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January 2, 1996
The International Major BBS Association (IMBBSA) and Association of Online Professionals (AOP) announce a merger of the two groups, wrapping the IMBBSA into the AOP.

From: Don_MSN@msn.com (Don Adler)
Date: 1996/01/02
Message-ID: <00002b5e+00000f5c@msn.com>#1/1
organization: The Microsoft Network (msn.com)
newsgroups: alt.bbs.pcboard

Don Adler, President of the International Major BBS Association (IMBBSA)
and David McClure, Executive Director of The Association of Online
Professionals (AOP) are pleased to announce that all details have been
agreed upon and the Boards of Directors of both organizations voted
overwhelmingly to approve a merger of both organizations.

All current IMBBSA members will become AOP members effective 01/01/96
for the term of their membership with IMBBSA.  Those members who already
hold AOP membership will have their membership terms extended for the
same amount of time as their current IMBBSA membership (for example, 8
months of IMBBSA membership would extand your current AOP membership by
an additional 8 months).

"We believe it important that the professionals of our industry speak
with a single voice on national and global issues," says IMBBSA
president Don Adler. "By joining IMBBSA with AOP, we can make that voice
stronger, and better represent the needs of our members. Combined our
two organizations are over 1,000 members strong making it the largest
professional association in the industry worldwide."

"There clearly are benefits to both organizations and their members,"
said AOP Executive Director Dave McClure. "AOP gains a large number of
very professional members, and the support of an established
organization.  IMBBSA members gain the benefits of AOP membership and
our very active public policy support."

In order to continue to serve some of the special needs of Major BBS and
WorldGroup Sysops, IMBBSA will now organize as a Special Interest Group
(SIG) with AOP.  All benefits of IMBBSA membership will continue, The
Associate will continue to be published quarterly and the IMBBSA BBS
will continue to operate as a focal point for IMBBSA and AOP members.
Current IMBBSA members will receive a full information packet regarding
their new AOP membership in Jan/Feb 96.
      As a special option those members who renew their IMBBSA       
      membership (sysop level membership is $60) prior to Jan 31     
      1996 will automatically recieve their full AOP membership at   
      no additional cost (AOP membership is $95).  This offers the 
      IMBBSA member an additional 30% savings for their next years   
Don Adler joined the AOP Board of Directors in October of 1996 and will
continue to represent the IMBBSA membership there.

Further information on AOP membership can be obtained by e-mail from Don
Adler (SYSOP@ITM or don@imbbsa.org) or from Dave McClure (exec@aop.org).

The Association of Online Professionals
7575 B Telegraph Road
Suite #635
Alexandria, VA  22315
(703) 924-9692

Source http://groups.google.com/groups?q=+%22Association+of+Online+Professionals%22&scoring=d&as_drrb=b&as_mind=12&as_minm=5&as_miny=1981&as_maxd=5&as_maxm=1&as_maxy=1996&selm=00002b5e%2B00000f5c%40msn.com&rnum=6

January 12, 1996
Scott Morris, sysop of the Assassin's Guide BBS, a pirate BBS raided the previous April 19, agrees to a settlement with Microsoft and Novel for their Civil Suit.
Novell and Microsoft Settle Largest BBS Piracy Case Ever

REDMOND, Wash. - January 12, 1996 - Microsoft Corporation and Novell, Inc. 
jointly announced today they have reached a settlement with Scott W. Morris, 
who was doing business as the Assassins' Guild Bulletin Board Service (BBS), 
in what is believed to be the largest settlement ever with the systems 
operator of a pirate electronic BBS. The settlement concludes litigation 
filed by Microsoft and Novell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern 
District of Kentucky. Under the agreement, Mr. Morris will pay $70,300 in 
cash and forfeit computer hardware valued at more than $40,000. Mr. Morris 
also agrees to assist Microsoft and Novell in their continuing BBS 

The Assassin's Guild billed itself as the worldwide headquarters for two 
large pirate groups, Pirates with an Attitude (PWA) and Razor 1911. U.S. 
Marshals raided Mr. Morris' residence last April on the basis of plaintiffs' 
claims of illegal reproduction and distribution of copyright-protected 
software. The BBS had been offering access to hundreds of pirated software 
products, including those published by Microsoft and Novell, to users 
throughout the U.S. and around the world over its state-of-the-art system. 
Marshals seized 13 computers, 11 modems, a satellite dish, 9 gigabytes of 
online data and over 40 gigabytes of off-line data storage dating back to 1992. 

"This case sets an important precedent for this industry," said Bob Kruger, 
Director of Enforcement for the Business Software Alliance (BSA). "It sends a 
clear message to operators of bulletin boards who are illegally distributing 
copyright-protected software that they will be investigated and sued, or 
criminally prosecuted. It also sends a message to our industry that, large 
or small, no software publisher is immune from bulletin board piracy." 

"Online piracy is a growing concern for software publishers around the world," 
said Jim Lowe, Microsoft Corporate Attorney. "We are committed to working with 
industry representatives and law enforcement agencies to stop this trend. 
Pirates such as the Assassins' Guild are stealing intellectual property that 
represent years of development time and investment on the parts of publishers 
large and small." 

Both Novell and Microsoft are members of the BSA, an industry alliance formed 
to promote the growth of the software industry through public policy, 
education and enforcement initiatives. In 1994, the BSA estimates that 
software publishers lost over $15.2 billion as a result of software piracy. 
In the United States alone, the BSA estimates that 35 percent of the business 
software in use is pirated, resulting in losses of more than $2.8 billion. 

Source http://www.laric.com/razor/various/tagbust.htm

January 29, 1996
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds the conviction of Robert and Carleen Thomas of the Amateur Action BBS on obscenity laws.

Source http://www.swiss.ai.mit.edu/6095/assorted-short-pieces/aabbs/godwin-community-standards.txt

February 14, 1996
On Valentines Day, 1996, Error 23 BBS, and the apartment of Brendon Nash (Bandon), is raided by local law enforcement. The raid is part of an investigation about a break-in into a US-West van by 4 teenagers (the Pioneer Press article below gets it wrong).
Adam Mahoney Writes:

On Valentines Day, 1996, Error 23 BBS, and the apartment of Brendon
Nash (Bandon), is raided by local law enforcement.  The raid is part of an
investigation about a break-in into a US-West van by 4 teenagers (the
Pioneer Press article below gets it wrong). Stolen items from the
van included:

Lineman's set

What the police are after is some of the software on the laptop, which may
have been uploaded to Error 23. This included a Telix (?) script with
username and password, which gave access to a portion of US-West's system.

Law enforcement takes all of Brendon's electronics, including stereo
equipment and audio CD's.  Charges were later dropped.  Two years later
the equipment was still unreturned, and Error 23 has never operated

Published on March 8, 1996, St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

Brendon Nash wants his computer identity back. And he wouldn't mind 
seeing his computers again, too.Police took both in a Valentine's Day 
raid of his Richfield apartment, which put an end to his Error 23
hacking bulletin board system, the subject of a Pioneer Press story last
month.A search warrant affidavit says police were after US West software 
that they thought had been uploaded to Nash's BBS. A
16-year-old Error 23 subscriber allegedly broke into a US West truck..."

Source Adam Mahoney

February 28, 1996
AdeptXBBS 1.07 is released. This is a OS/2 BBS program maintained at the time by John Lawlor, Steven Tower, Gordon Zeglinski, and John Morris. (Source: E-mail from Matt Davis)

March 31, 1996
EzyCom BBS v1.20 (MS-DOS) is Released.

April, 1996
Hayes Microcomputer emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It will declare bankruptcy again in October of 1998.

David Perrussel founds the "BBS Corner" Website (http://www.dmine.com/bbscorner)

Source Mail from Dave Perrussel

April 20, 1996
The Developers of AdeptXBBS, an OS/2 BBS Program, determine that the BBS can no longer function as a commercial product and announce they will release a 16 node freeware version. They also announce they will close their support BBS and online support.

April 20, 1996

The developers of AdeptXBBS have made the difficult decision to stop selling
AdeptXBBS. On April 30, 1996 our underlying license with Mark Kimes will
lapse and we will no longer have the right to sell AdeptXBBS. We have
decided that if we can't sell AdeptXBBS, we will give it away.

AdeptSoft of Boca Raton, Florida today announced the "Freeware" release of
AdeptXBBS with AdeptREXX. 

In the near future, AdeptSoft will release limited source code to the public
domain to enable 3rd party developers to expand the functionality of
AdeptXBBS. AdeptSoft will continue to hold the copyright to AdeptXBBS.

AdeptSoft will periodically release new versions of the Freeware product to
fix known bugs. 

AdeptSoft will discontinue its official online support concurrent with the
freeware release. The AdeptSoft Support BBS (bbs.adeptsoft.com) will close
on April 30th.

A 16 node freeware version will be released on public FTP sites. This
version will be fully functional. AdeptXBBS' Internet module will be
released as Demoware. This module is in the process of being rewritten and
the completed Internet module will be distributed at no cost to registered
sysops. The Internet Module will be made available for sale to
non-registered sysops.

It is our hope that a Freeware product will find a "market" that the
shareware product was unable to establish.

The developers of AdeptXBBS wish to thank the users, both registered and
unregistered, who have helped and supported us through the development and
launch of AdeptXBBS. Developing AdeptXBBS has been a labor of love of over 6
man years. 
We wish that our "baby" had found more homes but AdeptXBBS has been on
artifical support for the12 of the last 15 months. We are no longer in the
position to devote our lives to
developing a product that cannot support itself in the marketplace. We would
have gladly continued if it weren't for the stark reality of underlying
license agreements, license payments, computer costs, Internet lines,
telephone costs, etc. 

John Morris, Gordon Zeglinski and John Lawlor

May 1, 1996
RemoteAccess BBS v2.50 is Released. This is the last version of RemoteAccess released by Andrew Milner.

July, 1996
MindVox, a NYC-Based Internet Service Provider and BBS run by ex-members of the Legion of Doom, shuts off its modems and sells its internet division to Interport communications.

Mindvox, Long a Haven For Hackers, Signs Off

At a time when countless anti-hacker and security software programs are 
being promoted with a great deal of fanfare, a one-time notorious hacker 
haven has quietly and discreetly signed off.

This month, Mindvox -- an Internet service provider that was once home to 
some of New York's most gifted and controversial hackers -- pulled the plug 
on its modems and ceased to provide Internet access to its customers. Aside 
from its distinctive subscriber base, the company was also notable for 
having been been among the very first services in Manhattan to provide 
dial-up access to the Internet.

Source NYC Cybertimes

August, 1996
(Roughly) The Uncensored! BBS connects to the Internet for the first time. The Dial-up number will persist until 2001.

Source http://uncnsrd.mt-kisco.ny.us/history.html

August 6, 1996
Tim Stryker, founder of Galacticomm and maker of The MajorBBS and Worldgroup BBS Software, commits suicide in the Blue Mountains of Colorado.

 Computer whiz had it all, but it wasn't enough

 Computer Genius, Entrepreneur Cuts Short Bright Future 
 By Raju Chebium, Associated Press writer 

 Timothy Stryker seemed to have it all -- a wife and four children, a 
 six-figure income, a home in the mountains and a high-tech company poised 
 to make him a millionaire many times over. 

 But something snapped inside the computer whiz, who at age 30 founded a 
 software company called Galacticomm in Fort Lauderdale. 

 On the night of Aug. 6, Mr. Stryker, 41, pulled off a remote road in the 
 Blue Mountains in northwest Colorado, stepped out of his car, put a 
 shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger. 

 A man who once boasted he knew how to solve the world's problems lay dead 
 near some sagebrush, a suicide note for his wife, Christine, tucked in his 

 Mr. Stryker once described himself as "a laid-back, barefoot programmer." 
 But beneath his easygoing demeanor lurked a darkness that he seldom shared 
 with friends, family or business associates -- Mr. Stryker apparently 
 suffered from bouts of severe depression. 

 "(His note) said he had been in a lot of pain most of his life ... that 
 he had temporary success with a family, with Galacticomm for a while, with 
 his writing, and his art and his friends, they were all very temporary 
 fixes," said his wife, Christine, in a telephone interview from Salt Lake 

 Mr. Stryker's sister, Terry Stryker Merrifield, a physician in Wichita, 
 Kan., said the medication he took didn't seem to help. "The reason he gave 
 was covered deeply by a depression-controlled view of the world," said Dr. 
 Merrifield, who read the suicide note. 

 Mr. Stryker's family said he was happy most of the time. 

 "Until the end, he didn't think there was anything he couldn't accomplish," 
 said Christine Stryker. "I liked his self-assuredness and his playfulness. 
 Doesn't sound like a man like that would commit suicide now, does it?" 

 All his life, Timothy Stryker wanted to be a Renaissance Man. In addition 
 to building his software business, he wanted to create a perfect society 
 based on compassion and love. 

 Disgusted with American politics, Mr. Stryker began a movement called 
 Superdemocracy to computerize voting and help people follow politics in 

 He authored three books, but saw their sales languish. Undaunted, he 
 planned to write many more. 

 "Tim took himself very seriously. He really felt that he had all the 
 answers," said Peter Ackerman, who helped edit Mr. Stryker's 1993 book, 
 "Think A Little: Evolutionary Perspectives On The Future Of Civilization," 
 which sold less than 3,000 copies. 

 "Based on his philosophy, he had a high level of frustration." 

 Mr. Stryker relinquished day-to-day control of Galacticomm three years ago 
 -- but remained chairman and held more than half the company's stock -- and 
 moved from South Florida to Utah a year ago. He said it was a better place 
 to raise his four children, Ace, Mars, Asia and Zachariah. 

 Friends described Mr. Stryker as brilliant, arrogant, affectionate, 
 visionary and impatient. One thing remained constant throughout his life 
 -- he was forever thirsting for knowledge. 

 "Most people listen to the radio while driving around in their cars. I 
 think about things," he wrote in the opening chapter of "Think A Little," 
 a rambling tome on the world's problems and how to fix them. 

 "I sit and puzzle over why birds have feathers, and why my wife looks so 
 good, and where the world is going." 

 Dr. Merrifield said Mr. Stryker exhibited a keen intelligence since he was 
 a child. Born in Washington, D.C., Mr. Stryker moved with his family to 
 Hong Kong and Taiwan for a few years during his teens because his father 
 was employed by the U.S. Information Service. 

 Mr. Stryker graduated from Brown University in 1977 with a bachelor's 
 degree in physics, and designed a coin-operated video game soon after that. 
 Soon, he was a consultant for the Florida Solar Energy Center, General 
 Electric and a number of other firms. 

 He founded Galacticomm in 1985, quickly building it into a big player in the 
 electronic bulletin board market. The company made modem boards and wrote 
 software that allowed anyone with a desktop computer to get into the 
 bulletin board business. 

 Mr. Stryker mostly hired people like him -- more comfortable in jeans and 
 T-shirts than suits and ties with a love for computers and technology. 

 Like his personality, his business practices were eccentric, said Scott 
 Brinker, Galacticomm's chief operating officer and one of Mr. Stryker's 
 closest friends. To show his appreciation, Mr. Stryker would take his 50 
 or so employees on all-expenses-paid weekend jaunts to the Caribbean. 

 "Tim always thought to push beyond the envelope what the rest of us 
 mill around in," Mr. Brinker said. 

 Though immersed in the daily rigmarole of running Galacticomm, Mr. Stryker 
 never lost sight of his ultimate goal: to improve the world through 
 computers, Mr. Brinker said. That belief spawned the Superdemocracy 
 movement, which aimed to connect all Americans with cyberspace so they 
 could vote on national policy -- and eliminate Congress, state 
 legislatures, city councils and the court systems. 

 Mr. Stryker believed such high-tech, direct democracy would eliminate 
 special interests, corruption, miscarriage of justice and other ills of 
 the American political system. 

 While Mr. Stryker delved deeper into his passions and reduced contact with 
 Galacticomm, big changes were under way at the company. It reinvented 
 itself after the Internet made the bulletin board business obsolete. 

 Its flagship software program -- Worldgroup 2.0 -- allows people to 
 construct their own Websites and install features like polls and 
 questionnaires. Galacticomm's 42 employees also write newspaper software 
 and design corporate Intranet, an Internet and e-mail system within a firm. 

 Today, Galacticomm's customer base reads like a who's who of corporate 
 America -- Sony, Sega of America, McDonnell Douglas, MCI and AT&T among  

 Mr. Stryker would have been pleased with Galacticomm's progress, his wife 
 said. He had more reasons to be happy -- his children had joined a Mormon 
 church and the Stryker family felt a sense of community with neighbors in 

 When the effects of his medication wore off, he plunged into sadness -- but 
 no one suspected he was so down he would kill himself, Dr. Merrifield said. 

 "(He was) rather private in a lot of ways. It wasn't that he wasn't talking 
 about his inner self, but he would pick and choose what he was going to talk 
 about," she said. "Looking back, you could always say, 'Jeez, should I have 
 noticed this or noticed that?' But realistically there was no clue." 

Source http://www.s-t.com/daily/10-96/10-08-96/b01li046.htm

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