Bulletin Board System

Posted by

Alec Billings


            The circuit of culture is the moments of production, representation, consumption, regulation, and identity. It focuses on how to study cultural texts or artifacts and how they relate to our way of life. We can learn about the users and systems involved by evaluating things such as the way its produced, what it represents, how it is consumed, what rules they follow, and the characteristics of who uses them. I focused on how bulletin board systems reveal the identity of the user. 

I choose The Cave BBS. The cave BBS was started in 1992 and ended in 1998. The identities of the BBS are a large range of gamers and college students. For a student to be able to download books and files before the 2000s was extremely helpful for those in need. People of the middle class were the hot commodity of the product being able to afford it because it wasn’t always free. At the height of The Cave, it had over 1000 users. It was a great place to run MS-DOS door games. This was a gaming system, a Message base, and a rather large file section, and included TradeWars2002, Legend of the Red Dragon, Operation Overkill, and Global wars to name a few. By the end, the BBS racked up over 10,000 calls, it was meant to be a fun fascinating experience.

            The Atlantic, the lost civilization of dial-up bulletin board systems, By Benji Edwards Nov 4, 2016, the article explains his experiences with his BBS days. Ten years after the cave went downhill in 1998, he goes back home to his old room at his parent’s house to find his computer still chugging along, Benji thought he turned it off, but it had been doing its thing this whole time. The BBS in theory could call BBSs anywhere but since they’d have to pay for long-distance, they tended to stay local. The BBS concept was a digital version of a push-pin bulletin board. To end the newsletter, he concludes with he had a mental model for these electronic connections was physical. All BBS displayed walls of text menus, options, and prompts.

            News & Record, Welcome to the virtual neighborhood, By Susan Ladd, Jan 20, 1995, In North Carolina Home of the Cave, she starts off saying we don’t know how many BBS is in this world, Howard Rheingold estimates the numbers at 60,000. Unlike the other article, Chris Knight claims the main thing people use it for is files, you can download entire books. Games are very popular too. Some bulletin boards are free while others charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per year. According to The Modem World “With the world wide web as the primary interface, the internet of 1994 lost its sense of being a multinetworked network of networks”.

The Cave BBS in North Carolina – Cultural History of the Internet

The log out screen

The Cave BBS

The Cave BBS home screen shows the message system, system features (file selection), and more





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