Blogging Computers Driving Internet Travel

Melbourne Florida

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. 29 years ago I lived in Melbourne Florida. It was my home from March 1993 to March 1994. I lived in a cozy low-rent studio efficiency on South Oak Street – at first full-time and unemployed, and then part-time and fully-employed.

When I got my honorable discharge from the USAF I moved to Melbourne Florida (from the Washington D.C. area). This was in the aftermath of the destruction of my former home at Homestead Air Force Base. In hindsight – I should have relocated to Melbourne directly after Hurricane Andrew instead of the #DMV (where I grew up as a kid). Had I gone to Patrick Air Force Base while still on USAF Active Duty my life of the next 30 years may have turned out completely different – perhaps for the better – maybe for the worse.

My first 5 months in Melbourne were crazy – and a lot of fun – as I looked for a job in the local area. It was probably the most fun 5 months of my entire life. It was during those 5 months that I learned how to use a modern Windows 3.1 / DOS 6.0-based personal computer for the first time ever. I also discovered an early form of social media known as the BBS (bulletin board system). My friend was running a popular BBS at the time where people would dial-in (via modem) to his computer and participate in message boards and live chat. I was so fascinated by that. I decided to create my own BBS – MANx CAT BBS. It went online during the early-morning hours of Friday May 21ST 1993. It continued for over 4 years.

MANx CAT BBS spawned MANx On The Net – which was the World Wide Web spinoff of the BBS. MANx On The Net evolved into MASSIVESMASH.COM in 1998 – my music-based web site, and it in turn became this blog in 2007.

Original Masthead (1998-2007)

So this weekend marks 29 years of online activity for me – starting with that first BBS – created in Melbourne Florida. And on that BBS we talked about travel and music – among other topics.

Since I moved away in March 1994 I’ve only visited Melbourne a few times. I don’t know anyone there anymore. My old rundown apartment complex was bulldozed to the ground years ago. The city has grown a lot over the past 30 years. So has the metro area (essentially all of Brevard County / Florida’s Space Coast). Over 600,000 call the area home nowadays. 30 years ago that number was right around 400,000. It was congested back then. I know it’s worse today. It’s a nice scenic area with the rivers and the beaches, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

Next #TravelThursday we’ll visit Kings Dominion in Virginia. Let’s keep traveling together.

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