A rainy Friday evening's entertainment may be had by downloading the BBS section tarball from textfiles.com. I found myself engrossed in the ASCII and ANSI art banners from these bulletin boards of yore. I decided to render some of them and make screenshots to post here, both in the interest of further preserving this bit of history, and to offer a highlight tour to those who lack the patience and resources to view them directly. Click on any thumbnail to see the fullsize image.
All cultures, countries, and walks of life are represented. Techniques are on display that are a lost art in this age: ANSI control codes, the usage of bricktext, the economical sparing of too many characters so as to minimize precious bandwidth while conveying the desired message and/or image. Time is most cruel of all to technology: nearly every machine these boards ran on is considered an antique a mere 20 years later. You read these sysops bragging about their 28.8 connections, one-Gigabyte of storage, and TRS-80s and wonder, "Did they honestly think it would never get any better?"