Ah, to be young again.
Check it out...
Long before the Internet escaped from the lab, connected the planet and redefined what it meant to use a computer...I ran a BBS for about one year in 1993-1994 in Santa Maria running programmer Roland de Graaf's The Virtual BBS software. I remember the software was cutting edge (in spite of having been written in Q-Basic), and it had this strange, ANSI pull-down menu option that was cool at first, but no users actually found it practical to use. I was fond of the VirtualNET network standard, also written by de Graaf, although I was particularly in love with the (now somewhat deficient) FidoNet standard of email. Okay, who out there knows what I am talking about here??? ;)
....there was a brave and pioneering band of computer users who spent their time, money and sanity setting up their home computers and phone lines to welcome anyone who called. By using a modem, anyone else who knew the phone number of these computers could connect to them, leave messages, send and receive files.... and millions did.
They called these places "Bulletin Board Systems", or BBSes. And their collections of messages, rants, thoughts and dreams became the way that an entire generation learned about being online.
When the Internet grew in popularity in the early 1990s, the world of the BBS faded, changed, and became a part of the present networked world.. but it wasn't the same.