Ancient BBS History

I ran across this in my interweb travels a while back and again today. It kinda burns me up how BBS history has been distorted by persons relatively unknown to moi.

The Unofficial and Unauthorized Edmonton UFie GT thread Well here it is by popular demand the social function of the season By popular vote the GT will be held on March 31 At the Boston Pizza on Whyte Ave.
I propose that we meet there between 19:00 and 19:30 (7-7:30pm) local time.
Traditionaly* attendees wear Floppie disks, to identify themselves to each other. I would like to hear if we should continue this tradition or do we have suggestions for other tags.(eg. network cards, CPU chips etc) Let’s hear from folks on what they would like. Also if people intending to show up could E-mail me before next Monday (March 28) 15:00h Ufie time (16:00/4pm local) so that I can reserve a table or tables for us. The gathering will be IRL so leave your modems at home. Digital cameras, laptops with webcams and cellphone cameras are all welcome.


*Historic note: the first recorded occurance of wearing Flopppies dates back to Nuke The Whales BBS Gt in 1985 held at Albert’s Pancake in Calgary. In Attendance were;

Sysop – Ed The Plankton
Aide – Zarquil Zonar
Aide – Zaphod B
Aide – Barroness
Aide – Ambushbug (Amby)
User – Starlight
User – Melvin C. Thudpucker
User – Fantasy
User – Rabbit

Now, I don’t know WTF “Hieraco” is, but he has quite a number of things wrong. Most obvious being that none of the Calgary Citadel BBS GTs involved wearing of floppy disks as a means of identifying each other at the venue of choice.

He did get one of the BBS names correct. Ed the Plankton did in fact run a Citadel called “Nuke The Whales”. The timeline is a bit off though. I would say that NTW’s era was more around 1989-1992. 1985 is definitely way too early.

As for myself, I ran “Arkham Asylum” under the alias of “Ambush Bug”. The BBS ran entirely from ram on my Amiga A1000, with the permanent message store on an external 400KB 5.25″ floppy drive. The only time the floppy was accessed was during boot up and when new messages were posted or arrived via the shared rooms feature (far superior to FidoNet’s “echo” technology).

The BBS was running Citadel-68K (v2.14) at 2400 baud (CA 403 277 4117) and linked to Chaos II (Edmonton), Test System (USA), and local Citadels : Poopsie (Channel 23), Nuke The Whales, and another local one I can’t recall the name of which was run by Xepol the Lost Wanderer.

Meeting at a pancake place? Hmmm. That probably would have been Phil’s, although a larger number of the Get-Together (aka GT) events were at Victoria’s on 17th Ave, where I distinctly remember Doc Atomic in his trademark white lab smock playing vinyl lp’s on his battery operated (heavily modified) portable turntable.

ralph-and-doc.jpg “The Happy Hiker” and Doc Atomic

Digging a bit further findsHieraco’s Blog. Wait a goldurnedsecondthere. Elliot??!? Was this your alias way back when? Why don’t I remember it? Dang. My memory really is going then.

Last time I heard anything about you, you were being posted to a permanently-docked-ship over in Halifax or something like that. Appears now you have recently relocated to Sweden?

Ramble: off

Time to post.

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10 Responses to Ancient BBS History

  1. Shuffledog says:

    Seems like I wasn’t even there… Probably wasn’t. You folks were too cool for me.



  2. trever says:

    I dunno Zab-drain. Were you on the citadel scene? My memory certainly is foggy and swiss cheesy-poof like at times.

    I do have some dim recollection that puts you at the same space time coordinates as pyroto mountain, the wire, caprious, etc . . .

    I see by stalking your blog that you’re doing the reconnect thing too. (waves) hiya!

  3. Zarquil says:

    Zab-man hated the Citadels.

    And by hated, I mean HATED.

    But we love him anyways.

    I fired a PM off to Elliott, haven’t got around to tracking it down yet. I’ll go take a peek to see if he’s been noticed in case he’s also been feeling the love, tonight.

    Oh, and Elliott was Starlight back then. And something else soon after, not that I ever cared because he’s always been Elliott or Starlight to me.

    Or something.

    Zarquil Zonar
    Coolest blogger on the face of.. Err.. coolest blogger at

  4. trever says:

    Funny you should come up with his past alias. I did recall, on my own, in the shower this am. Yes, Starlight.

    Anyhoo…. Zabondrian! Shall we start up an old school bbs that you telnet (nee, ssh) into and wind back time like it’s 1989 again? Tempting.

  5. I’m almost famous. Maybe I should go back into hiding until the heat dies down. A few correction/points;

    1) Yes, my years are off. At my age the years seem to run together 1989/90 for the Nuke the Whales GT is closer to the correct year.

    2) The GT was held at Phil’s on 16th Ave North (The Trans Canada)

    3) Floppy disks were worn by many, except for one sarcastic bastige that showed up wearing an Amiga external Floppy Drive (Amby? Zarq? I’m sure it was one of you two).

    4) Yes, I was starlight on the BBS’s back then, when I set up Entropy in 1991, I use the sysop name of J.R. `Bob’ Dobbs. Some time around 1993 I started using Hieraco.

    5) Entropy BBS networked with TWWOL, Mars Hill, Nuke The whales, and some local Nova Scotia boards and acted as the Nova Scotia hub from around 1991 to 1996. it was moved to Edmonton in summer of 96, until I went to Bosnia in 1997

    6) I have traded my Rum and J-J-J-Jolt for Single Malt Scotch neat.

    7) I tried to track you guys down when I moved to Sweden, but I am weak in the Google. Good to hear from the old gang again.

    8) Zarq drove an old mustang(?) with a 6″ plastic cow mounted on the hood and primer spots. I have not forgotten the “Moo-mobile”

  6. Mad Logger says:

    Hi All:

    I’m an old pal of Doc Atomics, lost touch with him after his sojurn to the Phillipines, anybody out there chatting at him, could you please have him drop me a line…thanks, The Mad Logger

  7. trever says:

    I think I found Doc Atomic on Reddit. Signed up, left him a note there. Haven’t heard anything yet.

  8. Mad Logger says:

    Thanks Trev…M

  9. Trever says:

    Accidentally deleted this reply due to the high volume of spam comments my blog gets. Didn’t see that this one made it thru to actually emailing me for approval…

    Author : Black Dragon

    Well I’ll be… A good chunk of my youthful BBSing, all wrapped up in one tidy comment thread.

    Citadels, Amby, Zarq, Zab… All I need is a Twilight Phone or Nymphstar reference to make the story complete.

    I still have a fuzzy memory of a GT at Amby’s place. Jolt. Sam Fox. Silliness.

    Who else was there, I wonder? Zarq was. System Bug maybe? The rest are lost to the mists of memory.


    or occasionally,

    -justcallme Sir

  10. xepol says:

    Wow, it is amazing where a random google query can get you.

    My board was Don’t Panic BBS and it was up and down over the years from like… 85 through 90 or so… About as stable and reliable as I was back then (which Trever can tell you was not very….) I’m surprised to see Fantasy and Rabbit made the historical user list, but I didn’t!

    Damn, a Doc Atomic call back. Haven’t heard from the old clan of crazies in many years now.

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