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The Internet

Every BBS That Ever Was 296

Jason Scott writes: "With a collection of over 30,000 textfiles from the 1980's, I suddenly got a rather weird thought: Why not start taking all the BBSes mentioned in all the textfiles and create a really, really huge BBS list? A few weeks later, I'm up past 77,000 BBSes listed, with many including the Sysop's name, software used, and if you're lucky a relatively accurate timespan for the years that BBS graced the telephone network. I've imported FidoNet nodelists, WildCat! customer lists, and a whole range of other lists as I find them (USBBS List, Darwin List, etc.). Come by and remember what places sucked up all YOUR long distance calls and sleepless nights, trying to get past the busy signals. I'm also making an open call for everyone and anyone to send me old BBS lists to integrate. With luck, we can have some sort of permanent record of all the BBSes we ever knew."
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Every BBS That Ever Was

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...because you cling to the past, fear the future, fear change. We razz you because you cant move on.

    BBSes are gone now and best forgotten.

    It sounds like you at least have an inkling at how awful all those things you mentioned were. Relax. It's all over now. Thanks to graphical web browsers and online Quake, we live in a technological golden age -- one where we can safely forget about Ansi art and cryptic command lines. We've got better stuff now! The world's move on!
  • Hi,
    ... if you read the last lines he is asking you to send in any bbs's he dosen't have listed.

    Yeah, but he also claims that he has imported the Fidonet nodelist. So why are there no systems outside the US? Fidonet was huge, at one time nearly fourty thousand nodes, not even counting the point bbses. At that time the European part of Fidonet was larger than the US part.
    And today there are still over ten thousand systems listed, most of them outside the US, eg. Russia and other former Sovjet Union states.

  • I for one nearly cried. I know this list really serves no prctical purpose but it does remind me of all the sleepless nights I spent messing with DOORS and MUDS not to mention the drudgery of a 1200/2400/14400 Baud connection, thank you DSL. I say kudos to the list complier and shove off all you people, probably to young to remember anything but the internet, blowing "raspberries" at us nostalgic old farts.
  • The place in my sig is (assuming my sig doesn't change, watch out future readers) a part of my original BBS that I've converted to a web-based forum. The community has managed to survive all this time, although it's not as vibrant as it was in its heyday. But it's still interesting to me, and to the users who visit, and I've pledged to keep it going as long as people are using it. It's been going in some nature since 1990.

    There is still something interesting about a SMALL community, where you know a lot of the people. A large community is more anonymous. You don't know who's making various proclamations. You don't care about anyone and you don't get to know anyone.

  • I remember Faster-than-Light BBS, run by Robert "Spencer" Vostreys. FTL was up from the 80s until '96, and was one of the more popular Atlanta area BBSes.

    I really miss the forums, especially the old inet ones. I was actually hoping the the textfiles site would have more archived messages as I'd hoped to find some old FTL messages.

    Anyone else from FTL on /.?

  • Was an early member of the Fidonet, one of the first 500 or so nodes. And was a founding member of Magicknet, which later became PODSnet. Information on PODSnet mailing lists, echos that have made the jump over to the Internet is available. Email me...farrellj@sympatico.fnordca Take away the fnord to get the real address.

    SysOp, Data/SFnet & Solsbury Hill BBSs
  • TERMINATE. The FINAL terminal.


  • BBS' taught me so much about what I know about computers and networking. I started out as a file leech, later moved on to a message hog, and finally to feed my addiction I started my own board.

    Fidonet: 4:920/35 and later 1:280/127 (IIRC, was very brief)

  • 2:203/244

    That felt good ^^
  • Yep, some of my best friends today are people I met on BBSes years ago. It was exactly as you describe. Most of us got to know each other, went to gatherings and all that. It was great. But the boards I frequented back then are gone now, except for one. It's still around, but nothing like it used to be. And I don't have 6 or 8 hours a night to kill on it anymore anyway :)

  • They seem to be missing the entire NW Indiana thing... My board was "The Attack Zone".. ran WWIV in NW Indiana. I loved the days of SysOp'ing... Dialing Texas to get my feed everynight ... damn.. the good ol' days.. Sometimes I wish they were back

  • I've been running a board on and off for 13 years now.. steady for the past 7. I remember having 2 nodes (reasonably big for my city) and pulling in 100+ calls a day. Then the net came to town and everyone migrated and we went to 1 node and 20- calls a day.

    Well I got myself a DSL connection to the net and wammo.. back up to 100+ calls a day. 90% of them are using the doors, which is fine. I didn't put a board up to force Message ratios or file ratios on people. Its nice to say that I can look at my board and see that people are enjoying themselves.

    telnet://clockworkorangebbs.org [clockworkorangebbs.org]

    http://www.clockworkorangebbs.org [clockworkorangebbs.org]

    TradeWars, Lord and many other games.

    FidoNet and a few other nets...

    - Xabbu - Sysop: clockworkorangebbs.org
    - Tradewars - LoRD - FidoNet and much more!

  • Wow! What a huge rush remembering the old 300 baud days...you know, when you could whistle into the phone's microphone and actually get it to connect!

    Perusing the list for the 312 area code brought back a TON of memories! It's amazing how many look so familiar even after not connecting to most for over a decade!

    I would LOVE to see more listings from the early '80s.
  • Just an FYI, renegade was based of a copy of the Forum BBS code if I remember correctly. Along with Telegard. I'm pretty sure that was in Pascal because I saw the Forum source once. Oblivion, Cheese and host of other crappy systems were based of WWIV source code, which was in C. At least if memory serves me correct.
  • I really miss those days because the people were real people.

    You're not kidding. I used to run a system from 1986 until about 1990 in northern NJ (201 area code) called Dronefone, and I have some wonderful memories from those days. One thing is that I even still maintain an excellent and very dear relationship with one of my users; he's been one of my best and dearest friends for years ever since the day that I voice answered my BBS line to tell whoever that it was going to be down for about 30 minutes.

    I have every piece of software that I ever ran for my BBS and I have also archived most (if not all) of the data files (read: remaining email, message boards, etc) that existed on these systems. I intend to put it online at some point (even registered a URL), but it will be one hell of an archive organizational effort, not to mention the work converting it all to a readable format.

    If anyone who reads this message remembers by BBS, please feel free to drop me a line. When I get the archive up (or if you want bits and pieces that I've extracted), I'll let you know where to find it.

    Proprietor of Dronefone ('86 - '90)


  • I was in San Diego running a WWIV board in early '92 - how great was it all then? ComputorEdge's BBS listings... aaah. Nostalgia.

  • by MouseR ( 3264 )
    I was 18 when, in 1988, I first logged-on a Montreal-based BBS called POPNet. it was connected onto FidoNet as well, and was my first e-community.

    The system only allowed for real names for user IDs. I really wanted to use an alias, one which caracterised me as a "mouse user" (I had just bought my first Mac: a Mac SE with a *built*in*hard*drive, SCSI no-less!).

    Not only did the system only accept full names, it would catenate the first letter of the last name to the first name. So, all I could do was to create myself a false name, and let the system catenate the names.

    I chose "Mouse Rancher", and the system assigned me
    1. MouseR
    I've been using this nickname since. Nostalgia, maybe. But also a way to more easilly keep in touch with people, shall they see me roaming around.

    I still remember, from POPNet, people like, Chuckles, Disk Notcher, Blue Shift, Riddle, ShaggyCarpet, Zappa Lady and Zop

    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • I trudged through the list, saw some familiar names. But what's missing -- and what'll probably be next to impossible to find -- are the old standalone BBS's from the early- to mid-`80s, running on Apple II's, 8-bit Atari's with a rack of floppy drives and a 300 or 1200 baud modem, or 16-bit Atari ST's with a 20 or 40 MB hard drive and a 2400 baud modem. Some of the best ones I saw back then weren't networked with any other BBS or Internet node with fidonet, UUCP, or any of those goofy protocols that never took off. They didn't have the latest "k00l warez." But they did have message boards that were egregiously active and had more of a sense of a community than anything I've seen on the Internet in the 13 years I've been using it.
  • They actually managed to get me on the list! Dylan Mathews
  • Y'know, I'm getting quite tired of hearing the Slashdot editors always refer to BBS's as if they are completely a thing of the past. Some of us are still running our BBS's [citadel.org], often just for fun instead of for profit. Inexpensive DSL with static IP addressing makes it possible for the hobbyist computer enthusiast to once again put up a public access system without requiring a revenue source. the software continues to improve [citadel.org] and become ever more integrated with the modern Internet.

    Dialup BBSing is dead -- for that matter, the days of dialup Internet are numbered, what with DSL and cable becoming ever more prevalent. But BBSing in general continues to go strong.

    In fact, with the web becoming ever-more controlled by corporate interests, and UseNet rapidly approaching a zero percent signal-to-noise ratio, BBS sites will probably rise in popularity as the more enjoyable places to frequent on the Internet. Many BBS's are reminiscent of the way the Internet was before Corporate America dumbed it down.
  • It's 1:29am PT and already it's gettin slashed... :-) too bad some of my old faves aren't listed... :-(

    ahh the memories...
  • I know the telcos would not like it... along with phone owners... but it would be interesting to dial all the numbers to see how many actualy answer and are still a bbs... :-) I know my friend's board in NYC will still anser... it's been there for like 8 or more years, last i remember it was a citadel board running on an OS2 system... :-) good stuff....
  • ce399 here, now a pxs3. I'm an alumni and currently a staff member. Those were the good old days for sure. :)
  • Boy that list brought back memories....especially since there was an inaccurracy.

    The list only shows the period when I was connected to Fidonet.

    Lunatic Haven BBS started in 1987....it was an Empire online game system...later it became a Citadel system and eventually joined CitadelNet (had to get a modem that observed DTR).

    Then in 1990 after I graduated, I moved to Medicine Hat to work for a defence contractor....I continued the BBS there....first I became a UUCP node and introduced the locals to Email and Newsgroups. At the peak of that I was spending $1500 a month on long distance alone. I lived in a rundown apartment where most of my neighbors were on welfare, etc....me I was too busy spending my paycheck on my BBS obsession to afford essentails like housing. Around 1992, I twinned the system to support the Praxis Society...and bought a house to accomodate my growing BBS. At one point I had 6 phone lines running into the house...among other things.

    I had powercords snaking around from other parts of the house to supply power to my computer setup.

    Also around 1992, I joined Fidonet/K12Net, and then a bunch of Othernets. I also found a cheaper feed for UUCP (when I started I was calling San Jose, CA....eventually UUNET.CA came online, and I called their POP in Edmonton....Calgary was closer, but Edmonton was more reliable...I'd call Toronto as fallback...of course this was still before the deregulation of the phone company...so long distance in Canada was the same whether it was in the same province or between provinces.)

    Finally, I was laid off in 1997...and the system didn't survive the move back to Calgary....actually, I think turning off the harddrives is what killed it. Plus I was losing poeple with the competition of local ISPs. Since the bulk of my content could be accessed over the Internet and it was faster and better than what I could offer. Plus most of the locals were more interested in online games than participating in discussion boards.

    My system was not without its controversial periods....in early 1990 when I was still in Calgary...infact an Eingeering student at the University of Calgary. I voluntarily pulled the plug on my system to scrub the message base and users, and temporarily imposed a policy of getting real names with the aliases. An unidentified user was arranging deals in illegal firearms...and using the University campus for the meets. The police were very sensitive (as was I) to this since it had only been a couple months since the Montreal Massacre.

    Boy the memories.....to think I used to run a networked BBS only a 512K Amiga 1000 with two floppy drives. One floppy drive had Kickstart/Workbench and the core of the BBS...the other floppy drive was the message area. Depending on the quality of the floppy disk I was using, I was replacing the message area floppy every 2-3 weeks.

    Check out a picture I took of my system in 1996.... http://www.lhaven.net/
  • Ah. A fellow Norwegian! :) Which BBS'es did you frequent? I used to hang out on ErrorsHQ (which is actually on it's way back up again), SoundServer/Infolink, and Yankee Rose (in the earlier days). I know Circle of Protection is still online today.

    Ah, the memories...


  • Yeah, just like Americans to lump a whole group of people under one label then make a derogatory comment about them...[BG]
  • Try telnetting to mmachine.com [mmachine.com] (You can web to it as well, I think there is a java-telnet client on it, but not sure)

    Place has hundreds of different door games, most of them registered!

  • link to The worlds favorite place to play TW2002, LORD, and BRE - <a href="telnet://bbs.mincus.com">Skiddish Underware</a>

  • link to The worlds favorite place
    to play TW2002, LORD, and BRE -
    Skiddish Underware [mincus.com]

  • If anybody has or knows where to locate an archive of this magazine, it should be possible to add a bunch of Australian listings.

    Actually, it wasn't a bad read - it had fairly eclectic columns on things like the Forth language and the like, and it was written by obvious computer enthusiasts rather than journos turning their hand to something they had no affinity with.

    Go you big red fire engine!

  • I did connect to a large number of Fidonet (And Alternet or something like that) BBSes, back in the day with my 1200 bps modem (then 2400, then 14400!) here in Southern Alberta (403). However, there was one other one, DEBUG Computer Systems, which had a UUCP connection, and gave Internet email addresses ( @debug.cuc.ca ), and had a "bang path (!)" to UUNet, around 1992. I wonder if there's a list of these as well, or perhaps purists don't consider UUCP connected BBSes to be real BBSes.
  • Back when I got my commodore 64 in the 80's the second big project I wrote was my own BBS. (The first was a disk editor.) I ended up writing three of them on the commodore (in basic, compiled with blitz.)

    I learned C so I could modify a friend's copy of WWIV. That's also why I got my own PC. (And THERE was an early bazaar community if ever there was one, the WWIV .mod file community.)

    The last BBS I wrote was in, a multinode fidonet compatable bbs written from scratch in c++ including my own fidonet message processing routines that were WAY more efficient than anything else I'd seen. A friend of mine ran a copy that's listed on there (xblat, under the 609 area code). Strangely, my own bbs (The Conversation Pit) is listed as "unknown". :)

    I had xblat multitasking under desqview with no synchronization primitive except file locking. I had the capacity to do 9 nodes (8 FOSSIL driver ports plus one on the keyboard), plus the mail tosser running. Not that I had that many phone lines. :)

    And the mail tosser processed 30 messages/second on a 386/33DX while updating a text mode display of what it was doing. And I eventually got it to where it would handle outgoing messages posted by a user on another node in the middle of digesting an incoming fido packet without ever having to look at the same message twice. All done without resorting to Turbo C's "huge" pointers, I might add. :)

    Those were the days...

    In 1995 I started porting it to 32 bit OS/2 code under EMX, but I had a day job and I'd found the internet anyway. (Strangely, my BBS work never impressed IBM. :) Kept meaning to write a BBS in java, but I wanted to make it internet based and I couldn't find a hosting service that would let me run actual daemons instead of just CGI on a web page. Eventually I moved on to other things...


  • But I tried to contact the people at Steve Jackson Games but hey still haven't gotten their shit back from Big Bro' who's analyzing it over 5 year old jelly donuts.

    Maybe not, but they did get a six-figure settlement that turned them into a large ISP [io.com] and sustained them through a dip in the gaming industry, allowing them to keep producing new material at a blistering pace while other companies were cutting back.

    All in all, Uncle Sam did 'em a favor. :-)
  • We in Fidonet 109 had a UUCP connection via a company called Hadron, thanks to a USENIX guy named Kurt Riesler (if I recall correctly). As far back as 1989, I actually had my PC in my dorm room running as a point on another BBS, which was on Fidonet, which had the UUCP gateway nearby, so I was receiving UUCP Internet mail, at home, on a daily basis, 12 years ago.

    I'm still very proud of that. :)

    Of course, anyone I would want to talk to simply sent mail to the mainframe via BITNET, anyway...

  • The BBSs I wrote tended to get eaten up in hard disk crashes; I lost my last two that way.

    Certainly my heyday was David's Amazing BBS, a five-line message board + discussion system at (213) 459-5891, which ran from roughly 1987-1991. I confronted many of the moderation issues that Slashdot has. Rob has handled them quite a bit better than I, but to be fair there was a lot less information or ideas on it in those days.

    I met several girlfriends through the BBS, and tragically the Internet is just not the source of romance the old BBS world was, for exactly the reasons I hear told here - the Internet is not personal and it's not really a geographically sensitive communications medium; everyone interested in me wound up living a long, long way away.

    But while it lasted, it was a lot of fun. I wrote my own software from scratch, running on a 286 with Microport Unix and 4MB RAM. It crashed all the time because Microport was pretty flaky, but people loved the software; I put an enormous amount of creativity into it.

    It's too bad those days are gone, and the web just doesn't offer the sort of immediacy - not even Instant Messengers worked as well as chats appearing as people typed and the ability to have quickie conversations with people on other lines. We have a much bigger system now, but it seems to have lost its soul in the process.


  • I know not all the boards have the software listed, but I see none of the WWIV boards I used to frequient in the San Diego area listed. My old board (The Far West) is listed, I believe, only because I experimented with PCBoard for about a month. I then went back to WWIV. I tried another system as well, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. It was written by a couple of guys on the East coast, but it never really caught on in the West.
  • Anyone out there from the 515 area code? I noticed that most of the 515 numbers are only for 90's BBS's. I was wondering if anyone had BBS lists from the mid 80's for 515? I probably do buried somewhere, but they are probably all on Apple II media, and I'd have to dig a machine out of storage to read them! :-)

  • Exactly...

    I used to run a mail-only Fidonet node (Koosliam, 2:259/7) - it was only online from 23:30 to 07:30 GMT. However punters wouldn't recognise this even thou it was stated in the nodelist and it had no BBS online, and no files anyway.

    My parents still get the occasional 'hen scratching' on the phone in the middle of the night... Quality.

  • Also, remember the boards that would call you back to verify your phone number? Remember the ultra high security boards where the Sysop would actually voice verify new users? New User Voting? You fill out some form answering a quiz that determines if you are 'leet enough to be a member, then the old users vote on whether you get an account. It was a status symbol just to have an account on some boards!

  • The BBS period was a unique time in the progression from offline to online computing, and I don't think it is something that can be revisited. Remember commercial boards? There were boards that took $10, $20, even ones where you paid by the hour. I don't think the level of dedication to a BBS by a Sysop would be there any more, when anyone with an AOL account and a new iMac can go over to eGroups and set up what's more or less a BBS.

    Whether it was the level of technical knowledge you needed to even connect to a board, geographical / area code barriers, or just the fact that nobody would DREAM of spamming a BBS, I think those days are over. I'm not saying the online community is dead, you just have to look harder. Isn't the Well still around? The Internet makes it so easy to reach the critical mass where you have to whore your site out to an ad network just to pay for hosting. Throw a million lamers shouting "a/s/l" into the mix, and the chance of a real community emerging is pretty low.

    I do agree that there was an art to the BBS culture..


  • What I'd really like to see is 'bbsmates.com', modeled after clasmates.com. You could look up your old BBS haunts (or add them if they're not there already), register your handle on the BBS, and see who else has signed up. This would be a great way to find those people you lost when you went to college, ditched the BBS for the net, or when the BBS was unexpectedly shut down because dad needed his dedicated fax line back.

    I'd love to se where some of my teen geek friends wound up after the net explosion.

    Kevin Fox
  • Biggest missing feature: per-BBS message board.

    Oh okay, it would be hell, but I can dream. Honestly, wouldn't it be nice to drop by this site, with a per-BBS message board, and find yourself chatting again with people you haven't typed to since you got an ISP?

    Biggest problem: anachronisms.

    It looks like when guessing location, Jason went to a current exchange-to-locality database. Unfortunately, a lot of ACs have changed since the big BBS days, so that while 617-581-XXXX is now Cambridge MA, it used to be Lynn MA (now in 781 [and 339]).


  • Well, even though my BBS isn't on the list, I have saved practically everything from it all these years, packed in boxes full of floppy disks.

    Anal you ask? Probably. But I figured some day it might all be useful. Although a lot of what I had has been lost or was never saved due to HD crashes and the like, I still have some of the useful information.

    Most specifically, every year I was running the BBS I would write up a little history file of what had happened. Looking back on it now I feel I was probably an immature, arrogant little brat, but I never remember it being that way.... :)
    Anyways, while I proudly posted these files while the BBS was still in operation, its practically an embarassment to even read them now, let alone post them for all the world to see. Still, I might put them up someday for posterity.

    For anyone who BBS'ed in the Dallas, TX area in the early 90's, I ran the BBS named "Highway to Hell". Perhaps you'll remember.

  • No Spam?

    Oh, there was spam. I remember a few chain letters getting posted to public channels.

    The only difference was... we knew who the bastards who posted them were, and they did little more than open themselves up to public ridicule.

    Back then, I would typically verify the identity of anyone who gave potentially false information. At the very least I required a real name and phone number, and if I verified that this information was incorrect, I could simply disable the account and never let them back in. Imagine THAT power on the internet as we know it. If that spammer is bothering you, just disconnect him from the internet permanantly. Oh how I wish.

  • That's because WWIV sucks, completely and totally.

    Sorry, couldn't resist one last jab in the BBS software wars. I ran Renegade, and although I called a few BBSes that ran WWIV, I really didn't like it much.

    Obligatory counter-jab: You know, where I came from, we regarded Renegade as the crappy WWIV-lookalike that was based on a stolen copy of the WWIV source code, inevitably operated by a pimply 12 year-old who desperately wanted some new user to upload a copy of desqview to his warez area.

    Of course, that was just us.


  • Back then, the best part of BBSing was the Get Togethers. Memorable GTs in 514 :
    • Arcane BBS Snow GT - Yearly gathering at the Mount-royal for sledding & krazy karpets
    • Weekly Happy Hour GTs - After school / work we'd all head out downtown for happy hour -- and staty till closing!
    • Movie GTs - A bunch of geeks converge on a theater. Make way!

  • I did much of the same stuff. I ran a VBBS system (talk about some kludges!) on FidoNet for several years. It included a custom-written mail processor, so that I wouldn't have to run VFido (it took hours to process two or three echos). A piece of mail would pass through about 10 different programs before it ended up in someone's mail box - it was a living, breathing kludge!

    I also suggested some changes to the FidoNet nodelist, including a distributed DNS-like system. Alas, no one liked the ideas!

    As for the politics, yes, I remember those not too fondly. I had the dubious distinction of having more complaints filed against me than almost all of the rest of FidoNet combined. We had one person in the local network who really had a problem with me!

    I don't know if I'm glad I'm out of that network or not. There were some good times, but a lot of ugly times, too.
  • I ran VBBS, too, but I don't think you can consider it a "decent" piece of software. I had about 50 patches I would apply to the source code of every version - not to modify the board, but just to make it work correctly. It was very ugly. Things just didn't work right on it.

    The vscript idea was very neat, though. I extended the vscript language several times, and found it to be an awesome way of adding "small" add-ons.

    (remember those addresses?)
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    I knew those old lists I was keeping would come in handy some day...

    I started BBS'ing in 1986/87, with my first modem, a DC something or other (it was from Radio Shack, 300 baud, no auto answer, just the basics - you basically dialed, waited for the carrier, then hit this red button on top - I still have it, and it still works) hooked up to my CoCo 3, running UltimaTerm.

    I noticed that he doesn't have many of the BBS's I visited during that time in the 805 area listed, so I am going to have to dig out some lists (in some cases, I will have to fire up my old CoCo and pray that the disks hold up). There were also a few BBS's in the 602 area he didn't have listed that I am going to have to dig out (one was Smash the State - great message BBS, rumored to have been run off a C=64 on a hacked phone line).

    I remember doing a report in highschool for my economics class, where we had to interview a "businessman" of the area (805), and while most of my classmates did friends parents, or people their dads/moms knew - I went out and actually got an interview with one of the founders of Mustang Software - visited the place (was in awe of the setup for the system - at the time, only having a simple CoCo 3 with 128K of memory, and here were rows and rows of machines and phone lines, some answering, connecting), and did a taped interview - I still have the tape, I should MP3 it. Anyhow, got him invited to the school, and he actually came to the class and described his business and how it started from nothing and grew (I only wish I had the postmortem, now). I don't think any of my classmates at the time realized what they had seen...

    Anyhow - the list brings back memories, certainly - I have one list I doubt he has much info about, a friend of mine was big into the hacker boards of the 80's, calling long distance on "obtained" phone lines (yeah, he was lucky enough to have the phone junction box for his neighborhood right outside his bedroom window!) to various BBSs across the country, and he would print out these "anarchy" and "boxing" text files for me, which I just loved to devour...

    [maudelin music in the background]


    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • Back in 1993-4, before my area got Internet, BBS's WERE the net... I set up on FidoNet, allowed access to hundreds of Echos (the precursor to Usenet) and even had a way for users to send Internet E-mail (via the FidoNet-Internet gateway)...

    We had a gateway that handled Usenet (no binaries, though) as well as mail. Since the gateway was local, it took less time for mail to hit the Internet than if it had to wend its way through "Fight-o-Net." I was running an early version of Linux at the time, too...getting sendmail and cnews to talk to Fidonet was, um, interesting. :-)

    My old address was 1:2260/140 :)

    1:209/263, or skunkworks.genesplicer.org through the gateway. In 1993, it was kinda cool to have mail arriving from the Internet on my desktop.

  • That's because WWIV sucks, completely and totally. Sorry, couldn't resist one last jab in the BBS software wars. I ran Renegade, and although I called a few BBSes that ran WWIV, I really didn't like it much.

    I don't remember much about WWIV, but there were some boards around here that ran Renegade. It was OK, though for the couple of years that I ran under DOS, I used Maximus. Wildcat was the most popular around here, with a few boards running Major BBS, PCBoard (which I always thought stunk to high heaven, and a few others I can't recall right now. That's not counting those who ran boards on Macs, Apple IIs (mine started on a IIe, running AppleNet and Warp Six at various times), Amigas, and whatever else other sysops were using.

    (FWIW, "here" refers to Las Vegas.)

  • 300 - 1200 buad wasn't much fun when calling a BBS with only 3 lines, but you could connect and most were free. For the same fun now, try using one of the free ISP's. It will simulate the trying to connect to a busy number and slow connection speeds due to limited bandwidth, and yes the time limits.

    ...not to mention that the average BBS didn't bombard you with ads while you were dialed in, unlike the average free ISP today. You typically had a splash screen and some kind of motd at startup, and a "come back soon" type of message at the end that might have had "free advertising" for the sysop's favorite other BBSes, but that was usually it. You would never have seen one of those stupid "bash the monkey in the head and maybe you'll win something" banners on a BBS.

  • I only used DOS for the time it lasted (single line, anyway), with as low as a 2MB 12-Mhz 286 with an old 5 1/4" 40MB Seagate (ST-251N) MFM Hard Disk (the N was the 28MS version, not the 40MS :) with mono HGC like card for disply.

    Sounds like the system I built in early '91 (or was it '92?) to run my BBS, only I snagged a 125-meg drive from another sysop in town pretty cheap (I thought $200 for an ST-1144A was cheap, anyway).

    BTW, the N suffix on a Seagate drive means it's SCSI, not MFM. This page on Seagate's website [seagate.com] describes the ST-251N. Maybe you meant ST-251, which was MFM.

  • Hey, I had an uncensored Usenet feed *with* binaries! Of course, I had to limit the users and myself quite a lot so that the line wouldn't be tied up all the time receiving packets. But our local FidoNet Net had all pitched in for a satellite feed of Usenet.

    Bandwidth was the main reason binaries weren't made available. I think the Usenet feed for Net209 came in by satellite as well, and they didn't want 75% of the bandwidth to be chewed up by pr0n (MP3 didn't even exist, so mp3z wouldn't have been a factor :-) ). I didn't complain too much as I had full-feed access through UNLV until I quit for a while and they mothballed my account. After that, I signed up with a local ISP. Usenet was a nice extra to be able to offer callers, and it didn't cost anything more than the $10/month that we already paid to move the mail and echoes.


    Squish is what I think you meant, unless I'm remembering things incorrectly. That's what I ran the Skunk Works on, though I didn't use Blue Wave as (1) I was cheap :-) and wanted to run the BBS with free software (as in beer, if not as in speech, though the eventual migration to Linux fixed that) and (2) I thought the authors of Blue Wave had a rather puerile attitude WRT their format vs. QWK (the default taglines bundled with their reader were a bit of a turn-off). Besides, there was no Blue Wave reader for the Apple II (yes, there were QWK readers for the II), and that was one of the machines I explicitly supported (hey, I was still using a "stealth GS" up until '94 or '95 for everyday computing tasks).

  • I miss BBSing, playing games like LORD and BRE. Does anybody know of any good web-bbses? (Telnet-style is preferred.)
  • But I tried to contact the people at Steve Jackson Games but hey still haven't gotten their shit back from Big Bro' who's analyzing it over 5 year old jelly donuts.

    Besides all I can add to this project would be a crapload of Jolly Roger files


    ThIs PoSt HaS bEeN oWnEd By A hAx0r tO pRoTeSt HuMaN rIgHtS oN eAsTeR iSlAnD

    sLaShDoT mOdErAtOrS: wE oWn YoUr SeCuRiTy ThRoUgH 0(tHeR)-dAy SpLoItS aNd WiLL nOw CoMmEnCe ShOuTs!@$~!*^

    gReEtS tO kEvIn "cOnDoR" mItNiCk, h4x0rFo0fOo, PiMpMaStErFrAgAlIcIoUs, sUpErNiNjA_X, X-HaX0R-X, uNiXcOmMaNd_X, pRiNtF, eViLpAcKeTs, pPpKiLLa_X, AnD a77 OtHeR h4x0rS wIf UnIx cOmMaNdS iN tHeIr NiCkZ

    tHiS iS dEdIcAtEd To dA cAuSe [antioffline.com]

  • by mong ( 64682 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @12:50AM (#241324) Homepage
    FIX [www.fix.no] was one of the first internet-based BBS's, and continues to do very good business. We have over 5000 registered users, with about 200 who are regular on a dialy basis (with hundreds or thousands more who swing by a couple of times each month).

    We're currently developing some serious new software, as the BBBS software can't really handle what is thrown at it these days - FIX has performed some serious mods on the original BBBS code, but it's getting a bit flaky now.

    Oh, and despite the "retro" look of the webpages, we finally decided it was time to update them :-)

    But anyway, back to the point: Plenty of very good BBBS's live outside of the US. Hell, we even have regular US users at FIX!


    * ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • I was looking at the list for 805, and man, I just can't remember. All the names sound the same. It's a total formula. Scientific term, or something from some fantasy novel, or reference to computers. Damned if I know. I couldn't remember the name of the Dominion, but I remembered Trent Lillehaugen's unusual name. Sadly, I didn't make it on there. I suppose I should run it through a script to get the right years and then maybe I'll see more. In any case, my BBS, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, didn't make it. I can't even submit it for inclusion, 'cause I don't remember the phone number.
  • I remember the Major BBS software that we used when logging on to Computrek BBS here in Columbus, OH. Their multi line teleconference was better than irc with canned emotions/actions, in conference gaming (Gunslinger RULED in chat!), and towards the end, right before the web hit, they had their own graphical interface! I talks to MANY people and arranged MANY parties when on that machine. I used to log in during a party trying to get folks to come over. Forums were where we voice our opinion before most of us had even heard of Usenet. One thing that IRC will NEVER have over Major BBS or any other software's multi line chat was the local flavor. I wish it was still there. Computrek, once connected to the internet, you could telnet into it. I would still telnet to it now, and even pay the fee (10 bucks every few months or every month depending on usage). Those where the days. I remember loggin in when I could not sleep and I got some folks together to go have breakfast. That's what made BBS's great was the local flavor and the internet pretty much doesn't have that.
  • Um...DUH! II still use it....I add Chanc cuz I think there was a Gorkon on Slashdot a while ago.
  • by jpatokal ( 96361 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @01:39AM (#241345) Homepage
    Call me a karma whore, but I found the interview linked in from the About page to be absolutely fascinating:

    http://www.jps.net/foxnhare/cbbs.html [jps.net]

    It's from the April 1980 issue of "Kilobaud Microcomputing" (love that name), and the subjects of the interview are Ward Christensen and Randy Suess, the founders of the first BBS ever. Interesting musings on networking ("nationwide netting might become complicated and expensive"), early modems ("We are running the Potomac Micro-Magic and are really happy with it"), starting new BBSs ("you could easily do it for $2000"), etc. Check it out, and marvel how things have changed in the last 20 years...


  • Read before you bitch your bbs is not on the list be it in the US or outside!!! He never said the list is complete, he knows it is not complete list, if you read the last lines he is asking you to send in any bbs's he dosen't have listed. So don't whine, just send him an E-mail with the info.... Is it just me or has the norm of most slashdot readers become to bitch about a problem, instead of doing something about it!
  • Holy CRAP!

    Just as a joke, I thought I would search for me... I ran a tiny little (pathetic) BBS for a couple of years on my only computer. Much of the time it was just on my one phone line (i.e. my primary voice line). It would answer after like 3 or 4 rings if I wasn't there, or I would manually answer if I happened to answer the phone and it seemed nobody was there.

    Can you believe it? I'm on the list! I can't even begin to imagine where my number might have been listed, since I only gave it out to a small number of people. That is the funniest thing I've seen for a while. Creepy, when you consider just how much obscure information is floating out there on the web, but this is still cool. :-)

    Thanks, you've just made my day. :-) :-) :-)
  • Or even (gasp) Lorain, or Medina County Freenet people? I still have newspaper clippings from when those two finally shut down. It was sad, but the web really killed off our Northeastern Ohio BBS community.

    And yes, to say this all is redundant, but I am feeling nostalgia for the days of 1200 8/N/1 and a 12" amber CRT, and dammit, I think I need a beer.

  • by Tarpan ( 114764 ) <jonas@fallman.org> on Monday May 07, 2001 @12:20AM (#241362) Homepage Journal
    Just like Americans to not understand that there are other countries then their own. And all BBS aren't dead, there are some alive, i know since i use one regulary, albeit it's not really a BBS in the true sense since you don't call to it, you telnet.
  • Trying
    telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection refused

    Slashdotted, huh?

  • No way.. VBBS was the way to go. In Columbus, Metrodata was where it was happening.. back in the days of 16 lines.. oh yeah.
  • Collecting the same kind of information for all the BBSes around the world sounds like a pretty big job. I don't think the guy can be blamed if he's not interested in taking it on.

    Where does it say that he's not interested in taking it on? If you RTF post that michael put up, you will see almost instantly that "Jason Scott" has a bigass list of BBS's, and he's hoping people will help him add to it, in an effort to build a list of "every BBS there ever was".

    Nowhere does it say anything about the project being U.S.-centric.

    Seriously, I'd rather the idiots just stick to moderating, please.

  • I remember my BBS days fondly, but alas I could not find most of the BBSes I logged in to on the list. As a matter of fact, I didn't see any of the WWIVnet BBSes on that list at all. I honestly don't know if any of those lists are still around, but I did find a list [wwiv.com] of current WWIV BBSes still up (close to ten). These guys [wwiv.com] claim to be distributing the software.

    Also, Connecticut was split into two area codes in the mid-90s. All the BBSes I dialed in to were in the 203 area code in Hartford, which then became the 860 area code. Those old BBSes are listed under the old 203 numers, but have the new 203 prefix locations associated with them. For example, a BBS that was in a Hartford prefix (say 241) back in 1993, is show as being in New Haven now (where 203-241-XXXX) would ring today. If that BBS was still around today, the number would be 860-241-XXXX. The old BBS list needs to be crossed against the old prefix location lists. The current version of the list is somewhat misleading, as to the locations of the old boards.

  • by Isldeur ( 125133 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @12:25AM (#241376)

    Man, that brought some smiles to my face! Now if we could only add notes on them to the list! It would make a great history

    There was a BBS in MA called "Davey Jones' Locker" which I actually managed to get on a few times (difficult enough, especially as it was a long distance call. :) that, if I remember correctly, was seized because of all the illegal software it had.

    Little histories like that would be great to see. To perhaps see postings from people with odd handles which you once bumped into every now and then!
  • Indeed, I used to run a BBS in the UK.

    Apparently, I wasn't the only one. :-)

    I fail to see how this can be the "all the BBSes there ever were" if we don't look outside the US too.

    It would have been more accurate to say it was a definitive US list.

  • Directly from the site:
    A lot of people have mentioned to me that this is a US (North American)-centric list. I completely agree; I stuck with what I knew. I would like to see the list expand to other countries and continents, but I had to start somewhere.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'll just assume that wasn't there when you read the site. Regardless, the article's headline was intentional hyperbole-- it's neither every BBS that ever was, nor every US BBS that ever was. If you're going to pick nits and insult an entire country full of people in the same post, you should be quite surprised if you only get called flamebait once.
  • Just like American-bashers to not realize that Canada is, in fact, a distinct country from our own:
    204 Canada: Manitoba 313 BBSes HTML TEXT 80s
    250 Canada: British Columbia 195 BBSes HTML TEXT
    418 Canada: Northeastern Quebec: Quebec 140 BBSes HTML TEXT 80s
  • > My old address was 1:2260/140 :) haven't typed that number in years.

    Ditto! 1:249/128

    But Usenet was around before FidoNet -- it just wasn't as available to the masses.

  • I called one a few years back and I could hear a teeny tiny pissed-off voice coming out of my modem speaker (after the dial tone and ring) saying "Hello? (shit) The BBS is gone, man! Hang up! "

    To add to the list...

    (909) area code The Enchanted Forest and The Keep.

    I miss Flash Attack, BTW...
  • Well, do you?

    ... and while we're at it, does anyone have an old copy of a PAMS list for NSW on a 5.25in floppy somewhere?

    That's BBS in Sydney, Australia for ya!


  • Why not resurrect the BBSes themselves? Seriously, look at some of the most popular websites out there. They're often community-based.

    That's what I did, to a degree. I managed to create an online chat server that was heavily inspired by the one used on Loreli BBS (heavily modified MajorBBS system in South Florida). Unfortunately, I'd already lost touch with all the users, so instead it wound up populated with people from where I went to college.

  • A capitol idea, unfortunately a lot of the software used to run those BBS's is no longer being maintained and isn't Y2K compatible.

    You've got a number of options:

    Figure out what date setting'll give you the most correct years of operation (if you can set it back to today's date in 1973, you should be golden -- both 1973 and 2001 start on a Monday and both modulo 4 are equal to 1 so the leap years'll be correct).

    Recreate the software (in some cases, someone's already done the work for you).

    Go with one of the packages that is still around. For example, MajorBBS became Worldgroup which then became NetVillage [netvillage.com] (the site seems to currently be down). From what I've seen, the prices they're charging are a little too steep for a hobby system, as they're trying to sell the software as corporate groupware. Personally, I could care less about MBBS itself -- the games, on the other hand, carry lots of nostalgia. I know I'd be interested in a project to port or recreate them.

  • The scary part of this to me is how many of these phone numbers are still etched in my head from the mid-late eighties. I'm sure I could have something useful in the space those are taking up...


  • Collecting the same kind of information for all the BBSes around the world sounds like a pretty big job. I don't think the guy can be blamed if he's not interested in taking it on.

    Of course, in the spirit of the old BBSes, you could always do it yourself, since it is such an issue for you, rather than just bitching about it.


  • It wasn't the art. It was the content. Many fourm BBS'es were almost exactly like Slashdot. That was a great attractor. You could find out about game copy protection, how to get rid of device= in your config sys to use a 720K floppy drive by editing PC DOS, and the biggie, E-mail. Don't knock the BBS'es. The internet only allows faster connections and faster downloads. The better pictures are a result of better computers and higher connection speeds (bandwidth), not the internet. BBS'es is where the content and services were at the time. Most of the stuff the internet does now was done on BBS'es. Even pictures that would make your mother blush were online. 300 - 1200 buad wasn't much fun when calling a BBS with only 3 lines, but you could connect and most were free. For the same fun now, try using one of the free ISP's. It will simulate the trying to connect to a busy number and slow connection speeds due to limited bandwidth, and yes the time limits.
  • You had to sign up if you were a BBS Sysop and wanted to provide FIDO net. This way you could be assigned a NODE. Then you could forward, send and receive e-mail and forums. I imagine the list would be a good starting place for a list of BBS'es. Another good place would be from Sysop's who registered their software like Wildcat and others.
  • with about 200 who are regular on a dialy basis

    A dialy basis? How true, how true...


  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @12:36AM (#241430) Homepage

    Why not resurrect the BBSes themselves? Seriously, look at some of the most popular websites out there. They're often community-based. There was a real art to virtual communities that has been lost since the internet was taken over by commercial interests.

    I mean, pr0n sharing, ASCII art and muds aside (or maybe even with them), BBSes (BBSen?) often embodied the best of what the internet could be.

    And considering how low-end these things often were, can you imagine how fast they'd be?

    Just a thought. I guess even though I've become a bit of a karma whore over here, Internet browsing has just become a bit too much of a passive experience for me. I remember many of the BBSes I visited as having been a bit more engaging.

  • Does anyone remember a BBS system from the late '80s that was like a combination MUD and proto-Slashdot?

    It had Karma points which were earned for posting messages or correctly answering Trivia questions (how much more '80s does it get?), and a series of plateaus where you were given more and more administrative access (in the form of 'spells') based on your Karma?

    I have fond memories of the one in my area (Windsor, Ontario - I think it was called "The Mountain of TSOTL", but maybe that was the name of the software) - I can remember being blasted down to 0 karma for casting harmful spells on newbies. Heh, thinking about those days makes me a little more forgiving of the immature behaviour I see online ...

    Had my own BBS, too. Wrote the software myself in AppleSoft BASIC as a practical exercise in programming to my 300 BPS Hayes modem. Never got more than a few friends on board, but I don't think I have very often matched the feeling of accomplishment I had as a 15 year old kid when the first callers logged on to my "homegrown" BBS system...

  • I used to run a BBS back in the day and after y2k killed it off, I sat down and started writing a webbased version of it.

    It's working pretty well. The code behind it is GPL'd and is easy to setup.

    Anyway, check out The Machine [2y.net], which is my personal site that runs it. The software is on sourceforge at http://cogunity.sourceforge.net

  • I remember that years ago I actually wrote a BBS package for the Apple II (CP/M) - it even had a FidoNet module so it could do email and echos.

    Well after a few years I didn't want to do this and stopped, then I tried to use my phone line as a regular line again.

    But for YEARS (at least 3) afterwards that line would still ring on weekends with people trying to connect... Even after I had tracked down every BBS list in Hong Kong and got my number removed.


  • Really! Both of my BBS's were listed on there... Even though one only lasted a little over a year, and the other only a few months.

    Back in 1993-4, before my area got Internet, BBS's WERE the net... I set up on FidoNet, allowed access to hundreds of Echos (the precursor to Usenet) and even had a way for users to send Internet E-mail (via the FidoNet-Internet gateway)... basically you could do much of what you can on the Internet today, it was just much slower.

    There definately are some that are missing, looks like they used old FidoNet nodelists to get their information.

    My old address was 1:2260/140 :) haven't typed that number in years.
  • There is still something interesting about a SMALL community, where you know a lot of the people. A large community is more anonymous. You don't know who's making various proclamations. You don't care about anyone and you don't get to know anyone.

    Exactly. I was very heavy into the BBS scene in the mid-late 80's and even a couple years into the 90's. It was almost like a family where everyone knew everybody else (at least by handle). Then there were the inevitable BBS gatherings. We'd plan to get together for a picnic or something and play volleyball all afternoon (imagine a pack of geeks playing volleyball in the sun!), or someone would host a potlock or party at their house. I made a lot of good friends on the BBS scene. I met my first roommates on a BBS. And we still hang out regularly 10 years later.

    There is definitely something about small communities.
  • and i still have my $300 'SysOp Deal' USR Courier v.Everything. works like a charm when i need it, after 6 years

    Yep...I still have my old USR Courier 14.4 with the big metal plate screwed onto it that says "Not for retail sale!" I tell ya what, I tried many a modem for hosting a BBS, but that USR Courier was the only one that ALWAYS worked.
  • No way.. VBBS was the way to go. In Columbus, Metrodata was where it was happening.. back in the days of 16 lines.. oh yeah.

    Hah! I laugh at all these multi-line subscription monsters that I remember from the old days here in Columbus. Where it was really at was in the single-line boards (most of whose names I can't recall) running WWIV or (on the Apple) GBBS Pro.
  • I don't think i was connected more than 10-15 minutes at a time, just enough to use my offline newsreader (blue-something) to fetch the new news.

    I'd completely forgotten about those. I used to use one called OLX (OffLine Express?) to read and post without tying up phone lines. I live in the states and we had flat-rate calling, but I decided to use an offline-reader because "it was the right thing to do" to spend 10 minutes connected to transfer posts rather than spend 90 minutes connected to read and reply.

    I mostly read and responded to posts. The BBSs that I frequented were pretty much centered around conversation. They had file areas, but they were usually pretty small and limited to system/BBS utilities. And then TW2002. That was the one game that every BBS had to have.
  • by ocbwilg ( 259828 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @07:21AM (#241462)
    I work for the MIS department of an insurance company. The few years I've been working here, I've become highly irritated and acutely aware of the AGONY of dealing with and servicing obsolete crap technology. Having to keep a small fleet of 486 systems going (for some reason?) has given me a particular bias on this issue. As far as I'm concerned, any hardware or software more than 3yrs old should be thrown away....no, OBLITERATED. permanently...to save everyones sanity, and prevent good money being spent preserving old junk.

    I dunno about everyone else here, but I've never had any problems keeping older systems running. I believe the phrase to keep in mind is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Perhaps it's your skills that are lacking rather than the old hardware? Being on the "bleeding edge" has it's problems.

    You seem to be obsessed with the notion that "newer is better." That's not necessarily the case. In my home environment I have been far happier with my system running Windows 98 than I am now that I upgraded to Windows 2000 Pro. I've looked at the Windows XP beta, and I like that even less. Programmed obsolesence is not a good thing. Everybody likes to throw shiny new features at us that we probably don't even need. Don't get me wrong, progress is a good thing, but it's incredibly short-sighted of you to believe that everything that isn't the "latest and greatest" is junk.

    BBSes died out because they SUCKED. The internet came along and swept the BBS scene (and rightly so) overnight -- it thoroughly kicked its ass to death.

    That's not really true. BBS's died out because the Internet came along and was the next big thing. Though the Internet can't be centrally controlled, access to it was generally controlled by several large service providers in the beginning. It was packaged and mass-marketed to the world and the world bought into it. You can't market an individual BBS to 100 million people like you could Compuserve or AOL or Netcom. ISP's became like a utility company and BBS's were like the corner pub or coffee shop.

    Now, I'm not saying that BBSs are better than the Internet, because that's a subjective judgement. But there are some areas where BBSs excelled and the Internet does not. Like forming a community of users who are not tied together by any special common interest, but only because they enjoy the company.

    As far as you personally, it's truly sad that you have so little respect for the past. You might actually be able to learn something from it.
  • or i must have logging onto some fake system for all those years :-)
  • I see a whole lot of people complaining that their favorite BBS isn't on the list. Don't bitch at the guy because he worked to build a list of 70,000 BBSs and yours isn't there. Help him out!

    There's an email link (bbslist@textfiles.com) for sending updates. I just sent him an email telling him about two BBSs I used to run that aren't on the list. Why don't y'all do the same?

  • Well, A.C., it's pretty clear that you "missed out" on the point here.

    Of course the Internet is far more capable overall than BBSes, because of the infrastructure and speed. But some of the functionality was certainly lost in the translation.

    BBS software like Wildcat! (the program I used) made it relatively easy to set up a full community, with message boards, file areas, chat, announcements, and a consistent navigation/menu system. Most Web sites still don't offer it all, and it's more difficult to find a single software package that handles the whole task.

    Speed? Many of us are still using modems (no cable TV where I live, and I'm too far from a CO for DSL). That means my access speed to the Internet is the same as it is to a BBS. All of the overhead of HTML/PPP/FTP... is cumulative. I can pull up the information I'm looking for in a good text-based BBS faster than a Web site laden with useless navigational graphics.

    The problem, of course, is that the Internet is always a local call. That is what spelled the death of the dialup BBS.

  • I used to run Apple-based BBSes in the late 1970s. The list only goes back to the 1980s.
  • Once upon a time I ran a system whose name was rnbwpnt.lonestar.org. I now no longer remember the !bangpath.

    For a time, I gated newsgroups wholesale into FidoNet [fidonet.org]. Oh what an annoying setup I had. I registered Gigo [gigo.com] (serial number 7), Jason Fesler's [gigo.com] wonderful gateway package.

    Later, for a very short time, I ran a gateway for all of Region 19, which I shut down abruptly because of the political insanity that was Fido.

    I learned a lot from my experience in Fido. I made some friends who are still with me today. I found romance because of a connection made in FidoNet (wow); I learned to edit messages and to > quote properly. I wrote for FidoNews, and developed a specification for a text-based nodelist that never took off. I learned the Artful Insult thanks to the not-so-gentle-moderation of Ed Cleary in POLITICS. I even got to try my hand at moderating some large (INTERUSER) and not-so-large (SIP_SURVIVOR) echos. I quit drinking.


    I guess, mostly of nostalgia, I'm still a member of FidoNet. Yes, mail only, but still 24CM. I could have put my BBS back up, and considered it for a time after I found my Remote Access registration key a year or so ago, but nobody called it in 1993, before the popular rise of the Internet; why would anyone call it now?

    So onward I plod, receiving my echomail ... all 10k/day of it.

    Still, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  • by mmotley ( 450091 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @10:25AM (#241497)
    If you "missed out" on BBSes, dont sweat it -- you didnt miss anything good. What we've got now is *WAAAAAAY* better...so much better it's not even funny. And that's the truth. Wow, as a former Sysop of a BBS in the S. California region (1983-1994), I really resent this comment. Obviously this person was a) too young to remember the days of BBSs, or b) was digging trenches back in the late 80's. I, too, was very young when I started my RCP/M (13 yrs), but I must say that running that BBS helped me technically more than just about anything I ever did. You see, a 386 or 486 is not old. Try working on an Z80-based S100 bus system with 64k (yes, that KILOBYTES) of memory. Try hacking CP/M to remove dangerous commands from the user interface (like DEL and REN) so people couldn't hack your system. Try getting something as complex as ZCPR3 working on that beast, when you've got only 4-8k of memory to work with. Assembly language was all you had! C++ (or even C for that matter)? Forget it. I was writing 8080 and Z80 assembly back in 1984. Running a BBS or RCP/M back in those days too dedication and a lot of discipline. Those are the things that I learned during my late teenage years and early into my 20s. And yes, those things have helped me tremendously in my career even today at the ripe old age of 31. So to sum it up, you are an idiot... go mess with your plug-and-play Windows system so you can feel like a bigshot. The rest of us will enjoy looking back on a time when us "computer geeks" *really* had some experience under our hats.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.