• The Life Of Sysops

    From Daryl Stout@1:19/33 to All on Saturday, July 04, 2015 11:54:41
    As requested, the next several messages are from a bulletin I have
    on The Thunderbolt BBS...You Want To Be A Sysop??

    The bulletin...which contains 5 threads in one...are all written by
    former BBS users or Sysops. While the amount of dial-up and telnet BBS's
    are much less today than they were in the 1980s to mid 1990s, these
    stories still apply. Thanks to the following for the information in this bulletin:

    1) Definition of a Twit -- Grant Bierman

    2) You Want To Be A Sysop?? -- Tom Ezell

    3) The Thankless Job -- Kris Lewis

    4) Caring For Pet Sysops -- Fred Hunt

    5) The Sysop Of A BBS -- Daryl Stout

    On a personal note, the bulletin may be cute in parts; but sadly,
    in reality, much of it was, and still is true. Many Sysops provide a
    FREE SERVICE out of the goodness of their hearts for people to call
    via dial-up; or logon via telnet or FTelnet with a web browser...and
    then benefit from, with their BBS's (Bulletin Board Systems)...and this
    applies to whether the BBS is dial-up, telnet, web, or a combination of

    We pay for it out of our time, our equipment, and our bank accounts;
    yes, it does take money to run a BBS, as you'll see in this bulletin.
    Those who feel that a BBS is totally free of any charges...to set up,
    run, and use...need to read this bulletin the most. This is NOT like
    Manna dropped from Heaven...although some may, or would prefer to think
    that it is.

    All we ask is that folks don't abuse our systems, contribute to
    making it better in some way, whether it's financial, or just BBS
    input, such as uploading files that are not damaging or inappropriate, participating in the message bases, or taking time to observe all of
    the efforts the Sysops have put into their board; something that the
    Sysops, and the users can be proud of.

    It's the small minority of "twits" who spoil the fun for all the
    users who play by the rules. These twits get their immature jollies
    by abusing BBS's with uploading viruses, refusing to provide requested
    user data, trying to crash the BBS, violating the simple rules laid down
    by the Sysops; causing the total amount of BBS's around the country to go
    up and down more than elevators...sadly, more down than up.

    Sadly, dial-up BBS's and telnet BBS's are only a fraction of what they
    once were in number, these twits can anger a Sysop to the point that they
    take their BBS offline...and as you'll see in this bulletin...sometimes permanently.

    We run our BBS's because we ENJOY them. At times, we jokingly refer
    to them as "our spouse", as we spend so much time with them...but the
    BBS's are our HOBBY (or at least, we like to think of them as such),
    and we ENJOY interacting with our users. We're always trying to make
    our BBS's better...fixing problems, adding new features, upgrading
    users, etc.

    If you are having trouble using a BBS, or see a problem with the
    use or operation of the BBS, please leave a M)essage, C)omment, or
    Email Feedback to the Sysop. Don't spread bad things about a BBS that
    you're having trouble with, or may not like the setup of said BBS. If
    you don't like a particular BBS, there's usually another one more to
    your liking.

    Remember, we can't fix the problems if we don't know about them; as
    Sysops are human, not Divine...we don't read minds, and we don't perform miracles. We have frailities and failings, and appreciate it greatly
    when errors or glitches...as unimportant as they might seem...are brought
    to our attention.

    When we logon to other BBS's, we consider ourselves a regular user,
    even if we could be considered a Visiting Sysop. When we're on their
    board, we're a Guest In Their House, and act accordingly. We expect the
    same when users call our BBS...in effect, Visiting Our House.

    I've seen it from both sides, and whether I was running The World's
    Smallest BBS on a Radio Shack 32K Model 100 laptop portable computer, to
    The Thunderbolt BBS to what it is today, and what it will be in the future,
    a Sysop's life at times can be more gall than glory...making one wonder if
    it's all worth it, and whether or not the BBS should just die quietly. It doesn't even matter what BBS Software is being run...each BBS package
    serves that particular Sysop well.

    Thanks again to Grant Bierman, Tom Ezell, Kris Lewis, Fred Hunt, and
    to the many other Sysops for the input in this bulletin. Please read
    this, and you'll get an idea of what it's like on THIS side of the modem/telnet/web browser connection.

    Daryl Stout, WX1DER, Sysop
    The Thunderbolt BBS
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    Posted by VPost v1.7.081019

    --- Virtual Advanced Ver 2 for DOS
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS (1:19/33)