Back to the BBS – The return to being ‘online’

This is part one

Ever wondered what happened ‘online’ before the Internet? Yes! There was something before the ‘net. The crazy thing is, that it’s still going today. They’re called Bulletin Board Systems (BBS’s). They are great fun, they have an awesome community of really fun people (as you’ll see in this video), they have games, cool add-on apps called ‘mods’, message forums (kinda like Facebook groups or usenet), and what’s more, it’s private (in most cases). Completely away from the prying eyes of Google and Facebook, it’s a world that is coming right back to life, and could become even more relevant in this age of online censorship and (mis)use of our information so that Facebook et al. can make money from us.

Think of the best bits of E-mail, usenet, Reddit, Facebook Groups, filesharing and a few more besides. Package it all in one area, with a really cool retro aesthetic and you have a BBS. People run BBS’s today because they are passionate about engaging in a community of people with similar ideals, something they won’t get anywhere else.

Join me in part one of the documentary. Part two is just around the door. I’ve put many months of work into this documentary, with dozens of interviews. Across the series I cover the following topics:


    • What is a BBS?
    • Why are BBS’s fun? (interviews)
    • History
    • Connect via the Internet
    • ANSI graphics/text
    • How to use a BBS
    • Dave Cloutier / BBS Demo
    • Subi (15 yr old BBS user)
    • Dave Perussell (future of BBS’s)
    • Daniel Kelly (aBSINTHe BBS demo)

The following parts of the series cover:

  • MODS

The Top 10 PC games in summary (1981-1991)

Hi all,

Due to popular demand, I was asked if I could keep the ‘Top 10’ DOS Games series going. The idea was to do the top 10 games of the first decade of the PC (’81-’91). I finished them off a few weeks ago. I’m pressing the pause button on any more for now to concentrate on other videos, however I thought it would be nice to make a summary video. So for your viewing pleasure, here’s an overview of the best games from that first decade. It also diarises how the PC platform grew up over the years, which was really interesting to see it begin to become the dominant force from shaky beginnings.

Check it out!

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’81 Part 11: (1991)

It’s the last in this 10-part series documenting the best in the top ten games of the first decade of the PC’s Games. We end here on 1991. Some absolute bangers of games here, made it far too difficult to do a top 10 (or even a top 20 tbh), so you may see that I have been ‘creative’ with some of the allocation of games to a position 😉

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’91 Part 10 (1990)

Watch with me as I review them all and tell you why they are awesome! 1990 was a year of two halves to me. 256 Colour VGA was in, EGA, CGA and MDA felt like a thing of the past, almost overnight. FM Synth in Adlib was the norm and slicker gameplay, with the introduction of many 3D games was welcoming in the new decade. Games like Monkey Island and Golden Axe set this year apart though!

An interview with Ken Williams: Sierra Co-Founder

Alistair Ross interviews Ken Williams of Sierra

I met with Ken Williams for a fascinating chat about all things Sierra: From where it all began, with Ken finding a copy of a text adventure on a mainframe and Roberta being obsessed by it. To how the company was nearly bankrupt and was rescued by IBM and Tandy.

Ken talks about one of his proudest products, The Sierra Network, as well as his relationships with Al Lowe and ‘The two guys from Andromeda’ (Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe).

Ken releases a new book next month entitled ‘Not all fairy tales have happy endings’, which talks about all things Sierra, including how it really worked on the inside. The book is available next month. Check out his website: to register your interest in obtaining a copy.

Don’t forget to LIKE this video and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel! Press that NOTIFICATION ? bell so you get to know when new great videos come out that you’ll like! I really do appreciate your subscriptions, it makes the countless hours I spend on this channel feel so worthwhile! If you really like my stuff and fancy spotting me a cup of coffee, don’t forget to check out my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages:

Star Micronics Colour Dot Matrix Printer Unboxing (dot matrix printing)

I picked up this 1989 Star Micronics NX-1000 dot matrix printer from a recent computer warehouse haul in Auckland. There’s a good chance it hasn’t seen much use in 25-ish years, but I was surprised to see that it came in its original box. During the unboxing you’ll see that its manuals and cables all present and correct, so I had hopes that this epson compatible printer might work.This lovely little printer was one I was familiar with from primary school back in the day of the BBC micro, and it was a very nice machine back in its day.

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’91 Part 9 (1989)

Whether it was because there was more money being ploughed into the games industry by 1989, the advancements in tech, or the fact that the PC was taking over from its contemporary competitors, the depth to the games in this year were much more than the shoot-em-ups, platformers and little adventure games of ’81-’88. Games in this year include Death Trak Quest For Glory Indianapolis 500 Leisure Suit Larry 3, Pipedream, Prince of Persia, Simcity and more! I hope you enjoy my videos! If you want to help keeping me going, please subscribe to my channel, and if you feel that my content is good, I’d really appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee or something on Patreon ( or ko-fi (

10MHz V20 XT vs. a 6 MHz 286?

Here’s another quicky video! Call me dumb but I had no idea whether an XT-clone PC XT rated at 10MHz NEC V20 CPU with an 8087 co-processor, or an XT machine with a 6MHz Intel 80286 CPU and an 80287 co-processor would be faster. Surely logic would say that because 10 is bigger than 6, that’s better? Surely an 80287 would be better than an 8087? Right??? Well, the results may surprise you. Of course, the results are all 100% scientific. Legit scienciefied. The final benchmark which concludes everything is the old ‘Which one loads up Leisure Suit Larry 3’ test. Y’all know that one, right? 😉

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’91 Part 8 (1988)

I reviewed approximately 82 games for this year. The vast majority were worthy of keeping in the ‘play that again’ pile. It made for an almost impossible task of selecting just 10 #games that I’d consider the cream of the crop, so don’t hurt me too much if you don’t agree with the list! I hope you enjoy my videos! If you want to help keeping me going, please subscribe to my channel, and if you feel that my content is good, I’d really appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee or something on Patreon (