You may be curious why this door is being updated 26 years after its November 1994 release.

I first started using BBSes in late 1992, at the age of fourteen, and became interested in programming games for them after being given a copy of QuickBASIC 4.5 as a Christmas gift that year. I wrote the first early versions of BigWins Lotto over the summer and fall of 1993 under the moniker "Dinosaur Valley Software", and distributed them to local BBSes, of which there were seven in my area at the height of the BBS craze.

In early 1994, a new local SysOp, Bill Pierce, asked me if I'd install an early version of BigWins Lotto for him in exchange for a subscription, which I did. He hired me to work on his BBS, which was my first real job. A year later, Bill turned the BBS into the Oneonta, NY area's first dialup Internet provider. The professional & programming experience I gained first helped pave the way to a bachelor's degree from Clarkson University in Management Information Systems in 2000, and then a very long and successful career in software development, which I still do today. The languages and technologies have all changed, but I still enjoy the work as I did back then.

In August 2020, Tom Swartz of Danger Bay BBS contacted me on Facebook and asked if I could generate a registration key for the door. To put it mildly, I was more than a little surprised to receive such a request. I had never received a paid registration for the door during the entire time of its existence. But, remembering the effect of BBSes on my career, my happy memories of them & desire for nostalgia, and Mr. Swartz' stated desire to archive as many doors as possible, I decided to see if I could figure out how to create a key for him.

As is typical for a lot of BBS doors, the source code for BigWins Lotto had been misplaced some time after I went to college in 1996, and I was unable to locate it. As a consequence, I spent many hours inside debuggers and disassemblers in an effort to reverse engineer a way to create a key. I remembered what libraries I had used to create the door (including Brian Pirie's REGKEY library) but success was elusive until the weekend of 21-22 November 2020, when I finally succeeded.

BBSes hold a near and dear place in my heart, and being able to bring this door "back from the dead", as it were, was a labor of love. I'm happy to be able to bring it back.

Thanks to the members of the Danger Bay BBS Facebook group for giving me encouragement and advice, and to Tom Swartz for lighting a fire under my butt to get this going again.

I also want to give very special thanks to Bill Pierce of W. Pierce Electronics and Chris Chase of Directive Inc. (and its BBS, DaTaNeT BBS) for giving me the knowledge and experience to turn a fun hobby into a fantastic career. Thanks also to my mother, Eva Colone, for purchasing that copy of QuickBASIC, even though you chewed me out for all the long distance phone calls :)

Scott F. Comstock
November 2020