I remember working for an HIV/AIDS service organization in Manhattan in the early 1990s and getting permission to use the office phone system to log into Gardiner’s BBS. I was a member of Act Up NYC, but like most members, I couldn’t afford the hefty transcontinental phone calls to access his service.
I would tack important posts on physical bulletin boards at work and then print out reams of information, photo copy them, and take them to Act Up meetings to share with friends.
We had our own New York City and east coast BBS’s that were easier to afford, but keeping up with developments on the other side of the country was important and not always easy.
Gardiner performed an incredibly valuable service that people all over the country leveraged, but access was often difficult and required creative solutions.