Tag Archives: bbs

Talking BBS games on the Bobby Blackwolf Show

A few weeks ago, I joined Bobby Blackwolf to talk about BBS door games on his gaming podcast.

We reminisced for almost an hour about BBSing, terminology, TradeWars, LoRD, SRE/BRE/SEE, RIP graphics and more. I had a lot of fun, and I hope you will get a kick out of listening.

By the way — is it coincidence the abbreviation for “Bobby Blackwolf Show” is BBS?

Or is it destiny?

“On The Media” revisits a BBS “ghost town”

As a journalist, I listen regularly to NPR’s On The Media program. Imagine my surprise and delight when a fellow journalist sent me a link to OTM’s TLDR podcast from yesterday in which one of the program’s producers revisits his old BBS stomping grounds.

The board was M-net, a large chat system that’s still running today — though nothing like it was in its heyday.

Please give this segment a listen, and be sure to let OTM know you appreciate their coverage of this important tech history topic!


Hollie Satterfield, creator of “Space Dynasty”

What does it take to get published? How about a deranged TRS-80 Model I that has taken over a lunar colony? That did the trick for Hollie Satterfield in 1983, when 80 Micro magazine published his computer program “Attack of the TRS-80.” Afterward, he embarked on a career as a programmer analyst — and along the way, he created a popular BBS door game: Space Dynasty.

I shared some thoughts about Space Dynasty yesterday. This interview was conducted by email Feb. 16 through Oct. 18, 2013.

You can follow Hollie Satterfield on Twitter: @thathollie

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Space Dynasty memories

They say first impressions are everything. That seems to have been true for teenage me when I tried Hollie Satterfield’s BBS door game Space Dynasty — and wrote it off.

But first impressions are often wrong.

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Birthday screens using GIF -> ANSI converters

Earlier this year I set up my very own Synchronet BBS. I had been a cosysop for many years as a kid, but I never had my own BBS on my own hardware.

My little BBS is a private one for me and my kids. My oldest daughter uses it the most.

As we got deeper into summer, I thought it would be fun to make some special ANSI birthday screens for my daughters to see when they logged in.

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Kevin MacFarland, creator of “Assassin”

From writing tic-tac-toe in BASIC as kid to creating the classic BBS door game Assassin, computer engineer Kevin MacFarland remembers his past life as the “C Monster.”

Assassin was of one my favorite role-playing games as a teen, so it was exciting to get in touch with MacFarland and discuss his game. This interview was conducted by email Mar. 2 through May 14, 2013.

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Assassin memories

Title screen of the PC version of 'Assassin.'

Title screen of the PC version of ‘Assassin.’

A man cloaked in black approaches thee …

“I see thou art new in these parts. Have ye come to join?” he asks.

“Yes,” I answer.

I watch as the man chants. Slowly the individual words flash on my screen: “Creare” … “an” … “vita” … “Irata!”

And so another assassin is born.

As a teen I thought this was a fun way to begin a game. The archaic grammar, the Latin spell, the medieval setting, everything. Many years later, I still find Assassin by Kevin MacFarland a great game to play.

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Visualizing 314: The directories, the data, and the caveats

This is the final part of a three-part series.

In this post I’m going to discuss Fire Escape’s BBS directory formats, the directory parser and the dataset; I’ll also give some caveats about this data.

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Visualizing 314: Fire Escape’s BBS Directory

Users who wanted to chat with Fire Escape when she wasn't online would be greeted with this ANSI screen on her BBS.

Users who wanted to chat with Fire Escape when she wasn’t online would be greeted with this ANSI screen on her BBS.

This is the first part of a three-part series.

If there was a superstar of St. Louis BBSes during the 1990s, it had to be Fire Escape.

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