BBS inventor dies

Recently, it was reported that Randy Susi, the inventor of Internet BBS, died on December 10 at a hospital in Chicago at the age of 74.
At the end of January 1978, Sue joined an early home computer enthusiast club called the Chicago area computer enthusiast Exchange Association (CACHE). He and another club member, an IBM engineer named ward Christensen, have been discussing the idea of a new computer information exchange tool, but have no time to develop it seriously.
Then a snowstorm hit the Great Lakes, and Chicago was covered with thick snow.
With the city closed by snow, Christensen called sue and said they finally had enough time to build a new information exchange system. Christensen suggested they get help from the rest of the club, but, as he recalled in the interview, Sue told him it was a mistake because other people’s participation would only slow down the project.
“Forget about the club, it’s just a model of committee management,” Christensen recalled, adding that sue thought she was a self-taught computer technologist who was used to making quick decisions. “It’s just me and you. I’ll make hardware, you’ll make software. “
The idea is to build a central computer where club members can connect their own computers and telephone lines, which is equivalent to an electronic version of a cork bulletin board on the wall of a grocery store where anyone can post paper flyers.
Two weeks later, their BBS system came into operation and the club began to exchange information about meetings, new ideas and new projects. Christensen said. “The forum is all about computers.”
At first, Susi suggested that they call it “computer elite exchange project”, but they finally chose “computer bulletin board system”, or “CBBs”.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, with their BBS system spreading through business magazines and word-of-mouth, fans all over the country set up their own online forums to provide rich content from real-time chat rooms to video games. These early services are pioneers in global social media services such as twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
“Everything we communicate with others online can be traced back to Randy and his bulletin board,” said Jason Scott, a computer history archivist who produced a documentary about the birth of online forums. “The only difference is that now everything has become smoother and simpler.”
Randy John SUSE was born on January 27, 1945 in Skokie, Illinois, about 20 kilometers north of downtown Chicago. His father, Milland, was a police officer in Lincoln wood nearby, and his mother was a nurse.
After two years in the Navy and graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Sue held a variety of technical positions in the city, including at IBM and zenith.
Like Christensen, he joined the new Chicago Area Association of computer enthusiasts in the summer of 1975. This is one of many “do it yourself” computer clubs springing up in the United States.
SUSE and Christensen developed their bulletin boards on a personal computer called the S-100. After adding a modem that can send and receive data over a phone line, Sue soldered together additional hardware that automatically rebooted the machine and then loaded the software developed by Christensen whenever someone dialed in.
“Randy was built almost from scratch,” Christensen said, adding that the device looked crude, as if it were a combination of gum and cables.
Christensen offered to run the system at his home in Dalton, Illinois. But Sue, who lives in wrigleyville, Chicago, insists on keeping it in his basement so that anyone in the city can dial up without paying for a long-distance call.
When they shut down the BBS system in the 1980s, its single phone line had connected more than 500000 phones.
Later, Sue has built a bigger BBS system, called “Chinet”, which connects to the Internet through satellite signals. At that time, the Internet was so small that other users could download the whole thing to his machine in one night. Others can browse the global data collection, including the new CBBs, through 22 phone lines plugged into a row of modems.
Some people called in from as far away as Australia and Singapore. Sue’s son Ryan remembers hearing the modem “whine” day and night, “and” in the end, it just turned white noise, “he said.
In addition to her son and daughter, Kelly, Sue has another daughter, Christine, and three grandchildren. His marriage to Agnes crook and dawn Hendrix ended in divorce.
40 years after its launch, a version of souse CBBs is still running on a computer, accessible to anyone from a laptop or smartphone. This month, the bulletin board announced the death of sue.