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Rusty n Edie's from Beginning to the Beginning.
In 1985 I bought my first computer. I bought it to help in my insurance business, to tell the truth I had no idea what to do with it, but everyone said it would help, so I laid out over $4,000 for a Tandy 1200, a straight XT type machine with a huge 10 megabyte hard drive. I paid the extra money for the hard drive because I was told it would store everything I would ever need on one disk. I also went for the best color graphics, CGA in all it's glory, it was beautiful.
I did manage to read enough docs to use the machine quite well in my business. In 1986, my company decided to supply me with an IBM XT with a 20 meg hard drive and mono, so I took home my beauty and wondered just what I was going to do with it.
"Modem", my local Tandy salesman said I could get all the software I wanted free, I couldn't believe it, free. Well almost free, I would have to buy a modem, 1200 baud was the best money could buy and on sale for only $279 and of course software, PC-Talk which I could have for a $6 copying fee, SHAREWARE, ah a bit of what was to come, from now on free and as much as I wanted, now at last I could have millions of programs, and all free.
That night I called the local BBS, I was told this meant Bulletin Board System. I was so excited, it was a great moment, then the nightmare began, I called and filled out a very long questionnaire, the system said thank you and I should call back the next day and then disconnected me. I couldn't wait, I called right after work and was welcomed and told to fill out a questionnaire, which I did, it seemed silly since it was mostly the same questions and I don't see what the name and age of my cat have to do with BBSs. I did as I was told and was advised I should DOWNLOAD a registration form. To be honest it took me 10 days to figure out how to DOWNLOAD, but I finally figured it out and got my form, which I printed and filled out, more questions, I couldn't figure out what my grandparents political party had to do with computers, but I answered every question, I was called and verified about a week later and accepted into the BBS. I called right away and found I could have 30 minutes a day it I kept up a 5 to 1 RATIO, that is I had to upload files, that meant I would have to call long distance to another BBS and go through the humiliation of various torture routines set up by sadistic SYSOPs, System Operators, it was a very humbling experience, but I was hooked a program junky, I downloaded everything, printed the docs and ran the program, oohed and aahed and threw it on my hard disk, which within a few weeks reported it was full, which I was sure meant it was broke, since it was impossible to fill. I Just couldn't stand it anymore, so I decided to open my own BBS. I told my wife, Edie, that I what I was going to do and why. I was going to open a no rules BBS, and I ask her if she wanted me to name it after both of us, she had never used a computer in her life, but she made the fatal error and said she would like that, she would live to regret the honor I was bestowing on her. Rusty n Edie's was conceived! I called the local BBS SYSOP and told him what I was going to do and he told me not to use the BBS software he was using, Opus, and he would help me get started, so I downloaded a shareware BBS program called TCOMM and proceeded to set it up. I called the local board the next day and found that I now had only 18 minutes a day and wasn't allowed to download, I also found no mention of my board going up, so much for help, it would seem Edie and I were on our own. I had a 20 meg hard drive installed for $500 and bought a 2400 baud modem for $400 and had a phone line installed.
Rusty n Edie's was born May 11, 1987. We made our biggest mistake that first day we adopted the motto "The Friendliest BBS in the World" and have regretted it every day since, more about that later. We printed up posters and passed them out to the computer stores and posted them in supermarkets. Our callers were greeted with our motto and our rules:
1. Have fun 2. End of rules
We had no time limit, no questionnaires, no ratios, and most of all no hassles. I was told if I did that the callers would do terrible things to our system, they never did. We had about 50 files available for the callers to download (we have over 60,000, now). We decided we would make ourselves available, we posted our voice phone number and address and answered when we were paged. We turned up the sound so we could hear when someone called, we got 6 calls that day and watched everyone of them, we were thrilled. I'll never forget the first time anyone ever called us long distance, I was amazed anyone would call and pay for the time on line. We averaged 10 calls a day (we get over 3,000 calls a day now) till December 1987 when we switched to PCBoard, the most flexible and wonderful BBS software ever made. Things started happening then, our tiny system couldn't handle the calls so we bought a 386 and multitasked with Desqview and open a second line. For some reason, even though we have never demanded Uploads, we have always gotten a bunch (we get about 20 megs of uploads a day now), it would seem our callers wanted to help and uploaded a large number of files daily, we outgrew the 20 meg hard drive and installed a 160 meg hard drive, by our first anniversary we were jammed with callers and files. Edie and I both agreed it was getting out of hand by June 1988 we were so busy, callers could not get on no matter how long they waited, we started getting real hateful phone calls, demanding we let them on line. Edie and I decided we couldn't afford to go on and we would post a bulletin, on July 4, 1988, asking for donations, we figured we wouldn't get any and would simply close. Much to our surprise the money poured in and we turned the money into new nodes, as fast we could.
In economics we are told that their is economy in size, we have found that not to be true with BBSs, the larger we get the more the problems of size are exposed. Heat, static electricity, and speed are the main ones, our house is heated by the BBS and even then we have to open the windows in the dead of the Ohio winter to keep the heat under control, in the Summer it is much easier to keep cool, we simply installed a four ton air conditioning unit to cool our basement (this unit normally cools a 4,000 sq. ft. house, but works hard to keep the basement cool). We have our BBS in a basement, we moved from our apartment when the spare bedroom we were running the BBS out of, got so full we couldn't get in the place, it was so hot no human being could stand it, Baby our cat loved it. It must have been 120 degrees in that room. Baby's, favorite pastime then and now is running across the keyboards blowing callers away and sleeping on the computers, frying his brains on the monitors. we bought the basement with a house on top of it for it's space and beauty. We have 2 huge humidifiers running day and night trying to keep some moisture in the air, we can't do it well and still have down time caused from thunderbolts suddenly erupting out of our bodies paralyzing one of our nodes or servers. OK, now for the killer, keeping up the speed. Our setup is as follows:
We have, 5 386 33mhz servers with 32 megs of memory each, they each have a caching controller, we need that memory to cache the 14, 780 meg SCSI drives and 2, 386 meg ESDI drives, the 16 drives format to something over 10 gigabytes. We have 99 16 mhz 286s, one for each node, in addition we have 4, 20 MHZ 386s, 1, 16 MHZ 386 (our original server, our original Tandy XT type machine died about a year ago.), and 5, 12 MHZ 286s, these last 10 machines are so we can work on the system without taking it down. We have 16, Anchor 2400 baud modems, 23, 14.4k v42bis US Robotics HSTs and 17 US Robotic's Dual Standards 14.4k V32, V32bis V42bis, 16 CompuCom 9600 baud Speedmodems, 3 Hayes V-Series V42bis modem, and 16 direct connect CONNECT-USA lines. We have all of this networked together with five copies of the wonderful Novell Netware 386, it works great. We have the whole thing hooked up to huge batteries that supply 10 KV of uninteruptible power.
Even with all this the system started to slow a bit, so we installed 99, 20 meg hard drives, one in each node, with them we were able to take a lot of the work off the network and can now honestly say, we are very quick, almost like a one node system.
We now have 2 of our sons and our daughter. Edie and I and of course our wondrous assistant SYSOP and friend Carl all working full time (and then some) on the system. We have worked very hard to keep our original intent stated in our motto, "We are the Friendliest BBS in the World". that motto has almost killed Edie and I, we still post our voice phone number and our address, we still answer pages, even so, no matter what we do, we hear the deadly "I thought you were friendly". Poor Edie, from the beginning every time I wanted her to help, I would nail her with "You wanted it named after you, you have to help." It works great, all you SYSOPs out there, if you want your wife to help you, name it after her.
OK everybody, what can you expect when you call Rusty n Edie's BBS. A different kind of BBS, "We are the Friendliest BBS in the World" Our name says it all. Edie and I are a couple of burn outs from the 60's (Edie's 46 and I'm 53). We didn't like rules then and we don't now. Come on in and relax you will be among friends.
We have a huge adult section, including over three gigabytes of adult graphics, as well as a fine selection of public domain and shareware programs, including over a gigabyte of family type graphics. But that's not what sets us apart. When you call the first time you'll know what no amount of words can tell you, you are home. that's right put up your feet and enjoy yourself, we have 15 on line interactive games and one of the most active chat and message sections in the world.
With Edie's help we have made Rusty n Edie's a place for the whole family, including the ladies. Yes a large portion of our callers are from the fairer sex, they too can feel at home at Rusty n Edie's.
We live by the three no's: No Censorship No Rules No Hassle
You will find us like no other BBS: We answer your messages and comments We answer your on line pages We post our address We post our voice phone number
That's it folks, that's why we call Rusty n Edie's BBS
"the Friendliest BBS in the World"
Russell & Edwina Hardenburgh 1480 Fredricksburg Drive Youngstown, OH 44512
Our Phone Numbers are: Voice: 216 758-8342 Fax: 216 726-3595 2400 baud 216 726-2620 HST: 216 726-3589 V32: 216 726-1247 Compucom: 216 726-3620 Hayes V-Series: 216 726-3619 Starlink Node: #4909 Connect-USA: RNEBBS