|Featuring Philip Becker
| by Bob Talmadge
|Phil Becker (Phillip Becker) was one of the most influential persons in the BBS world, as well as later in the growth of the Internet as the World Wide Web. His TBBS software helped revolutionize the commercial BBS business and online communications. TBBS (The Bread Board System) was a multiline DOS based software package. Becker first wrote TBBS as a single line Bulletin Board System (BBS) originally running on early TRS-80 computers. He later revised the machine language package completely, to work on IBM PC's running under the old DOS operating system and ran on such BBS's as Jim Maxey's Event Horizons BBS.
Becker, who holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University also wrote “Introduction to PC Communications” which was hailed as a brilliant source for the new world wide web.
The new version allowed multiple callers to access the TBBS system at the same time. Other BBS software packages could only achieve this by either running their software on LAN systems, dedicating one complete machine per modem.
eSoft's next step was the IPAD - The "Internet Protocol Adapter" - a separate hardware/software solution that, tied to the TBBS machine allowed incoming telnet access to the TBBS system. It also provided outgoing access for those TBBS callers on dial in lines of the system to access the internet using the IPAD machine as a gateway. Eventually, many IPAD owners became Internet Service Providers (ISP's) as BBS usage on the whole began to wane, caused by the growing popularity of the Internet.
Becker put more and more effort into the IPAD, which proved a bright move but caused bad feelings with TBBS operators (sysops), who considered the change abandoning TBBS in favor of the IPAD.
Phil Becker, along with Jack Rickard founded ONE BBS CON before the World Wide Web took off in 1994. It served as a convention for BBS operators and a platform to learn the business, and a way for sysops to gather and compare notes.
Becker resigned for eSoft in 2000 to retire and spend time with his family.