Thursday, March 14, 2019

Flaming Telepaths BBS

I've mentioned that I've been working on a project over on the Facebook page. Well, this is it!

Way back in the year 1998, I had purchased a used Tandy 2500 PC for $20 in front of the local grocery store (I'm not bullshitting you!) I brought it home and this was my graduation from my Commodore 64. Eventually, I purchased an internal US Robotics 33,6 modem through my workplace (which set me back about $150). I ended up using the existing Trumpet Winsock setup to connect to the internet, and subsequently using the still-active internet account that it connected to. I was also able to see how badly I had run up the account holder's internet bill (back then, internet usage was charged by the hour). The bill was in excess of $100 and was eventually cut off.

To supplement my online usage (and my inability to pay for my own internet connection as a poor young adult), a friend had told me about BBS listings in the back of the local computer magazines. BBSes are essentially electronic "Bulletin Board Systems" where you can chat, meet people, play games, and download files. The listing in the magazine was horribly outdated, but I was able to find a few, connect to them, and get led to other BBSes that were ran locally in my city. My two favourite BBSes to call were "Dystemper Industries" and "Frozen Thoughts", although more people flocked to "Robin's Universe" because the guy was able to afford four telephone lines and could thus handle a much larger traffic load.

Once I had moved into my own apartment, I decided that I wanted to run my very own BBS. I paid for an extra phone line, downloaded some software, and set up my own system. I ran my own BBS until the year 2001 when I was forced to shut it down due to the termination of my relationship with my fiancee and my inability to afford my apartment, let alone the extra phone line. I swore that I would do everything I could to get my BBS back up and running as soon as I could.

18 years later, I finally did it. It's no longer a dialup system. It's now accessible over the internet through a service called "Telnet". You need some specific software to log on (we'll get to that in a minute). First of all, here's some screenshots of the place! It's also very evident that I was obsessed with the band Blue Oyster Cult.

Here's what you see when you first log in (which is subject to change, along with the other images below):

When I initially ran my BBS, I used a package called "Infusion" which was heavy on ANSI graphics. This one was buried in the package as one of the extras, and I eventually used it. Infusion turned out to be extremely buggy and wouldn't run everybody's favourite door game called "Legend of the Red Dragon" or "LORD" for short. In my opinion, that was a sure-fire way to get your BBS software package to fail.

*External programs that are added to BBS systems are called "doors"

Most of the other ANSI graphics were done by myself. I'm not a great artist, but I can get by.

This is the main hub where you choose what you want to do by pressing a key (none of that touch tablet shit!) You won't see the Sysop menu (that's for me only!) nor the Internet menu (which is left over from the early days and is no longer necessary), but everything else is there. It's pretty self-explanatory. I added a voting booth, and a Christian door where people can leave prayers. Here's a nice prayer that someone left:

I run some of the "classic" door games on my system, such as the previously mentioned "LORD" along with about 50 others...

But as we all know, I'm not exactly one for mainstream stuff. I added a section called "Crazy Games" and put some of the more strange and offensive shit in there:

There's some dated games in there such as "Free OJ Simpson", "The Simpsons" and a game called "House Killers" where you murder all the characters from the TV show "Full House".

In addition to that, we have some drug-related games such as "Barneysplat" where you get Barney the Purple Dinosaur stoned and murder him, and a game called "Buzz" where you try to reach the ultimate high without killing all of your brain cells.

There's also a game called "Cripple Smash" where you get to beat the shit out of the elderly and disabled (although they're pretty tough themselves!)

There's also a bunch of "adult" titles here that are guaranteed to make you really horny for pixelated graphics of penises and naked women:

The games "Studs" and "Studette" have you playing the role of a horny person looking to pick up prostitutes. I can't really post screenshots of those, but I can do one of the "Cum As Your Are Slut Machine":

So that's a basic rundown of my BBS. It's almost the same setup as the day I took it down, but I haven't got around to bringing back my network message feeds (which are messages posted from BBSes all over the world), and I'm wanting to move to multinode which will take in more than one user at a time. These two things will take a bit of time, but It'll eventually get there.

Now, here's how to get on RIGHT NOW and enjoy! (unless someone else is using it)

First of all, if you know what you're doing, here is the address:

If you don't know what you're doing, you can download this piece of Windows software called "Netrunner" which is made by the same guy who made my BBS software package. If you download the copy below, all you have to do is extract it and run the .exe file. I've already put my BBS in so you don't even have to do that part. Just click and go! (You can add more BBSes if you like, here's a huge list)

Download Netrunner (it's tiny)

If you run Linux, you can run it in Wine or download the Linux version if you're adventurous.

If you only use a phone, tablet, or a Mac, you're kinda on your own. I'm not aware of anything good for Mac, although you might be able to build a copy of Syncterm on your machine.

If you have a Blackberry Playbook, believe it or not, but you have a pretty good app on there (the name escapes me at this time)

So, that's my new corner of the internet! Hope to see you there posting messages and killing each other in LORD. There's an application you'll have to fill out to become a user, but that's standard for pretty much every BBS out there. You'll get instant access once you're done filling it out, and no, I don't ask for your credit card number or anything.... Yet....

No comments: