I dearly miss the BBS experience, both as a user and sysop.
A guy in Biloxi, MS got me into the sysop side of things, he ran QuickBBS, I ended up with RemoteAccess Pro with FrontDoor handling the mail. Two nodes, one on a built-from-spare-parts 386, one on a Packard Bell 486 that had been demoted from desktop use. One 28.8 line, one 14.4. The 14.4 handled ZMH.
The menus always evolved, first garish, then I toned it all back down to something simple, elegant and quick. I did admire ACiD and their crazy ansi stuff.
Was a member of FidoNet, carried quite a bit of echos and moved a fair bit of netmail, and was an avid reader of Mindless Chatter and Drivel, and of course the echos dedicated to RA and FD.
Had TW2000, Yankees and Rednecks, LORD and some others I can't even remember, this was 20 years ago!
I did had a fairly sizable file collection, and a real neat piece of gear to serve up a lot of files on CDs: A NEC SCSI 5-CD-ROM changer. It was a trip to be in the room, hear the whirr-click-clack-shhk-shhk of the changer loading a given disk, then seeking to where the file was. "There goes another one!"
It was all strictly hobby, no fee, no membership. Send me a check if you want, or buy me a beer at a BBS pizza night.
Ah.. those were the days. Then in 1998 I unplugged it, and never put it up again.
I long ago lost the diskettes for RemoteAccess Pro, but I still have the Front Door disks, in the envelope they shipped in, with the original invoice still intact.