Also, in the early days every one used an Alias online - and only the Sysop knew the real names behind the pseudonyms. Aliases that I have used in the BBS world are:
- Merlin - Very original, eh?
- Lord Corwin - I liked Roger Zelazny's Amber series.
- (my real name) - Hey no one was using real names, right?
- (my real name backwards) - Yes it's pronounceable and does sound strangely Slavic.
- Gheti Bait - Pronounced "Fish Bait"...isn't English fun?
- Minor Deity - Rather short lived...
- The Midnight Cavalier - Abbreviated to TMC, TM.Cavalier - origin of this name to be future BLOG fodder.
- My own computer - mom & dad wouldn't let me take over the "family" computer for this.
- My own phone line - easily achieved after my dad spent 2 hours trying to call the house only to get a busy signal (courtesy of Interplay...)
- BBS Software (cheap, configurable)
Next, BBS computer software: My problem? My computer had 1 floppy drive. I had to find software that would fit on to 1 floppy disk WITH the operating system and any other support programs I need. Remember, this was before the advent of the "Hard Drive" in a personal computer, so for a floppy disk to be bootable, it had to have an operating system on it.
So I searched and finally downloaded the BBS software Colossus. It was relatively easily to set up. Colossus was a "shareware" program if I recall correctly...what that meant was the program was fully functional, but you were encouraged to pay for it if you really liked it. The registration for Colossus was about $50, so I decided to hold off (hey I just dropped a grand for the computer, I was broke!) and continued to use the program for free. I already had the name picked out, "Sanctuary BBS" from the book series Thieves' World by Robert Asprin. I was now ready to start my own BBS.
Now, all I needed was callers...
(full disclosure: there is actually no parrot content in this post)