BDE ARC is a creation from the membership of three WWIV (version 4) landline bulletin board systems (BBS's). All three sysop's plus some users founded the organization. Since our first repeater was personally owned by the sysop of BDE BBS, the club name was derrived from his BBS's name. Following is a detailed history on each of the BBS's:
BDE BBS started up in 1987 as a private e-maildrop for the sysop. However, having become employed full-time in 1988 as well as working on an advanced college degree, KD6LVW found that his computer and phone line was idle for over 20 hours per day. Having discovered the WWIV BBS system in early 1988 aided in the conversion of the maildrop into a full service BBS. BDE joined "WWIVNet" (a network of WWIV v4 BBS's) in November 1988 as node "2380". As users on BDE, he met KC6YPJ and subsequently KD6ALI and KC6YPK, all before any of them had amateur radio licenses. All four of them held an interest in communication via another radio service. Eventually, upon hearing the clarity of amateur FM transmission, all four of them got amateur radio licenses, although somewhat delayed with respect to KD6LVW as compared to the others, due to a death in his family in addition to other issues.
As early as 1979 "B'lith" (N6GPP) knew that communication by computer was the way of the future. The Castle Kzin BBS began life running on a TRS-80 under NewDOS with software that was originally written in compiled Basic for the 8080 processor. Advancement to a hard drive first happened when this equipment was donated by Jerry Jones who ran "The Dragon's Lair" BBS in Long Beach. WWIV BBS Software came out in the mid-1980's, and since it was written for the IBM PC (Clone), that is just what the next upgrade moved to; a PC-XT that ran at 10Mhz clock speed with 64K RAM and a 5 MB Internal Hard Disk Drive. The technology of the time was moving rapidly and it was interesting for all who used the BBS to see the inclusion of such upgrades as a 1200 baud modem over the original 300 baud version.
In the later years, Castle Kzin was networked to the entire WWIV network of bulletin boards as well as a core group of Fantasy Role Playing systems that all had "Castle" in their name. A BBS connection to Black Dragon Enterprises was kept until Castle Kzin finally shut down after the advent of The Internet drew users away.
ARC BBS was run by KC6YPJ and KD6ALI as their employer's BBS. At some point after leaving ARC Computer, KD6ALI put up QRU BBS as a replacement.
QRU2 was started in 1991 as an extension of the then defunct QRU Waffle board run on SCO Xenix in 1988-1990 providing a public access to the then very much unknown internet.
QRU2 was implemented as a WWIV BBS system providing massive file transfer access to a local group of users. The philosophy of the board was, "When free isn't cheap enough..." From 1991 to 1994, QRU2 steadily grew in it's selective user base and continually lived on the bleeding edge of technology. Due to the file transfer orientation of the QRU2 bulletin board, QRU2 always had the fastest modem technology and highly efficient transfer protocols. Peak usage was approximately 70% during a given 24 hour period. QRU2 was actually a small network consisting of an Intel 486DX and a NeXTStation communicating via the NFS protocol for extra file serving capabilities.
QRU2 was also one of the pioneering sites participating in another bleeding edge technology: The melding of true internet transport of messages for the WWIVnet network system. This breakthrough allowed sysops to transfer massive amounts of messages across the WWIV network without incuring the usual phone bills of a point to point phone call. QRU2 users were also afforded the luxury of Internet email which was just becoming common at the time.
With the growth of the Internet in urban areas, the BBS network suffered starting in 1994, and on July 31, 1996, all three sysops "pulled the plugs" on their BBS's. However, our interest in amateur radio and our friendship has survived.
We note that Wayne Bell, the author of the WWIV BBS software, also held an amateur radio license (Callsign N6PLU), and so did some of the other Los Angeles area WWIV sysops and users, but only from our three BBS's did our founding membership draw from.