BBS Sysop, RIP.
January 25, 2007 8:55 AM   Subscribe

BBS Sysop, RIP. In 1987 Don DeLapp Jr died and his family maintained his BBS in his honor. In December, Don Senior died during an operation. Their BBS is immortalized on Don Jr's headstone.
posted by GuyZero (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I remember when the sysop of a local games BBS died in a car crash. His site kept running for two days after the accident, then the lack of maintenance shut it down.

When his fiancee got out of the hospital, she announced she would open up the BBS again in memory of the sysop. It ran again for two days before closing up for good.

RIP Ricky Sutphin & Clown's Delight

posted by infinitewindow at 9:23 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Jason Scott's BBS documentary was recently posted to Google Video.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 9:30 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I find there something about the intersection of human mortality and obsolete computer services that is uniquely tragic-ironic-pathetic.

I may be the only one saying this, but, nice post.
posted by JHarris at 9:31 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't recommend Jason's documentary enough. For those who lived those days, it'll bring back things you haven't thought of in years.
posted by dr_dank at 9:35 AM on January 25, 2007

"The Man - The Myth - The Legend" on his tombstone is completely awesome in a "look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" sort of way.

The concept of a ghost BBS also intrigues me, especially if it's run without any administration at all.
posted by Spatch at 9:57 AM on January 25, 2007

It's going to be so cool when future archaeologists find out about the internet because of this guy's hideous tombstone.
posted by tylermoody at 10:27 AM on January 25, 2007

the day my mud permanently shut down was a really sad one.
posted by phaedon at 10:38 AM on January 25, 2007

It's going to be so cool when future archaeologists find out about the internet because of this guy's hideous tombstone.

The whole reason I linked to what is essentially just another blog post is this passage:
The way things work with web pages and web forums today, it's too easy for one of these "communities" to yank up this photo, put it out of context, put it on a "silly gravestone" collection or otherwise dehumanize and detract from what's really going on here: a family trying to make sense of the loss of their son by etching into his gravestone the things that defined him as a person up to that point. His drums, his portrait, his computer project that must have been endless hours of intensity and fun for him.
I found it moving that instead of a Photoshop contest mocking this guy's tombstone, the blog author showed me a really touching, tragic story of a kid who was born exactly 8 days after I was. The only difference between that kid in the grave and me was one dumb guy who had too much to drink. But it makes me happy to know that his family was close enough to understand what their son loved and had the courage to put up what many must think is a pretty dorky tombstone. I don't know if my family would have had the courage to do as much. I honestly hope that someone knows me well enough and cares about me enough to put up a tombstone that hideous for me when I die.
posted by GuyZero at 10:56 AM on January 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

I agree, Guy Zero. For some people, the 'net (or BBSses, or MUDs, or whatever) are their hobbies and their passion. No one's snarking about DeLapp's drumset on his tombstone, I've noticed, just the BBS. Interesting.

I'm not planning on having a tombstone (I'm going to be immortal when I grow up) but my family never would have had the cojones to put anything like this on any family member's stone. Heck, I was discouraged from choosing photos of my dad when he was fat for the funeral service collage, like we were all supposed to politely forget the man was fat for 20-odd years of his life. I don't want that to happen to me.

This stone is an honest celebration of the kid's life, as was the BBS.
posted by smashingstars at 11:15 AM on January 25, 2007

OT: Man, that list of known BBSes on the same site brings me back. Back in the day who didn't have huge printouts like that gotten from a dozen piecemeal locations? They were passed around, dog-eared and hoarded like dirty magazines. Glad to see some of those lists, truly the core of pre-Internet home user connectivity, still exist.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:22 AM on January 25, 2007

I want the writing on my tombstone to be in an ASCII art font. That'd make the descendants visit weird-ol'-grampy's grave.

And possibly encode something rude in subtle engraved binary around the edging.
posted by Luddite at 11:56 AM on January 25, 2007

Just another blog post!!

Anyway, thanks for the link, GuyZero.
posted by jscott at 1:27 PM on January 25, 2007

Very cool parents. I can understand 'rentals today understanding that the net, myspace, and IM are a given part of their kids' social lives. But that's pretty forward-thinking (and a bit involved) to keep his BBS running after his death back in the 1980's, when the whole scene was pretty much underground.

Which was neat of them. And that's a rad tombstone. I forget that some of you were never 16.
posted by bardic at 2:08 PM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's going to be so cool when future archaeologists find out about the internet because of this guy's hideous tombstone.

Not really, BBS' were pre-internet. The closest thing we had to the web back then was Compuserv. The only thing connecting the BBS' (the more ambitious ones, anyway) was FIDOnet.

I miss TheDraw. I miss line-noising the people playing The Pit and Usurper and BarneySplat. I miss my BBS, Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Beef. Those were good days.
posted by davelog at 7:48 AM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

« Older Helvetica, a documentary film   |   In My Language Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments