Feb 16 is the BBS’s 32nd birthday
On this day in 1978, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess launched the first-ever dial-up BBS, in Chicago. They got the idea while trapped inside during a blizzard, and published it in Byte magazine.
It was several decades before the hardware or the network caught up to Christensen and Suess’ imaginations, but all the basic seeds of today’s online communities were in place when the two launched the first bulletin board, dubbed CBBS for computerized bulletin board system. The two developers announced their creation to the world in the November 1978 issue of Byte magazine.
The article created a stir among hobbyists and hackers, and it wasn’t long before others begin building clones of CBBS. By the mid-1980s, BBSs supported an active community with no less than three magazines devoted to covering the latest in the proto-online world.