The BBS List project, which has a long and storied history for me and helped inspire what eventually came the BBS Documentary, has grown quite well over the years. From its initial slashdotting, it’s become incredibly popular, with additional listings added by the day. (Over 105,000 BBSes and counting).
Something had always driven me nuts, a side-effect of the timeframe of when I started the project. Next to each entry is the town the BBS was in. Problem is, the methodology for calculating this was always out of date, because of area code splits. Once an area code might be an entire state – but then it would become a city in the entire state. Minor, to some eyes. But I have literally received over a thousand e-mails saying “That wasn’t the town my BBS was in. You screwed up.”
I knew the only way to fix this would be to have a list of all the exchanges pre-areacode-split. Not exactly something you just stumble over.
Well, unless you’re Phil Lapsley, author of the soon-to-be-amazing book on the history of phone phreaking. Then you stumble all sorts of amazing stuff.
For example, a 1974 Distance Dialing Guide.
This was a book with lots of information on the Bell system of 1974, before pretty much all area codes split. (They actually split Illinois a year after area codes were first started in 1947 – oh, and if you’re into area codes, you have to check out LincMad’s area code site.)
In fact, this book will be an excellent litmus test – are you a phone phreak, or a closeted one? Just check out this guide, read it over, and if you enjoy it… well, now you know. Welcome to the club.
It’ll take me a little time to actually integrate this information. But happily, this document does it – it solves a major problem, the last big one with the BBS List.
I can’t wait to not get the town e-mails ever again.
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