Randy Suess was a visionary who co-invented the Bulletin Board System (BBS), a precursor to the modern internet forum. He passed away on December 10, 2019, at the age of 74, leaving behind a legacy that continues to shape the way we communicate and connect online.
Suess was born in 1945 in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up with a fascination for electronics and technology. He attended the Illinois Institute of Technology and studied electrical engineering, but his true passion lay in computer programming and software development.
In the early 1970s, Suess and his friend Ward Christensen began working on a project that would revolutionize the way people communicated and shared information online. They created the Bulletin Board System, or BBS, which was essentially a computer program that allowed users to connect to a central computer and share messages, files, and other information.
At the time, the BBS was a groundbreaking innovation that allowed users to communicate and share information without the need for a physical meeting or face-to-face interaction. It was the precursor to the modern internet forum and laid the groundwork for the social media platforms that we use today.
Suess and Christensen launched the first BBS in 1978, which was called the CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System). It quickly gained popularity among computer enthusiasts and hobbyists, who used it to share technical information, software, and games. The CBBS also had a chat feature, which allowed users to communicate with each other in real-time.
Suess and Christensen continued to refine and improve the BBS over the years, and it became a central hub for the emerging computer community. It was the birthplace of many important computer innovations, such as the file transfer protocol (FTP) and the computer virus.
Suess was also an avid user of the BBS and was known for his colorful and humorous posts. He used the screen name “Doctor Who” and was a beloved figure in the computer community. His posts were often filled with jokes, puns, and witty observations, and he had a talent for making even the most technical subjects engaging and entertaining.
In addition to his work on the BBS, Suess was also a talented artist and cartoonist. He created a series of whimsical and humorous cartoons that were featured in various publications, including The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. His cartoons often featured computer-related themes and were a reflection of his playful and creative spirit.
Suess passed away on December 10, 2019, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and influence the world of technology and communication. His work on the BBS laid the foundation for the internet as we know it today, and his humor and creativity brought joy and laughter to countless people.
In conclusion, Randy Suess was a visionary who made a significant contribution to the world of technology and communication. His co-invention of the Bulletin Board System paved the way for the modern internet forum and social media platforms, and his humor and creativity brought joy and laughter to many. Suess’s legacy is a testament to the power of innovation and creativity, and his influence will be felt for many years to come.