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General Forums > The Good Old Days > BBS Shutdown Regrets.

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Thread: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
 • Velicitor
Total Posts: 1
Member of 4 BBSs
BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 8/20/2002 11:12:00 PM
Remember the feeling you had when you finally realized BBS's were dead? Hah I do.

I thought back on what my BBS had come from.

Imagine this. 286 is released. So I buy one.. Of course, I pay DEARLY for it. I had a whopping 1 gigabyte hard drive space (computer cost me a little over 6 grand after it was all said and done)...

Ran a 1 node BBS in Hamilton, Ontario, CA called Tobacco Road. With 1 gig Hard Drive space, and the newest modems (2400 to 9600 to 14.4), we were the biggest and fastest around. I remember the phone bills of over 150$ a month to collect files and echo-mail.

I remember when that BBS reached PCBoard's file and message limits, within 3 weeks of each other. So I wrote little programs to expand each by not using the "conventional" file and message system. Sort of gave PCB a Telegard feel.

I then remember having to shut down that BBS, because users didn't understand why I requested they help pay my 150$ phone bill. Getting mail saying things like "Its your hobby, you pay for it...", what they neglected to realize was a hobby that benifits others soon becomes something similar to a job.

Then in the early 90's i decided to form another BBS. This one a little less "formal" and a little less large. I promised myself I wouldn't allow my HOBBY to become a career. I subscribed to local echo/game groups. I had about 150 members, somewhere over 100 message boards, and 50 or so file boards. Life was good

Then in the mid 90's, something called the Internet took over my callers. They were facinated by 28.8 or 56k bitmap based manuverability. They were just astounded by the expandibility of the Internet.

Soon I realized Ansi-based communications were coming to a screeching hault. And, with one final farewell, I let my BBS go into the dust as so many before had.

I logged into the internet. At first, I was intimidated. Something so big it could shut down my BBS. But then I found a problem. 56k really wasn't fast enough to surf the internet "sufficiently"... I promptly got Cable. (Yes, I was late to the internet "Graphically".. Sure i had text based internet, but no way that prepares you for the full scale net).. With cable, i found, i could do so much more.

I began learning HTML... I believe I bought a "Hot off the presses" copy of "A guide to HTML2.0"... What a rip off, how was I to know that not a year later they would have 50 revisions etc. The bbs world was much less complex.

I regret shutting down my BBS. What I regret most, is not keeping a copy of it. It would be great if I had forsight into Telnet. But I guess thats how it works eh?

Anyone else got a story of their BBS's?
 • Satan
Total Posts: 5
Member of 34 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/19/2002 4:17:00 PM
Yes.. I regret the internet killing my BBS too. Those were great days.

I actually met (and am still married to) my wife on a BBS. Turns out we went to the same high school, started dating, were a perfect match, went to the same college, bought a house, got married, and now are working on a webpage.

It's all come full circle.
 • nullvalue
Total Posts: 286
Member of 13 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/20/2002 4:11:00 PM
wow! so you were high school, college, and BBS sweethearts? not many people can say that.. ;)

-nullvalue
 • MistressVampiress
Total Posts: 1
Member of 15 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/23/2002 2:10:00 PM
My husband and I met on a BBS. He likes to say that I bought a modem from him though. We didn't go to the same school, or the same college and we weren't sweethearts until after the internet killed both our BBSes. But still.

-Mistress Vampiress
 • John Carr
Total Posts: 5
Member of 12 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/24/2002 12:36:00 AM
> I regret shutting down my BBS. What I regret most, is not keeping a copy of it. It would be great if I had forsight into Telnet. But I guess thats how it works eh?

I really regret not having any copies of my BBS stuff. I do, however, still have stacks of 5 1/4" floppies that're unlabelled.. for all I know, I may have some stuff from there.
I spent like 6 hours a day messing with it.. you'd think that after all that, I'd have copies *somewhere*.


Mine's not all that interesting, but mine:
I was high school student in a rural part of Florida in the mid/late-80s and there was about 3 BBSes in my calling area (and I'm not complaining about that since it's 3 more than some people had!) I didn't have a pile of money, so when the time came where I wanted to jump from user to SysOp, I dedicated my beefy Tandy 1000SX w/20Mb MFM drive to the task (this was in early '89). I first ran Opus (does anyone else remember the tricks to reformat a partition on your drive for 512 byte sectors for Opus's message format?), later moved to QuickBBS to make the BBS more original, and then settled on RemoteAccess.

I jumped into FidoNet right away and carried about 60 echo areas between Fido & EggNet. Since I didn't have much drive space, I was 100% messages with a couple of games. The coolest thing about the BBSing scene down there was that along with all the typical BBSers, there were some retired Bell Labs guys and folks like that who'd call in on occasion... *those* were some interesting SysOp chats (kicks self again for not having backups). The best thing about running a BBS in a small area like that is that you got this weird feeling of actually doing a community service... I miss that part.

In '91, the hard drive died, as did a 40Mb Fujitsu replacement, so I was back to running Opus on two 720k floppies (FrontDoor didn't fit on a floppy)... Opus on drive A:, and the messages on B:. This lasted for about 2 months until the floppy controller gave out and I eventually pulled the BBS down.

I'm getting that itch to get back into it in a bad way, however. Even though the 'Net is still a bit magical, in a way, in how everything just moves around, there's a certain intimacy that's lacking that I (and I'm sure, many of us) was accustomed to. Given a little extra time for research as to what UNIX BBSes "feel" good and have Fido plugins, and given some extra time, I'd do it again. :)
 • Doctor Who
Total Posts: 4
Member of 8 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/26/2002 3:51:00 PM
Yes... I ran a bulletin board when I was at college in the late
1990's (1996-1998) from my LAN connection (I was trying to keep BBSes
alive, funny I should try that) called Tessier-Ashpool. I too wish I
had backups of it because I had to erase it from my hard drives when the
school's NOC team decided to go stomping through their net looking for
'unauthorized services' like BBSes (nevermind the ten 0-day sites on my
floor at the time). The disks I'd copied the BBS to were corrupt, I was
never able to resurrect them.

Life's not fair sometimes.

Doctor Who/412
 • Mage Raistlin
Total Posts: 6
Member of 6 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 9/27/2002 7:36:00 AM
> Remember the feeling you had when you finally realized BBS's were dead? Hah I do.

Oh yes.. it was like a friend or a family member died. My bbs was started in about 93
and finally gave up the ghost Jan 20, 2000. It was heartbreaking... a userbase of
about 150 dwindling down to 10.


Raistlin's Tower was a small bbs compared to some of the ones out here. A single line bbs
with a bunch of games. I think at one point we had about 25 addons for LORD at one time on.


I still have a copy of the bbs on my computer complete with the games, zipped
base and all of the ansis.

I met my husband on one of the local bbses. The cool thing was we were really good friends
online and would go to the GT's. Play a few rounds of darts, chit chat with other users, and
just have a good time. *sigh* I miss those days...
 • abdul
Total Posts: 1
Member of 1 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 10/1/2002 11:03:00 PM
> Anyone else got a story of their BBS's?

Yep... but its too long to tell the whole story of 'The Boot Factory' here so here's the short version.

my first BBS went online in Jan 1984 running on an Atari 800 with 2 floppy drives and a 300 baud modem. I upgraded, added, and enhanced all the software and hardware until 1987 when I switched to an IBM running Seadog/Opus in Fidonet. I did the same thing with the IBM - upgraded, enhanced etc hardware/software until I shut it down in 1987 for good (or so I thought).

Then in 1999, I got an atari 8bit emulator for the PC and put the original Atari BBS back online - thru telnet. And it is online still today.

The name? Why 'The Boot Factory' of course.

telnet://bfbbs.dtdns.net

 • Tigger
Total Posts: 6
Member of 14 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 10/17/2002 10:01:00 AM
> Remember the feeling you had when you finally realized BBS's were dead? Hah I do.

We ran a multiline BBS in VA Beach for many years, it was so awesome.
I actually HAD a full backup of "the lair" up until about 6mos ago.
I miss those days, and actually considered putting another one up, but something tells me it just wouldnt be the same
and the telnet thing, OY thinking about trying to figure that out gives me a headache.
But I do miss it !!!!!

Tigger
 • Rick
Total Posts: 2
Member of 4 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 1/5/2003 5:04:00 PM
> Anyone else got a story of their BBS's?

Sure do. Still remember like yesterday. Long story short, started on a 2 floppy drive tandy 1000x with 640k. Unzipped my first tw2000 and found that it was too big to run! Ok, spent $2700 on the latest 386-25DX (remember the DX was better!
 • billster
Total Posts: 3
Member of 3 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 1/16/2003 9:52:00 PM
heheh.. I ran Spitfire Also, have about 3 update disks still.... It was easy to configure and customize. I just d/led sychronet software and put a telnet bbs. I'll play with this for awhile. Very hard to customize like spitfire was...
Good luck,
bill
 • epik
Total Posts: 4
Member of 28 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 3/20/2003 12:51:00 AM
I feel compelled to add to the nostalgia, even though I'm coming in late in the game...


I ran my BBS from 1992 through 1998. I was actually one of the young ones, but masqueraded as an adult. I started out with an Emerson (yes, the people who make taosters) 386sx with a 40MB HD and the latest Emerson 2400 baud external modem. I had to modify the modem so I could sleep at night... they didn't come with volume controls. I started out at The Capitol Punishment Society BBS, in Raleigh, NC. The BBS scene in Raleigh was great, and I had been calling boards since 1988 or so with my old IBM PC Luggable (the 60lb laptop). I look back now and see that my age came right through in the original name, but I was a dumb kid... what did I care, I was a freakin SysOp! My computing friends thought it was the coolest thing. About a couple years later, the name changed to The Foundation. I got from the Asimov books, which I had a copy of near my computer (but didn't read until 2002). I have numerous stories to tell, especially about those little BBS wars between boards. But I had run the board all the way through high school and beyond. I was working full time, and wanted to move away and finish college full time. So I took it down. 6 months later it was back... I had run out of money for college, and gave up for a while. I soon moved to another town in the area, but because I had officially gone away, I was as good as dead. I gave up on the BBS in 1998. I saved everything, but just this week have found much of it to be lost. I have my original BBS stuff, when I started out with TAG!, but can't find the Renegade stuff I came to love.



Two stories.

I was lucky enough to be able to afford a second node, mostly because I was working my butt off and living with my folks. I had been using the Internet a little by then (this was 1996), and hogging up one of the BBS lines to do it. CompuServe charged me by the hour! hehehe... Anyway, I had "met" someone on mIRC, and used my line to call her. She lived in Utah, and stupid me, I never had long distance service on either of my lines. Well, I had an accident at work, and was on disability leave. I had lots of time to call my new friend in Utah on the phone. As it turns out, I eventually married her and now have a wonderful daughter together. We even moved to Utah last year so we could more easily juggle my latest attempt to finish college. If I hadn't had a second Node, I would have been cut off quick. My (future) wife and I only chatted ONCE online, and all else was mail or phone. I racked up $1600 talking to her. It was worth it, though.

Second story, and more interesting to the SysOps out there. I actually received a death threat once, posted on the BBS. I called the cops, who promptly had a "computer specialist" call me on the phone. I told him I had received a message on my BBS that threatened my life, and they told me I needed to contact my service provider! I tried to explain to this computer specialist that
 • tracker1
Total Posts: 20
Member of 41 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 3/27/2003 12:38:00 AM
> Remember the feeling you had when you finally realized BBS's were dead? Hah I do.

I actually got into bbsing around it's peak, in 1992, in the Phoenix, 602 area.. I help'd co-op and did ansi, and rip for a few boards in the area.. about a year ago, I was looking for ANYTHING resembling an old AZ bbs.. and really couldn't find anything easily, so I setup theroughnecks.net to host a bbs, and made a simple web-page that would make it easy to find.. do a search on google for "Arizona BBS" .. heh, well, in any case, it's seen quite a few improvements since it first went up, and constantly working on it...

telnet (ansi) isn't the same as my old comm program of choice (ripterm), but it is still pretty sweet to see a nice ansi board.. there've been a few pop in and out this past year, kind of a resurgence.. some people are sick of the spam, and garbage, and looking for a homebrew bbs... a lot of people don't stick around too much though, but it is nice to see people pop in..


Started with a PC-XT w/ 512k ram, and a whopping 10mb mfm hd..
 • Firefox
Total Posts: 2
Member of 14 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 11/18/2003 11:25:48 PM
I ran a board in Birmingham, AL called Endless Reality (sounded cool back then...). It was simple, one line, running WWIV, and a few doors - Trade Wars, Crunch League Football, etc.

I started in in 1992. I ended up shutting the down next year when I got serious about a girl (damn, what a stupid thing to do).

My sysop days were short, but it was still a lot of fun designing my ANSI graphics for the menus an logon/logoff screens. I remember hearing my modem (2400) screeching in the middle of the night, and I had to go see who was logging on. It was a blast.

A few months after I shut down the board, I enlisted in the Air Force. When I came home, the local boards were all but dead. Something called the "internet" was all the rage.

So goes the tale of Endless Reality...
 • Dungeon Master
Total Posts: 1
Member of 1 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 1/12/2004 4:58:16 PM
I started out using a few local boards when I was a junior in HS (1985) and immediately got hooked.

The local scene only had a handful of boards, mostly Commodore-based C=NET BBSs and a Tandy-based site.

I started The Eagles' Reaches (based on the mythical home of a Valheru in Raymond Fiest's RiftWar series) that same year - running on an Atari 800XL with 64K RAM, 2 Floppy Drives and a 1200 baud modem.

I remember staying up into the wee hours with friends writing and re-writing code to customize the system. That and tinkering with adding hardware. When all was said and done I had the system upgraded to 256K (imagine that!) and 3 floppy drives. Even though the hardware was ancient (by today's standards) I enjoyed a lot of call traffic.

I actually kept the board up and running on that platform until 1988. After spending 2 years in college and then joining the workforce I couldn't keep dedicating the time to it.

Nowadays I am running the site again as a "Web Community" using Wildcat INS off of my commercial web site. (Ok, shameless plug -- www.1st-concept.net)

It's mainly focused on technical support issues (I design networks for a living), but I still keep a fair number of doors available for the nostalgic.

Take care!
Brian Furbee ..aka.. The Dungeon Master
The Eagles' Reaches BBS
1986-1988, Resurrected in 2002!
 • Nomad
Total Posts: 12
Member of 11 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 1/15/2004 12:25:02 AM
> Remember the feeling you had when you finally realized BBS's were dead? Hah I do.

Oh boy.. I remember first getting into bbss like in junior high(94), and then almost 8 months later deciding to run one myself.. I revised the look so often, until everyone thought I had the nicest looking menus. I was a big freak on ANSI Art.. worked hard on it. My BBS ran on Renegade software on my 486 DX2 50mhz.. I think it was at 16 megs ram at the time.. I had a big userbase of people who loved using my LORD because of my choices of IGM addons. I also had like 15 other unique games that most BBSs didn't carry. After some time a friend and I started coding some BBS Door Games.. I loved doing it too. But it was the worst code ever =) Ide love to redo it though. I could have done a 1000x better today. But I was merely riding the final wave of BBSs compared to most of you.. By late 1997 my BBS came to a close.. Fewer and fewer calls.. and I finally was compelled enough to tinker with the internet and became very interested. Anyone remember hearing the phone ring.. well actuall just the click over? I always heard that.. The computer was in my bedroom, so I remember hearing the phone click up, and the computer start rurring when they would login... I miss Renegade.. I loved having that big blue control menu, with the black modem box in the middle.. it would start saying:
RINGING...
ATA
CONNECTED AT 1200BPS
or whatever.. the sadness creeps in... :(
I lost my Zip Disk with my BBS on it.. I really do wish I had it all still. I loved my ansi art.

-Jesse
 • Waffleman
Total Posts: 2
Member of 15 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 3/26/2004 5:14:49 PM
> My bbs was started in about 93

Wow, you really lasted a long time though! I think most of the SysOps shut down in 98 and 99. By 2000, I don't think there were *any* "living" BBSes in my area. Did you keep in touch with the 10 or so users who still called during its demise?
 • windrider
Total Posts: 3
Member of 5 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 5/30/2004 9:59:58 PM
I remember starting my system on a Commodore 64 using some software I'd downloaded from a commercial site called Playnet. I didn't just want to be a user, but a sysop. I even bought rights to the source for the software I used and began to make modifications on my own until one day I started from scratch and wrote my own. Then came a 286 with a WHOLE 1 meg of memory, a 20 meg hard drive and 'super fast' 2400 baud modem....

I think my greatest love was just the variety of users I'd get, from kid to adult. Just as much was just the ability to put up my thoughts on current affairs and argue them with other users.

Every now and then all the local BBSes would have some sort of picnic or party so we could get together eyeball to eyeball and the collection of people would be so fun.

I had to take Gemstone down in 1997 when my wife and I were out of work and the cost of the extra phone line just wasn't workable in the budget. I wanted to put it back up but the Internet had come.

 • leather
Total Posts: 2
Member of 4 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 7/15/2004 11:31:16 AM
I remember hearing the phone ring and the bbs picking up the call... and for a while here where I live and where one of the bbs's that I worked with was was long distance for quite a few users... I lived in toledo and the bbs "Unicorn's Cove" was out in Lemoyne Ohio every night at the end of my own "dial out" sessions I would use the call forward feature on my phone to forward all the calls out to the bbs in Lemoyne... at 10:00pm the line became another line into "Unicorn's Cove"
we would have user parties (bon-fires)
it would be nothing to have 300 or more people durring the course of the night...
it was great fun... we even had a "Barny Burnning" where we started the bonfire with a two foot tall stuffed purpple dinosaur with a blindfold, ciggarette, and a little karosean (spelling sorry)
it was great fun...
I wish we had those days back again....
charlie
/s

 • Crossfire
Total Posts: 1
Member of 16 BBSs
RE: BBS Shutdown Regrets.
Posted: 2/13/2009 12:03:09 AM

Howdy, all!  Former sysop of ModeMANIA BBS [Temple City, CA.] checking in.  Boy, it's amazing the kinds of sites you can discover with Google, isn't it...?  :-D

Probably the worst part about shutting down my board was the fact that it was involuntary.  The really short version of the story is that we had to move in June 2002, and the board never really went back online afterward.  Activity had dropped to almost nothing by that time anyway [not that ModeMANIA was ever the busiest BBS in the world to begin with!], and one of my most loyal users - and a very good friend - died of leukemia in 2003, but I guess I'll never know how much longer I might actually have kept it up.

I was the WWIVnet 818 area coordinator from 1993 [?] onward, taking on both 818 and 626 when the area code was split, and I was the NC of USLink [one of the many small upstart nets that made their appearance when WWIV gained multi-net capability].  In all, I was on nine networks.

The second-worst part was that I had a party to celebrate ModeMANIA's 10th anniversary in May 2001, having no clue at all that just a little more than a year later, it would be over.

I still have the backups.

p.s.: I notice that I'm replying to a post from 2002. :->  How much activity has there been here lately?

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