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it's that BBS time again

About once I year I get the yearning to run a BBS again. I don't know why but I do. I could probably have one set up in less than a hour, complete and ready to roll.

So why don't I?

I have a "consumer" Verizon DSL account meaning no servers of any kind are allowed.

Section 3.7.5 of the Verizon Internet Access Terms of Service states very plainly:

You may not use the Broadband Service to host any type of server whether personal or commercial in nature.


If I upgraded to a "business" plan, the cost per month is only ten bucks more for the same connectivity I have now, with the advantage being I can run any kind of server I want (assumedly.. I would call first to check.) That's why you pay the extra ten bucks a month.

It is very, very tempting.

What's even cooler is that Synchronet has a system ready that accepts both telnet and dial-up easily. This means that not only would I get to run a telnet BBS, but I'd also be the only dial-up board in Tampa (probably,) and it would all be on the same system. Kudos to Rob Swindell for releasing that because that's just plain cool.

The question: Why even bother with dial-up?

The answer: As funny as this sounds, in the very brief stint where I was running a dial-up BBS in Tampa, someone actually did call it. I kid you not. I was amazed.

In addition, the true BBS experience can only be realized when connecting via a phone line. Everything shows up as it should and there's none o' that jerky ANSI crap you get with telnet.

Furthermore I can make my own cool-ass ANSI screens with TheDraw. I always loved that app. 😀

. . .

Has enough time passed where some people might actually be interested in BBSes again?

I honestly don't know.

But I can say this:

Now that the internet is almost surfed exclusively with broadband connections, many computer hobbyists have made it a point to take really old computers and "internetize" them. Put it this way - can you believe that there is a Commodore 64 web server? Believe it. And it works, too!

Why do people bother with this stuff?

The answer is simply "because they can". The fact you can take a computer that has a 1.02 megahertz (not gigahertz) processor built a minimum of almost 14 years ago and turn it into a web server is nothing short of incredible.

. . .

Unofficially, BBSes died in 1995 which is right around the time when the internet started to take full swing.

The funny thing today is that more and more kids are having a genuine appreciation for anything "retro". Concerning computers, you can't get much more retro than a BBS.

Is it time for the BBS to return?

Quite possibly.

Why else would I spend an extra ten bucks a month? 😀

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