Today marks the 17th birthday of Slumberland BBS, the bulletin board system I started in 1991.
Slumberland is a Citadel board; that is, it runs one of the many kinds of Citadel BBS software. There was a time when the Seattle area had tons of Citadels. Mine is probably the last one standing. Up until only a few years ago, you could still dial in to it, using a modem and a voice line, but now it’s telnet only (if necessary, though, you can get there from a java applet on a web page.
When the BBS went up in March 1991, it was running MacCitadel software on a MacPlus. MacCitadel was OK, but it had some quirks (the kind of quirks that could eat your whole message base), and it could not network with the other Seattle Citadels. Which was important at the time, since most of us had no Internet access, so we used Citadel networking to send our messages across long distances. (As far as Texas and New York, which was pretty impressive at the time.) So I picked up a used 286 from my employer and started running TwitCit in July 1991. Later I switched to GremCit and eventually Citadel+, which is what the board runs today.
Slumberland, like most Cits, is a “message board”; it didn’t exist for games or file downloads, but for conversation. (Though we did have the odd file here and there.) We still post messages in the various “message rooms” (topic areas), and the software now also has live chat support, so many of us just hang out at Slumberland all day long, chatting when we can.
I wonder what I would have thought if, in March 1991, someone told me that Slumberland would be up and running 17 years later, and it would be the last survivor of the old Seattle Citadel network.