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Tele-Arena scripts from The Point BBS in New Orleans, circa 1995

15 years ago, 1995-ish, I cut my teeth on programming by editing and creating scripts for Tele-Arena, a MajorBBS game involving reading about goblins appearing, then typing instructions to attack them, and then reading about their deaths. The runtime was Telemate, a DOS COM program that was very dear to us. This was a pretty profound experience on me, though I didn't know it at the time.

It turns out that a friend kept a copy of those scripts on a moldy floppy somewhere, and I was recently gifted with a copy. I ran and edited these on my first computer, a 486 with a 2400 baud modem. Before that, my interactions with computers and technology were strictly as a consumer--playing games, watching media. Tele-Arena, and these scripts, showed me how a computer can be bent to one's will. It was the beginning of a long road for me.

Since this was on my first computer, this repository consists of the first things that I ever programmed. One and a half decades later, they quite horrify me in practical terms, but time has made the memories of my time on that BBS quite halcyon. I learned more useful stuff automating the destruction of stygian dragons and warlocks than I ever did in school. Surely these scripts deserve to live on the web somewhere.

So here they are. These were written, shared, cannibalized, copy-pasted, and edited by several of us back then. By the time I started messing with them, there was already a sizable body of code. I can point to several authors, but who actually wrote a given line of code is probably lost to time--I explicitly make no attempt to attribute any of them. I doubt some kid will stumble across this and be as inspired as I was--nowadays they do that with WoW interface mods in Lua, a profoundly more functional environment than we had to deal with. But maybe someone will enjoy going over them as much as I do. Or maybe someone will one day google 'The Point BBS' and find them. Who knows.

At any rate, I hope to never lose them again. They shall remain with me in git from now on, assuming no rogue steals their soulstone. Thankfully, lots of scripts have the 'soulcheck' function to make sure they are safe from just such a threat.

April 2010


Blast from my past. Take that, goblin!



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