• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.
  • Here are the results of the VCF East 2022 Post Event Survey: Survey Results

Interested in using a BBS

FooAtari

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Scotland
I registered on this forum for a couple of reasons. First I am interested in vintage computing, and second I thought it might be a good place to ask about BBS.

I missed out on the BBS era mainly because I was a little to young when it started, and didn't know about it when I got to an age that it might interest me in the early 90's when I was in my early teens. I know the general concept of BBS and have briefly connected to a couple over the past few days, but they seemed all but dead.

So purely out of interest/fun and as a bit of a learning experience I was looking to join a fairly active 'general purpose' (if such a thing even exists) BBS. I am in Scotland, if there are any active UK BBS, but as I will be accessing via Telnet it doesn't really matter where it's located. I'm stopping short of the truly authentic dial-up experience ;)

Anything that has regular daily users, welcomes new users and functions as a mostly standard BBS (again, if such a thing exists not really sure of the technicalities and applications used) would be ideal.

I did a search before posting but either the thread was quite old or didn't have the info I was looking for.
 

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
Welcome to the forums!

There a number of BBSs which are very active. Check out the older stories in my (not very updated) blog link sig. Also look at bbs-scene.org or this list on Voxigo. For a couple of very busy BBSs try these:

Diskshop telnet://bbs.diskshop.ca Port:23
Vertrauen telnet://vert.synchro.net Port:23

Most use telnet these days, but there are dialups too. Also, you didn't say what your interest is. Some boards are mostly for gamers and people don't talk there much. Others are more communications oriented, but if they have the echo you want it doesn't matter if there is even one other person on the board, it's just a gateway for you. Fidonet is still going and there are some old hangers on there who won't even use the internet. There are some old boards too which are in their own category like ISCABBS which has a completely different interface. You'll find some in your own country too. For real old-time fun use a modem. The Bandmaster still has two phone lines, although it is rare that they both are used now. They've cut down a lot. :)

Cheers,
Ole
 

FooAtari

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Scotland
Welcome to the forums!

There a number of BBSs which are very active. Check out the older stories in my (not very updated) blog link sig. Also look at bbs-scene.org or this list on Voxigo. For a couple of very busy BBSs try these:

Diskshop telnet://bbs.diskshop.ca Port:23
Vertrauen telnet://vert.synchro.net Port:23

Thanks, will check those out

Also, you didn't say what your interest is. Some boards are mostly for gamers and people don't talk there much. Others are more communications oriented

Well if by games you are referring to BBS games, while I have read about them I know very little about them, so don't know if these will interest me until I try them out. I guess I'm mainly looking for communications at the moment, or a board that offers a bit of everything. Do you tend to get boards that cater towards specific topics, or is BBS generally to small and niche for such specific BBS to remain avtive? Anyway, apart from BBS specific interests, I have an interest in computers, obviously, tech, games in general and motorsport.

but if they have the echo you want it doesn't matter if there is even one other person on the board, it's just a gateway for you.

You what? echo? Do you mean networked with other boards? I'll need to look that one up.

Fidonet is still going and there are some old hangers on there who won't even use the internet.

Heh, now that sounds interesting.

Thanks for the info, very useful :)

Cheers,
Ole[/QUOTE]
 

glitch

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
4,964
Location
Central VA
Grex is still up and running (http://www.grex.org -- Telnet and SSH accessible). For now, the dialin is still active too (+1 734 484 0512...still don't have to look it up!), but there's plans to can that in the supposedly near future. Membership has been falling off lately, so the BBS portion isn't as busy as it used to be, but there are still good conversations to be had. It's hosted in Ann Arbor, MI but gets users from all over the world. It's typical of what you would have seen with a minicomputer UNIX-based system in the 80's/late 90's -- used to run on really ancient Sun hardware under SunOS 4 or 5, but it's OpenBSD now.
 

FooAtari

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Scotland
So many questions... :)

So I signed to a few BBS (your blog was a great source of info Ole) and have had a poke around. Looks very interesting.

The first thing I noticed, was that when reading new messages they are in reverse chronological order, so I am seeing the oldest messages first. Obviously some are a few years old now and there can be hundreds of messages. Is there usually an option, or any common way, to either change the order to mark them all read?

Edit
Think I figured it out. I set new-scan pointers under Message Scan config and that seems to have done the trick. If there is a better way let me know.
 
Last edited:

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
FooAtari: You what? echo? Do you mean networked with other boards? I'll need to look that one up.

The areas in Fido are called "echos". Yes, it is a network and it was big before the internet. If you go the the Fido web site you will see that out of thousands, only a few echos are still active. Fido is world wide, by the way. We used to send messages all around the world for free. One really cool thing is that it is completely non commercial and people who don't behave themselves get kicked off, so there is no spam because there are no spammers. It's a very nice place in that respect.

There are other networks too. New ones are Zeronet and Synchronet. Zero is just a bunch of rude kids, but Synchronet is a serious one. Check out the home page and the Wikipedia article on that one. Oh, and Dovenet is a good one too.

Regarding how to read these, well it can be a bit odd and esoteric. It will depend on the software that the board is running. Favourites from the old days are Maximus and Spitfire, but ISCABBS uses citadel which was written for a mainframe and is completely different in that regard. There's a couple of new Linux ones and Synchronet, which runs on different OSs, is the big one these days.
 

FooAtari

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
7
Location
Scotland
Thanks for the info.

I have just become aware of what Dove-net is, having seen it on the BBS I'm currently exploring (which is part of synchronet, i think) and looked it up. Not a whole lot of information on it that I could find, but I found enough to grasp the concept.

I've heard of Fido before and new it was in some way part of BBS, but didn't really know much more than that. It was next on my list of things to read up on after Dove-net.

Finding it all very interesting. I like the simplicity and idea of it and hope I can find some BBS active enough to make regular use of it. At least Dove-net and FIDO are always available (if the BBS has it of course) if there is little in way of local messages. Really regret to knowing about this in the 90's :(

Seems to be very much like Usenet. I prefer it's simplicity and the efficiency over web based forums. Sadly many groups are dead now and there is little in discussion in some topics that interest me, meaning forums are sometimes the only option. So I can see the appeal of BBS as an alternative to the WWW.

However I suppose the web is more accessible, offers many service in one place and is also more visually appealing which pulls people away from these other technologies and protocols. Such a shame really.

Edit
Maybe I'm blind, but I can't see anything on the Fido web site about active echoes, or elsewhere for the matter. Care to point me in the right direction?
 
Last edited:
Top