Date: Sat, 22-Dec-84 18:56:02 EST
Posted: Sat Dec 22 18:56:02 1984
Date-Received: Tue, 25-Dec-84 02:49:35 EST
Organization: Ballistic Research Lab
The following text file was taken off of a local bulletin board. It looks
as if Tom may be loosing some of his support. I am sorry if you have
already seen the file...
Southern California Sysops
Pull the Plug on Tcimpidis
The tide of public opinion seems to be turning against Southern
California Bulletin Board operator Tom Tcimpidis, following revelation
that the pilfered credit card number found on his system was that of
Tcimpidis' former employer.
Even though most regard John Dvorak a "Smug Twit," his discovery has
prompted many Southern California Bulletin Board System operators --
some of whom shut down or altered their own systems in support of
Tcimpidis' defense -- to change their minds about this matter.
They find highly suspicious the coincidence that the number belonged
to Tcimpidis' former employer. More incriminating, they say, is the
fact that Tcimpidis never mentioned it to anyone in the local BBS
Tcimpidis claims the number was placed on his board by a caller using
an assumed name. He also claims he did not know the number in
question belonged to a former employer. ...And we all thought Tom was
a pretty smart guy.
Dvorak, who says he employed the cunning investigative reporter's
technique of ACTUALLY CALLING THE TELEPHONE NUMBER, revealed in a
copyrighted article in the Sunday, Oct. 7, San Francisco Examiner that
the credit card was owned by a television producer who once employed
Now we all know that Dvorak was tipped to this by an attorney from the
phone company. But I guess we've all got to try to preserve a little
Although local Sysops had stuck up for Tcimpidis from the beginning,
their dedication was at least in part based on a feeling that "any of
us could be next." As one Sysop told me: "All some turkey has to do
is stick a bogus credit card number on your system and you're up shit
creek!" But operators now feel this latest revelation indicates that
Pacific Bell's intentions in pressing the case against Tcimpidis are
not an effort to intimidate local bulletin board operators. "This
shows they're not going after Sysops," one operator said, "they're
going after crooks!"
But even before the recent discovery, local Sysops had confided to
this writer that Tcimpidis was, at least, "very careless."
One operator described Tcimpidis' system as the "Pimple Butt BBS."
"There wasn't one worthwhile P.D. (Public Domain) program on that
system," he said, "just a bunch of adolescents passing dirty notes...."
In all fairness, I HAVE downloaded some worthwhile programs from his
massive Heath system. But I also have seen plenty of inane ramblings
from local Pimple-Poppers who have nothing better to do with their
By the way, Smug John, all agree with you that the ultimate solution
to this problem is "a sincere effort at self-policing these boards by
the people who run them." But you are DEAD WRONG when you say
"Unfortunately, there has been NO real movement in that direction."
Local Sysops would like to know why the hell YOU haven't talked with
To sum up, Southern California Sysops are ready to pull the plug on
their support of Tcimpidis and let the telephone company have its way
with him. Hope he doesn't lose his mouse!