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Best BBS Memories? 154

Posted by Cliff
from the reminiscing-on-the-new-year dept.
TerryAtWork asks: "What are Slashdot readers' best BBS memories? The BBS ruled before the common man got on the Internet and a lot of older Slashdot reader's first on-line experiences were with them."
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Best BBS Memories?

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  • CONNECT 1200 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gnudutch (235983) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:19AM (#7851970)
    Creating and sharing ANSI graphics made with TheDraw. Also that "Mad Max" feeling you get from playing Operation Overkill...
    • Re:CONNECT 1200 (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe you should look at this [2ch.net]. ASCII art still lives in Japanese BBS (now web-based, of course), as "Mona-art" [sourceforge.net]
  • In the UK... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by skinfitz (564041) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:19AM (#7851971) Journal
    High phone bills.

    You see, we pay even for our local calls here, which did put rather a downer on the whole BBS thing.

    I remember being envious of the US with the free local calls thing.

    "Back in the day" in the UK it was not uncommon to get phone bills of around $300 a month for BBS usage at wonderful 2400 baud.

    Then of course we got the "high speed" 9600 model modems. Ahh nostalgia.
    • Did you know that in some cities in the US, you DO have to pay for the local calls? I heard of someone outside of Chicago who got a $1000 phone bill because they were always dialed up.
      • They must have been dumb and dialed a number outside the 8 mile local call radius. Also, they must not have gotten the call pack where every call in the local phone company's (Ameritech at the time, now SBC) area is $0.10 regardless of time. I used BBCs extensively when I was a kid and the phone bill was no different beacuse I called within 8 miles (there were about 100 BBS's in an 8 mile radius back in the good old days!) :)
  • by Exocet (3998) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:33AM (#7851999) Homepage Journal
    My parents gave me and my brother our first computer - an Atari 520ST fm computer with an Emerson 2400 baud modem. This was on advice from a coworker of my dad's who ran an Atari-based BBS.

    From day one we were dialing up BBS's. I have since spent countless thousands (tens?) of hours downloading text files, images, programs, whatever. Posting on the boards, chatting with the SysOp if he (never a she) was around. Playing games like Tradewars 2002.

    Sometime in late 1996 I got my first email account and internet access from a local ISP, Europa. Until then, though, the only online world I knew was that of the BBS.

    BBS's were great but I'd never go back. The ol' internet is far more accessible and wide-reaching. BBS's just can't compete.

    BTW: don't dis the Atari. We could go from a cold boot to being dialed up to the local BBS (Puddle City) in less than 60 seconds.
    • Yea, when I was 11 or so, I had a Tandy 1000 RL with a 1200 BPS modem in it...

      Memories of playing Legend Of the Red Dragon in the early 90s, my first chatroom, learning what shareware was for the first time... All things I fondly remember. Getting laid by Violet back then somehow made me feel like more of a man (er, boy) :-)

      And the cool thing is they were all local for the most part ('cept those comming in from telnet, of course). Some of the best memories I have, for instance, are from years after that B
      • If anybody else was from Techlands BBS in South Florida, please e-mail me... I used to be "Davy Crockett" back then :-)

        Check here. [bbsmates.com] This website is set up to reunite BBS users. Note: I am not affiliated, just happen to know of it.
      • Hehe. Gotta thank Seth Able Robinson for some of those great door games. LORD and Planets: TEOS, were some of my favorites. Can't say that I really cared for LORD II though.

        Some of my favorite memories are probably of playing DOOM (with the Brickyard map) on the local Dayton Gamenet. There was a great multiline BBS called "The Living City." I believe that it ran off of an Amiga. It had quite a local following. Also, I can remember having one of the fastest modems around... It was a Zoom Telephonics
      • Ahh... L.O.R.D

        Being a yonger /.'er, I wasn't around when BBS was in force.

        Anyway, I like telnetting into my favorite BBS [darktech.org] and playing all those text mode games.. (and robbing the minutes bank)

        Too sad that Linux telnet + KDE Konsole can't handle ASCII color shading effects
    • No dis here: I had a 1040ST. Those were sweet computers.
    • That reach doesn't replace the BBS.

      The best thing I remember about BBSes was being able to get out and meet people, there was even the odd adult BBS (one without porn... and open enough that couples would hang around on.), people would be able to get together for dinner, picnics, all sorts of stuff.

      The Internet killed those BBSes, so now for the mostpart, I can't meet the people I chat with or game with. That social scene died.

      I rather hope that wireless networking can do something to replace it. Fr

      • You WILL be interested by this: http://www.bass-station.net/index.php

        Some guy took a big-ass 1980's-style ghetto blaster and fitted it with (stolen from Linuxjournal.com): a Via mini-ITX motherboard, wireless interface card hooked to an antenna, Debian (Woody) loaded onto a CompactFlash card, and a 120GB hard drive.

        Here's the idea. He takes this ghetto blaster and rips out the internals. It's for show, only. Puts in some basic computer bits along with a 802.11b WiFi card. Runs a public AP. When peopl
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:46AM (#7852026) Homepage Journal
    My dad's password was a little too easy to guess.
  • by nandix (150739) <mail@@@fernandoipar...com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:03AM (#7852052) Homepage
    In Uruguay, and most of South America, BBS ruled for as late as 1996-97, when internet access finally made it's way to the public.

    I remember expensive phone bills (which my dad covered at the time of course, it's a good thing DSL finally found our little country by the time of my financial independance), and a terrible sense of envy for the folks with 9600 and 14400 connections (i had a 2400 modem).

    On a more positive note though, i got a 24 hour reminder of the whole 'BBS era' thing, since i met my wife in one of those networks :). (and no, it was not a dating service, it was a geeky BBS that suddenly got crawled with not-so-geeky types, my wife included, which gave us nerds the chance to meet and relate to people with real world experiences!).

    • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:58AM (#7852320) Homepage Journal
      Hmm, there wasn't local internet access where I live until mid 1997. We were one of the first subscribers in the area. The box we used? 386DX-33, 4MB RAM, 120MB HDD (compressed to 170), 14.4Kb/s modem (when we got the tower, we were told it was a 33.6! It was still a good deal, though, as it came with a monitor, keyboard (no mouse) and a dot matrix printer), Windows 3.1, DOS 6.22, and IE 3.01 (we tried 2.1 because it was faster, and almost tried NS 1.22). Damn, if I had known Opera was around back then, I'd have downloaded that! (except I was told to only download to floppy disks, and then extract to the hard drive, so I couldn't download anything more than 1.44MB - so we couldn't update IE, but I guess we could have downloaded Opera)
  • by limekiller4 (451497) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:09AM (#7852062) Homepage
    Finding out they existed.
  • by zcat_NZ (267672) <zcat@wired.net.nz> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:10AM (#7852063) Homepage
    Sorting out a UUCP newsfeed (back when internet access meant having a dialup shell..), mostly so I could get the alt.binaries groups and have the best pr0n collection in the region.

    • Re:as a sysop.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by zcat_NZ (267672)
      my -earliest- BBS memory was using a 300 baud modem on an SV328, and manually dialling (no AT commands back then!) a part-time BBS in Auckland which was the only one operating in the country at the time.

      A bit expensive, so I didn't really do anything else
      until a friend got supplied with an XT and smart modem (1200 baud iirc) by his school to set up a BBS. The software was fairly experimental and buggy, and took a lot of setting up.
  • by noselasd (594905)
    Does anyone remember Thor ? It was an offline message reader/controller for Amiga and worked with AmiBBS. Somewhat similar to a mail client today, where you could download messages, filelists, etc, read them offline, reply, and upload them on the next connect. It rocked.
    • Yes, I remember it very well and I used it for a period. Mostly though I used Spot by Nico Francois, which was a FidoNet reader. (I was also the author o f an offline reader myself for hooking up to NiKom based BBSes.)
  • Sex (Score:4, Funny)

    by Cranx (456394) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:25AM (#7852092)
    Great cybersex, and of course I nailed a few (cute, by the way) girls on a local BBS. BBS's ruled. It was exciting just getting my computer connected to other people, sure, but the sex owned.
    • LORD (Score:3, Funny)

      by slittle (4150)
      Uh, dude... Violet wasn't real...
    • Re:Sex (Score:3, Funny)

      by 13Echo (209846)
      "Waiting in the forest, waiting for his prey"...
      "Cranx didn't care what they would say"...
      "He killed in the town, the lands"...
      "He wanted evil's blood, on his hands"...
      "A true man was Cranx, a warrior proud"...
      "He voiced his opinions meekly, never very loud"
      "But he ain't no wimp, he took Violet to bed"...
      "He's definately a man, at least that's what she said!"

      The song makes you glad you are male!
      YOU RECEIVE TWO EXTRA FOREST FIGHTS!
  • Trade wars 2002 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Basje (26968) * <bas@bloemsaat.org> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:47AM (#7852144) Homepage
    nuff said.
    • Re:Trade wars 2002 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by caboosesw (215233) *
      I'm trying to recall some of the other "great" BBS Door games back in the day. In fact, there was a very, very good BBS system that had "DOOR" in it's name ... it essentially was a shell for running 100's of pre-packaged door modules.

      Anyone? Bueller?
    • I remember Trade Wars. Some BBS owner ran it on an ST. They version they had included a treasure planet called "The Wanderer". The object of the game became to shoot scout ships throughout the universe until they hit the Wanderer. The couple of dozen ships lost was more than made up for by the 800 or so always found by taking possession of The Wanderer's riches.
    • Re:Trade wars 2002 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sparr0 (451780)
      I'll see your TW2002 and raise you a Barren Realms Elite. Or Solar Realms Elite, or Falcon's Eye. Take your pick :-p
    • I remember solving the (then) inexplicable Ship Records Bug in TW2002. You know, the one where a player's Imperial Starship would suddenly end up as a Mule Trader or an escape pod, or you'd meet yourself out there in the galaxy and any damage you did to that other ship also went to yours. A friend and I wrote and distributed the TWBUGFIX package to correct that problem, and a similar bug where you could inherit all the Ferengi grudges that had been build up by another player.

    • Anyone use Mad Hatter's Worm-hole add-on? There were ALL kinds of bugs associated with it.

      I remember running bigbang.exe and giving it 30-45 mins to create an universe.

      I really miss Tradewars. It was an incredible game.
  • by forged (206127) <solteszNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:01AM (#7852191) Homepage Journal
    Long before mp3s the demo enthusiasts would be downloading from their favorite BBS MODs, S3Ms, ULTs, XMs and others at a fraction of the filesize of a typical mp3 (100K/file vs 5MB). We were then using some form of advanced sound card (Gravis) or player (Cubic) to play it all. And it was all free, and mostly kicked ass.
  • VT provided each dorm room with an IBM ROLM phone which had a built-in 19200 BPS modem. In its heyday in the early 90's, there were at least 50 running boards at any one time. The boards were accessible from the outside world, but access to the network was rather obscure which made 99.9% percent of the users VT students. Of course the eventual ethernet connections in the dorms killed off this community.

    RIP Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate

  • RDI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The Infamous Grimace (525297) <emailpsc@gmail.com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @09:10AM (#7852213) Homepage
    The Red Dragon Inn, a BBS I ran off of my Franklin Ace 1000. Written in AppleSoft BASIC. At first I had to run it only at night, but I was finally able to talk my mother into getting me my own phone line. Amber monitors, 5 1/4" floppies, and cracked versions of Ultima IV. Ah, t'were a simpler time. A 9600baud AppleCat modem was the state-of-the-art. I even remember the first GBBS I ever logged into. Can't remember the name, but I remember 'drawing' line graphics in posts.

    To be young and phreakin' again...

    (tig)
    • by joshuac (53492)
      Where did you find a 9600baud applecat? :)
    • Hmmmm, similar memories downloading demos & music from a BBS called "The Sound Board" if I remember correctly. Downloaded MODs, STMs, 699s and a hand full of other formats (ROLs and forget what else).

      Thankfully there still is a demoscene around, though it has maybe lost a bit of the orginal flavor. You can listen to some of the old & new tunes at http://www.scenemusic.net/.

  • And those trusting people that wrote BBS software. There was a message board where you could post private msgs to others, and the 'from' field was an editable string. (Hmm, come to think of it nothing much has changed in the past 20 years, has it?) Anyway, I msgd 3 tradewars enemies to move all their ships to a certain sector and signed each msg with one of the others' names. At 11:55 pm I logged in and moved my entire fleet to said sector, comprehensively thrashing the lot of them in one hit. Hey, it
  • Predicting which character was next going to drip out of my 300 baud modem...

    For the first time, having access to really whacked out text documents, like the one about how Reagan's SDI ("Star Wars") program was not about defending against nuclear strikes but really about defending against alien invasion...

    Playing a serial MUD. There were multiple players, which was cool (even cooler because I knew most of them), but since the BBS had only one phone line, only one person could play at once. (I imagine this
  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:12AM (#7852349) Homepage Journal
    Had to be over Telnet, into ExecPC (doesn't seem to REALLY exist anymore). This was two years ago. My town never had any BBSes, and got dialup in 1997, so it was all dialup until I discovered telnet.
    • The ExecPC BBS has been pulled by CoreComm (the company that bought the company that bought the orginal ExecPC) and it's been down most of 2003.

      The upnote is one of the orginals apparenlty has the hardware and is in the process of setting up a new home for it and plans on having it up and running again sometime later this month. So the BBS that used to bill themselves as "The world's largest bbs" back in early 90s will live again.

      • The really interesting part: my ISP before I got DSL was SOTA Technologies, which was bought out by Voyager.net, which was bought out by... CoreComm. The quality dropped dramatically each time, especially after CoreComm bought Voyager.net out.
    • Not sure about their BBS, but ExecPC still runs some great quakeworld servers that are pretty well populated.
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:15AM (#7852353)
    I'm recalling a BBS from around 1981 or so, called "Ski's Lodge". It was run on an Apple ][ with a Novation 1200 baud modem. The sysop was called either Ski Patrol or Speeka Troll, I don't quite recall perfectly.

    The ski resort motif was complete enough that whenever the BBS program encounted a software error, it would say "AVALANCH" and dump you off line.

    Across town there was Worm-O-Net. This was run on a Commodore 64 with a very common and very bad Commodore 64 BBS program (something even worse than C-Net). They did NOT have Auto Answer. Run by the Worm family, you connected to it by dialing the number with the modem. On the other end, little Tina Worm would answer the phone, see if she heard a screech, and then turn on the BBS software.
  • I remember all of those things... I made a few good splash screens when I ran a BBS with three lines... was really popular too.. When I went to other BBS's it was sooo much fun to play with ZModem making it download files... That was awesome.

    Warez back then just rocked too, when programs that were over 100 megs was unheard of, and nearly every BBS in my area had them.
  • Meeting my wife (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theinfobox (188897) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:43AM (#7852431) Homepage Journal
    I met my future wife for the first time in a chat room on the Compass Rose BBS. That was April 26, 1992 out in California. Nothing can top that memory. I even have the chat log saved from that day.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was a 13yr old snot nosed kid and had gotten myself into a flamewar on a local BBS using several obsenities during the course of the thread. Well the sysop didn't fancy that kind of language polluting his board so he took it upon himself to call the house leaving a nasty message on the answering machine, which my mother picked up ... very embarrassing. Right there and then I learned never to use my real demographics when on-line.
  • "...and a lot of older Slashdot reader's first on-line experiences were with them."

    So at age 25, I'm supposed to be all ancient now? Wow. Anyway, I have very fond memories of the BBSes I used to dial with my 2400 bps modem. Unfortunately no local ones were available and I had to dial long-distance. My favourite BBS, particularly at first, was that owned by a great geek C64/Amiga magazine called Datormagazin (legendary in Scandinavia in the late eightees and early to mid ninetees). It had debates better
  • by Mononoke (88668) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:41AM (#7852642) Homepage Journal
    Oh, wait. That's a worst memory.

    Sorry.

    • I remember hearing mom and dad pick up the phone while I was online and hearing "Hullo??" come out of my modem speaker as I got disconnected! Damn!

      I remember borrowing some random terminal from my dad and running about 100 feet of phone line outside of the house so that I could connect an old-skool phone to my 300 baud acoustic coupler in my room when I was home sick.

      I remember telemate, and redialing bbs'es that had only *ONE* line.

      I remember paying money to be part of S.P.A.C.E bbs and downloading file
  • Chat-BBS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkDust (239124) <marc@darkdust.net> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @11:49AM (#7852688) Homepage

    When I was 15 years old I got my first modem. And my cousin was sysop for two local (I'm from Munich) BBS's, one was a chat-BBS called StadtNet.

    It literally changed my life, since for the first time I met people with whom I could talk about computers (noone in my suburb was into programming, and by the age of 15 I already knew four or five programming languages). But the most important part was that since we were all from Munich or from suburbs of Munich we did a lot together, like having brunch every Sunday or meeting at different restaurant every Tuesday, going to the cinema together, having parties, etc.

    I met a lot of people that heavily influenced me because they really impressed me (like a guy who was a real old-school gentleman... it really did me good to have known such a guy, helped later on with flirting to have learned from him ;-)

  • I was 1:114/244. Message networks are one thing I really miss in the "modern" network. Usenet just isn't the same thing, and neither are web forums.
  • Jason Scott has been working on it for quite a while, see this. [bbsdocumentary.com]

  • After moving 1500 miles from where I grew up, and not knowning any of the locals, meeting fellow geeks at a local BBS party has to rank up there pretty high for me.

  • My best memory was "Uncle Lem's Cabin" ran by a buddy of mine.

    A bunch of us played an RPG game on one of his BBS forums. That was a trip. Basically the GM would give us the setup overnight and we would have all day to write up our actions. Some of us coordinated our plans by telephone. Then the GM would read our messages and respond accordingly. During the thick of it, we were doing two rounds a day.

    BBS's and GEnie (which was like Compuserve or early AOL) got me through the half-dozen years between having
  • MUD BBS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tananda (85834)
    Well, I could write a novel on my BBS memories, but I'll condense it.

    Most of my boarding occured in Texas, most notably on After Hours BBS, Adrenalyze (later just called Adren), and Adam's Garden.

    Through these boards, I made the best friends of my teens, some of which I still talk to now (and others, I've lost contact with for eons, and then seemed to re-meet 8 years later on some random MUD). I also recall having two short-lived boards of my own, one running Renegade, the other running MajorBBS (which la
  • did _you_ ever get the last blade?
  • Does anyone remember C-Net [compuserve.com], a rather common and rather annoying BBS program for the Commodore 64?

    I'm sure there were still some C-Net BBS's running when someone decided to use the name as an Internet news/download site. When I first heard of www.cnet.com [cnet.com], I wondered "Why bring a bad BBS into the Internet era?"
    • I've been running the half-brother of C-Net - Image BBS for well over a decade. (I did use C-Net 10 and 12 for a while, solid programs, they help make BBSsing great!)

      Both C-Net and Image are well regarded for being very programmable (used an ML core but most of the functions and game modules are moifyable BASIC) and they are very stable - I have my BBS running for MONTHS without even looking at it. (minor syntax errors in the modules just makes the board jump back to a main prompt, and add a report to th

      • Darn, I can't think of a way to slashdot your Commodore!
      • by XO (250276)
        Dude. There was a MASSIVELY enhanced version of the EMPIRE P-file for New Image, I think the original author called it "Empire 6.0" .. I had taken it over, back ported it to C-Net 12.0, and then completely re-did almost everything, and added hundreds of new features. ... I cannot find the source ANYWHERE, no disks, no printouts.

        Do you have ANY version of the C-Net or New Image "Empire" P-Files???

        I had also written a message board networking system for C-Net and New Image.. was working on making it comp
  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @01:03PM (#7853058) Homepage
    was designing and running David's Amazing BBS, which existed in its best form from 1987-1991. As the "big fish in a small pond", I made a lot of friends and even got a couple of good relationships out of it.

    I wrote my own software that ran on a Microport Unix system. I had an assistant named REM, and he kept on telling me SCO was better, but I could never afford it. Considering current developments, I thought that was worth noting.

    My system was always crashing because I was running it on flaky hardware. Unfortunately, revenues from my rates ($7.50/month, $35/6months, $60/year) were enough to pay the phone bill and maybe give me a few bucks in spending money, but not nearly enough to replace the hardware.

    I wrote the software myself, including a very nice WELL-like public board system. The boards would be intelligent one day and horrible flamewars the next. I never figured out how to balance free speech versus flames, a problem that I think was solved pretty well on Slashdot. Perhaps if I'd had the time to think things through instead of having a real job, I could have figured it out. But of course there were no revenues.

    I had a fancy dating questionnaire system, which I still think was the best in the industry. It let you answer questions multiple choice and by writing essays, whichever you liked better. Unfortunately, with only five phone lines plus one "secret" one outside of the rotary, there weren't enough lines for a real chat board, and I didn't have the bucks to expand.

    When the hardware finally died, so did the system. A few years later I became a minor-league ISP but things were never the same. The BBS world was a lot more fun.

    I got spoiled by the local nature of the BBS, where everyone knew your name, and you could put together parties at local restaurants and the like. It was so much nicer then than the current, more anonymous and harder to crack, community. Even after 1,500-odd posts on Slashdot, I don't feel I really know anyone; it's just too big.

    But on the BBS, I knew everyone.

    My love life never recovered from dropping out of the BBS world :-(.

    D
  • memories (Score:5, Funny)

    by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @01:15PM (#7853123) Homepage Journal
    Dad to me: How the heck could you spend $400 in long distance last month?!

    Me to dad: Don't worry, I got about $1000 worth of free software.

    • Now, THAT was funny!

      Back in '91, I was in my freshman year at Drexel. I quickly discovered BBSing and before I bought my own modem at home I was using the four Mac SE/30s with dial-out capability they had in the computer center for hours at a time, basically doing nothing but downloading software. Often I would turn down the brightness on the screens all the way, so people wouldn't notice what was going on-- then I'd go to class, and return to load up the box of blank floppies in my backpack with the now-d
    • by jamesh (87723) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:22PM (#7855602)
      Me to wife: How the heck could you spend $400 on clothes?

      Wife to me: Don't worry, I got about $1000 worth.
  • by annielaurie (257735) <annekmadison@hot ... om minus painter> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @01:28PM (#7853215) Journal
    Had to be the day I signed for the package containing my USRobotics HST Dual Standard modem.

    The 9600/14.4 modem retailed for almost $1500 in the late Eighties, and there was a sysop's discount of 50%. It took me months to save up that $795 plus shipping. I had them ship it to my office so I wouldn't miss being there to receive it. Fortunately my immediate boss (who also operated a BBS) had an appreciation of the finer things in life, and we spent half the afternoon looking at it, reading its large and content-filled manuals, and going over what I would need to do to to get it to function with my Fido/Opus BBS setup.

    I well remember stopping by Baynesville Electronics to pick up my 16550/AFN UART, and as well the new driver chips. These were quickly installed, and I set to work after supper configuring the system and the modem. It had a wonderfully rich and complex set of registers and commands; you could get it do do just about anything you wanted. Friends passed around prized init strings the way church ladies pass around prized recipes, and I received several "Heard you got your modem. How's it going?" phone calls that evening. I had it up and running by midnight. Most fun was to watch the mail transfers running along at warp speed. The final touch: Adding that prized "HST" to the BBS's tag line. Noblesse oblige, and I became a mail point with the next Nodelist update.

    I mostly remember two things:

    First, I enjoyed and greatly miss the sense of community among most of the BBS sysops of that net--Net-261. Knowledge was shared freely, help was forthcoming, and the group was an extended family. I formed friendships that are still valued almost twenty years later. We often got together personally, and our families got to know one another as well.

    Second, there's never been a piece of hardware as much fun to work on as a modem that's intended to drive a BBS.

    Anne
    The Keeping Room: Opus 1:261/1055 HST
    Gone these many years, but never forgotten

  • Still around.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by WiKKeSH (543962)
    Hey, BBSes are still around, though they are only kept around for nostalgia nowadays...

    there are a lot of telnet boards such as east1999.acid.org and blackthursday.net

    There are stil plenty of groups thta draw ascii and ansi too...

    check them out at ansi.idledreams.net thuglife.org and scene.downmix.com
  • Door Games: Tradewars, Global War
    Downloads: MODs, Shareware Demos (DukeNuken, Stunts, Wolf3d, Doom)
    Dwango - for you Doom players out there, it was local for us Houston,TX-folk.

    My computer when i started BBSing was a 286, 40Mb HD, EGA monitor, 2400baud modem. This was all given to me by a now good friend of mine. Thanks Stevie G!
    Right after Wolf and Doom, i realized i needed one of those fast 386/DX machines, so again Steve hooked me up. got a 386/DX-66, 4Mb, 125Mb HD, VGA, and a 14.4baud... i was ready
  • Back in the day (I was quite young, about 7 or 8), me and my 386/33 2400baud would dialup to my uncle's BBS. There were a million fun things to do there. Chat, Food Fight (a really fun game), Shareware downloads, and a whole bunch more.

    Unfortunately, the day I upgraded to 14.4k was the day he shut down.
  • Favorite memories? Upgrading from 2400. I paid $300 for a used Intel SatisFAXtion 14.4 internal modem. Whoa. The screens of text are drawing faster than I can read them. Cool.

    Chatting on local message boards and then discovering Fidonet. Back then I hung out in the Fidonet SF Echo. One day someone in the echo mentioned that he had been looking for a particular book that was OOP and couldn't find it at any of the local used bookstores. Somebody elsewhere in the country said "Hey, I saw that book the
  • My favorite BBS experience was a *nix based BBS in Norfolk, VA called "The Genuine Aloha Ukelele" (major trivia points to anyone who can name the source). It was networked (UUCP) with a few other similar hobbyist systems, the only one I recall being "Milo's Meadow". After being a good user for a while, I got shell access. I had no idea what that was. But I learned.

    Also, I ran one of the very few Apple II based Fidonet nodes, "Radio Free Earth". I got to be a moderator for the Apple and Writing echoes (e.g.
    • It's from 'Holiday in Wakiki' by the Kinks!

      So what's my Prize? :)
      • axolotl_farmer sez: "It's from 'Holiday in Wakiki' by the Kinks! So what's my Prize? :)"

        Sorry, no cookie. The second line in the second verse is "Because a genuine hawaii ukulele cost me 30 guineas".

        But at least that was an honest attempt. Sooner or later someone will Google it out as an instrument supposedly played by Brian May of Queen on "A Night At The Opera". For all I know he really did play one. But that's where the name's from.
  • by Kymermosst (33885) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @05:32PM (#7854840) Journal
    At 2400 bps...
    Starting XMODEM download of "SOMEGAME.ZIP"...

    Recieved 1000 of 1003 blocks

    CRC Error UIERUEWHtxnsfer&^(HUP cancell&*)Y&Hed
    23-8490280jasdfj08ref9&*^f79H-f9y Fhiuy_)(&yf7-98#
    NO CARRIER
    *crap!*

    Thank God Zmodem came along...

  • I'll never forget it. I was at my cousin's house, and he had a C64 and a 300 baud modem. Right before my eyes, he dialed up some pirate BBS, downloaded a cracked copy of Out Run, [retrogames.com] and we started playing.

    That was the "first one's free!" experience that set me on the long road to internet addiction. And that was also the day I began to dislike the woefully un-modemed Tandy 1000 my parents had gotten me.

    ~Philly
  • Circa 1990, while in college at Lawrence University [lawrence.edu] I ran RyBBS, written by Greg Ryan [ecommandos.com], from my dorm room (in Plantz Hall [lawrence.edu], the jock dorm) at night, from 7pm to 7am. The hardware was a Tandy IBM 8088 and a 2400 baud modem. Memories:

    • Forgetting to turn it on, answewing a phone call, and hearing a shy female voice timidly ask "Um, is the BBS running?" I said "oops, I'll turn it on now," hung up, fired the BBS up, and proceeed to have a conversation with the caller.
    • My friends complaining that when they woul
  • I grew up with the Commodore Vic-20 and 64 so I have strong nostalgic memories of the Commodore BBS scene. Luckily, that scene isn't dead. There are a bunch of C= boards you can access over the Internet. You can find a partial list here [orrville.net]. I know what you're thinking. Accessing C= boards via telnet is well and good but without the colour graphics, it's boring. You're right. That's why you need CGTerm [paradroid.net] or CBMTerm [darklordsofchaos.com] which will give you the full-on experience.

    Oh, and if all this BBS talk has stirred up the sysop

  • by sjames (1099)

    Downloading SLS Linux at 2400 baud (With thanks to a kindly sysop who agreed to waive the u/d ratio for the 30 floppies worth). It had kernel 0.96 or so. Certainly a huge step up from Windows 3.1 and DOS.

    The elation of getting MNP 5 and not having to backspace over line noise any more (but there was still the sysop's cat walking on the keyboard).

    Trying to guess how many days it would take for a message to propigate through fidonet.

    Playing 24 games of chess one move per night per game through the chess

  • My favorite BBS memory has to be doing modifications to WWIV [wwiv.com]. It's the way I learned C and it was a lot of fun.

    WWIV was the most popular BBS system in my area, and of course it had it's WWIVnet that had message boards networked across the country.

    On WWIVnet people would post mods to the source code for WWIV (which was available if you registered for $50). I got $50 from my Mom so I could get the source code (being around 14 at the time). I started downloading the mods from the local BBSes and the messa
    • Er... WWIV was written in Pascal. The "C" version never surfaced as an official release. Are you sure you have WWIV?

  • I was more 3l33t at that very moment than everyone else on the planet.
  • by cyan (370)

    Synchronet is still a very popular piece of BBS software that's used by a great number of BBS's worldwide even today. It's still being actively developed, and is 100% open source, running on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and a handful of others (including Win32.) Its features are beginning to rival even those of WorldGroup, with all its built-in services. It can even run old-school DOS doors under Linux by using DOSEMU. When you compare this to other BBS packages out there (such as Falken BBS, which

  • by drix (4602)
    Getting totally backstabbed by my Tradewars 2002 corp. partner after finally getting a Class M planet with a citadel, huge treasury, planetary defense system, and cherried-out ISS ranks high on my list. Even better, after I logged in and found myself sitting in an escape pod in the middle of nowhere, the sysop chatted me just to say he watched the whole thing happen live. Fuckers. That and entering those wonderful "no-exit" sector clusters.
  • Met my wife via one back in 1992 -- AfterHours BBS (512 area code, R.I.P. Tombob). I think at its heyday the sysop had 24 lines (running MajorBBS). We'd get together once a week for some face-to-face chat and take over the the Incredible Flying Pizza Society for a few hours. Sure, I played around with other BBS', but nothing compared to chat.
  • My favorite BBS at the time had a hookup to a national X-Files forum going right when the show started. After a while we decided it would be a good idea to think of a term for X-Files fans like Trekkies for Star Trek fans. I eventually thought of x-philes and it was liked by all. A little while later I was reading an X-Files magazine and saw fans of the show called X-Philes for the first time. I have no way of knowing if I was the first to use it but I haven't been able to find any other references from an
  • I still remember an old BBS I ran in the LA area. I won a free PCjr with a 256k RAM sidecar, I had two 1200 baud Hayes Smartmodems sitting around idle, and two phone lines, so I set up a multiuser Wildcat BBS. The app and message database had to fit on one floppy drive, so it didn't have much room. But I was able to get it to connect to the Wildcat message forwarding network and successfully handled an extremely tiny amount of packet traffic. The system went active every night at something like 4AM, dialed
  • Back in the early 80's, there was a multiline chat system called POPnet. 32 incoming lines, with nodes in Walnut Creek, Maryland, San Ramon, and a few other places. For many of us, it was an addiction - More than one user hit the million-minute mark. Despite it's folding in the early 90s, most of the core crowd still keep in touch (some on a daily basis). I'm sure there's more than a few POPnetters reading this :)

    And of course, who could forget spending hours buried in the text files of the Temple of the [totse.com]

  • Having the Sysop of our local Major BBS using Sprint's PC Pursuit to link up with another BBS across the country, using one of his 32 channels to link in another 16-channel BBS. It was a major bummer when Sprint cancelled that discount service for BBS's.

    Flash Attack was one of the more interesting of the ANSI-Graphics games that ran over the Major BBS system. I'd love to see a modern update running over TCP/IP.

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