A new site, a mere 25 years after the Chatnet.com domain was issued and used for a few related ventures. This is a work in progress and will be updated …
The Early BBS days
Originally, sometime in the 80s, I operated a single line BBS. It was called Hacker’s Dominion. The name was not meant to mean that it was a gathering place for evil people, hell bent on destruction. It was a site for computing enthusiasts to gather and discuss whatever was on their minds. The term hacker did not always have negative connotations but does now. We can thank the media for that… Originally, a hacker was “an expert at programming and solving problems with a computer” (Merriam Webster). Did many hacker’s use “demon dialers”/ “War dialers” to find and check to see if they could get into computer systems? Yes.. Websites, as they are now, did not exist but there were many computers hooked into the phone systems and many had terrible security. Did I do some testing of these waters? Yes.. I had some school admin accounts and had logged into a few other places to see what the fuss was about, but had no intention of doing any harm. One odd instance was that I could see the graduation data for the students at one HS before the students new the contents of the list. Did I use any of the data I discovered along the way for wrong doing.. no. It was more out of curiosity that most of these activities took place. Since people who were heavily into computers often did some “security testing”, they all became “hackers” with the wrong doing receiving the focus…
Chatnet.com been used for a Chat BBS (social media) for local people to the Dayton Ohio area. It was also used to link to other BBS chat services across states and had some forwarding numbers located around the outlying areas to hop across the long distance lines used to milk customers by the phone company (Just my opinion, of course).. When the Internet started to become user friendly to the masses, Chatnet “BBS” was put on the internet. At first, it had only Internet email capabilities to go with the pre-Internet BBS offerings that included games, discussion boards, and chat. Later, it became a full internet service provider with dial up, newsgroups, web hosting, ISDN, T1s, Telnet enabled chat, etc. This was all operated out of a house that just happened to have a couple of T1 connections (The dial up provided first required a fractional T1 but quickly grew to require a full T1), many POTS (phone) lines and ISDN lines buried in the yard.. Servers, modem banks, contracts with internet backbone providers, CSU/DSU … The side of the house had a huge telephone box on it and an entire bedroom was used to house the hardware, with the T1 hardware and CSU/DSU housed in a closet. In the winter, the entire house was basically heated by the computer systems. This “early internet” hardware all became just about worthless over time. When free internet access was being subsidized by large companies, and cable/dsl “broadband” were rolled out, I decided to ditch the ISP. Competing with handouts and dealing with phone company contracts to offer DSL access didn’t seem like a logical decision.
Evolution of payments
As for funding, things were a lot tougher back in the 80s and 90s for small businesses selling online access. The second method of payment, after using checks, on Chatnet was a 900 number. Call the number and you were given an access code to enter on the BBS to gain full access. The third method added, was credit cards. Back then it was relatively difficult to obtain a merchant account. It required credit and some amount of expected sales. You couldn’t pop a device in your cell phone and take credit cards, nor set up a merchant account online with a few clicks. There was no way to process the payments online, at first. People would mail in payment invoices with credit cards listed on them, or send them on the bbs private messaging. At this point, payment has become incredibly easy with a multitude of options. Paypal, the Cash app, even a small device that can be plugged in a cell phone to take credit cards.. by basically anyone. We also have crypto currencies rolling out that will hopefully take away most of the fees being soaked up by banks. The fees to send a payment overseas, for example, are outrageously high. Hopefully, Bitcoin, the Internet of money, will solve that problem (and if not, then maybe another “Cryptocurrency”).
first an internet email linked BBS, followed by a fairly large chat bbs and then an Internet ISP that could host domains, dial up intenret, the chat bbs, newsgroups, and other features which were popular around the mid to late 90s.. We’ll see how it goes.
I’ve been busy with working for other people for a while, but I’m no longer burdened with the need to do that.
This site isn’t likely to have any one particular topic, but it will have a few main focus points. Is it going to be an echo chamber for any particular viewpoint? No. I have a lot of interests and so the site should reflect that. I’ve also been known to take either side of a debate. I dno’t like it when people attempt to act like a highly debatable topic only has one correct opinion. That’s BS. People have their own perspectives and that has an impact on their opinions. That is as is should be.
Currently, I spend a lot of time researching and developing crypto currencies. I think they’re a big deal, being the “internet of money” and all.