Jason Scott is putting the finishing touches on his BBS Documentary, covering the history of the BBS scene from 1978 to the present day, or at least when the web sort of took over from the BBS.
Released on 3 DVDs, with 200 interviews and taking 3 three years to produce, looks like Jason’s done an amazing job, especially getting hold of a lot of the original innovators like Ward Christensen.
Although I haven’t actually seen it myself, I’m sensing a big hole in the research with respect to the AppleII, and more specifically Australia, which had a huge BBS scene. However this is our problem, not Jason’s, as we never really found the time to answer his questions or document the local history for him. Seems a shame to do it after the documentary’s come out, but he’s pestered us enough over the past few years, or least I’m guessing that Andrew was as well.
The only mention I did get is for Eclipse (yes, we had the name first), a pretty cool project, but not much of a landmark release for Australia. In fact I don’t think anyone ever ran it locally, as by then the whole scene had pretty much collapsed. And to rub it in, Andrew gets top billing, which I guess is probably fair considering he basically took over the project once I’d gotten over it. Eclipse was a development platform, including plug in drivers and a Pascal/REXX hybrid language designed specifically for BBS use.
Anyway, if you have an interest in the 1980s BBS scene, take a look at Jason’s site, or even grab a copy of the documentary. And if you’re interested in hearing about the Australian history, then perhaps keep pestering me to find the time to write it all up. Although some of it is covered in my personal history of the Australian Apple II scene.