Wednesday, 11 July 2007
My good old Atari BBS

I will admit it. Back when I was younger and kids were fighting about what format was better in the school playground I was the kid with the Atari ST. A die hard fan right to the very end just hoping Atari would save what I thought was a great line of computers with an even more fabulous release of computers. Sadly this was never to be but it didn't stop me running a BBS system I had run on the machines for over 4 years.

The good old Atari ST almost never crashed it was slow but it was also reliable and did what it was supposed to but ever so slowly as the loyal users of my BBS system Athena BBS commented back then. For those readers too young to understand, a BBS stood for Bulletin Board System, they were around way before the Internet became popular, people would leave messages kind of like newsgroups on them and these messages would be traded with other BBS's systems in the unsociable hours of midnight over 33,000 baud modems.  Users would rush in polling the BBS's modem one by one for their mail in the morning seeing what had gone on in the world or what was the latest in the Fidonet message areas. Back then you were lucky to have a modem past 22k in speed anything faster was far too exspensive. Internet email was also exspensive back then and some BBS's like my own offered people email addresses at the BBS for free which would be fed through to them twice a day. Back then spam was something you got in tins and the closest we had to modern day spammers we called muppets and banned them from the BBS network not a hard thing to do back then.

The owner of a BBS was called the Sysop (Systems Operator) a very nice guy who ran the BBS usually for free. Most BBS's also had public domain software available for download, one of the easiest ways of getting hold of free software if you didn't have an Internet connection. My BBS used to be run on two Atari ST's networked over Midi ports using two modems to answer calls. It was a great hobby I funded out of my own pocket and sadly closed down when BBS's finally started loosing people to the Internet. Every now and again I take my Atari ST's out of moth balls and fire them up looking over the BBS system and playing with the old games in the glorious 640x480 resolution, left in exactly the same condition from when it was turned off 12 years ago.

posted on Wednesday, 11 July 2007 20:44:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]