Name of Interview: Rich Schinnell
Date Interviewed: February 29, 2004
Location: Rockville, MD

With the Henderson interviews under my belt, the rest of the trip was purely a bonus round; I'd arranged for three people to be interviewed on Sunday, which turned out to get me badly by the time I'd gotten to the third, but what can I say? I was trying to get some easy value out of an extra Sunday, since it was cheaper to fly out on a Monday, even with hotel costs.

Rich Schinnell was using BBSes in that interesting early time with IBM PCs, when they were a growing force but still not the dominant winners with home computers. As time is going on, it's becoming harder and harder to explain those early days, because it really was a case of the IBM PC and PC Compatibles being just one of another choice in what to use, and so the tight-knit community back then was not just for support but to encourage adoption of their favorite hardware.

For my own part, even though I owned at various times an Atari 800, Apple IIc, Macintosh Plus, and Amiga, it was definitely the IBM PC that was the first machine my father bought for my family and which ultimately became the machine I ran my BBS on a good number of years later. So I at least knew which questions to ask.

We covered a lot of the aspects of running an IBM BBS, IBM user groups, and other early history. We also discussed the interesting period of the Luggable, where the drive was to create a laptop-like experience but the technology just wasn't quite there.