Do you have any BBS memories to share?

Just listening live to FLOSS Weekly and Randal called this community a BBS. LOL It was pretty funny.

But it reminded me of the fun days when I was a young teen using BBS’es on my Vic-20 with a 300 baud Vic-Modem (running at 110 baud in some cases.) Does anyone have any fun BBS memories to share?

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I used to run a Fido BBS in San Francisco in the mid 80s. It was called MacQueue and focused on Macintosh computers. We had two(!) lines, no waiting, both running US Robotics Courier 56K modems! Initially I had one 10MB hard drive in the PC but when Seagate MFM drives came out I had a whopping 20 megabytes of storage!

MacQueue was an early node on Fido’s EchoNet, an email precursor.

It was so hard to get into I had to write a daemon dialer program for users. Written in 68000 ASM, I believe it was the first multitasking program for the Mac. You set QDial to dial, then get on with your work (or game) and it would honk loudly when you got through the busy signals.

Our most popular download was the never released but incredible MacBasic. There’s a very sad story there. Essentially Microsoft bought it for $1 and killed it to protect their sucky BASIC.

P.S. I just found MacBasic on the Archive.org Mac emulator. Wow!

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In university, in my first relationship, we started a business selling pre-formatted floppies. We bought them in bulk, and then took over a university lab late at night to format them in bulk. (This was just a way for us to make sure we didn’t sell unreliable disks to our customers, and we could send the bad ones back, but the customers seemed to really appreciate it.)

Anyway, that led to us buying and renaming an existing BBS system that a [failing] Amiga retailer was looking to offload. They had it running on TBBS with a couple of lines. We grew it up to 8 lines, added an adult section, and increased the membership fee so we could afford the long distance to pull in new content via the FIDO peer-to-peer network. Then we got faster and faster modems as they became available, going from 2400 baud to 9600 and 19200 with the US Robotics HST. We got TDBS, the DBase add-on for TBBS and then we could offer some games, and I wrote one to play hangman that was pretty popular.

Fun times… I do miss that level of community a bit… maybe that’s why these forums seem to be growing in popularity… others also miss that kind of community too…

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I was a co-sysop of a BBS in Lewiston, Maine (“L/A Blues”) that was run by someone who worked in IT at Bates College. Through his Bates connection, he had access to the Internet via UUCP. The BBS would call up Bates maybe twice a day to send/receive e-mails and update select Usenet newsgroups. This was around 1989 and was my first time having an e-mail address. Everyone on the BBS had an address that ended in “lablues.uucp”.

IIRC, the BBS (along with some others in the area) were also on FidoNet…but nobody really cared about FidoNet when you could access the Internet! :sweat_smile:

Later, when I went off to college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, it was a local call for me to connect to the legendary Software Creations BBS. I was able to download ALL the amazing Apogee and other shareware games they hosted and bring copies home to Maine with me to upload to the BBSes there.

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My first PC was an IBM PCjr. I bought it as a present for myself in celebration of my divorce. I had no clue what to do with it. Kings Quest wasn’t out yet and the only ‘software’ really was DOS. So I bought that and a book and when through it page by page duplicating all the commands.

Then I got a modem (a 300 baud coupler) and it was off to the races. For most of the 80’s I moved every 18 months to mostly small-ish towns were I knew nobody BUT there were BBS’s everywhere. And my ‘handle’ was always Susan. EVERYONE always wanted to help out the only girl on the BBS. Mostly, of course, it was 12 year olds (and I was mid-30s) but they didn’t care and neither did I. Those boys gave me my computer science education over those BBS’s and I love them all for it.

They taught me hardware and software and systems. I made a nice, lucrative career out of their education.

I have lost touch with all of them but like to think they are doing computer good in the world as grown men.

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I remember BBS. I remember getting my first 14.4 modem and dialing into BBSs. Unfortunately, its been so long I don’t recall the details of any of them.

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Early teens on a Commodore 64 connecting to BBS’s…the only think I remember looking at was the Anarchists Cookbook :rofl:

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Oh my goodness. I never was into the BBS but my roommate was and that was back in the day when you had to work full time to afford the long distance bill they were probably calling into your BBS Leo. I had the 300 baud modem cart for the C64 and the little intro pack to compuserve instead and that’s how that all started. Back when it was just a ! prompt and before Geoworks launched the first version of AOL.

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I remember using the C64 to go to an avatar based chat server… was that QuantumLink? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Link It was great fun for a little less than a month, and I got the phone bill. (In Canada we had a service called DataPac that charged by the “kilochar”… all you need to know is that was stupid expensive.) A kid making less than $10/week delivering newspapers cannot afford a $200 phone bill! Kids today on the Internet have no idea how lucky they are :wink: (Get off my lawn now pls.)

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This whole thread brings back so many fond memories of better, and much more naive, times! (I was ~8 to ~13 years old at the time.)

I’m from rural Alabama, so local options were basically none, but there were a few I could reach with “area calling” (which isn’t even a google-able term, so to define it for the younger ones: a paid feature that allowed us to call additional telephone exchange groups without the long distance fee per minute).

2400bps was the speed of my first modem, and I remember eagerly installing upgrades to 9600, 14.4K, 28.8K, and finally 56K.

I had a second line installed and “ran” my own TriBBS to explore the world of SysOp’ing, but it never became a thing. I remember comparing TriBBS with Wildcat and decided that TriBBS was easier and more fun.

I also remember having a program I used to draw/paint the BBS ASCII art using the mouse, which I wish still existed today, since ASCII art is still cool.

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I donno if you’ve ever searched, but check this: https://www.startpage.com/do/search?q=ascii+art+paint+program

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I just started using my ASCII art again after switching back to my original Gmail account and finding it still in the signature there!

I used to go by the short name Cat and had a pet name ~ hence my ASCII feline in my signature. I’ll add it to my profile here too. :slight_smile:

KR, Catie L

    ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
     `õ_ õ  )   `-.  (     ).`-.__.`)
     (_Y_.)'  ._   )  `._ `. ``-..-'
   _..`--'_..-_/  /--'_.' ,'
  (il),-''  (li),'  ((!.-'
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Those were the days when I started managing and moderating online communities on email groups run on ONElist, later eGroups before being taken over by Yahoo! I also used to admin Newsgroups too using Outlook Express. :wink:

I turned freelance as a web designer on hosting phone/web communications specialist in 1998.

I had a very clever 56k modem that was also my virtual fax machine and answerphone! I’ve attached a photo - the black box left of the CLI display, trackball and phone was the modem!

KR, Catie L

catsoldtelebase

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That time in the 5th grade when I got a Commodore 64 and 300 baud modem and started calling Boise BBS’s to try to get free software and stuff… and then fell into the “wrong” crowd, started getting invited into the local “elite” BBSs where I discovered (as a 6th grader mind you) how to use calling card numbers (that didn’t belong to me) to call Elite BBSs all over the world for free games. Also introduced to wardialing software to discover BBSs that weren’t public. That would happen overnight while I slept. My parents had no idea. Long story VERY short, it all ended the moment the Secret Service stopped my dad as he tried to leave for work one morning looking for someone at our address who had been using stolen calling card numbers. In the end, my Commodore 64 was confiscated (for only 1 year before the police called and said it was taking up space in their warehouse and could I please come and pick it all up, and yes EVERY LAST PIECE WAS THERE when I picked it up… including said Wardialing software).

Or maybe I just made all of that up.

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Who will be starring as you in the movie, Jason? :wink:

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Gaming it on the BBS w/ my 2400 baud modem! I am surprised no one mentioned the legendary
Trade Wars 2002! :100::boom:

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It’s irrational the joy that this nostalgic style of ASCII art, with the 3d shading, brings me!

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This sounds like a scene from Halt and Catch Fire

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Love that show!

I was on BBS here in the Denver area from the late 70’s until the end… I remember there was a guy names major havoc who talked about a road rage incident where he got cut off in traffic and he chased then for a few blocks… I don’t know what happened to him. He said he wanted to be a dentist because everyone hates them…