Over the years, I've kept this website updated with some regularity, particularly when I was a jack-of-all-trades IT manager...as the many different and varying scenarios I encountered in that long-held position resulted in great story fodder and learning experiences with hardware, servers, and many various facets of IT.
Since late summer 2014, I have been solely a software developer as my means of making a living. While I have learned a great deal, the age of my children and spending time with my wife have taken great precedence over "The Backwood Realm" website, although I have put time in here and there into the Backwood Realm BBS, which I intend to continue doing for, well, as long as there is a me. I've seen myriad boards come and go, and while BWR BBS is not the flashiest, most custom BBS out there (although I feel it has a few characteristics that make it quite unique), it holds a special place in my education on information technology, as well as a strong link to my roots. The amateurish, old style DOS code that makes up many a BBS door, still inspires me to try new things and experiment to this day.
I've struggled to find time to fit writing articles for this website into my life. I have many interests, and I've written a great deal of articles on this site. It has existed, in some form, continually since 2002, with a technically based focus in it's articles since 2007. It is older than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the iPad, iPhone, and Android. It predates "the cloud". It's earliest incarnations as "The Backwood Realm" were designed on Windows ME in 2001 and 2002. There were sites that led up to it as long ago as 1999. It is older than all of my children. It was a "blog" before there were "blogs", in my opinion.
In 1996, I sat down in front of a computer my parents had purchased so my mom would have a computer to practice typing on (who remembers "WordPerfect"?) for a class she was taking. I opened Qbasic under Windows 95, and wrote a simple program that announced a name for a BBS that did not exist.
It said something like "Presenting, in late 1996...[pause]....THE BACKWOOD REALM BBS!"
I passed it along to a couple friends, with the qbasic.exe executable so they could run it, on 3.5 floppies.
This is the true original origin of a faux company I called "Backwood Realm Systems"...at the time, I imagined it to be a computer and "programming" shop I would run someday...I often daydreamed about it.
Only for a short time, in the mid aughts (~2004-2009) did I actually do business under that name. I repaired a few computers and built a few websites. Let's just say that it was not as "romantic" as I had imagined, but in my full time job, I was learning a lot...and in the end, I did get to write code for a living...in far more languages and on more advanced technologies than I could have imagined possible in 1996.
The point of all this drivel is..."Backwood Realm Systems" is no more. It is a silly name, reflective of who I was as a teenager. Despite the twang heard in my voice, I'm not much of a redneck as far as lifestyle goes. I don't even live in the "Backwoods".
I'm deeply nostalgic, so I used the name for a long time, hoping it would "make it" so to speak. There will be no further software labeled with that name, no more blue diamond logo in Microgramma Bold font gracing footers of websites other than this one.
The name will live on forever on this website, which I intend to keep functional and hosted, and most certainly on "The Backwood Realm BBS", which is meant to be a tome of what I loved in the years most formative to my career. I will likely even continue to develop utilities and maybe even a door game for it eventually, but only if it furthers my skillset and my marketability in the IT field. It has been online with something like a 95% uptime since 9/20/2008. No cloud, no hosted server...a desktop computer in my house. A real old-style BBS, available worldwide, from my laundry room. I love it! (Click here to try it out!)
I do have many new ventures planned, some experimental, some with financial goals...it's just time to close this chapter.
Thank you to all who took part, from reading an article to testing silly old software like "Livin' In Buddha" or RealmIM, which I never even formally announced but is probably my most end-user tested software bearing the "Backwood Realm Systems" name. (See/try it by clicking this link, sign up and then leave a message in the "FreeForAll", it's a trip!)
I've learned massively via "The Backwood Realm", as it was known to my friends and I. It will always mean a lot to me.
Drop in the BBS by the link above or using software like "Syncterm" (telnet to bwrbbs.ddns.net) and enjoy a round of "Legend Of The Red Dragon" anytime, or peruse the articles I've written on this site over the years. Hopefully you will have some fun and learn something in the process.
Unless I find something I really must write about, this will be the final entry on this website. It's time to focus all work on brand Tim Wray! (See my LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-wray-7497a614?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile)