View Full Version : Anyone miss the good old days of the BBS, or is it just me?

September 17th, 2014, 09:09 AM
I've been watching the BBS: The Documentary for the nth time and I do miss the good old days of spending evenings and night calling up different boards. I miss the sense of close knitted community that were present on BBS and which is pretty much absent from the internet scene. Anyone else feels a bit nostalgic?

September 17th, 2014, 01:27 PM
I've watched most of that documentary and was very pleased with the content.. I have a one or two videos of it left to watch. I was also a sysop and modeled Rusty & Edies BBS theology .. so I really appreciated this documentary.
With that said, I was happy I didn't live in LA or NYC where I imagined I could have access to explore many BBSes 24/7.
I never paid to be a member, I would just use the free time and UL/DL ratios.
I never charged for my 2 line BBS and had over 6GB by 1994. Then I moved and never relaunched because the internet was the buzzword.

September 17th, 2014, 01:53 PM
The BBSes I know that transitioned to the Internet and survived seem largely unchanged from what they were 20 years ago. I do miss the online services providing one stop forums instead of the thousand different websites each requiring a different login.

September 17th, 2014, 02:05 PM
I miss the online game TradeWars 2000. Simple ANSI graphics but a real strategy game. A similiar local origin (Dallas) online game Capps & Craddocks Empires or something like that. It was a more sophisticated game. Unfortunately they never released the source code. I offered to buy the rights to it all around 1992 to give it a GUI interface but they weren't interested in doing any more with it. Lost to history.

By the time all the BBS Discussions moved to Fidonet Opus Frodo software, it was in effect just like the internet for discussions. I do not miss dealing with the modems and configurations all the time.

I ran a BBS starting in 1978 on a Cromemco S-100 with a D.C.Hayes Micromodem100 (300 baud). I wrote the code based upon the CBBS article in Byte Magazine. I didn't go 24 hours a day until I moved the BBS onto one of my three Xerox 820s motherboard systems. The BBS's last system was on a MicroMint SB-180. I closed it for good when I put my computers in storage for grad school, only took the Tandy 4000 with me.

September 17th, 2014, 03:31 PM
What I miss was the signal to noise ratio. Back then, you couldn't be a complete moron and get on a BBS. Nowadays, the internet is flooded with complete morons.

September 17th, 2014, 03:35 PM
well put, trixter

September 17th, 2014, 03:53 PM
I miss the BBS days. :( It was more personal. Our BBS would have get-togethers about once a month so you could meet the people on the board. It was a lot of fun. 3 of my friends met their spouses on our BBS. I also miss the board games. Trade Wars, Hack n' Slash, GTNWF, etc. I also liked making ASCII art. :) Good times.

Al Hartman
September 17th, 2014, 04:15 PM
I ran several BBS systems in the 80's in Brooklyn.

- Omni-net BBS
- Omni-80 BBS
- Nybbles-80 #2
- Rainbow BBS (5 lines)
- Zebra Systems BBS

And was active on Earthlink BBS and People*Links.

September 17th, 2014, 05:07 PM
I certainly miss those days.

As it happens, I ran a pretty large BBS; 24 phone lines at one point. Perhaps it was partly because I was an excitable teenager back then, but the sense of wonder that one got from exploring the frontier of possibility was fabulous.

I remember spending hours and hours with Doorway, a program that did DOS text app console redirection over a modem connection. The big problem was that any app which wrote directly to video mem couldn't be intercepted by doorway and this rendered most interesting DOS programs unable to run over the wire. Now that I think about it, a smarter TSR could have probably removed some of those limitations; grabbed video RAM and proxied keystrokes... but not to go off on a tangent here :-)

I used PC-Board, RBBS-PC and Waffle among others. I also wrote my own BBS software in Basic, called "Arabian Nights". Learned a lot and had a ton of fun.

Towards the tail-end of the BBS era, I got into UUCP networks and wrote a graphical interface for DOS on top of UUCP, providing Web/FTP/Archive/Gopher proxy services. Here's a video of that app (Interflex): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XFG8pT8oko

Great thread, btw!

September 17th, 2014, 05:09 PM
What I miss was the signal to noise ratio. Back then, you couldn't be a complete moron and get on a BBS. Nowadays, the internet is flooded with complete morons.

Very true.

The law of large numbers at play, sadly, in conjunction with the "lowest common denominator" phenomenon.

September 17th, 2014, 05:34 PM
I matured right at the butt end of BBSs so my recollection of "the days" is very vague. Looking over its archived remains I however like how it forced efficient page styling.

Rick Ethridge
September 17th, 2014, 05:54 PM
I remember well my duties as a co-sysop. Not only did I, essentially, run the boards but I had the privilege of being a "point" How many still remember what that is?

September 17th, 2014, 06:39 PM
What I miss was the signal to noise ratio. Back then, you couldn't be a complete moron and get on a BBS. Nowadays, the internet is flooded with complete morons.

The other S/N ratio was trying to call cross-telco boundaries. I recall that trying to modem between, say, Palo Alto (Pacific Bell) and Los Gatos (GTE) could be a real task in the 1970s. At the time, the coupling between networks was done via acoustic couplers. If you had, say, a megabyte of data, it was faster to mail a disk or two--and probably cheaper. Or you could just drive over with the disks.

In the early BBS days, the telcos themselves could be a pain. A lot of BBS operators opted for the "answer only" low-cost phone service. Some telcos insisted that what you intended was being used solely for data and proceeded to upgrade your service (and bill) for a regular data line.

Telephone line quality could be terrible. Some telcos established that the standard for voice lines was "hear and be heard"--that is, if two parties could communicate by voice, the line quality was fine. You wanted good equalization, you paid for data. I was friends with a lineman who worked at the local CO. He told me that "check the line" usually resulted in someone checking the equalization.

And then there was the "DAA" requirement for non-FCC approved equipment...

September 17th, 2014, 11:15 PM
Good old days of BBS :)

I was a point in Fidonet, how it was called the software i use to get all the mails? Bluewave?

Yes! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Wave

I miss the sound of the modem connecting :D

Ole Juul
September 17th, 2014, 11:41 PM
Good old days of BBS :)I miss the sound of the modem connecting :D

I've been listening to that a thousand times these last couple of weeks. In fact I've been listening to it in stereo!

The reason is that I'm working on a BBS connection. So, on the one machine I dial from a terminal connected to a landline in Coalmont. On the other machine I get the receiving call on a Seattle number that I set up specifically for this. I think it's actually a bit rare to hear both modems talking to each other with one on the left and one on the right. It's pretty cool though and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

September 18th, 2014, 04:49 AM
There is a number of telnet bbs's still running today! They have become telnet-based so they can be reached from the internet (and not by actual dialing). Some of them are using the original software of that era and there are such listings available. Most if not all of them exist for demonstration purposes only of course, there is no meaning or useful functionality in them apart from the fact that you can live once more the original experience.

In fact I have myself resurrected the bbs I used to have in the early 90's, adopted it to modern times (removed fidonet etc) and made it available for easy access via a flash plugin on a web page, so that not even a telnet client is needed. I'm nor sure if it's ok to write the link, although to be honest I don't see why it could hurt anything.