&TOTSE: & the Temple Of The Screaming Electron.

&TOTSE was absolutely one of the fundamentally great BBS's in the United States, if not the world, in the 80's. &TOTSE was a BBS'ers dream, because it firmly believed in the right to free speech. One of the founding boards in NirvanaNET, (a web of BBS's that also catered to free speech), it's presence was well known throughout the 'underground' community. I first became aware of &TOTSE through a BBS in Houston, named The Dojo, which was connected to NirvanaNet. &TOTSE, and all it's affiliate boards on NirvanaNet, carried hundreds of subjects on its message nets; some sections even covered phreaking, hacking/cracking, bombs, drugs, and other 'underground' subjects -- although those didn't represent the majority of the boards. The SysOp of &TOTSE believed that everyone had the right to discuss what they wished, and because of this, created his BBS and NirvanaNet to spread knowledge and camaraderie between BBS'ers.

The rise of the Net, with its global reach and fascinating capabilities, began the downfall of BBS's. &TOTSE was no exception. People began migrating away from one and two (phone) line BBS's for the allure of the Net, with its instant global reach. The atmosphere of BBS's is gone for good, replaced by the massive, inpersonal internet. Although &TOTSE's archives are still available online, ( http://www.totse.com ), it just isn't the same. Those who grew up never interacting with others in the environment of a BBS (as opposed to the Net) just dont know what they've missed.

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