1983: From the archives…

My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 in 1982. In 1983, I switched to a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer. Sometime in 1983, I wrote a bulletin board system (BBS) that could run from cassette tape. I previously discussed this old *ALL RAM* BBS when I converted it to run on an Arduino.

People who know me from the “CoCo Community” (CoCo = Color Computer) have heard this story before, and know that my BBS ran in Houston, Texas after I converted it to use disk drives. It was called Cyclop’s Castle, and the system operator (SysOp) was a guy named Graham who was, I believe, the cousin of another CoCo user I knew there, Trevor.

A few years ago, thanks to social networking, I was put back in touch with both of them, and went through the common process or reliving old memories and discussing things such as this old BBS. Until this week, though, Cyclop’s Castle was only a memory. While I may have a copy somewhere on an ancient floppy diskette, I had no idea where it would be in 1988 when I rediscovered my old *ALL RAM* BBS code and released it as shareware.

Earlier this week, while going through my storage room, I came across tons of old paperwork, including a sheet of paper with pencil notes for Cyclop’s Castle. It had the login messages, user level names and other things that were customized. I also found three printouts of some version of Cyclop’s Castle. The ink is faded, but I do hope it is readable enough for me to type it back in and recover this “lost” program.

It turns out, I did several upgrades to the system. In the original *ALL RAM*, only a user name, password, and access level was stores. For Cyclop’s Castle, it also took the caller’s phone number. There were a number of other small enhancements as well, which I should have rolled back in to the official *ALL RAM* when I posted it in 1988, but I had completely forgotten.

There may be more to tell about the tale of *ALL RAM* BBS. I’ll post more when I get time to go through more storage. Who knows what else I will find?

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