Support BBS

Digital AV WS

The internet wasn't well understood in 1995, at least not to the point where we could rely on it for providing support. The only way to connect computers across distances, was over phone lines with a modem. Bulletin boards were a pretty common thing in those days. It occurred to me that creating one might provide a way to disseminate information and chat with reps in the field.

I submitted a proposal to develop one, using a BBS software product that had a graphical interface and supported both Macs and PC's. And it cost less than $25,000 to buy all the equipment and software to run it. After figuring out the software, I set about designing the BBS platform. I created areas for individual product news, a library of all our software drivers, a section for technical docs, plus a conference/chat area, all illustrated with background photos of the products they were intended for. The field loved it. Support loved it. We were finally all connected and could chat in real time on various issues of concern, and send out the latest versions of software, etc. IT found out about it, however and eventually made me take it down, so they could replace it with Lotus Notes. (The worst piece of UN -productivity software I've ever used, at least the Mac version was.) It did not come close to what I had created. When I expressed my displeasure with the decision to shut it down on the BBS, I was threatened with being fired unless I removed the email, it wasn't the first time and wouldnt be the last either. Kodak bureaucracy, was often the largest obstacle to the acceptance of any new ideas.

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