MindPhreak_Meekrab

Setting up an old school BBS

29 posts in this topic

heh...

if you are running windows, you can get WWIV v. 5.0

its very easy to set up.. and you can get a wwiv telnet server for it. this will let you give out its address to people that dont have regular modems, and you wont have to give out your ph# to everyone in the world.

I dont know how much you know about BBS's... you could check out the BBS documentry, and even TWATech radio ep #235

I will again reccomend WWIV BBS software, if you are not a windows user, I believe there is a linux build for it, but I might be wrong. You can look for answers on usenet. - alt.bbs , and there is an alt.bbs.wwiv, or alt.wwiv.bbs one or the other.

If you dont have a newsserver with your ISP you can get to them via google groups.

you'll probabbly want to get a good txt editor (notepad++ will work nicely) for customizing the look of the bbs, and "thedraw" for creating ANIS welcome screens and such.

then decide what kind of content you want. most BBS's had loads of txt files, and a few txt based games.. good popular ones were "legend of teh Red Dragon", and "TradeWars", though there are a number of fun games. I even had a WWIV 50 IRC client running a little while ago the program was called "MANNIX" iirc, where instead of playing a game, it would take you to the IRC chan of the sysops choice.

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4 Things

I Want An Oldschool Wardialable Number.

Something That Can Be Run By Something OLDER Than I Am.

Something That Runs At A Good Baud Rate.

Something Payphoneable.

:)

Edited by Phreaker Meekrab
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4 Things

I Want An Oldschool Wardialable Number.

all you need is a land line and a modem (1 for each caller ie: with 1 modem you can have 1 person and you (the sysop) on teh bbs at one time

Something That Can Be Run By Something OLDER Than I Am.

if you are not interested in running telnet... (and i dont know how old you are.. if you are 13 for example you'd be looking for something like 200mhz or less, i was running 4.54 on a 33mhz iirc, so wwiv 5 could quite possibley fit the bill)

Something That Runs At A Good Baud Rate.

as long as you have a decent 56k modem on your side

Something Payphoneable.

huh? I guess if you had a portable acoustic coupler, or spliced into the payphone wireing, otherwise you'd just call and get a carrier

:)

edit - check this link - its got all the technical info you should need to get it running... http://wwiv.bbs.us/

Edited by clueless
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Im 15 :)

So Im Gonna Run An Old School 486, A Terminal I Can Access From A COCOT.

:) Yay For Following In The F00fsteps of my phreaky forefathers!

Edited by Phreaker Meekrab
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I think the fact that you want to run this on hardware that is older than yourself makes this a cool project.

I'm not sure how old is old in this case. 90's PCs often came with internal modems on add-in cards or (later) integrated onto the motherboard. Finding an old copy of MS-DOS might be tough these days. Perhaps FreeDOS http://www.freedos.org would work? Then you could download some old PC BBS software to run on it.

For 80's PCs (including Apple, Commodore, and all the other brands) you'll probably need an external modem. Finding the hardware and software would probably be more of a challenge, but I'd say the coolness factor would be higher. Hamfests http://www.arrl.org/hamfests.html might be a good place to look for cables and components.

Good luck!

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I hope you have a job, you're going to need a phone line to dedicate to this/

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I think the fact that you want to run this on hardware that is older than yourself makes this a cool project.

I'm not sure how old is old in this case. 90's PCs often came with internal modems on add-in cards or (later) integrated onto the motherboard. Finding an old copy of MS-DOS might be tough these days. Perhaps FreeDOS http://www.freedos.org would work? Then you could download some old PC BBS software to run on it.

For 80's PCs (including Apple, Commodore, and all the other brands) you'll probably need an external modem. Finding the hardware and software would probably be more of a challenge, but I'd say the coolness factor would be higher. Hamfests http://www.arrl.org/hamfests.html might be a good place to look for cables and components.

Good luck!

If e-mailed off here, I can probably find a copy of MSDOS 6.22 :)

BBS are fun to run! Don't expect to get flooded with connections, but it can still be fun to run. Also, you'll want to _not_ keep whatever BBS software you use in its "stock" setup. People see that, and they'll leave. Your BBS needs to have personality - just keep that in mind. The BBS I run uses old Unix based software known as EBBS. I've taken the code, modified it over the years, and added features that I wanted. I'm not doing any ANSI stuff - I want to keep it truly "old school". The BBS was setup as a "off the beaten path" posting ground. Since you can only telnet/ssh to it, and up till recently dial into it, it drives a lot of the wankers away that I probably wouldn't want there anyways.

A note about dialup systems. Old systems (486, etc) used old UART (like the 8250). If you plan on hooking up a modem and plan to use over 9600 baud, you'll need to update this. It's pretty easy, just find a old serial board with 16550 UARTs. I can't imagine it'd cost more than a couple of bucks! If you plan connecting to the PSTN, you'll probably get turned off pretty soon when you realize very few people dial in. Plus POTS lines aren't cheap.

There's also MoIP, but that's gonna be slow - but cheaper.

Anyways, just a few thoughts. Oh - gotta plug my BBS... telnet/ssh bbs.telephreak.org :)

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Items I have at my disposal.

Waffle 1.65

Conexant HCF V.90/56K PCI Data Modem Card

Computers, A lot Of Them.

A Hookup In My Bedroom

Shaw Digital Phone (Way Better Than Voip)

www.bbs-mindphreak.uni.cc

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I have a shrink wrapped copy of dos 6.22, but I don't want to really open it.

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Just got mine up & running using sychronet.

<plug> telnet bbs.bastion.org.uk </plug> Max of 5 nodes

It's sort of in 'beta' atm but you can exchange messages. It'll be up between 0900 and 2200 GMT to begin with so feel free to explore. If there's the demand for it, I'll leave it up permanently.

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This is pretty sweet, I have wanted to setup a BBS for some time now. /me inspired

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I've been thinking of constructing a dedicated BBS system...I've been toying with a little BBS app over the last few months, written for Linux with ncurses. I was planning on building a small parallel port driven switchbox, that would automatically switch our incoming POTS line from the punch block that connects all the telephones to it, directly to the incoming modem on the BBS machine. That way, I could have it automatically switch the line over for dedicated use, but have it switch off when everyone else would need to use the telephone.

I was going to edit my inittab to have Linux spawn an instance of my BBS software on a serial login, rather than getty.

Edited by systems_glitch
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Oh - gotta plug my BBS... telnet/ssh bbs.telephreak.org :)
www.bbs-mindphreak.uni.cc

Hey, telnet BBS's are cool, too! I just tried both your boards but couldn't get on. Are they down? I want to visit!

<plug> telnet bbs.bastion.org.uk </plug> Max of 5 nodes

It's sort of in 'beta' atm but you can exchange messages. It'll be up between 0900 and 2200 GMT to begin with so feel free to explore. If there's the demand for it, I'll leave it up permanently.

I couldn't get on yours but then I realized I was out of the time range. I'll have to wait for the planet to turn a bit...

Are you guys on the Telnet BBS list?

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Ah but the real question:

Are any of them going to network (ie: run FidoNet/Seadog/Opus)?

I've been getting back into playing with BBS's. Mostly because I want to get a package together (maybe a VMWare Virtual Appliance) that can do more than what craigslist already does. I hate the forum style they use on CL and the fact that it's so shitty without some sort of external interface (nntp or something) makes me yearn for the days when local social networks were BBS based.

Thusly, I'm pouring over Synchronet (www.synchro.net) which has a really decent web interface (http://vert.synchro.net) and is open source. Just wish other BBS people kept up with the times and did the same *cough*renegade/telegard/searchlight*cough*.

What would be cool is networking them together... and if the message base format can be modified into a sql database, it would make a killer add for BinRev.

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Oh - gotta plug my BBS... telnet/ssh bbs.telephreak.org :)
www.bbs-mindphreak.uni.cc

Hey, telnet BBS's are cool, too! I just tried both your boards but couldn't get on. Are they down? I want to visit!

Yep. It sure was. We move around a lot of stuff over the last 5 days or so. The BBS is back up, and you should be able to get back on. It's telnet and SSH enabled.

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edit - check this link - its got all the technical info you should need to get it running... http://wwiv.bbs.us/

thanks its good to get some attention thats my site & if anyone needs more help ill be happy to get some bbses setup & networked just email elisanford@gmail.com

& shameless plug

Skulls & Crossbones - telnet://skulls.sytes.net

Eli =-)~

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Wow. That just made me feel very very old.

And yes, it's true -- although there really were only maybe a handful of options available, including WWIV. Remember, this was NOT the age of the internet, or for that matter anything uh speedy. Software was harder to find, and took a LOT longer to download (slow modems, remember)? Processor speeds were a lot slower, disk drives were slower and smaller (if you go back far enough, even nonexistent -- there's the story of the floppy-driven BBS, for instance), and so the size of the software that ran your board mattered -- and WWIV was reasonably sized... Incidentally, the security in WWIV was kinda a joke (even back then).

/ab

Edited by Abhayaa
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Ive was thinking about this topic about a month ago and it fell short because I dont have much time these days. This is really cool though people are rocking out the old school BBS's again. I dont know if I will be building one but I am definitely going to check some out. Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration.

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Wikipedia's WWIV entry says WWIV was popular with hacker and pirate boards back in the day. Was this true? Why did they prefer it?

it was just popular in general but yea the hacker & pirate scene grabed onto it for the source back then you didnt get source to many other bbs softwares & you can be sure there was alot of them that pirated the source to wwiv

the irony here is that wwiv is now opensource lol

i registered back in the day a whole $80 & im still useing it to this day so i think 15 years of service out of 1 software package is worth $80 dont you?

Eli =-)~

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Hi guys! This message thread looks like it has been dead for a great while, so maybe I can reinvigorate it. :)

 

I don't use WWIV, but I do use the latest version of the Hermes II BBS, which was an early clone of WWIV. Also, Hermes II is Macintosh-based BBS software.

 

I have been running my Macintosh-based BBS  -- the Armageddon BBS -- on and off since early 1994. About two weeks ago, I put it back online again, after struggling with setting up both SheepShaver and Basilisk under Yosemite. I now have both emulators fully operational, and my Hermes II BBS is once again available for anyone who may be interested.

In fact, just a few days ago I compiled the latest source -- Hermes II 3.5.11 -- from the GitHub website, and I dare say that I am now the only one who is running Hermes II 3.5.11. It was a challenge to compile it, until I received help from Michael Alyn Miller, who is the current owner of Hermes II, and its most recent developer.

Anyway, if you are interested in the history of my BBS, please visit its official home page here:

http://www.armageddonbbs.com

If you would like to learn how to compile the latest version of Hermes II yourself, using SheepShaver under Yosemite, please go here:

http://www.armageddonbbs.com/hermes-ii-bbs-compilation-guide.html

Finally, if you actually want to telnet to my BBS, then use this in the Mac OS X Terminal, or in any terminal for that matter:

telnet:// 202.128.4.177

It would really be great if there were more Macintosh SysOps around. Let's not let this ancient tech go quietly into the night without a fight. I won't! How about you?
 

Edited by Hermes II BBS SysOp
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Thanks actually for dredging up this old thread, Hermes, it was rather nostalgic.

One of these days Ring of Thundera WILL return, most likely when I have time to do it and there aren't other things occupying most of my spare time (like my job). Unfortunately it's been so long since I've had to do both at the same time that I don't know if I'll be able to get back to doing it that way again. I don't know if I'd be able to get a similar number (still can't figure out how Mistman got the fone company to give him an 834 number on ORCHWA01DS0) but then we didn't have Telnet back in the day either, so now is a better time than any to do it that way.

Finding an old copy of MS-DOS might be tough these days. Perhaps FreeDOS would work?

One word: Winworldpc. And that's all I'm allowed under the terms of service to say about that.

Unfortunately, these days finding a legitimate copy of MessyDOS that's still readable is becoming close to impossible next to just grabbing a pirated copy. Well, maybe that's not so unfortunate (M$-DOS you know) but then again it is because it's computing history that's slowly fading away due to dust, temperature fluctuations, magnetism, humidity, etc. So you can see that software piracy can be BENEFICIAL.

Anyhow if you still want to do it the hard way there's thousands of Windows 98 CDs out there. Just grab one of those, install the DOS 7.10 base off it (FDISK/FORMAT C: /S), and set up your mouse (CTMOUSE)/CD (SHSUCDX)/extended RAM (EMM386/HIMEM) in your AUTOEXEC.BAT/CONFIG.SYS files like you normally would. Then get the Free DOS image and copy (MD C:\DOS) its entire binary core (COPY D:\FREEDOS\SETUP\ODIN\*.* C:\DOS\) which can be used as a DOS 7.10 "expansion pack". There is also a freeware DOS extender "out there" (I forget what it's called) that allows to run Win32 command shell software in a pure DOS environment, which is kind of a must have anymore. M$ 7.10 is probably the best DOS to be running these days anyhow because it (more or less) supports FAT32, large partitions and can be coaxed into supporting USB (sort of). I think.

If you are going to run 7.10 solo (i.e. withoug installing 98) or alongside an NT installation or something like that, then make sure the contents of your MSDOS.SYS file contains only the line ";FORMAT" sans quotes and nothing else. Reason being when they put out 7.10, the former purpose of MSDOS.SYS (the DOS kermel) was merged with IO.SYS and the file was repurposed as a configuration file.

You might also want to make a blank file called "LOGO.SYS" in your C: root if you don't want to see a blink of standard Win98 logo on startup. Just start EDIT if you have it then save an empty text file as LOGO.SYS. Do ATTRIB C:\LOGO.SYS +R +A +S +H if you want but it really isn't required.


REM Sample AUTOEXEC.BAT file -- modify as needed
@ECHO OFF
SET PATH=C:\;C:\DOS
LOADHIGH SHSUCDX /D:OEMCD001 /L:D REM the /D:OEMCD001 probably needs to be changed depending what your particular drive's firmware expects; might also change /L:D to something higher if your hard drive is multi-part but I don't think it really matters
LOADHIGH CTMOUSE


REM Sample CONFIG.SYS file -- modify as needed
BREAK=ON
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE AUTO
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\.SYS /D:OEMCD001


Sample MSDOS.SYS file for 7.10+:
;FORMAT
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Just install Win98 in a VM and find a USB Modem solution to work with your BBS software. Serial over IP, compatible USB 56K modem with a chipset your BBS software will communicate with (or write custom initiation strings, etc...)

 

 

I've seen BBS software that will run on Win98., As for DOS? I'm sure it can be found somewhere. There are downloads somewhere - just a matter of finding them

Edited by tekio
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