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Running a FidoNet-connected BBS meant I had direct access to read every EchoMail group I could subscribe my BBS to. At the time it was a great source of real, insightful written conversation. Because the readers were text-based, and it was all on my hard drive, I could consume postings at such great speed. (spacebar, spacebar, spacebar...)

The memories.




> Because the readers were text-based, and it was all on my hard drive, I could consume postings at such great speed.

You didn't have to run a BBS to do this. Using an offline mail reader like Blue Wave [1] and downloading QWK files [2] allowed anyone to do it—and helped keep the lines, as downloading was (relatively) quick compared to reading 'online'.

I initially got "on" Usenet by downloading SOUP files from a local free-net [3].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Wave_(mail_reader)

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWK_(file_format)

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-net


Those offline mail readers were awesome - I preferred OLX.

In fact, when I finally got email, I wrote a QB program to convert my inbox to QWK format. I would then use OLX to read/reply to emails. I don't recall, but I probably used OLX's Save As to store my replies to text files which I then uploaded to my online mail server.

I used OLX for emails until at least 1999.


> I used OLX for emails until at least 1999.

Seems you can still get it:

* http://www.santronics.com/products/olx/index.php


Oh how I wished online forums supported QWK or OLX for offline reading. Most online forum software are an abomination of animations, clicks and excessive waiting for crap to load.


https://github.com/CyberShadow/DFeed the forum software behind https://forum.dlang.org/ offers NNTP feeds. More web forum software should do that.


BlueWave was such a great way to read mail comparing to Gmail for example. Got me thinking about building an online clone if it just for fun.


Thanks for the blast from the past. You've just reminded me how awesome mail was back then. Do you remember IceEdit?


Blue Wave was the first piece of shareware I registered. I still have the floppy.




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