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What was Bob’s Room?

Well, hopefully you read all about who Bob is. If you did, then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what Bob’s Room is. But the truth of the matter is that Bob’s Room is much more than a home for a unique man named Bob. It’s a place that holds a lot of great memories for myself, and a lot of my friends. Here’s the tale of what was once Bob’s Room.

Now, as mentioned in the history of Bob himself, I used to spend a lot of time in the basement of my parents house. Since my actual bedroom was so small, I had adopted the basement as my main place to be in the house. I had my stereo and a bit of furniture down there and when my friends came over, that’s where we’d all hang out.

Around the time when Bob came to be, my room had shrunk in size. My folks had built some walls down there to make a couple of other rooms, but I still have my space. Bob was stashed in the far right hand corner behind one of the oldest chairs I had ever seen.

As I got through part of high school, I became quite immersed in computers. I had always had a strong interest in them since I was a kid, but access to computers was limited while in junior high. As soon as I got into computer ed in school, I was back into them full force.

One of the things that I stumbled into with computers, were BBS’s. This was before the days of the world wide web, and the internet wasn’t mainstream at all. The general public had no idea such a thing even existed. But for us computer geeks, we had BBS’s. Bulletin Board System. It consisted of a single computer that a user would dial into and chat with the owner, leave messages, play games, or download files. To me, BBS’s were really the grandfathers of the internet. They introduced me to things like email and online chats but were fundamentally very different from the internet we use today but still a lot of fun.

As I got more and more into these, I decided that I wanted to run my own. It required you to dedicate your computer to running the BBS, along with having a dedicated phone line that people would be able to dial into. I didn’t care. I was all gung-ho on having my own BBS. Also, keep in mind that this was back before PC’s (IBM based computers) were mainstream. I was using an old Commodore 64.

Soon enough, the Crystal Castle (named after a Nintendo game of the same name) BBS went online. Of course, that BBS didn’t last very long as I didn’t have my own phone and it was only open for a few hours each day.. It was my first experience as being a SysOp (system operator) of a BBS. I loved it.

Eventually, I got my own line, and started a new BBS called “The Dark Castle” (named after an AWESOME Apple Macintosh game). This was run on my Commodore 64 and ran all the time. It was quite a booming BBS at the time. But, eventually, that BBS would go down as I got into using PC’s and felt that it was time to move on.

The PC I had at home wasn’t really mine but I had pretty much claimed it. Once I had a real good grasp of PC’s, I looked into starting a new BBS using PC software. I still had a large following from my old BBS so I knew it wouldn’t be hard getting people to log on.

Now, during all of this, I had become friends with some of the fellow BBS’ers and actually was introduced to a new crowd of people and had been doing a lot of other stuff outside of my little life of computers. It was a lot of fun. For the most part, I would have a pile of people over to my place and we’d just hang out and do the typical teenage stuff.

Now, looking back, it always seems that when you were in high school, you always had a lot of friends. I wasn’t a hugely popular person, but I did have my share of friends and there was always people at my place.

Eventually, when I finally decided to put my BBS back online, I was at a loss for a name. I had already had 2 different names for the BBS, but it didn’t seem to fit with the new theme I had going on the board. So, I needed a new name. I happen to be sitting at home, contemplating this, when I looked over at Bob and the idea struck me. Bob’s Room.

Sure enough, the name was perfect, and the Bob’s Room BBS was born. The BBS was pretty popular as I was considered the fastest BBS in the area. Not for actual download speed, but for the way the board was built. I had a pile of games, message boards, and lots of other goodies on it. It was the best BBS I had put up to date.

Now, since a lot of my friends BBS’d, they knew about the board and we’d talk BBS talk all the time, and eventually, through repeated conversations, the term “Bob’s Room” became synonymous with “Matt’s basement” since that’s where the board was run out of. Whenever someone would mention “Bob’s Room”, everyone knew that they were referring to my place, or the actual room where Bob resided.

So, Bob’s Room was in fact the rec room that I had at my parents place while I was living there. It was one of the single most unique places you could visit. It was required that anyone who had never been there before, had to sign the wall, or leave a gift. There were piles of posters, and strange oddities that I picked up on my travels and contributions galore. At one point, I went through a road sign phase where I had piles of road signs (especially street signs) in there. All of that mixed together with a great group of friends made it the ideal place to hang out and enjoy life. Plus, I had some badass parties in that little room! ;)

It also made the perfect spot for me to develop computer applications, and VAJ Magazine. MDP Promotions was born in that room, and a lot of personal memories that shouldn’t be posted on a page like this ;)

One of the coolest additions to the room was some painting that my roommate had done on the walls. One wall consisted of a giant fire pit with huge flames shooting out in all directions. The ceiling was painted in a similar way with large swirls, but had glow in the dark paint. So, when you shut the lights off, the ceiling glowed. It was very cool.

During my last year of living at my mom’s place, I once again encountered a situation much like I had when I tried to name my BBS. I sat down there and tried to think of the perfect domain name. I had branched out onto the internet at this point and wanted to have my own website. For whatever reason, the idea of using Bobsroom.Com was lost on me until, just out of the middle of nowhere, my brain farted and I realized that my perfect domain was all around me.

Bobsroom.Com was first registered sometime in 1998 and I just recently renewed it. I am now trying to do my best to preserve the great days of the classic Bob’s Room moving them out onto the internet. As you can see, I think I have succeeded. I’m also pondering the idea of using this site for something constructive, but who knows if that’ll ever happen.

I have since moved out of my parents place, and the room that you see depicted in these photos is pretty much gone. One of the walls was removed, and the wall of signatures was destroyed (much to my dismay). The ceiling remains, and my mom said she thought she’d keep it as a reminder of days long gone.

Bob has since moved and now has a new room but I don’t dare call it Bob’s Room. It’s not even close to a comparison of the older room and since I live in an apartment, I can’t make the kind of radical changes I’d like to. Besides, I would never be able to reproduce the truly unique nature that was Bob’s Room.

So, that’s the story. It may seem like just a room to you, but it was a room filled with hundreds of awesome memories and experiences for me and my friends, and it only seems natural for me to keep part of it around here. I hope you enjoyed my little tale!


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