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Freelancin' Roundtable Emulator

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Welcome to the home for the Freelancin' Roundtable Emulator (RT2). The Emulator is modeled after, and created by users of the former Freelancin' Roundtable (new page) which was a multi-line, dial-in, modem-based, text chat system from the 1980's. Not only is RT2 fun to use, it's also a tribute to the original system, its creators, and its users.

The story

For several years I had considered the idea of putting together a website to reunite former RT users, because many of these people were computer geeks then and would undoubtedly be around somewhere on the Internet today. In the end, I always came to the conclusion that it was best to leave those memories in the past. I figured that there might be some fun talking about the original Roundtable, it would be short lived.

In later years I would search from time to time for information about Roundtable and come up largely empty handed. I could find no official references and no definitive sources about RT. After becoming a frequent user of wikipedia in 2004 and 2005, I decided that I could create an RT page and I wouldn't have the burdon of maintaining a website dediacted to RT. Wikipedia continued to grow in popularity, so I figured that my page would have the chance at much better exposure than if I created a free-standing website about RT. Finally, I knew that if any former RT users did come across the page, they could expand it and fix whatever errors existed. It was the best of all worlds.

I created the Freelancin' Roundtable page (new page) at wikipedia in July 2005, and made minor revisions to it over the following months. Also around this time I had been in contact with a former RT user (Neva) who had a collection of photos from a few RT social gatherings. In March 2006 she mailed these to me, and later I scanned these, put them online, and linked to them from the wiki page. Those photos have now been moved to this site and have been a source of inspiration and rememberance for at least one former user who has joined us.

On September 17th, 2006, I got an email message from Miroc, a former RT user, thanking me for having created the wiki page and stating that it inspired him to write an RT emulator. He started coding on September 13th, 2006. Needless to say, I thought the idea was fantastic. The emulator worked, but there were many unanswered questions about some of the details about what RT actually looked like. This motivated me to dig up a stash of papers I had saved from the 1980's. These pages contained valuable information that allowed the emulator to be even more closely modeled after the original system in terms of its form and function.

After Miroc sent me the address of the emulator, I emailed it to Neva so she could try it too. She sent back a flood of text messages to my phone expressing so much excitement you'd think she had won the lottery. RT had been a great thing in her life too and she was glad to see it back in action and talk to friends she had not seen in literally decades.

During the next week, the emulator was further crafted and tested by four original RT members (myself, Neva, Clash, and Miroc) as well as Ray who gladly also helped test the system. I bought this domain name and created this site to operate as a home for this information and documentation.

In many ways, things had come full-circle; the photos that Neva had all those years contained images of myself, her, Miroc, and Clash. Our goal is to round up more of the former RT users, welcome new users, and have some fun.

Ces / Mr. Weather, September 2006