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Computer Bulletin Board System Co-Inventor Randy Suess, ex-WB9GPM, SK


The co-inventor of the Computer Bulletin Board System, Randy Suess, ex-WB9GPM, died on December 10. He was 74. According to his obituary in The New York Times, Suess and IBM engineer Ward Christensen collaborated on the system in 1978, during the dial-up era, a year before Compuserve began offering online consumer service. The computer bulletin board was a forerunner of today’s proliferation of social media outlets.

Suess and Christensen were members of the Chicago Area Computer Hobbyists’ Exchange (CACHE), and the system was initially developed so that club members could more easily communicate with one another. By the time the Chicago BBS was retired in the 1980s, it had been accessed more than 500,000 times. — Thanks to Wes Plouff, AC8JF