Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

The Washington Apple Pi TCS

The TCS is Washington Apple Pi's flagship communications system. In operation for over a decade, the TCS has become the largest and most popular electronic bulletin board system of its kind.

* TCS Conference Structure
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TCS File Library Structure

You're not likely to believe this, but...

The TCS is made up of a room full of networked Apple IIGS's, each with its own modem, and each connecting to a central Macintosh running AppleShare. Other obsolete models of Macintosh computers connect the TCS to the Internet.

This mixed, distributed setup, along with some custom programming, handles 100,000 callers a year to exchange anecdotes, send and receive Internet e-mail, and access several gigabytes of publicly distributed software, graphics, and other information.

An alternative entry point for the TCS, using the World Wide Web as its presentation layer, is available for Pi Explorer subscribers. Using a Web browser, Explorer subscribers can rapidly search through the gigabytes of files on the TCS and, once they've found what they want, download the files using high-speed links. A method of reading and posting messages on the TCS from the Internet is currently being developed and tested.

As melding Apple II and Macintosh computers into the World Wide Web has never been done before, this project represents a classic example of how user groups can extend technology, especially "obsolete" technology, in ways not contemplated by corporations. (But if you were to donate a non-obsolete Macintosh computer, such as a couple Apple G3 or G4 machines, they would be cheerfully and immediately put to use.)