"I ran a WWIV BBS in the 90s, but as soon as I learned how to compile Slirp to emulate a PPP connection on my shell account, it was all Internet. I still remember when AOL got their TCP/IP stack and ruined irc. Ah, memories. "
Why does that sound familiar? I ran a Wildcat BBS, and I can't remember the name of the software, but I had to run a program that would allow me to run two instances of the BBS so I could have two lines available for callers. It actually put two DOS windows on screen. I think it was a Novell program. Anyway, my BBS was called Friendz. I specialized in online games like Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD), TradeWars 2002, ZWords, Wheel of Fortune, and others. Then I got Internet, and was able to offer Usenet and email. That got some attention and I found myself giving lectures on how to set up a BBS with Internet. I also was hired by a local businessman to teach him how to do it so he could set up Internet based systems for his clients.
I was not able to make the transition to the Web as I was really invested in Wildcat. Loved that software. A friend of mine also ran a BBS and once the web was established he started one of the first "web malls" where he would set up a "store front" for a fee. I don't know how well he did at that over the long run, but for a while he was doing really well. Tried to show me how to do it, but again, Wildcat was where my head was.
The company I worked for found out I could create web pages, so they had me set up the first web page for the West Coast Region of their national chain. When I look back on it, I recall it was pretty clunky and poorly designed. I have very little artistic talent, and it showed. But I was quite proud that I was able to do it at all and the company was happy with it. They even gave me an award and told all the Western Region employees that the web was the future and I was helping them lead the way! Tell me that didn't go to my head. Sorry, but it did.
Anyway, I could go on and on. Actually, I already did. LOL! Those were "the good old days!" 1990 through 1998. Funny enough it started with a car accident. Someone rear-ended me on the freeway and the insurance awarded me $5k. I used that money to buy new equipment and setup Friendz BBS. Kind of a lucky break, although when the accident happened it didn't seem like it.