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it's that BBS time again (part 2)

(part 1)

I called up Verizon today to find out if I could run a server with a biz-grade DSL account. The answer is yes. Boo-yah. That's just cool.

However there's a problem.

In order for me to be changed over to the "basic" biz-grade account I have to lose internet for five business days until the changeover is completed. Obviously that will not do because my job is done almost exclusively on the internet.

There is an alternative. Verizon has another biz-grade DSL plan called a "loopback", and this would not require me to go without connectivity while that's being set up. The only difference is that it costs me 20 bucks more a month instead of 10.

The questions I need to have answered at this point are:

  1. How long will it take to set up a loopback biz-grade DSL connection?
  2. Will I be able to cancel my existing consumer-grade connection afterwards without incurring a termination fee?
  3. Once connected to the loopback account, can I downgrade it back to basic (for cost purposes)?

It's a screwed up way to do it, but it's just not an option to lose connectivity for even so much as a day. If Verizon can pull it off so I don't lose any connectivity or incur any additional charges I'll go for it. The rep I spoke to on the phone was very knowledgeable about the subject, so hopefully when I call tomorrow I'll encounter the same good service.

As I said, it's a big screwed up way of doing it and it makes my head spin even thinking about it.

But if it's do-able, I'll spring for it.

it's that BBS time again

About once I year I get the yearning to run a BBS again. I don't know why but I do. I could probably have one set up in less than a hour, complete and ready to roll.

So why don't I?

I have a "consumer" Verizon DSL account meaning no servers of any kind are allowed.

Section 3.7.5 of the Verizon Internet Access Terms of Service states very plainly:

You may not use the Broadband Service to host any type of server whether personal or commercial in nature.

However..

If I upgraded to a "business" plan, the cost per month is only ten bucks more for the same connectivity I have now, with the advantage being I can run any kind of server I want (assumedly.. I would call first to check.) That's why you pay the extra ten bucks a month.

It is very, very tempting.

What's even cooler is that Synchronet has a system ready that accepts both telnet and dial-up easily. This means that not only would I get to run a telnet BBS, but I'd also be the only dial-up board in Tampa (probably,) and it would all be on the same system. Kudos to Rob Swindell for releasing that because that's just plain cool.

The question: Why even bother with dial-up?

The answer: As funny as this sounds, in the very brief stint where I was running a dial-up BBS in Tampa, someone actually did call it. I kid you not. I was amazed.

In addition, the true BBS experience can only be realized when connecting via a phone line. Everything shows up as it should and there's none o' that jerky ANSI crap you get with telnet.

Furthermore I can make my own cool-ass ANSI screens with TheDraw. I always loved that app. 😀

. . .

Has enough time passed where some people might actually be interested in BBSes again?

I honestly don't know.

But I can say this:

Now that the internet is almost surfed exclusively with broadband connections, many computer hobbyists have made it a point to take really old computers and "internetize" them. Put it this way - can you believe that there is a Commodore 64 web server? Believe it. And it works, too!

Why do people bother with this stuff?

The answer is simply "because they can". The fact you can take a computer that has a 1.02 megahertz (not gigahertz) processor built a minimum of almost 14 years ago and turn it into a web server is nothing short of incredible.

. . .

Unofficially, BBSes died in 1995 which is right around the time when the internet started to take full swing.

The funny thing today is that more and more kids are having a genuine appreciation for anything "retro". Concerning computers, you can't get much more retro than a BBS.

Is it time for the BBS to return?

Quite possibly.

Why else would I spend an extra ten bucks a month? 😀

A "gloomy" day in Tampa

Today the weather was a bit on the rainy side so there was cloud cover in the sky for most of the day. This caused the color to be a bit on the gray side.

However..

The temperature as I write this @ 8pm is 75° outside, as it was for the majority of the day. So even though the color of the sky looked gloomy, the warmth of the air didn't feel gloomy whatsoever.

In other words, what you've got is gray colored skies with nice warm breezes - at the same time.

In October.

Odd? Yes.

Acceptable? That's another yes. 😀

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