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Ward Christensen


Ward Christensen

Ward Christensen

Ward Christensen (born October 23, 1945 in West Bend, Wisconsin, USA) is the co-founder of the CBBS bulletin board, the first bulletin board system (BBS) ever brought online. Christensen, along with partner Randy Suess, started development during a blizzard in Chicago, Illinois, and officially established CBBS four weeks later, on February 16, 1978.[1][2][3]

Christensen was noted for building software tools for his needs. He wrote a cassette-based operating system before floppies and hard disks were common. When he lost track of the source code for some programs he wrote ReSource, an iterative disassembler for the Intel 8080, to help him regenerate the source code. When he needed to send files to Randy Suess he wrote XMODEM.

Christensen received two 1992 Dvorak Awards for Excellence in Telecommunications, one with Randy Suess for developing the first BBS, and a lifetime achievement award "for outstanding contributions to PC telecommunications."[4] In 1993 he received the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.[5]

Christensen worked at IBM from 1968[6] until his retirement in 2012. His last position with IBM was field technical sales specialist.


  1. ^ Rey Barry, "The Origin of Computer Bulletin Boards".
  2. ^ Rupert Goodwins, "Online communities turn twenty-five".
  3. ^ Smart Computing Encyclopedia: Ward Christensen.
  4. ^ Dvorak Awards for Excellence in Telecommunications
  5. ^ Second Annual EFF Pioneer Awards
  6. ^ (Msg 46394)re: R/1ST BBS QUESTIONS from Ward Christensen to Steve Culver, July 31, 1993.
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