My Involvement With BBS’s

I was heavily involved in the BBS scene back in the day where I resided in Southern Ontario, Canada. I’d spend a great deal of time calling boards in my area and I don’t regret the time spent one bit as I learned a plethora of information from reading message forums and chatting with other SySoP’s. I met a ton of great people along the journey that were always so helpful and friendly. It even lead me to my very first job! I always ran my own BBS starting from early 1990 to late 1997 and it was a massive part of my life. It all started off the summer before I entered Grade 9. I realized I didn’t want to dedicate my own powerful 386 PC I used at the time, so I went to a computer show in my area that was more like a large swap meet. I went around to all the vendors that were selling old used computer parts and I was able to piece together an old 8088XT PC with a monochrome monitor. This was the computer that kicked off my first BBS. It was a very basic 1 node BBS setup with a message and file area. I didn’t know at the time how to setup door games and I certainly didn’t have enough money to pay for a second phone line to run multi-node. For those curious, I used Telegard software for my first BBS. Well although it was basic and didn’t offer a lot I, was hooked! I kept learning how to setup new things and upgrading my computer hardware along the way and eventually switched to Renegade software which was based on the source code of Telegard and stuck with that right till the end. My first serious larger sized BBS was called “Fire Base Beta” offering 3 nodes, file areas, message forums, door games, online chat + more. The last and final BBS I ran was called “Internal Affairs”. This was the largest BBS I ever ran, offering 4 nodes plus a 5th private node, file areas, messages forums, online chat, door games and other cool features such as voting booths. I ran this BBS from 95-97 and it was very busy and popular averaging 100+ calls per day. Unfortunately by late ’97, the internet was gaining popularity and I was losing callers and made the decision to lay the BBS down and do one final back up on floppy disks.