What is a BBS?

BBS’ were all the rage in the 80’s & 90’s. They were, in many ways the precursor to World Wide Web and Social Media networks such as Facebook. System Operators called SySoP’s, would dedicate a computer and run a BBS software package that allowed others to dial-in over a telephone line using a modem. Once connected, and depending what a SySoP had setup to offer on their BBS, users could read and write messages on public forums, send private email to other users, upload & download files, play online door games, and even chat with others. If the BBS had multiple phone lines, they were called Multi-Node. A node represents a phone line. For example, if a BBS had 4 Nodes that meant it could handle 4 dialup connected users at once. The biggest challenge with calling BBS’ was that users tended to only call local boards in his/her area because they didn’t want to pay any long distance charges. You were at the mercy of the telephone company and could only call in the radius they deemed local from where you lived. A lot of people would once in awhile “treat themselves” and call a BBS long distance if it had that file you just *really* had to get! However, by the mid 90’s, some people had long distance calling plans and this allowed them to call these boards. In a lot of ways, this kept them more magical, as they were like small communities. Each one would be completely different and unique from one another. In some ways it reminded me of computer user groups and clubs people would belong to.