Bulletin Board Systems in 2022 (part 2)

Following on from the post a few days back regarding WiFi Modems and BBS access from original hardware in the modern era, I just wanted to detail how and where I connect and add some links to resources etc. that you might find useful.

So, skipping the WiFi set up as that was covered in the last post, you can see that on boot of the Commodore 64 the settings are remembered and stored on board, ready to connect almost immediately.

Locked & Loaded

So, lets load up CCGMS Ultimate by Craig Smith, my terminal of choice, and choose a BBS to connect to.

First of all the Baud Rate on the WiFi modem defaults to 300 so we want to change our terminal to match. On the C64 and CCGMS we do this by hitting F7 and checking the [B]AUD rate is correct. In this case, both modem and terminal default to 300 so we’re good to go.

F7 gives us the settings menu

So I’m going to go ahead and connect to the excellent Particles BBS over at particlesbbs.dyndns.org:6400 – the command we need to issue in the terminal here is atd<hostname:port> – the modem changes display to ‘Dialling’ and…….no answer!

This is fairly typical, a lot of the time the boards are down for maintenance or busy or simply offline, so the ‘No Answer’ reply in the terminal is a frequent sight.

In fact the first few I am trying are coming back ‘No Answer’ – I guess this would have been the case back in the 80s too. Could be my phone hotspot playing up, but I eventually get through to the Boar’s Head Tavern and set up an account there as I’m a first time visitor. It’s a pretty good one on first sight, so I’ll definitely be going back to it.

The Boar’s Head

I get my BBS sites from the Commodore BBS Outpost which is a fairly up to date list of boards with addesses and current status. There is a remarkable number listed actually, and it seems to grow each time I visit it, which means the scene is well and truly alive! Have fun!

Some other links you might find useful:

Everything C64 Forumhttps://everythingc64.boards.net/board/32/bbs?page=1
The Oasis BBShttps://theoasisbbs.com/how-to-connect-to-a-bbs/
BBS Programshttp://www.zimmers.net/bbs/
Telnet BBS Guidehttps://www.telnetbbsguide.com/software/color-64/
Hackaday Article on BBShttps://hackaday.com/2008/08/21/bbs-on-a-commodore-64/

My next job is to set up a 2.4 GHz access point for all of this as the hotspot via the iPhone is too cluncky. I guess a lot of old and retro hardware may only be comaptible with 2.4 so this classes as a valid post for the blog! I’ll keep you informed of progress…