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history:museum:qwk [2020/10/29 17:48]
digital man created
history:museum:qwk [2020/10/30 07:12] (current)
Mortifis [OFFLINE MAIL - SLASHING PHONE BILLS WITH SPARKY HERRING'S QWK MAIL READERS]
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 Central to the woof and lore of the development of electronic bulletin boards is money - how to do more Central to the woof and lore of the development of electronic bulletin boards is money - how to do more
 communicating with less money. communicating with less money.
-Most of the developments in bulletin boards were not firsts. It wasn't that no one had done it before, it was more that no one had done it before that cheaply, and so for most of the world it wasn't doable. Running a time sharing service on a million dollars worth of hardware was not in and of itself an accomplishment. But only a handful of humans had the opportunity to do so. Doing even a distant approximation of the same thing on a $2000 personal computer was remarkable not thatit ​was technically superior or even similar. It is remarkable in that it can be done on a $2000 computer. And many of the early BBS systems were pieced together from discarded parts of$2000 computers that the sysop actually had more on the order of several hundred dollars total hard cash investment in - and a lot of work.+Most of the developments in bulletin boards were not firsts. It wasn't that no one had done it before, it was more that no one had done it before that cheaply, and so for most of the world it wasn't doable. Running a time sharing service on a million dollars worth of hardware was not in and of itself an accomplishment. But only a handful of humans had the opportunity to do so. Doing even a distant approximation of the same thing on a $2000 personal computer was remarkable not that it was technically superior or even similar. It is remarkable in that it can be done on a $2000 computer. And many of the early BBS systems were pieced together from discarded parts of $2000 computers that the sysop actually had more on the order of several hundred dollars total hard cash investment in - and a lot of work.
  
 And one of the fundamental costs ever under attack by the BBS community is telephone costs. FidoNet was born to some degree because Tom Jennings didn't like paying long distance telephone bills. The original concept was to pass mail in batches in the wee hours of the And one of the fundamental costs ever under attack by the BBS community is telephone costs. FidoNet was born to some degree because Tom Jennings didn't like paying long distance telephone bills. The original concept was to pass mail in batches in the wee hours of the
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 upload replies, callers can participate in hundreds of mess age conferences with the same dispatch as being on the board for hours. Actually, the offline mail readers have progressed at this point to where the caller has more tools, including spelling checkers, use of their own editor or word processor, and various storage, search, and printing options just not available on the BBS itself. In this way, a caller can do mail with BBSs anywhere in the country at a tiny fraction of the cost of being "​live"​ on the system. upload replies, callers can participate in hundreds of mess age conferences with the same dispatch as being on the board for hours. Actually, the offline mail readers have progressed at this point to where the caller has more tools, including spelling checkers, use of their own editor or word processor, and various storage, search, and printing options just not available on the BBS itself. In this way, a caller can do mail with BBSs anywhere in the country at a tiny fraction of the cost of being "​live"​ on the system.
  
-How did all of this get started? Mark Herring, dubbed "​Sparky"​ by a Radio Shack manager he was doing some consulting work for a number of years ago, developed the first offline mail reader widely used in the BBS community. A Memphis computer consultant, Herring was moderately active on bulletin board systems in 1987. Afriend ​of his, Dan Mascheck, relocated from Memphis to Wharton Texas - some 60 miles outside of Houston. Mascheck regularly called the bulletin boards in Memphis to stay in touch and complained about the long distance bills he was incurring in doing so.+How did all of this get started? Mark Herring, dubbed "​Sparky"​ by a Radio Shack manager he was doing some consulting work for a number of years ago, developed the first offline mail reader widely used in the BBS community. A Memphis computer consultant, Herring was moderately active on bulletin board systems in 1987. A friend ​of his, Dan Mascheck, relocated from Memphis to Wharton Texas - some 60 miles outside of Houston. Mascheck regularly called the bulletin boards in Memphis to stay in touch and complained about the long distance bills he was incurring in doing so.
  
 Herring had earlier done some work on a networking program for PCBoard BBS systems titled PCBEcho. So he told Mascheck he would see what he could workup for him. The result was a combination of a door program for PCBoard and a stand alone utility callers could use to dial in and fetch packets of mail from the door program. He titled it QMail. And it rather caught on. Herring had earlier done some work on a networking program for PCBoard BBS systems titled PCBEcho. So he told Mascheck he would see what he could workup for him. The result was a combination of a door program for PCBoard and a stand alone utility callers could use to dial in and fetch packets of mail from the door program. He titled it QMail. And it rather caught on.

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