I talked by 'phone with Tim Stryker about 20 years ago. We talked about BBS'ing and multi-player computer games. This was before the internet takeoff. I had a 4-user BBS, ran a few multi-player games, and some echo message nets. It seemed like a cool hobby back in the 1980's. Tim developed amazingly sophisticated hardware, the Galacticomm modem card, as well as software (MajorBBS/MBBS).
BBS gaming included D&D style (RPG/MUD) door programs where you could see other users' actions in real time in the game scenarios. There were also multi-player games that were not real-time player interactive, such as Tradewars, and other "world/galaxy domination" games.
Message relay conferences were popular and linked all over the world, some Usenet, also Fidonet, RIME, Relaynet, others. People ran computers from their homes that automatically made a telephone call to another computer, to transfer messages to other computers that did the same thing.
Tim's idea, to design a BBS from the ground up starting with the hardware, was unique.
This was the BBS scene right about the time Netscape
arrived and jump-started the rise of the World Wide Web. Back then, people would get the 'Trumpet
' internet socket for Windows 3.1 , from a clever guy in Australia. Later, Windows 95 came with the IP socket built-in! (Winsock
Tim made a breakthrough with his Galacticomm modem cards. He'd figured out how to put 8 to 16, and later 64, modems on a single PC plug-in card. There were people back then running 100+ user systems using his stuff. Imagine handling 100+ users on a single PC, using 2 of his 64-modem cards. This was back in the days of Intel 386 and 486 processors. Tim designed software drivers to handle the interrupts quickly, and BBS application software to run on top of all that, and it was all extensible and easy to interface. Dozens of people were writing MajorBBS games and applications. It all worked and, at the time, was a huge step for multi-user BBS'ing and gaming.
Anyway, I recall Tim Stryker's genius and willingness to share many creative ideas. He seemed to have a nice iterative approach to designing things, they always seemed to get better. I can't say I really knew him, yet, 20 years later, I'm sure I'll never forget him.