bbses

i really do enjoy the fact that the HBS games explore the shadowrun BBSes as places not only for Serious Decking but also Forum Drama Bullshit and One Poster With 10,000 Posts And Has Never Said Anything Helpful Ever and such and such

Origin Stories

Berkeley Breathed just announced that he is going to restart his comic strip, Bloom County.  I remember from my youth that “comic strips” were found in “newspapers” that people used to pay children to throw in the direction of their home on a daily basis (as I used to be one of the people doing the throwing).  These contained news from yesterday, a non searchable version of Craigslist, and a page or so of things like what is above.

So, why would this event inspire me to write the story of how I chose my name?

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vmgx16  asked:

Do you have any advice about starting comics? Like where to put them in the internet? Or anything you found it was super important to know in your time doing them?

I would put them on Tumblr.  

Like, when I first started making webcomics, it was 1997, and I put my comics on, like, Geocities.  And Tumblr is like that, except other people can share them more easily, which is probably good?  I am guessing.  Again, 1997!

And what is super important to know is that it took 7 years for me to be able to make the most meager possible living from it.  To get that far, you kind of have to be doing it because you want to be doing them.  So I recommend wanting to do comics.  

Honestly, perhaps some of my much younger peers would have better, more applicable information for today’s Internet-o-sphere.  I feel like a Webcomics Grandpa, raving about BBSes and Usenet. 

robinforestmusic  asked:

did you ever call Lucas Arts as a kid?

Nah, when I got stuck in games in pre-web days my dad would download and print out walkthroughs from BBSes at his work and bring them home for me. Printing stuff out and reading it later was the 90s version of looking something up on your phone.

Social workers found that Americans would sooner sell their refrigerators bathtubs, telephones, and beds, than part with the box that connected them to the world.
— 

Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, directed by Ken Bums

This quote going out for everyone who’s been told that if they’re poor they should give up their net connections, cell phones, or other so-called luxuries. This is a quote about radio use during the Great Depression. The reality is that even the poorest people in the world use some money on recreation because it’s an important part of what keeps people going. This is not the only problem with being told this B.S., of course, but it’s one of them. People don’t live on just food and water.

It’s hard for some people these days to imagine. But radio was once (and is still, in some places and for some people) the connection to the outside world that the internet is now. People who were lonely or bored now had broadcasts they could listen to from all over the place. People like my father, who grew up in the age of the radio and was shy and socially isolated a lot of the time but definitely what people today would call geeky or nerdy(1), turned to amateur radio to form connections with other people and places, the way many people turn to the internet today.

I can remember sitting in the big room downstairs with my dad, while he sent Morse code that I could hear all the way across the room despite his headphones and I went on BBSes with a modem. We were doing the same thing. Sometimes the Morse code interfered with my computer screen, such that if I’d known more code at that age I could’ve figured out what he was saying.

Anyway people have always made room for entertainment and social connections of all kinds, near and distance, in their lives, regardless of income. Don’t let anyone give you shit for spending money on an internet connection. It’s none of their business anyway.


(1) I think in his day those were just insults. But today of course they can range from insults to compliments. I’m using them in a purely descriptive way: Very heavily into some particular hobby or intellectual pursuit, but possibly socially awkward.

Personally I’m trying to take dorky into the noninsulting range that nerdy and geeky have climbed into, but not a lot of people are joining me yet. I see dorky as involving being decidedly uncool but not giving a crap – and unlike nerdy and geeky, dorky doesn’t require any skills except being yourself. I’m definitely nerdy and geeky but dorky is the one that fits me to a T. Dorky is spontaneously breaking out dancing in public because a decades-old song came on the loudspeaker at the store you’re in, and not caring whether anyone thinks you’re an idiot. But anyway…

I remember my dad being somewhat uncomfortable with nerdy and geeky the first time I described him that way. But once he understood the modern meaning, and had some time to get used to the idea, he was okay with me saying it. Understand he was born in 1941. Which is a big part of why ham radio was the thing for a nerdy kid growing up back then, like BBSes and internet became later.