Story from the Biddeford Journal Tribune, January 21, 1997
John's domain, circa 1996

Neighbors on the net

Bulletin board set up for the locals

Want to chat about local news? Read up on community events? Do you have "even the most 
primitive computer with a modem?"
If you answered yes to all three of these questions, Mousam River Community BBS may be 
your link to local life.
The new, Kennebunkport-based computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) went online last week, 
but Monday was "really the first day," said John Maguire, system operator.
Free to any user for 30 minutes each day, Mousam River Community BBS aims to be a 
gathering place for conversation and help. Maguire said he is including local chat areas 
for Biddeford/Saco, the Kennebunks and York County.
So far, about 20 users have accessed the local board, which, according to Maguire, is the 
only place where residents can meet via keyboards and computer screens.
"There is no local place to chat on the Internet," he said. "I think the residents need a 
place where they can exchange ideas without having to have the latest in computers and 
modems."
The idea to start up the local BBS began last September after Harbour Lights BBS in 
Kennebunkport closed and state funding ran out for the COPS community BBS in Kennebunk.
Maguire, who was system manager for Harbour Lights and Sysop (system operator) on the COPS 
BBS, said, "A rather large, rather vocal number of users have convinced me to start up a 
new BBS.
"Because they knew me through Harbour Lights and COPS," he added, "they came and said we 
need something local again. It's more like I got pushed into it and when I started it I 
said 'why not?"
For Maguire, setting up the local BBS entailed installing a new phone line and purchasing 
a new modem. He will be responsible for the monthly phone bill, which he estimates will 
run him about $16.
With an original plan of charging users $9.99 for six months, Maguire said he "had a big 
change of heart over the weekend.""Basically, why not?" he said about making the access 
free. "Obviously, $10 for six months doesn't pay anything anyhow."
For those wanting longer access, Maguire said there is an option of paying "a little 
more." He also hopes to have a place where local businesses can donate money to keep the 
BBS going.—Jenny Steffens

Back to Computing History

A few views of the Mousam River BBS:

MRBBS 1998-1999   MRBBS 1999   MRBBS 2000   MRBBS 2001-2005

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