Presented at HOPE Number Six (2006), July 22, 2006, 1 p.m. (60 minutes)

A regular feature of HOPE conferences, this year's retrocomputing panel will reminisce about bulletin board systems. The dial-up BBS was how many people sent their first email, read forum posts, and found the electronic communities that would later migrate to the Internet.

Sellam will also give a brief introduction of the history of computing and talk about the various eras since the invention of the first modern day computers in the 1950s with an introduction to Babbage's work in the 1830s. Also discussed will be hacker history, phreaking history, how the culture sprang up, and what it has morphed into today.


  • Jason Scott
    Jason Scott is the administrator and founder of, a collection of historical computer artifacts spanning the last 40 years, with a focus on the era of the dial-up bulletin board system (BBS). He recently finished a three DVD documentary called BBS: The Documentary ( and is currently filming a documentary about text adventures (
  • Sellam Ismail
    Sellam Ismail ( is a computer historian and consultant who maintains the largest privately held collection of vintage computers on the planet. He founded the Vintage Computer Festival (, an international event that celebrates the history of computing and, through his business VintageTech (, provides consulting services to patent attorneys, Hollywood, government, and academia.
  • Richard Cheshire / The Cheshire Catalyst as Cheshire Catalyst
  • Sam Nitzberg
    Sam Nitzberg ( is a computer security analyst who has presented and published on subjects relating to information security, information warfare, and technology and society. His papers and presentations have been conducted in both national and international venues and he has attended or participated in each of the HOPE conferences since their inception. His website is


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