The LampLighter Tech Help BBS

HISTORY OF THE SYSTEM  (1996 version)


The LampLighter Tech Help BBS started operation in 1982 and originally was just to help several local users stay in contact better and share files they were downloading from GEnie or Compuserve. It was also to help answer questions about computing that users had without calling the sysop by voice so often. The idea was that instead of having several people in the shop asking questions, people on the phone asking questions, and at least one knocking at the door, we could all share in questions and answers here with a bulletin board. If one of the users found a program or file of interest, he or she could upload it here for all to share (of course it was expected to be shareware or public domain software). Often we would all call long distance to GEnie or CompuServe and find some great program, spend hours downloading it long distance - then find the next day that others in the area had done the same. A bbs would help us share, answer questions, keep in a bit better sync on things and learn more. So began the little system and here are some details of how it progressed.


This system was first started part time in 1981, then went full time in February of 1982. In those days it was operated on a Commodore 64 with the total drive capacity of 170kb, and 64kb of ram, running the 1mhz clock speed that was the blazing fast Commodore 64. First modems were 300 baud and even small file downloads took some time. At that time the system was called "The Hobbs CBM BBS". Later we moved to 2 disk drives and had a whopping 340k of storage space and a fast 1200 baud modem.


As better hardware became available we moved to a Commodore 128 and then to an early IBM PC-XT clone system with a 360k floppy and 512k memory. Then improved to a better XT clone with the hot-rod NEC V20 processor (20% faster on some things than the 8088) and a huge 10mb hard drive. As we traded with other users and clients upgraded we came into a 286-10 then a 386-16sx and then a 386-25dx. Hard drives went up to 40mb and then 120mb. The system which had run then for 8 or 9 years had gone thru name changes becoming the MOJO BBS and then the LAMPLIGHTER, then finally the current name.


Processors moved more into speed with 386-40dlc and 386-40dx, then a 486/66dx2 and a 486/80dx2 on a DTK VLB motherboard. Currently the system is running a Cyrix 686-p166mx processor on a Elite PCI bus motherboard. System ram has gone from the 64k of the commodore to the 16 megabytes we run usually now. Its amazing to see the things that have progressed and yet sometimes the overall performance stands still as we add more functions.

Total drive space has moved from the little 170k floppy drive to the big drives of over 4.5 gigabyte today. Current drive space here is over 4.0 gig plus another 1.300mb on CD-rom drives. While the main BBS pc is networked to several others, we currently are not using the network for the bbs.

Modems have gone from the 300 baud modem used 14 years ago thru to the first 1200 baud units (nearly $300 at the time) on thru 2400, 14,400 to the current line one unit of 28,800 baud and line two with 33,600 baud. Both modems have v.34 capability. We routinely get fax messages and send faxes out with the modems these days. Along the way we have moved to a multi-node system to allow for more than one caller at a time and have joined worldwide FidoNet echo mail and Technet echo mail networks, and have internet email thru fidonet. We typically carry 30 or more message areas with over 3000 messages online at any given time. New mail of over 1000 messages a week is not unusual to see here these days.

As to future expansion, well it is safe to say you can count on it. Stay tuned for more as it happens and watch us grow!

This above text (now over 8 years old) was imported from the actual BBS text file area and shows a bit of the history of the BBS. 

Now with the internet growth causing far less use of a traditional dial in BBS  we are in the process of re-birth on the system. Currently running with several machines networked and over 400gb of drive space, 8 CD drives and a full time DSL connection, we expect to soon to be available on the net more - working towards full operation 24hours a day again soon. Stay tuned!