is the final closing message of the "Big Bang Burger Bar BBS" posted in
1995 as the front screen seen as people first dialled into the BBS. It
brought to an end a hobby that had consumed much of my younger years,
time and money. I enjoyed every minute of this hobby and do not regret a
single moment. I now hope to in some way claw some of that enjoyment
back via this new shiny forum.
"Its with a sad heart that I note the BBS Scene is very much on a major decline. Internet is having its BOOM period and most users are now drifting away from the Home Brew BBS to the Global 'Net'. This is a sad day for us 'ole BBS Sysops, we see our caller numbers falling and our usage dwindling in preference to the big 'NET'. All we have to offer in competition is a more 'personal' feel to comms. I think the BBS as a hobby is starting on a slow road to its ultimate death unless we as sysops club together and find a way to offer something the big 'NETS' can't"
These were the last comments I made in an electronic magazine I produced earlier this year. My thoughts are still the same as those above as my own BBS has suffered greatly this year to the point where I really only have 5 or 6 regular callers. This is not a good situation for a BBS especially when the BBS has been known to pull in over 30-40 calls a day!.
Over the past 2 years as we have watched the decline of our user base, we have witnessed the explosion of the internet. The reasons for this are quite understandable and I must admit that I rely heavily on the internet and spend frightening amounts of time on line daily for both work and personal reasons. All the traditional areas the BBS's catered for are now served better and often faster by the the internet. So its with sad and heavy hearts that we make the following announcement:
The Big Bang Burger Bar will close its doors for the final time to the public on January 15th 1996.
Some of the reasons are mentioned in the quote above the rest are as follows:
* ACCESS - Most BBS's have suffered from this unless they had external funding in order to support multiple lines. In addition connecting to a BBS could be expensive if you are calling from a distance or from abroad. With the dawn of service providers for the internet, people can now get worldwide access for the cost of a local call and engaged tones are not so common.
* FILES - I have now seen over the past few years that most of the normal BBS traffic has turned into file retrieval. Once BBS's were the fastest way to retrieve new files, although this often resulted in sysops incurring large bills to pull files worldwide. Now the internet provides a quick and easy way to retrieve files worldwide at no extra cost. Combined with a multitude of search mechanisms (e.g archie) a required file can be located very quickly no matter where in the world it is.
* MESSAGES - The early days of Big Bang saw large amounts of mail traffic in some 20+ message bases. Now they are very rarely left, and this used to be one of the strong points of a BBS personal 'chat'. Now the internet gives you access to the thousands of subjects covered by usenet and has the added advantage of being GLOBAL.
* Some BBS's had FIDO, but this could never compete with the INTERNET as fido is too badly structured, slow and is far too strictly moderated for a lot of peoples tastes.
* EMAIL - Again worldwide email is a lot more attractive to just local email to other BBS users. There are mechanisms to networking BBS's to provide worldwide email e.g. FIDO but these are slow and tightly controlled.
* CHAT - Multiline BBS's including Big Bang (when multiline) provide facilities for users to chat interactively with each other. Again a multitude of services e.g IRC extends this to a world wide user base.
* GAMES - Online games were another good plus for BBS's but multiuser games just get better and better when you go to the internet. MUD's supporting 100's of players can be found and I must say I enjoy playing inter-university games of xpilot :-) . With that sort of thrill why stick to one or two players on a BBS!
In addition the internet provides new facilities like World Wide Web. Something else attractive about the internet is that more and more people are getting internet access in the workplace. In the past we used to get a large number of calls during working hours from people calling from work. Now they can just as easily use the internet without having to pay anything.
Ok There are some BBS's that have internet connections and can offer some or all of these facilities. However internet connections cost and to do it properly you need at least a 64Kbit leased line which does not come cheap. I know of small BBS's who have attempted to go this route and either fail or end up becoming a small service provider charging users for internet access.
In conjunction with these changes we have seen the decline in the community spirit when people just called to chat and a large number of users would be on first name terms with each other. Now the majority of activity is just grabbing files as quickly as possible. Zarniwoop and myself have had long discussions about the changing face of comms as it has evolved towards the internet and although now attracting vast numbers of users has grown a lot less personal and has lost most of the camaraderie that existed in the comms community when Big Bang first started.
I have really just lost interest in the 'scene' as the fun and friendliness of it has all but gone as people seem to no longer communicate or have fun on the 'Boards'. I have neither the time now or the deep pockets to keep this BBS alive and revamped to compete (even if it could).
It is not just the reasons above that prompted this but time and money to keep the board going has now got better and more important uses.
So we would just like to thank EACH & EVERY user who has ever called the BBS for their contribution to the life and soul of Big Bang. Its been you guys that have helped to keep it alive and shape and mould the BBS over its 6 year life-span, making it one of the longest running UK BBS's. We're sorry we have to close but we have thought long and hard about it and we would rather quit now while the BBS has some limited life left than just let it drag on for a long time slowly dying off.
Do not give up all hope of ever seeing Big Bang ever again..... In 40 years when we have retired Big Bang could re-open as an oldies board ;-) Also as the internet grows and work on virtual realities and metaverses continue (I know of several quite exciting bits of work), opportunities may arise for Big Bang to re-materialise in a different guise.
Once again thanks for calling and please spread this message.
Comments are invited on the above statements.
Zarniwoop and Gargravaar.