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Back when 16 colors and DOS was king of the online world

This, dear readers, is how I prove without a shadow of a doubt that I'm computer geek (grin).

About once I year I get the yearning for running a BBS again. No, not an internet forum, I'm talking about a text-based Bulletin Board System.

Some background information on BBS'ing: My first online experience was with DOS. DOS v6.0 (before 6.22!) to be exact. The way people got online back then was by phone line only and you connected to local systems that people ran out of their homes.

Out of their homes? Yes. BBS SysOp's (that's System Operator - and I was one at one point) would run a single-node (meaning only one connection at a time) BBS using nothing but DOS and the BBS software of their choice. Multitasking? HA! Like it existed back then. Well, it in fact did, but that's a whole other story.

A true BBS is nothing but text on screen with 16-color ANSI codes. No mouse. Nothing to click. Keyboard only. BBS users were usually local and people you knew mainly due to the reason no one wanted to rack up the phone bill with long distance calls to out-of-area systems. Message boards were predominantly local per system. Very up-to-do BBS Sysop's actually used FidoNET which was an international messaging system that still exists to this day.

The modern version of BBS's provide connectivity by means of telnet. Telnet is a protocol, like HTTP or FTP and usually operates on port 23. HTTP is normally port 80 and FTP is normally port 21.

What I need to run one of these bad boys is an ISP who would allow me to run a telnet server. And man, I wish I could.. but I can't right now because it would violate the "Fair Use Policy" of my ISP. Blah.

Some would ask "Why bother? What's the point?" Well, it's for the same reason anyone does anything that's considered "not necessary":

Because they can.

Running a telnet BBS is considered to be "vintage computing" and anyone who knows me knows I love old-tech - especially when you can make it work on the modern internet.

Vintage computer buffs love to see if they take the oldest computer they can find and make it internet accessible. Examples of this are The TRS-80 on the internet and browsing the web with a Commodore 64.

Personally speaking I won't go that old, but I do have an "old" computer that's a Pentium 1.6GHz that would do nicely as a telnet server.

I'm hoping one day I'll be actually able to make my lil' dream of running a telnet BBS a reality. That would definitely be cool.


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