This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Friday, March 22, 2013

And now for something completely different

Global War

My past has caught up with me.

Long before I became an amateur boat builder, I was an amateur computer game developer. Back in the late '80s and early '90s, before the internet became available, Bulletin Board Systems were how Social Networking using computers was done. In their heyday there were over 100,000 of them.  I was the Sysop of ProVision BBS and authored two popular door games called Global War and Global Backgammon.  Global War was an online adaptation of the popular board game "Risk".

If you're too young to remember any of this, don't worry, Wikipedia has some very good articles describing what Bulletin Board Systems and BBS door games were all about, but don't wait too long to read them. Various crusading Wikipedia editors have deemed many of the articles on BBS door games "non-notable" and have decided to try and remove them.

Josh Renaud, a contributor on Wikipedia, wants to preserve their history, so he started his own wiki and his own blog. His goal is to collect information on BBS door games for future researchers, historians and enthusiasts. Josh has been tracking down door authors and conducting interviews.

If you would like to read Josh's interview with me, click here, or to read more about Global War, click here


  1. It was a pleasure, Joel! Thanks so much for participating -- and for making Global War in the first place.

  2. joel! long time... been a long time.. i still remember our conversations of you ideas before you had set sails. remember Geoff Shepherd, Jeff Stewart, (stubbs), LSO, etc..??? and all that pizza and rootbeer!!!

    congrats to you again and well i remember correctly you were able to do some great things for your family and kids with your proceeds. And now you are truly iconic of a hopefully never forgotten past of the computing world. Remember FidoNet??? LOL

    cheers! your ex-cosysop Donald Newberry (aka 'mtdew') ps i think i might have been still using Farris as my last name. at any rate I was only 15 way back in '89. wowzers. lived in marysville at the time. now living in everett, never leaving our beautiful northwest.