Through eight episodes, director Jason Scott covers the 25 year history of the Dial-Up Bulletin Board System, a modem-connected computer system that let others connect to a computer over a ...
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Through eight episodes, director Jason Scott covers the 25 year history of the Dial-Up Bulletin Board System, a modem-connected computer system that let others connect to a computer over a phone line and leave messages and trade files. Containing 200 interviews, episodes mostly consist of elaborate montages of dozens of people composing a narrative.
BAUD is an introduction to the start of the BBS. SYSOPS AND USERS is a montage of stories and thoughts on running BBSes. FIDONET covers the amateur network of computers called Fidonet. MAKE IT PAY covers the BBS Industry. ARTSCENE covers the ANSI art scene of the 1990s. HPAC covers Hacking and Phreaking BBSes. COMPRESSION discusses the ARC-ZIP battle of 1988. NO CARRIER discusses the "end" of the dial-up BBS.
If you believe The Internet is the beginning and end of data communication - you're wrong.
I chanced upon this documentary very early in 2005, and thankfully Jason was taking pre-orders. I had barely read a few words of the description before I knew "I want this!! I have to have this!" - I was not really an old-school BBS user, my entrance was around the mid-90's and more of a witness to this communication phenomenon. For the first few months I admit I was something of a leecher but eventually came around to the rules of the game.
Phone line cut off and revived twice, massive debt to British Telecom paid off , I continued to log into to numerous boards, even calling international to try and find some specific doors for my own BBS. Eventually I fell into decent work, which not only paid me a healthy wage but killed some of the time I usually used to be online - an addiction finally under some control.
This box-set represents some of the finest points of the BBS scene - the interviews flow so smoothly as if everyone was bred to be in front of a camera, you feel like you're being talked too, not talked at. Ten minutes into first DVD you simply believe this is some high-level company production, the sheer technical achievement is astonishing - from the layout, to the transition effects, subtitles, addition of music, blending it all together - incredible, it's hard to believe that one man pieced all this information together. Granted, everyone involved deserves credit - and rightly so takes bold-text status on screen. You will appreciate every one of them...for their existence in your life.
If anyone has chanced upon this IMDb entry and believes a BBS is nothing more than a forum on a web-host, I urge you to study more of this subject, you will be pleasantly surprised.
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