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ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º The Invention Factory BBS will soon celebrate it's eleventh year º º on-line. I thought that some of our BBS members might be interested º º in how we began and what motivated Michael and I to start our BBS. º º º º In 1981 I was a single mother living in Long Beach, Long Island and º º working as a waitress to support myself and my nine year old daughter º º Sarah. I met Michael at a party given by a friend of mine and º º instantly knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. º º The psychic part of myself recognized him on an intuitive level. º º Unfortunately he left the party before I could tell him that we were º º destined to be together. Several months went by before I could work º º up the courage to track him down and call him. I had never called a º º man before but I talked myself into it by asking myself, " What are º º the worst things that could happen? " One is that he won't remember º º me and two is that he'll ask me what my intentions are. So I called º º him, and of course he didn't know who I was, he had no recollection of º º ever having met me and asked me what my intentions were in calling him. º º However, we did have a great phone conversation and talked for hours. º º Just before I hung up the phone I asked him if he would like to get º º together sometime and he said, "No, but I'll call you sometime." We º º spoke on the phone for months before arranging a date. After that º º first date we saw each other every weekend. Our first New Years Eve º º together that I didn't have to work and had child care for my daughter º º arranged I drove into Manhattan early in the day to be with Michael. º º Michael met me outside and asked me to drive him uptown to a friends º º house. On the way he explained that his friend had agreed to lend him º º a terminal for a couple of days. This was not a computer but a dumb º º terminal and Michael was instantly obsessed. He sat in front of the º º terminal all evening and I sat on the couch watching Dick Clarks Rock º º N Roll New Years party by myself. As I watched the ball drop on Times º º Square I decided I had to see what the attraction was to this thing in º º the other room. I found Michael seated in front of the terminal with a º º glazed expression trying to type nonsense on the screen. When I sat º º down to take a turn Michael was extremely impressed that I could type. º º But I still didn't get what he was so fascinated by. Michael explained º º to me that if you took this terminal and plugged it into a phone and º º called an information service you could find any information about any º º topic any time of the day or night. You have no idea what those words º º meant to me. I've been an information junkie my whole life. I had the º º Dewey Decimal System memorized by age twelve. I will read anything º º about anything. I am also one of the most gullible people in the whole º º world cause I believed him when he told me we just needed to get a few º º more things to be able to do this really simply. The next few months º º were devoted to research and development; which computer to buy and º º learning to type. By July of 1983 we had an IBM PC, a Hayes 1200 baud º º modem and a subscription to Dialog which came with a 750 page manual. º º I'm just like every one else. I refused to read the manual. Michael º º said that what we now needed was software so he started to call some º º BBS's and one of the first programs he downloaded turned out to be one º º a public domain bulletin board program, RBBS. He said he thought he º º should install it and then he could really learn a lot about computer º º telecommunications, and get all sorts of software for free. We set up º º the BBS, put our name on some BBS lists ( which were a lot smaller in º º those days ) and waited for the modem to ring. Whenever we heard º º someone connecting to the board we'd run to the computer to see who º º was on-line and usually start typing to them. We became a busy little º º board and when Michael started adding more memory, more phone lines º º and more modems at an alarming rate I gave him my ultimatum, "Either º º make this thing support itself or give it up." We had a core group of º º members who said that they would be willing to pay us for membership º º if we could guarantee no busy signals. So that's how it all began. º º I guess it could be a great story if I could say that we've taken our º º hobby and turned it into a business and become rich and famous. The º º truth is , we struggle along like most small businesses in America. We º º continue to grow but not as quickly as I would like. Our family has º º grown to include two more children and I can't think of many other Mom º º and Pop operations that allow us the flexibility to work when we want º º and spend time with our children as we want. I can't imagine going out º º to a job and not seeing my kids for nine hours a day. Every time I º º pick them up from school, or go on class trips, or volunteer in their º º classrooms I feel pretty rich and extremely lucky. º ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ

/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/archive/bbs/bio.txt · Last modified: 1999/10/03 22:47 by

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