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BBS (Bulletin Board System)

Wikipedia Article: Bulletin Board Systems

Back before the Internet was created, people often used a BBS (Bulletin Board Systems). These were often computers like the Apple II, Atari 800, Commodore 64 and many others, sitting in peoples, basements, garages, lofts, kitchens among other places. These computers had software installed on them called BBS and theywere run by men and women who referred to themselves as SYSOPS which is an abbreviation of system operator. These BBS’s were amazing places where you could play games, interact with other, use a form of messaging and much more. Lots of people have not heard of this tech and it’s a shame because it has great relevance to the way things work now. One of the draw backs to the BBS was both the running costs and the access costs, although most BBS SYSOPS ran them for free, the telephone company did not give out telephone calls for free and as you connected to a BBS using a Modem things could get expensive very quickly. To be honest the same really applied to dial up Internet connections too, I can remember my quarterly bill exceeding £700 on a regular basis and I wasn’t even a heavy user. The internet largely saw the decline in the BBS as people moved on to the next big thing, but interestingly enough there is a swing back the other direction and more and more Internet based BBS’s are popping up that you can access via TELNET.

There are some great documentaries on the BBS scene available, I will embed them here but be aware I do not own these and have no rights to them. Therefore I will only link to them. Below you will also find some interesting links to some of the current BBS chatter, who knows, maybe next week you too will be running your own BBS.

The people responsible for the BBS documentary have a web site you can find it at

Another fine production I have found is Back to the BBS, I wouldn't normally make any comment, but I am rather impressed with this documentary series, so please don't just watch it here, take a visit to Al's Geek Lab and subscribe to his channel, he really does some wonderful work and he deserves all the credit. You can find him by selecting the Watch on YouTube option on any of his videos.

Back to the BBS - Teaser Trailer

Back to the BBS - Part One: The return to being online.

Back to the BBS - Part Two: The Games and Mods.

Back to the BBS - Part Three: Privacy, Messaging & Hardware.

Back to the BBS - Part Four: BBS Server Software.

Back to the BBS - Part Five: The Underground.

Back to the BBS - Part Six: The Demoscene.

Back to the BBS - Part 7: The Music Tracker Scene.

Back to the BBS - Part 8: The Art Scene.

Interesting or Useful BBS Links