Warp Six BBS — A Little History

Posted on 2010/01/09. Filed under: General |

WARP SIX will be 25 years old this year. Here’s its history. – Jim

* Chronology of Warp Six, from the beginning. *

Warp Six BBS Original Computer
Warp Six running as an Apple II program on the Apple IIGS where it finished “the 1st generation” in 2001.

1985

June The name “Warp Six” is chosen.
July Programming begins.
Aug. Most of the machine language portion is written.
Sept. 12 Warp Six goes online with hours 8pm to 8 am, five days a week at 300 baud.
December The Great Word Processor Debate.

1986

Jan. The birth of the Padded Room.
March The Writer’s Lair makes its debut.
April Sub-forums are eliminated due to popular demand.
June 23 The hard drive accidentally erased at the store; the system has to start again with no message base, and only a few records of the user file keyed in by hand.
Sept.12 The first anniversary.
November The push for donations; the Members’ Forum is born.
Dec. 13 The first Warp Six dinner, at The Keg.

1987

Jan. Independence! Warp Six moves home, to 24 hour operation from a new phone number, operating on a hard drive paid for by donating users.
Mar. 15 Quickscan is introduced.
April Warp Six goes 1200 baud.
May Warp Six gets its own computer, on loan.
May 16 The second Warp Six dinner takes place, at Hughie’s. August Reply by mail feature added to forums.
Sept. 12 The second anniversary.
Oct. 25 Jim Ferr announces resignation as Sysop.
Oct. The third Warp Six dinner is held at Miller’s.
Nov. 21 Ken Cohen takes over as Sysop.
Nov. Financial Post & Legal Host forum is born.
Dec. Warp Six goes 2400 baud with modem donated by Charles Martyn.

1988

(no date) Another Warp Six dinner, at Ginsberg & Wong’s.
Sep. 12 Third anniversary.
Oct. 22 Warp Six Dinner, at Miller’s.
July 24 Warp Six Picnic, cut short due to rain.
Nov. 12 Jim Ferr returns from sabbatical as Sysop.
Dec. 3 Warp Six third annual Christmas Dinner, Old Spaghetti Factory.
Dec. 4 Warp Six buys a used Hayes Smartmodem 2400.

1989

March Ken Cohen agrees to take over as sysop once again.
April 15 Several software changes are made. Members forum eliminated.
April 15 Warp Six needs a new name, and is now temporarily ‘W6’.
April 23 Ken Cohen takes over the “new” system.
Summer Warp Six Dinner – date unknown. Miller’s. Remainder of Warp Six debt written off.
Dec. 2 Jim Low takes over as sysop from Ken Cohen at new number: (416) 690-8038. Name Warp Six remains.
Dec. 23 Jim Ferr updates software to version 4.0B.

1990

Jan. 7 Warp Six dinner at Ginsberg & Wong arranged by Hamish Grant. Attended by 13.
Feb. ProFile Hard drive acts up, finally resulting in Warp Six running from two 5.25″ drives for a few days. Jim Ferr provides another ProFile.
Feb. Jim Ferr makes many revisions to software, version 4.0 Includes “Hot Keys.”
Feb. 17 Original ProFile repaired and returned to service.
May 13 Warp Six dinner at “Mr. Greek” on Danforth.
June 28 Warp Six starts running from a RAMdisk for two weeks on an Apple IIgs while sysop on holidays. Much faster operation and more reliable than using ProFile drive, but risk of everything being lost if power failure.
July 13 Warp Six returns to Apple IIe and Profiles after successful two-week unattended run from RAMdisk.
July 29 First Annual Warp Six BBQ at residence of sysop, Jim Low September Jim Ferr upgrades Warp Six software to version 5.
Sept. 14 Fifth anniversary dinner at Millers. Attended by 16.
Sept. 16 Change in Warp Six policy. Revert to non-member and Donating Member status, eliminating the loonie requirement. Non-members have read/write access to first 5 forums only.
Oct. Introduction of Forum 8 “Special Topic.” Members take turns hosting topics of their choice.
Nov. 6 Warp Six purchases Apple High Speed SCSI card at a low price from Jim Ferr, to be used with a hard drive to be purchased at a later date.
Nov-Dec Jim Ferr upgrades Warp Six BBS software to version 6.0.
Dec. 27 Warp Six switches hard drive from 5 meg ProFile to 20 meg Apple SCSI hard drive. Offered for sale to Warp Six by current sysop (Jim Low).
Dec. 30 Warp Six dinner at The Old Fish Market Restaurant, attended by 11. Organized by Johnny Yan.
Dec. 30 Warp Six purchases Apple SCSI hard drive and cable from Jim Low, after he agrees to price suggested by Ken Cohen and Jim Ferr.

1991

Jan – Mar Gulf War discussion. Heated debate. Several hundred posts, including one short period when the 99 post limit of a Forum was reached in 3 days.

Mar 18 Vote feature re-introduced. Do you want a sports forum?
Jun 16 Warp Six upgraded to version 7 by author, Jim Ferr.
Jun 29 Further upgrade to version 7.7
Jun 30 Grant Robinson takes over as sysop. Operates via remote until hardware transfer can be arranged in July.
Jul 21 Warp Six hardware is moved to the new telephone number at (416) 276-4537.
Sept 26 Accidental hard drive format erases 2 weeks worth of messages with the system being restored from a backup.
Nov 17 Another Warp Six dinner Held at Meyers Deli in Yorkville.
Dec. Warp 6 software updated to version 8.9.

1992

Jan 4 The general files section gets a much needed re-organization which includes new sub-catagories.
Feb 10 Vote section opened by Jim Ferr to determine how many people will come to the upcoming dinner.
Mar 2 Another great W6 dinner at the Old Fish Market with 13 attendees. Organized by Jim Ferr.
April 14 Thanks to Applecare, Warp Six is operating with a brand new 20 meg SCSI hard drive.
May 17 All system menus were redone for 80 columns and to improve readability.
Jul 29 Warp Six upgraded to version 8.9.3.

1993

Jan Another successful dinner held at Millers Country Fair Restaurant.
March 23 Warp Six is the proud owner of an Apple IIGS floppy drive and ram expansion card.
March 27 The new computer is up and running with an impressive increase in speed.
April 24 Warp Six gets a new 20 Meg SCSI hard drive thanks to Applecare.
May 7 The old Warp Six Apple IIe is sold to John Jones.
May 31 Another successful Warp Six dinner is held at the Monte Carlo Italian Restaurant with nine attendees.
May The Warp Six software goes through a rash of Software upgrades with V. 2.2 being the latest and includes future opportunities for high speed modem support.
October 17 Deena Rasky becomes the new Warp 6 Sysop at (416) 469-1843.

1994

Jan 17 Warp Six moves again with new phone number: (416) 538-1628.
Jan 23 Even with Warp Six down because of the move, another dinner, this time at Omonia Restaurant. Eleven participants.
Sept. 25 Get together at Miller’s. Ten people, this time with door prizes courtesy of Apple User Connection and some extras.
Nov. 24 ATI modem 14.4 bps purchased for Warp 6. Runs ok at 9600 but not at full speed.
Dec. 4 Warp 6 dinner at Madras Durbar. More door prizes given out.

1995

Jan Version 3.0 out on public domain, Jim Ferr gets a Hayes modem to test out.
Jan 14 Warp 6 dinner at the Old Fish Market. 11 people attended. Arranged by Jim Ferr and Deena Rasky.
Feb 19 Jim Low becomes sysop again, but BBS is located at home of Frank Kucharski. New number: (416) 638-1340. First time chief sysop and hardware not at same location on a permanent basis.
Oct 23 Warp Six Dinner at Millers.

1996

Jun Warp Six computer failure. Warp Six spends $50 for replacement CPU.

1997

Sep 23 Hardware moves to Jim Low’s place with new number: 416-690-8038. Same number Warp Six had from Dec 1989 to June 1991.

1998

Nov 8 Major revisions to Forum setup to Warp Six, reducing from 9 to 5. Delete some of the stale General files.

1999

Mar 21 Warp Six dinner at Madras Durbar on Gerrard near Woodfield.

2000

Jan 1 New Chief Sysop is Robert Radford. Hardware remains at Jim Low’s place.
Apr 30 Warp Six Dinner at Miller’s Country Fare Restaurant with 9 of us present! More than regular callers.
Oct-Dec Jim Ferr looking into transfer of Warp Six to internet. Now have own Domain name: http://www.warpsixbbs.on.ca.

2001

Feb 4 Official “decommissioning of Warp Six hardware and shutdown of dial-up service on Apple IIgs. Current sysop Robert Radford makes “last post” in The Padded Room. One word: “Quack.” First sysop and founder, Jim Ferr, disconnects power. Celebrate “A Little Taste of Summer” barbecue at the home of Jim Low.

Feb Mark Sissons sets up Warp Six newsgroup where users continue to make posts. Jim Ferr continues to look into setting up server for http://www.warpsixbbs.on.ca but currently not working. Jim Low has a Warp Six message area on LOGIC BBS to be used ONLY for keeping users informed.
March 13 Jim Low offers to run Warp Six on his G4.
March 14 Mark Sissons creates a new account with Rogers to host Warp Six web site. Warp Six moves to Jim Low’s G4 after trouble keeping it running from Jim Ferr’s remote server.
March 19 Warp Six is running at warpsixbbs.homeip.net and the webpage is at http://web.mac.com/marksis/warpsixbbs/index.html.
May 17 Money Forum added to Warp Six at request of Ken Cohen.

2002

Centris 650
Warp Six ran on this Macintosh Centris 650 via RumorMill nntp server software and finished “the 2nd generation” in 2010.

Jan 24 Warp Six test site running with new version of RumorMill software.
Jan 25 Mark Sissons starts running Warp Six from his G4, being moved from Jim Low’s G4.
Feb 21 Attempt to run Warp Six from LOGIC BBS server attempted, but caused problems with LOGIC BBS, so quickly restored to Mark’s place and on a Quadra 650.
March 27 Power outage causes Warp Six to lose messages: restored from backup six weeks old.
May 4 Warp Six hardware moves to home of Ross Wright.

2003

Running with few problems. Occasional IP address change results in downtime of a few hours at a time. Mark Sissons left Toronto in May, but continues to assist Ross Wright, remotely.

2004

Early Aug Warp Six goes down.
Sep 23 Warp Six back up after being down for about six weeks due to several issues.

2005 to 2007

Running on the internet as a newsgroup with only a few users. Occasional downtime when power failures and IP address changes.

2008

Nov. Jim Low sets up Apple IIgs in his new home in Cobourg and plays around with old Warp Six software. Sets up offline for local use.
Dec. 3 “Warp Six Lunch.” Jim Low meets Jim Ferr (author and original sysop of Warp Six) for lunch at Harvey’s in Oshawa where Jim Ferr gives Jim Low an old Hayes modem. No cable available and Jim Low to look into finding a custom cable. Jim Ferr sends documentation to Jim Low.

2009

Jan. Jim Low asks his son-in-law to make custom cable — may be a while. Plans to set up temporary dialup Warp Six for short period for testing — no serious plans for return to dialup on a permanent basis. Warp Six down for a week caused by power failure. Still only a few callers: primarily Mark Sissons, Robert Radford, and Jim Low.

2010

Ross Wright sysop of Warp Six longer than any other sysop.
Jan Still no custom cable. Trying another friend, but may be a while, if at all. Still looking for custom cable for Warp Six to test dialup. Boot up Warp Six locally on an Apple IIgs and it works locally.  Jim thinking of holding a “Warp Six barbecue.” ;-)
The IP address keeps changing from time to time, as well as power outages in my area that made it keep changing.

Jan 9 Mark Sissons builds a WordPress blog site that is a close match for the Warp Six BBS discussion forums. Old members are invited to evaluate the site. If there is general consensus, we may begin the 3rd generation of Warp Six since its inception. First as a BBS site running on Apple II hardware and accessed via dial-up. Then as a newsgroup server running on a Centris 650 computer running an early version of the OS and the RumorMill nntp server program and then finally, as a WordPress blog site on the internet.

HARDWARE SYSOPS (where different from SYSOP):
Frank Kucharski Feb 19, 1995 – Sep 23, 1997
Jim Low Sep 23, 1997 – Feb 4, 2001
Jim Low Mar 17, 2001 – Jan 24, 2003

SYSOPS:
Jim Ferr Sep 12, 1985 – Nov 20, 1987 (author and founder) Ken Cohen Nov 21, 1987 – Nov 11, 1988
Jim Ferr Nov 12, 1988 – Apr 22, 1989
Ken Cohen Apr 23, 1989 – Dec 1, 1989
Jim Low Dec 2, 1989 – Jul 30, 1991
Grant Robinson Jul 30, 1991 – Oct 17, 1993 Deena Rasky Oct 17, 1993 – Feb 19, 1995
Jim Low Feb 19, 1995 – Jun 1, 1995
John Jones Jun 1, 1995 – Dec 31, 1999
Robert Radford Jan 1, 2000 – Feb 4, 2001
Mark Sissons Mar 2001 – May 4, 2003
Ross Wright May 4, 2003 to present

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