. I can feel the anonymous sysop, because I used to be one myself and watched it all go to hell without anybody even blinking or saying anything. But when I saw it in 1997 in greater detail, I knew that the times for bulletin board systems are coming to an end. Note: I saw the Internet already before 1997. I used the Inet for the first time via CompuServ and the second time via a BBS Door :). But it took me a bit to “get it” to the full extend.

You can’t change things back to what they were. The genie was out of the bottle and there was no way to put it back into it. Resisting progress is a natural but bad reaction. If you don’t stop fighting progress a.s.a.p., the progress will eventually simply roll over you and leave you behind in the dust. Progress cannot be stopped, it can only be delayed! Remember that!

Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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Categories: BBS history Politics
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Published on: December 18, 2007

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