Blast from my past

Wow, I recently stumbled across a web site that documents, to a relatively great extent, something I worked on back in the 90s. (Yeah, when I was still in high school.)  First, some background:

With a couple other guys that also lived in the Lehigh Valley, I helped write a DOS-based BBS (Bulletin Board System) software called Illusion BBS. We abbreviated it iBBS, so we were doing the whole lower-case “i” thing before Apple made it cool.

BBSes are commonly referred to as a precursor to the World Wide Web.  It’s pretty much a system that someone (the system operator, or sysop) sets up where you can dial in using your modem. BBSes have ways to upload and download files, have e-mail, message boards, chat rooms (if the BBS has multiple phone lines), multi-player games, polls, etc.  All of those features are still common on the WWW today.

The site I stumbled across is about a full documentary on BBSes. And they have a page all about the history of Illusion!  They got most of the details right. /software/IBM/DOS/ILLUSION/

They even have an archive of some of our releases as well as the source code that we released in 1998.

It’s pretty impressive software, and we were only high schoolers when we coded it all.

A few more screenshots: