• The Thankless Job (1)

    From Daryl Stout@1:19/33 to All on Saturday, July 04, 2015 11:58:36

    The Thankless Job Courtesy Of: Kris Lewis
    ================= ========================

    The following is a portion of a bulletin captured on MicroSellar BBS.
    Please read it carefully, and react accordingly!

    These guys and gals (Sysops) are letting us use their computers,
    their time, and their money so we can possibly get some enjoyment out
    of it. Unfortunately, many users are abusing the privilege (and
    therefore, the SysOps...)! Don't be an abuser!

    If you have nothing to upload to the particular BBS you are on-line
    to at the moment doesn't already have, leave a note to the SysOp and
    thank him or her for the use of the system, look through the messages
    (maybe someone asked a question that YOU know the answer to!!), and
    most importantly, REMEMBER that there is a REAL PERSON at the other end
    of the line or internet connection.

    I, for one, enjoy, and appreciate this service (YES, I said "SERVICE!!")
    that these people are providing us for free, or next to nothing. The most
    I've been asked to pay for the use of a given board is $25. That says
    something for the people operating the BBS's: They are interested in
    people. Those that ask payment are usually running large boards that they
    cannot afford to pay for completely out of their own pockets. Don't get
    the idea that you and I, and the other users are "letting him freeload",
    as I saw in a bitter message from one user somewhere... WE are the
    "freeloaders" whether we pay for the service or not! Even those that
    charge are paying a sizable chunk of the operating costs out of their own
    pockets. We should all know this and appreciate it. Just a quick note
    (selecting "C"omment on most boards is a quick and painless way to do so)
    to the SysOp saying "Thanks!" is a lot more than they are getting from a
    lot of people.

    I am not a SysOp. I am just a user who sees a lot of this abuse,
    though I hadn't realized its extent till I saw this bulletin. Read it,
    please, and take note: Thank a SysOp. He (or She) is a real person and
    deserves to be treated as one... Thank You.

    Kris Lewis


    Whatever happened to the COMMUNICATIONS in telecommunications? Is
    this the result of the Computer Age, that people don't talk or even
    communicate with each other? Are we getting so totally in tune with
    our equipment that we're excluding PEOPLE? If so, then Orwell's
    predictions are tame in comparison with the reality.

    Who took the BULLETIN BOARD out of Bulletin Board System? The file
    transfer section and door areas on my board are shiny from daily use,
    but the bulletin section and message areas are obscured by cobwebs.
    The thought has crossed my mind more than once just to load up a host
    program, and let people grab whatever programs look interesting.

    "Do you have a logon code for this system (Y/N) ==> Y <=="
    "What is your account number? 775"
    "What is your logon code? PASSWORD"
    "Do you have a logon code for this system (Y/N) ==> Y <=="
    "What is your account number? 305"
    "What is your logon code? PASSWORD"

    et cetera, ad infinitum et ad nauseam.

    Hackers. Or so they'd like to believe. Vandals, pests, yes. Hackers??
    They should be so talented, devoted and lucky. Why do these computerized
    delinquents find such delight in trying to break into bulletin boards?
    Don't they realize that Sysops are ordinary people just like themselves
    trying to find a little enjoyment in their hobby? Why pick on me? I'm
    spending a lot of time and money trying to provide people a service for
    free, and they want to go and spoil it for everyone. Heck, if they want
    onto the system, all they have to do is apply for a logon. Why make life
    difficult for everyone? Leave me alone. Go pick on a big online ISP.

    Caller logs on. Leaves E-Mail to a friend. Lines only fill half the
    screen, so he's probably using a Commodore 64. Goes to file transfer
    section, and selects UltraTerm protocol. Chooses a file that indicates
    it's a TRS-80 program. BBS goes to send, he figures out that he's
    somewhere he doesn't want to be and drops carrier.

    Another caller logs on four times in a row, but keeps losing carrier
    before he can do anything. Probably freaking on a cheapie phone service.

    Another caller successfully downloads a file. Sit. Wait. Wait some
    more. System eventually times out and drops him.

    I'm not the most polite person in the world, and I'm certainly not
    one to stand on ceremony, but I am old enough to remember what manners
    were. They also went down the tubes with "communications" and "bulletin

    Whoops! Dropped carrier! So what? If it's a halfway decent system, it
    will reboot. Well, I'll just go to bed while downloading this long file,
    the system will eventually throw me off and reboot.

    Never mind that there's other people wanting to call into the board.
    Who cares that the Sysop climbs the walls when he sees someone drop
    carrier or time-out on the system? Lately, I've gotten into the habit of
    dropping carrier ON MY END for the worst offenders. One good hangup
    deserves another.

    Along with all the other goodies that have bitten the dust, there's
    good old APPRECIATION. As I mentioned before, my BBS has fielded over
    12,000 calls. Out of all of them, I have gotten maybe a dozen messages
    saying "Thanks for running your BBS." That's about one "Thank You"
    per THOUSAND calls!

    Unfortunately, it seems that people think they have all this data
    automatically coming to them. It's their right!

    Sorry to disillusion anyone, but that just ain't so. The master switch
    for this system is two feet away, and I'm not so decrepit that I can't
    hit it in a flash. Alternatively, I can ban anyone I wish from my system.
    Callers use this BBS at my forbearance only, and it's not a God-given
    right. It's a Sysop-given privilege! I sincerely feel that we should
    proclaim a "Sysop Appreciation Day." We certainly don't get any on a
    day-to-day basis!

    Don't get me wrong. There ARE joys and benefits in running a BBS;
    although sometimes in my nether moods, I'm hard pressed to enumerate
    them. But the fact is, there have been many occasions when I've rested
    my finger on the switch with the idea of going offline forever.

    Now, for the moral of the story. I'm only one Sysop among many, and
    I'm not trying to evoke sympathy for myself through this article. The
    point is that almost every Sysop around has these feelings to some
    extent or another. And further, most of these Sysops (especially the
    best and most devoted ones) are going to reach a saturation point, and
    wind up depriving the general public of their services. I foresee a
    day coming, and very soon at that, when the high quality BBS's will be
    all gone.

    So all this is really a plea for everyone to shape up their acts
    before it's too late. If nothing else, when you're on a bulletin board,
    leave a little message to the Sysop. "Thanks for the use of your system"
    or "Fine BBS you have here." Let them know that they are appreciated.
    When I see a message like that, I say to myself, "THAT's why I'm doing
    all this!" Sysops are real, live human beings with feelings and emotions.
    Let's start treating them as such!

    - + - + - + -

    EPILOGUE: Twelve hours after the above was written, I find out that
    one of my best friends (with higher than normal access to the system)
    has allowed a third party to use their logon. That's forbidden for anyone
    on my BBS to do, but it hurts even more; because a valued, and trusted
    friend who should have known better, went ahead and did it. That's the
    last straw. The Most Significant Byte BBS is no longer in existence.

    Jim Anderson, Ex-Sysop
    The Most Significant Byte BBS
    Billings, Montana
    January 13, 1985

    - + - + - + -

    I agree completely with Jim in his above comments, if not his action.
    I find it difficult to comprehend the mind of individuals...who take
    advantage of those of us...who, through our generosity and good nature,
    are supplying them, free of charge, this service.

    Please note, this attitude of SysOps is spreading, and BBS's around
    the country are disappearing, or getting more difficult to access. I
    certainly hope this action in tiny Billings, Montana has some effect on
    the community of computerists. Don't abuse a good thing!

    Dave Williams, still SysOp
    Magic City BBS
    Billings, MT
    January 13, 1985

    - + - + - + -

    It's sad, guys, but these guys are right. My best friend has a
    statistic on another BBS of "Uploads = 0. Downloads = 50". I just
    can't stand it.

    The average SysOp spends AT LEAST an hour a day sitting at his computer,
    keeping the BBS alive. I have received FIVE notes saying "good BBS" in
    my board's lifetime. I counted. They're THAT important.

    The heartening thing is that I got this only a few months after its
    original distribution in Montana. SPREAD THE WORD! SysOps, keep this
    as a bulletin on your systems. I, personally have gone on a crusade to
    expand the bulletins and features on my BBS, and this is the 19th.

    BUT, users are already complaining about the length of the menu! I
    DON'T BELIEVE IT! I just wonder why sometimes. Why? WHY do SysOps
    go through all this? You figure it out.

    John Hodal, Sysop
    Lakes Region BBS
    Wildwood, IL
    May 24, 1985

    - + - + - + -

    After running a BBS for only a short while, I can see the Sysop's
    side of the coin, they put in long hours, lots of money for equipment
    and phone bills, and offer it as a SERVICE to the users. Then, the users
    call up, go straight to the Download Section, and download, download,
    and download some more. They don't upload anything, or contribute to
    the message base.

    Ed Wilkinson, Sysop
    Hacker's Haven BBS
    Orem, Utah
    December 30th, 1986

    - + - + - + -

    Thanks for reading this far! Perhaps this bulletin has given you
    another side of the BBS business, the Sysop's. And believe it, there's
    lots more! At times a caller will make our day, help out and take the
    time to see what its about...and it helps. You came this far. We
    are working our tails off to make this one of the better boards to
    call - now it's up to you!

    Andy Keeves, Sysop
    The Executive Network Board
    Westchester, New York
    January 24th, 1987

    - + - + - + -

    As you can plainly see, this is not the only BBS where abuse is
    widespread. Maybe it's a sign of our times...I sure hope not.
    Attitudes must change. ME! ME! ME! ME! Let's make a concerted effort
    to change it. Instead of waiting for the Sysop to request something
    of you, why not ask what you can do to help him/her out to lessen the
    workload? Just following system policies will help. Read the Sysops'
    logon messages and bulletins. Spend some time in the message bases.
    You might find a wealth of information there. You might even be able
    to help someone else out! My ideal system (from a Sysops' point of
    view) is one where 90% of it's maintenance is done by it's USERS. I'd
    gladly settle for 50%. A BBS should be interactive and self-sustain-
    ing by it's very nature. Pitch in and help me make this system, OUR
    system, the best of it's kind.

    Mark Rapp, Sysop
    MicroSellar BBS
    Verona, NJ
    April 20, 1987

    - + - + - + -

    After running a BBS for over 20 years now...even though it was down at
    times...as noted at the top of this bulletin, there are some users...
    and Sysops...who think that "rules are made to be broken".

    The latest example was with a member of a message network posting a
    rather nasty message to the network Sysop...in effect, saying "who
    are you to judge their BBS ads, and how often they can post them?".

    Sadly, just like what happened to "The Most Significant Byte BBS",
    the Sysop pulled the plug on both the message network, and shut down
    his BBS. People can't seem to accept the hard fact that "Life is NOT
    Burger King...you can NOT always 'Have It Your Way' (I can say that...
    I worked for them in central Arkansas from 1979 to 1984).

    I've also seen where users and Sysops refuse to give me their information,
    which is kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL...released only for a law enforcement
    subpeona, or to confirmed Visiting Sysops for BBS rules violations. What
    AT LOGON. To me, if you let a total, unknown stranger into your home
    nowadays, you have a "Death Wish". If they won't play by the simple
    rules I've laid down, and trust me to keep their data CONFIDENTIAL
    (except as noted above), then I can't trust them as a user on my BBS.

    Daryl Stout, Sysop
    The Thunderbolt BBS
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Sept. 27, 2010


    I hope that this gave you something to think about...Kris


    Note to SysOps: Feel free to post this. I sent it as a file due to its
    length, but there is no reason why it cannot be a bulletin if you so
    wish; Oh, By the way... Believe it or not, you ** ARE ** appreciated!
    Thank You. Kris

    Thank You, Kris. :) DS

    Posted by VPost v1.7.081019

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