ASCII by Jason Scott

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Goodbye to VK7AX BBS —

I have a number of scans running in RSS feeds to let me know about stuff related to my movies, projects, and people chit-chatting about me.  I also have a scan watching for the words “BBS” and “Bulletin” in them, which more often than not scoop up references to “Bulletin Board Systems”.  It does a pretty good job and the false positives aren’t that annoying. What it means, however, is I get to hear a lot of reminiscing and correlation of the BBS era to events and items of the present day.

Or I get announcements like this:

Closure of VK7AX packet BBS network

After approximately 35 years of operation, Tony VK7AX has decided to close the Packet Radio BBS known by the SSID of VK7AX-6.

This decision was not taken lightly, however the time has eventually come, according to Tony, to close the BBS.

Due to the decline of RF users in recent times to ZERO and increasing running costs, he has reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is not worth continuing to maintain a system purely to act as a Bulletin Forwarding machine only.

He takes the opportunity to thank the many sysops and friends (world wide) that have helped or contributed in one way or another over many years. Without the true Amateur Spirit and encouragement shown to him by many, he feels that he would not have continued maintaining and operating the BBS for as long as he has.

The BBS will be turned off on Saturday 30 October 2010.

This follows the closure of the Tnos packet Gateway machine VK7AX-8 which was decommissioned approximately 3 months ago for the same reasons.

Once again many thanks to everyone for their support and valued friendships.

Finally, for those still interested in packet, please support the only remaining BBS in VK7 – VK7HDM
( email: )

Tony VK7AX
(Past SYSOP VK7AX-6 and VK7AX-8)

The language used might require some explanation, even from followers of BBS history. Please excuse me if I utilize links instead of my own quaint linguistic approach; a lot of people have done really good work on explaining it.

But first, some pretty pictures. Let’s start with Tony VK7AX:

Tony VK7AX is in fact Tony Bedelph. He lives in Tasmania,  and he has been doing things with amateur radio and other signal transmissions for many, many years – longer than I’ve been alive, and I’m old.  If you browse his website for the amateur radio/television station he works on, you grab a hold of a lot of years of work. Slow-Scan images, links to syndicated shows, and information about his various projects he’s been involved in.

You can not do better for an introduction to everything about what Packet Radio and Packet Radio BBSes are than this excellent tutorial from Larry Kenney, WB9LOZ.

It is not clear to me how to reach Tony – I would love to archive the BBS he has shut down as of Saturday, to capture this long-running warhorse for all of time. Here’s hoping I figure it out.

The BBSes that are going down now will often be like this – fantastically old, filled with years of history, disappearing quietly.

I try not to get to sad about this.

Categorised as: computer history

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  1. Shadyman says:

    Sent you an email, Jason 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Unfortunately, Ham radio has been dying a slow death for the past twenty years, despite the dumbing down of the licensing requirements by the FCC. It is quite sad, and unfortunate.

    I’ve been licensed for 32 years now, and once upon a time it was one hell of a fun hobby. Ironically, one night in 1982 I overheard a conversation on one of our local 2M repeaters about “computer bulletin boards”. One ham was reading his list of Rhode Island BBS numbers (I think there were maybe four on his list) to another, and for some strange reason I wrote them down.

    This happened many months before I even owned a computer, but that list was the beginning of many fun years of BBSing for me.

    Ham radio was great like that, a hobby where you could have a crossover of different technologies: ham radio + PCs + switched packet network = packet radio, and then packet BBSs.

  3. Alex says:

    All things come to an end eventually, although it’s kind of nostalgic to see someone go when you grown up with them.
    Anyway, this is the natural way of things old BBS system is now replaced with the internet, high tech messaging storage facilities…

  4. btx says:

    Somewhere, an oldschool toothy radio zine lover / hacker / sheds a tear. Jason knows who I mean.