UCG Uncensored Citadel Group ? (orG?) (Ultimate Gaming Championship? :/ )
Still! Happy Birthday! :)
Since it's happy fun birthday time I might as well cover the whole nostalgic history.
When we first started our little dialup BBS in 1988 we called it UNCENSORED! (all caps), an anything-goes playground of chaos where anything can happen at any time. This was in contrast to the (then) most popular Citadel in the 914 area code at the time, which was run by a certain chap who held the reins a bit too tight.
Since it was a Unix system, you had to get past the system login prompt by logging in as "bbs" to start up a Citadel session. Since I was (and still am) a nerd, I wanted my system to look like some sort of sophisticated timesharing host, so when you connected you'd get a prompt something like this:
Uncensored Communications Group West Harrison, NY (Type "bbs" at this prompt to enter the BBS) login: _
Enough people thought that was the name of the entire system that, for a while, we did start bannering the Citadel as "Uncensored Communications Group BBS" but that seemed a bit stuffy so we renamed it back to Uncensored! shortly afterwards.
When we connected to the Internet in 1996, I set up telnet to go straight into a Citadel session, since I could use SSH to log in under my shell account. And of course in the 21st century most new users are coming in on a web browser. But you know you're looking at a truly old-skool member of the online community when you see someone refer to it as "UCG" -- Uncensored Communications Group.
Someone once told me, the early 90's were the heyday of the internet. :) If so, i missed it all, so thanks for sharing.
The internet was certainly alive and well in the 90s, but it was a time before the common man started to really get into the internet. As such, most of it was populated with geeks, even moreso than now.
The web was just starting to take off, and in its nascent state, it kind of has a raw look to it. Information trumped presentation in those days... get the information out there, and let the world (small as it seemed to be) see it. E-mail was useful and not a vehicle for spam. People used NNTP to distribute conversations much as web boards do today (Usenet News), but with a common protocol and a variety of text-based tools for viewing them.
The late 90s is when the internet started to really take off. AOL started bringing the internet to the common man over phone lines. E-mail and Usenet News started to collect spam, and at first people resisted, but we could do nothing to stop the assholes from abusing the technology without fucking up the whole thing (in which case it made sense to just to let them ruin it). The web became very popular, and presentation started to become rather important. New art forms grew out of the whole thing. And hacking computers to break into them was a source of amusement and fun.
Fast forward 15 years to now, where the internet has become indispensable for most business. E-mail is useful if you never use it outside your company, or use a sacrificial account for topical use only (used externally). Usenet News is a relic, with people preferring web boards that don't intercommunicate because of the fucking assholes who killed News for the rest of us. The majority of the way people use the internet is in the Web and streaming technologies. And hacking is now big business (both illegal and legal).
I feel kind of bittersweet about where we've gone with this stuff. It's amazing, what we can do with it now. But fucking hell, some people know how to shit on it.
The heyday of the Internet ended on February 4, 2004. There is little doubt about that. From then on, "eternal September" was not only real, but pervasive.
Yes it ended then (after googling then) - and i'm going to hell, along with all the rest of my friends and family and our holiday snaps, and long lost school photos from the bottom of the draw, and all that... Is there no hope for us all?
With so many geeks on the net, will a decentralised, social community ever take off mainstream? We should all have one geek friend to help us out i feel.
All my friends and family, and the people i work with, and anyone i ever meet - is on facebook though ... It is handy - if we could use decentralized social network software without having to jump through to many hoops, then some of those people might be tempted to get on board(?).
btw citadel with webcit is a social network, and alot more sane really. All the functionality of an online community without the needless brain ache. (although, instead of a Like, or #hashtag, we could have a all encompassing 'keep it real' transcendental feature, serving as a: like, unlike, hate, "i feel; sick, please stop!!", wake up, tag this!, kinda meme with a burning car icon you could click- for forced moments of clarity or instant karma cleansing- maybe next to the <cancel> button above the webcit board editor? :)
Also while i'm on the subject:
There are alot of citadel installations out there, do you encourage people to let you know of there success stories? I mean, i know aloty of people are running private citadels, like companies and individuals maybe using for there own needs. But - especially in the case of individuals, it would be nice to read of how people use there citadels. I have 'heard/read' of people running citadels on raspberry pi computers for there own coms needs, and there family and friends. But it would be nice if there was a central place of 'citadel advocacy' with people subm,itting there story to a list maybe.
Subject: Question about Citadel
I started in the 90s running a local dialup BBS system with only about 300 members. No internet back then. It's mainly a rural area, the three nearest towns have 18K-25K people. One newspaper each town. One TV station in region. No way for locals to comment on anything; politics, local government, taxes and so on and so on. So started with Buffalo Creek Spitfire and five phone lines. It was a hit with locals.
Then internet came in, but only service was owned by same company that owned the town newspaper and TV station. If they didn't like you or thought you were a loud mouth or activist, they wouldn't sell you service. Now the only ISPs are one cable company and ATT DSL (the fastest speed in our neighborhood next door to the town's only high school is allegedly 1.5 MB, up from 768K last year).
So free speech was a no go locally online before social media, now the PD is making arrests for cursing on Facebook pages, or ex's cursing one another on twitter. We even have a state law that bans harassing internet messages, harassing defined as using obscenities "aimed" at another person, even when posted on a person's own pages or account.
So we started the BBS and allowed members to post as freely as we possibly could (no direct threats, no illegal content, just opinion- no matter how rude that might be). With the internet, we moved to proprietary BBS software. Mainly Invision. We run three forums for locals to do the same thing the dialup was for, posting opinions about community issues. Local bureaucrats hate it, police chiefs hate it, clergy have railed against it. Mostly because of they are often the subjects of the problems, abuses and controversies being talked about.
Now Invision has become such a financial drain with their new licensing structures, we're looking to open source software to help us continue what we do for the three small local communities. To that end, we're interested in finding out about Citadel. Mainly it's stability, community support, security history- are timely updates rolled out to plug security holes, etc.
We have been running IPB since 2003, so we pretty much know the proprietary BBS scene and a lot of the paid software, but have only just heard of Citadel.
We don't run chan style boards. We operate small (largest board has 2,300 members) community forums for people who live in mostly rural areas in the state. Would anyone consider Citadel a viable alternative to proprietary software such as vBulletin or Invision? How does the the Citadel community handle newbies? Myself, I'm in my mid-60s, so I tend to depend on the patience of young people when I'm trying to learn new things.
Hope I haven't stepped on any toes or broken a rule with my post. My apologies if the content is off topic for this area.
Subject: Re: Question about Citadel
The groupware stuff came much later. You might have noticed the name of this particular BBS -- Uncensored! -- emerged into the world for reasons that are related but perhaps not completely identical.
So yes, let's talk about your current setup and what it would take to move to Citadel.
Do eeet! Just do eeet!
That's a great story there! Goodluck with your Citadel system! I hope you can post somewhere, your experiences of it. I for one would be very interested to read abouth it.
Also: i wish there was somewhere on the main citadel.org page, where people could add an entry about there own citadel installations. It would be very interesting, especially given the fact there are so many possible 'use cases' for a citadel system.
Subject: Can't log in to web interface
Hi folks, everything was working fine yesterday but I can't log in today.
Is there a way to reset the password through Linux? I have root access.
Subject: Re: Can't log in to web interface