A Brief History of The Wrong Number
TWN is a Bulletin Board System (BBS) that was founded on June 6, 1987.
It is not on the Internet, nor is there any plan to put it there.
Here is a little history about TWN. The first time I used a modem was on a weekend at my job. Having only a TRS-80 Model 4, I often would play and learn about those "new" IBM systems on the weekend at work. One day I found a modem was in the PC, and having never used one, I picked up a magazine that had BBS phone numbers in it. I called a few systems until I finally found a local BBS to the Stockton area. The name of that system was "The Garage Sale BBS". I started calling that system, and after about three months I knew I had to run my own system. Once I decided to buy the equipment and software, I had to come up with the name. The first name I thought of was "The Data Star BBS". I liked it but ultimately decided it didn't have that "right ring" to it. I had a flash of inspiration and came up with "The Disconnected Number". I really liked this and was trying to find a way with ANSI line characters to draw this name, but found the "D" was a bit difficult to make look right. The phone rang, and I answered it. As you might have guessed, the person dialed the wrong number, and when I told them, "I'm sorry, you dialed the wrong number.", I knew I had my name. The Wrong Number was born.
TWN originally ran on a 286 using PCBoard 11.8. I had an unimaginably huge 40 megabytes of disk space. I used a multitasking program called "Double Dos" that allowed you to have two windows open at one time -- splitting the 640K of available conventional memory (though I had a whopping one meg of memory). This worked fine for about a year until I decided to go multinode. Double Dos couldn't provide enough memory in each window, so I needed to use another multitasking program. I ended up with DesqView. A year after that I doubled again and went to four lines. All four lines operated for about ten years utilizing the convenience of a call-hunting group that automatically transfered you to another line if the one you called was busy. The original phone numbers were:
Node 1: (209) 943-1880 Node 2: (209) 943-0908 Node 3: (209) 943-1517 Node 4: (209) 943-1965
TWN has been off-the-hook since 2002 -- it had a 15 year run as the largest and longest running hobby BBS in northern California. Wrong Numerians -- those who used the BBS still reach out and drop an email from time-to-time. If you're a Wrong Numerian, I hope you will too!
If you used a Bulletin Board System, and you've read this, no doubt you have some happy memories of that time. BBS's were the "CB Radios" of my generation. The Internet has made the word a far greater place, but as grand as it is, it will never compare to the community one found on a Bulletin Board System.