Bulletin Boards Systems
(BBSes) have been around for 40 years.
Bulletin board systems were in many ways a precursor to the modern form of the World Wide Web, social network
services and other aspects of the Internet.
There are still many bbs systems online today and are growing in popularity.
godta first started out as the voodoo theatre bbs in Concord, CA almost 20 years ago.
In the early days, the file download library consisted of files that the SysOps
obtained themselves from other BBSes and friends. Many BBSes inspected every
file uploaded to their public file download library to ensure that the material
did not violate copyright law. As time went on, shareware CD-ROMs were sold with
up to thousands of files on each CD-ROM. Small BBSes copied each file individually
to their hard drive. Some systems used a CD-ROM drive to make the files available.
Although most BBSes don't get many calls these days, there are still
a few that are frequented quite often every day.
As the BBS phenomenon grew, so did the popularity of special interest boards.
Bulletin Board Systems could be found for almost every hobby and interest.
Popular interests included politics, religion, music, dating, and alternative
lifestyles. Many SysOps also adopted a theme in which they customized their
entire BBS (welcome screens, prompts, menus, and so on) to reflect that theme.
Common themes were based on fantasy, or were intended to give the user the illusion
of being somewhere else, such as in a sanatorium, wizard's castle, or on a pirate ship.
is a computer art form that was widely used at one time on BBSes. It is similar
to ASCII art, but constructed from a larger set of 256 letters, numbers, and
symbols — all codes found in IBM code page 437, often referred to as extended
ASCII and used in MS-DOS and Unix environments.
in a bulletin board system is an interface between the BBS software
and an external application. The term is also used to refer to the external
application, a computer program that runs outside of the main bulletin
board program. Sometimes called external programs, doors are the most common
way to add games, utilities, and other extensions to BBSes.
Email and networks
Most early BBSes operated as individual systems. Information contained on that
BBS never left the system, and users would only interact with the information
and user community on that BBS alone. However, as BBSes became more widespread,
there evolved a desire to connect systems together to share messages and files
with distant systems and users. The largest such network was FidoNet.
is available for *nix/osx/win32 and a bunch of other oses.