BBS Nostalgia

I just recently re-watched the documentary on BBS era computing called “BBS: The Documentary”.

You can watch the series on youtube here:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgE-9Sxs2IBVgJkY-1ZMj0tIFxsJ-vOkv

I found this movie to be a great summary of what it was like when I was growing up using a computer, before the Internet became popular.

It turns out there are still a great number of BBS’s running to this day.  You can connect to them via the telnet protocol.  An excellent telnet client for visiting BBS’s in “SyncTERM”, which is available here.

Once you have a client, you just need to get an address of a BBS.  There are various websites that have BBS listings, a good one is BBSlink, which is here.

It’s great to be able to log into these systems and play many of the games from the 80’s+90’s that I wasted countless hours on as a kid!  I have started to create some project pages (linked to from the top) which have some ANSI images from various BBS’s and programs I wrote back in the day.

I’m sure i’ll be posting a lot more about BBS’s in the future.

 

Car Breakdown and -30 degrees!

So Michele’s Highlander had been acting up the past couple weeks.  It was making this loud clanking noise (sounded like a bad bearing).  We booked an appointment for this Monday to have it looked at.  Besides the noise the car was running fine, so we’ve been continuing to use it on our weekend trips up to the whites.

On Friday we took a half day of work to get spend some time with Michele’s family who were all up at Bretton Woods for our annual ski weekend.  We loaded the kids and gear in the car and headed out around 2pm.  About 20 mins into the trip, all of a sudden the temp guage skyrocketed.  I pulled over as quickly as I could and smoke was leaked out from under the hood.  When I opened the hood there was pink liquid (antifreeze) sprayed all over the engine.  There was no way we could drive this thing.

We called AAA and had the car towed to the nearest dealership (luckily only 3 miles away!)  Then we had to call an Uber to transport the kids (car seats and all) to the dealer.  We got a rental car and continued on with the trip!  Unfortunately we didn’t make it up to our place until after 8pm, so didn’t get a chance to hang out with the family.

On Saturday the temps were by far the coldest they’ve been all season.  The high of the day hovered around 0 and the winds were roaring, with a wind chill of -30.  Skiing was almost impossible.  We’d do 1 run and by the end were all totally frozen.  Lots of crying ensued, frozen body parts, etc. so we called it early.

On Saturday night we hung out with Michele’s family, and the kids were happy to see Grampy, who came up from Florida, and Uncle Chris who came from California.

On Sunday the temps were about the same in the morning, but slowly warmed up throughout the day.  Luckily the dealership fixed Michele’s car, so we were able to return the rental on the way home.

Just another weekend in the whites!

 

Sugarloaf Weekend 2017

This weekend we did our annual visit to the Coughlin’s cabin at Sugarloaf in Maine.

Sugarloaf is our overall favorite mountain to ski in new england.  Granted there are a couple top mountains we haven’t been to yet (most notably Jay Peak and Sunday River, soon!)  but so far this one is our fav.

The only problem with this mountain is the distance.  It’s a good 4.5 hours (in good conditions) from our house.  It’s about 30 miles from the Canadian border.

Traffic wasn’t too bad and we got there around 11pm on Friday night.  Sugarloaf had been getting dumped on so conditions were set to be epic, some of the best ever!

Continue reading “Sugarloaf Weekend 2017”

When you realize your kid is a better skier than you…

So, Bretton Woods is now fully open for the season.  As of today, they are 62/62 on trails and 28/35 on glades.

We’ve pretty much fully explored all the trails on the mountain and so now we are discovering the glades.  This weekend we’ve tried our first double black diamond trails.  These are the most challenging on the mountain.  Not for their overall steepness, but for the combination of steep and obstructions (i.e. trees, rocks, and water).

Some of the more challenging ones we tried this weekend were:

  • John Grave’s Glades – On the west mountain.  A nice long glade run compared to the shorter runs on rosebrook.
  • Hemlock – This thing was treacherous.  Short but extremely steep with trees everywhere.  I went down on my butt.  Eli fell and hit his chin on his skis.  Not doing this one again.
  • Lazy Man – Even though this was is rated higher than hemlock, I think hemlock was actually more difficult.  Both hemlock and lazy man are right next to each other.
  • Roz’s – Not much of a glade, more like a chute that connects many of the rosebrook glades together.  At the bottom of this run you had to navigate through pools of water on a narrow strip of a trail.  One wrong move and you’d be soaked!

Continue reading “When you realize your kid is a better skier than you…”

New BBS Project Pages Posted!

I added a couple new pages w/ lots of screenshots of ANSI graphics from my BBS sysop days!

Click the links below to check them out!

http://daveweatherwax.com/projects/bbs-days-1994-1996/tales-from-the-crypt-1994-1995/

 http://daveweatherwax.com/projects/bbs-days-1994-1996/ding-1995-1996/

You have died of dysentery!

For Christmas we got the boys a new card game called “The Oregon Trail Card Game”.  It’s a relatively new card game that is based on the old PC game classic of the same name.

The game is set in 1848 and you are leading a covered wagon attempting to make it from Independence, Missouri to Wilamette Valley, Oregon along the Oregon trail.  This game was pretty much a staple in elementary schools in the late eighties to early nineties.  More info on the classic video game here.

The card game has a similar theme but is stripped down from the video game.  There are ‘trail cards’, ‘supply cards’, and ‘calamity cards’.  The game starts with a fixed set of supply cards, which turn out to be a scarce resource.  As you play trail cards you are frequently instructed to pick up a calamity card.  It always seems like something is going wrong on the trail!  Usually someone is getting sick, the wagon is breaking down, people are starving, or your oxen are dying.  Supply cards are used to remedy the situation.

Overall the family gives this game two thumbs up!  The kids are going crazy over it.  They love researching the various diseases that pop up in the game, like measles, cholera, etc.  We use this as an opportune time to teach them about the benefits of vaccines.  🙂

One aspect that I really like about the game is that everyone is on the same team.  You are all working together to make it to Oregon.  If anyone on the team makes it there then everyone wins.  The strategy is light enough that an 8 year old can play it, even though the box says 12+.

For downsides, the game could probably use a little additional strategy.  There are no forks in the road.  Also, it seems like forts and towns are few and far between.

If you have kids and enjoyed playing the video game as a kid then I highly recommend you pick up this card game.  It’s a great way to spend an hour with them and offers plenty of opportunities to teach them about how easy we have it in the modern world.

Click below to purchase from Amazon:

New Project Pages!

I just created a couple new pages for some personal projects that I’ve worked on many years ago.

The first is the Lucid Inducer, which is a lucid dreaming induction device.  I pretty much get mocked by anyone who sees this thing, but it actually works!

Also, I’ve been going through my VERY old project files, and came upon a treasure trove of personal coding projects from the 90’s.  I posted one of them, Stewvoo, which is an ANSI art viewer from 1996!

You can find links to the project pages in the navigation bar at the top.  I hope to fill out more projects I’ve worked on in the coming weeks.

Let me know if you find any of it interesting!