Digitizations And Documentary

Presented at DEF CON 12 (2004), July 31, 2004, noon (50 minutes)

Jason Scott of TEXTFILES.COM, a site dedicated to the history of Dial-Up Bulletin Board Systems, embarked on a quest to film an all-inclusive BBS documentary in 2001. What started out as a one-year project grew to three, and what started as a two-hour film will be a six-hour series. Thousands of miles of travel and 200 interviews later, the production is now nearing the end of editing and the release date. Jason tells you what he learned, why you shouldn't hesitate to make your own projects, and the occasional story that technically can't be mentioned in the film.


  • Jason Scott - Webmaster, TEXTFILES.COM, Director, BBS Documentary
    Jason Scott is the creator and webmaster of TEXTFILES.COM, a website dedicated to collecting the files and related materials from the era of the Dial-up BBS. This website, originally built from files he collected as a BBS user in his early teens, has expanded to many gigabytes of data and now recieves thousands of visitors a day. Inspired to create "the ultimate BBS list" from the hundreds on his website, he suddenly started recieving dozens of stories from BBS users and operators who found their old BBSes listed among others. Recogizing a missing piece in the story of computers, Jason used his dormant filmmaking skills (Emerson College Film Degree, 1992) to create this documentary.