The Definitive History of Backwood Realm Systems: 1996 PDF Print E-mail


For the first time since January 2003, I've decided to update and/or rewrite large portions of this history document, which basically covers all of my adventures in Information Technology since I was 14 years old. It will be enlightening, let me assure you.



Backwood Realm Systems first became whatever it is on December 27, 1996, which also happens to be my father's birthday. That's beside the point, though. Please read on.


(Sidenote: A BBS (Bulletin Board System) was software that an individual could use to accept calls from other individuals using terminal software and their modem. It would display a series of DOS-looking menus to navigate around the other person's PC. Usually, a BBS's system operator (known as a "Sysop") would have BBS software such as Wildcat! that had a built-in mail system (just like internet email) which callers could use to communicate w/each other, a system that supported the downloading of files between the bbs and it's callers, and the support of "Doors", which were programs a Sysop could install into his/her BBS. They most often were online games that could be played against other players. Some examples are Legend of the Red Dragon, DogWorld, and Planets: TEOS, just to name a few.)


I have a couple of screen shots of the BWR BBS from several years ago. (See Figure 1 and 2.)

Fig 1. Backwood Realm BBS Welcome Screen, circa 1997.
Fig 2. A sample of the Backwood Realm BBS's Main Menu, circa 1997.

Just after my family got our first computer in August 1996, I began to play w/the terminal software (Windows 95's HyperTerminal), and was trying to figure out how to get online. A friend of mine, Matt Abel, showed me the way. I was able to log on to Brian Mathis' "Hotseat BBS", which was the most popular BBS in Bedford between 1989-1997. It was a subscription-based BBS, and w/the rise of the Internet coming upon us w/the advancement of Kiva Networking's internet access coming on strong, Mathis was not able to get enough subscriptions to keep his BBS paid for, to say the least. The Hotseat's two nodes went offline sometime in 1997, much to my disappointment.


One BBS stayed online here in town for some time, known as "Night-Trail online", being ran out of Bob Jones' Edgewood home. He was running some BBS software that I liked the look of. It was called "Wildcat!". He was running version 4 of the software for MS-DOS. Played many a good L.O.R.D. game there.


Well, it seemed that one day Landon Key, a good friend, stumbled upon a copy of Wildcat! 5 BBS for Windows 95 and NT. I jumped at the chance to bring my own BBS to life. Granted, I didn't have a dedicated phone line, or the money to run it, I still managed to create a decent BBS that ran several door games, including the very popular Legend of The Red Dragon (LORD) by Seth Able Robinson. Thus, on December 27, 1996, at 2:00am, w/myself and Landon Key at the keyboard of my IBM Aptiva pent.133, The Backwood Realm BBS, and Backwood Realm Systems, was born into the electronic world as we know it.