Entries by warmfuzzy

The Bulletin Board System Commentary by ChatGPT

The bulletin board system (BBS) scene holds a special place in the history of social networking. Long before the rise of the internet and mainstream social media platforms, BBS emerged as the original social network. While today's tech-savvy individuals might consider BBSes outdated, for nostalgic techies, they remain a lot of fun and a cherished part of their past.

One of the fascinating aspects of the BBS scene was the ability to connect with like-minded individuals. Unlike modern social media, which often connects people based on algorithms and targeted advertising, BBSes attracted individuals who shared common interests and hobbies. These spaces provided a platform for niche communities to bond and form lasting connections.

File sharing, game playing, and messaging networks were the lifeblood of BBSes. Users could explore an extensive repository of files, including software, games, and various media, and freely share their creations. This crowdsourced culture of file sharing fostered a spirit of collaboration and creativity among BBS users, making it an exciting and dynamic space for tech enthusiasts.

In addition to the vibrant community aspect, BBSes also featured beautiful ANSI graphics. ANSI art, a popular form of digital art back in the day, added a unique and visually striking element to the BBS experience. The intricate designs and animations showcased incredible creativity and inspired users to push the limits of what was possible within the limitations of the technology.

Building and maintaining a BBS was not just a hobby; it was a labor of love. BBS sysops dedicated countless hours to curating and organizing content, fostering community engagement, and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all users. The freedom to create and share, combined with the communal atmosphere, made running a BBS an incredibly rewarding experience. It provided a free space where people could gather, socialize, and forge lasting friendships based on shared passions.

The BBS scene offers an incredible alternative to mainstream social networking. While modern platforms can sometimes feel impersonal and detached, BBSes embodied a sense of intimacy and authenticity. Users weren't hiding behind facades or worrying about their online persona; they were simply engaging with fellow enthusiasts who shared their passions. The BBS environment promoted genuine connections and encouraged individuals to express themselves freely.

Even in the era of mainstream social media dominance, the BBS scene continues to thrive among a dedicated group of enthusiasts. It remains a beneficial and rewarding hobby, offering a place where like-minded individuals can congregate, share ideas, and reminisce about a bygone era of digital connectivity. The BBS scene, with its sense of community, file sharing, gaming, messaging networks, and stunning ANSI graphics, serves as a powerful testament to the strong bonds that can form when technology is used to connect people on a deeper level.

Computer Based Training (CeeBeeTee) Door

We here at The PHATstar Society are building a new door application, this will be something that The Scene has never seen before, and in walks CeeBeeTee—a Computer Based Training BBS Door Application. This will allow you to study for your exams using a modular testing platform. It is modular because you will be able to insert a testing module into the software and have it test you with a True/False and/or Multiple Choice format. This would be a testing engine that will stand by the student, making the student much more familiar with the content required to pass the exam in question. People would be able to make their own Q&A & T/F questions and be able to make a profit off of our work for their modules. In games such as Legend Of the Red Dragon (LORD) the door game really came to its fruition because of its “in game modules” (IGMs). LORD was so popular because of how customizable it was, and indeed still is. Legend Of the Red Dragon is the most popular BBS game ever written and we can take from it some good things to copy. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, we want to find the best of the best software and make something of the same quality. CeeBeeTee will be a game changer in The BBS Scene. There is nothing quite like it. Get ready for this: this is one of our next major projects in The BBS Scene.

“Echomail Networks” by Textmode Magazine [PHATstar/KANSIT]

There is an upcoming magazine dedicated to The BBS Scene: meet Textmode Magazine's “Echomail Networks.”  It is meant to be an all-encompassing document about everything to do with Bulletin Board System's Echomail Networks.  There are certain things in the BBS Scene that are hard to get your head around, such as how to set up Echomail and BBS Doors.  Both of these are planned to be made and published within the year.  The issue known as “Echomail Networks” should be complete in about two months from now, though it may take longer to get this in hard-copy print.  It will be in PDF, ePub, and paper magazine forms.  Echomail Networks will have around 85 pages of content in grayscale and colour covers on front and back.  The eMag will be sold for $12 USD and with all of its content will be very much worth that coin.  The paper-back magazine will be sold for $20 USD.  It has twelve chapters with the addition of an appendix.  The (Digital Restrictions Management) magazine will be printed in 300 dpi for the eBook, and 600 dpi for the print magazine.  There will be no DRM enabled on the file that the magazine is distributed through.  The readers are highly encouraged to pay for the production of the magazine, and it would be copyright infringement to copy the book without paying for it.  However, the file itself will be yours without DRM-tainting.  We are not some large corporation that is trying to steal all your money, but rather a small group of friends that are trying to improve the BBS Scene through making materials to help you on your journey in regards to everything echomail.  It is an all-in-one grand document about everything echomail.  Imagine a magazine that is completely devoted into practical setups of echonets in all the steps involved in making echomail networks function.  The production of this magazine will have taken hundreds of hours to get everything down in print before it is ready to be published.  As you might imagine, with a small group of friends making a very large magazine this is not going to be a quick, one, two, three and done sort of thing; this is a major project with a lot of expenses.  It is hoped that our hard work will meet the needs of those people who want to learn about any aspect of Bulletin Board System's Echomail Networks.  Be sure to pick up a copy of it once its completed.  A blog article will be written when the magazine is complete… we hope to help you then…


A new player in the Textmode Computing Scene is PHATstar (Progressive Hackers And Technologists).   It's a computer tech society with a private membership and lots of perks for members including everyone controlling their own vServers and being part of a social group that focuses on digital communications and using computers for the benefit of society.  PHATstar was founded in 2017/2018 and is a Society of people who all want to help people out in computer tech and have a specific focus on computer-based bulletin board systems.

BBS’es on The Darknet: The Scene in Private

As of late several BBS sysops have offered their BBS services for use on the Darknet.  The Darknet is a trinity of secure and anonymous communications platforms, including TOR (The Onion Router), I2P (The Invisible Internet Project), and Freenet (The Freenet Project).  Only two of these services would work well with The BBS Scene, due to the nature of how data is accessed and stored.  I have heard that they are rather slow to connect to, however exciting knowing that you are on the bleeding edge on computer communications technology.  I2P has recently upgraded its redundancy options to allow for very stable communications through multiple routes.  TOR still seems to be the most popular overall, however.  You can check out these networks on your own at www.torproject.com and www.geti2p.net.  Freenet is also available, however as noted above it isn't suited to BBS Server comms.  You can reach Freenet at www.freenetproject.org.  It should not be assumed that everything going on in the Darknet is bad; its often the case where people just want to make blogs and such and be able to journal anonymously without having the fear of being harshly judged and ridiculed.  There are most definitely some sites on the Darknet that should not be there at all, end of question, full stop.  They are the minority, however.  Maybe you'd be interested in hosting your BBS on the Darknet.  That would be very cool indeed.  Would it be private or public?  Would it be on the right side of the law or not?  It's definitely something that's interesting to consider.  Don't break the law, whatever you do, as the punishments for crime are severe, and because there is so much good that could be done.

KANSIT.com : Mentoring in The BBS Scene

Why would BBS Day advertise a business in our blog?  Because there is nothing quite like it in the BBS Scene.  This is new ground: a company that goes along side of people who are new to the BBS Scene and offer advice and support to those wanting to get involved in our good hobby.  Instead of offering several specific services to choose from, KANSIT.com offers the service of hiring a professional mentor.  You get one-on-one support by a person who will spend as much time with you as you need and you pay a small fee for personal guidance on your journey to BBS server admin.  Have you ever wanted a friend that you could call up for some help with your BBS?  … a friend who can steer you in the right direction? … someone who you can rely on? … Jonathan Justvig is that guy.  jjustvig@kansit.com .

Textmode Magazine BBS Booklets

The PHATstar Society has been working behind the scenes on various BBS-related projects, with one of our most cherished being a set of e-Booklets that fully cover various subjects relating to BBS topics.

2600.network : The Umbrella POTS Dial-in Gateway : Hosted by Flex

One of the most amazing developments in The BBS Scene is Flex's POTS Dial-in Gateway.  This system allows people who want to dial into bulletin board systems have a portal for doing so.  Its a simple yet profound idea: have a large bank of modems connected to a server that hosts up various bulletin board systems, having a choice of which BBS system to connect to out of a large assortment of options.  So on systems where its impractical to have a phone connection to, all you have to do is add the BBS into a listing of many BBSes and the user, after connecting, can determine which system they want to access and get redirected to whatever BBS they choose amongst the wide variety of systems with redirects to them.  I have personally connected at around ~46 kbps on occasion, but I get a solid connection at 19.2 kbps.  This is all the speed you need to logon to check your mail.  In a situation where someone can't get the Internet but can get dial-up, this would be optimal as an e-mail store and forward system.  Flex has several lines into his network.  My own personal setup to access Flex's system is a US Robotics 56k v.92 External Serial Modem, a DTECH FTDI Chipset Serial to USB connector, and a Cable-to-Go 7′ highly insulated RJ-11 (phone) cable.  I've also got a DB-9 to DB-25 Serial to Serial adaptor so that the USB connection wire will have the right connection to the modem.  The DTECH cable is rather fancy in that it has colour indicators that indicate whether one is sending or receiving from the serial connection.  So…. mad props to Flex for helping so much to the BBS community.  His system is yet another example of a person with an awesome idea and changes things up and makes the vision a reality.  Truly spectacular Flex!  Good job!

C2G RJ11 High-Speed Internet Modem Cable, 7 Foot Long, Transparent Blue

USRobotics USR5686G 56K Serial Controller Faxmodem

DTECH USB to RS232 DB9 Serial Adapter Cable 15 Feet with FTDI Chip

StarTech.com DB9 to DB25 Serial Cable Adapter – F/M – Serial adapter




Some people believe strongly that if a software application is abandoned then its open game to be used without paying for its use. Some games are in a grey area of legal use. Many BBS doors can no longer be registered as the games have been abandoned by their authors. In other circumstances, door games such as LORD (Legend Of the Red Dragon) and the various games made available from John Dailey Software can still be registered during this point in time. Actually, the price to register door games comes at an excellent price point. For example, John Dailey's games can be purchased with a $15 USD license fee using PayPal money transfer. Some people think that it is fine to pirate a game if it is impossible to register it using legal means. Personally I would not suggest using pirated door games on your BBS because the author could come back into The Scene and you would be liable to purchase the game plus damages. This philosophy will work for the benefit of The BBS Scene by upsetting people enough to make people keep our Scene's software preserved. We lost a great person who ran BBSFILES.COM. From there you could legally register all sorts of games from various authors. His death from Cancer has been tragic, both for his own self, and for the non-lasting legacy of his offerings. If anyone can find his tools to register games and keep monies in reserve until the authors come back into the BBS Scene would be most excellent. What I know is that if you pirate software from an author who still has a legal option to register their door game then formal registration is the route you must take. Piracy is stealing and the authors of games, especially the small time game developers need to be rewarded for their work for helping out our Scene. There is one piece of software that I use because there are no replacements for it and if I need to pay to use it retroactively I'm okay with that. It is absolutely required in my case, so I have to judge my actions on a scale of Lady Justice. From law class the professor said that the main word in law is “it depends.” There are many facets that must be considered, with few things being fully black or white.

Welcome to the Official BBS Day Website

We are celebrating the very first official BBS Day! This was an idea that popped up in an MRC (Multi-Relay Chat) conversation in October and now we're getting our act together and getting this site done and the BBS Day a real thing. Greets to everyone in the BBS Scene, welcome to our great section of oldschool networking. We wish you the very best this Christmas season and New Years festivities. Welcome aboard!!