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B B S     P O D C A S T


Electric Dreams Interview Series — Josh Renaud —

This is an interview-only episode of Electric Dreams. Today’s guest is Josh Renaud, Atari fan, and proprietor of Break Into Chat, a wiki and blog dedicated to BBSing, door games, and retrocomputing.

Show Notes:

Break Into Chat – BBS door game wiki

Break Into Chat – retrocomputing blog

Fire Escape’s BBS – The old website for Fire Escape’s BBS is still online, but the BBS itself is no longer available.

“Visualizing 314”: Josh’s blog series analyzing data about the St. Louis BBS scene, derived from 10 years of Fire Escape’s BBS directories.

“Why I love my Atari computer”: Josh unearths an old textfile he wrote as a kid, describing how he began BBSing, and his love for Atari.

Space Empire Elite: BBS door game for Atari ST computers

Thieves’ Guild: BBS door game for Atari ST computers

To play SEE or Thieves’ Guild, telnet to Dark Force

To see another Atari ST BBS, try The Grove (use “bbs” as user/login to reach the BBS)

Door World Magazine: Collection of 11 issues, converted from original format

“Telnet to a BBS using a terminal program in the Hatari emulator”


Hello folks. Mike here.
This month’s episode is going to be late. Indeed, there is a chance it won’t appear for a while. I encountered an opportunity to start a class that has consumed a lot of my free time. As such, we’ve not been able to pull a show together. This is my first podcast and, well, it seems to take a lot more effort than I would have thought.
I think the show needs to be re-tooled if I expect to continue doing it. I have a few ideas in mind that I think will work but I need time to pull that together.
We’ve received amazingly positive feedback about the show and I am both heartbroken and embarrassed that it’s in jeopardy. However, I do sometimes over-commit myself and this is one of those times.
I’ll write more soon.

Episode 1: DeReBBS —

Electric Dreams C64 50Episode 1 Show notes!

What we’ve been up to:

Lantronix UDS-10

Lantronix MSS-100

Lantronix UDS-1100


Atari 800XL


Texas Pinball Festival

The Big Lebowski from Dutch Pinball

Jersey Jack’s Hobbit

Stern Pinball: WWE Wrestlemania

The Machine: Bride of Pinbot



Vintage Computer Fest East

Amiga 2000


What Did You Call Today?


Mad World BBS

Anarchy Underground



Skulls & Crossbones – http://skullsbbs.com/

Bit Sunrise – telnet://bitsunrise.com

The SID Station – telnet://tssbbs.servebeer.com:6400

SAMPSACOM Texas Hold’Em Poker Server v0.0.1 – telnet://poker.sampsa.com

Delta City — telnet://deltacity.se

Fluph BBS – http://fluph.bbsnexus.com/

Digital Distortion – telnet://www.digitaldistortionbbs.com

The Keep – telnet://thekeep.net

The Gate – telnet://thegateb.synchro.net


New Tech

Virtual II — Apple II emulator


New Document

Run Magazine Review of QuantumLink


BBS History



CBBS at BBSDocumentary.com

CBBS at Wikipedia

CBBS Article in Byte Magazine, November 1978

The CBBS Scrolls

CBBS The Last Days

8BBS Logs on Archive.org

Dennis Hayes, the father of the Hayes Command Set


Jeff’s segment on Serial and RS232


Example of Giant BBSs

Rusty ‘n’ Edie’s BBS — Includes a picture of their setup.

Playboy Enterprises, et al v. Hardenburgh, et al


BBS Magazines

Boardwatch Magazine

About Jack Rickard


BBS: The Bulletin Board Services Magazine


BBS Software

Exhaustive List of BBS Software

Rudimentary Timeline of BBSs


Some BBS Networks





Downloading messages

QWK Offline Messages File Protocol


The birth of the ISP
Internet Service Providers







Save the BBS!


Example of RIP format

RIP History with examples

FirstClass with example of the Desktop


The BBS Documentary

Jason Scott


BBS Documentary


Programs you can use to access



CGTerm (Intel Mac)


A few lists of BBSs

Vintage Computer BBS List

Telnet BBS Guide

C= Outpost


BBSs breaking out its niche —

What always excited me (Mike) was when BBSs got a mention anywhere in the mainstream media. It really didn’t matter. To me, more callers meant more conversations and more fun.
Computer Chronicles, a pretty famous show on PBS (in the US) about computers and technology, seemed to air sporadically on WYES in New Orleans. I never saw very many episodes of it because I never really figured out the schedule.
As such, I never saw the linked episode below until pretty recently. You can see a slight sense of wonder on the hosts faces, like this idea of BBSs and how people have become so attached to them is just a little wild. Of course, we know how powerful BBSs are but not everyone did back then.


Electric Dreams Interview Series: Ken Gagne —

This is an interview-only episode of Electric Dreams. Today’s guest is Ken Gagne, prolific blogger, podcaster, and dedicated fan of the Apple II and Apple II community. Join us as we reminiscence about calling and running BBSs.

Special thanks to Kasatochi who has some awesome chiptune remakes of popular songs! Go there!

Show Notes:

Gamebits Blog


Ken’s YouTube Shows, Let’s Plays, Unboxing, Etc., Etc.


IndieSider Playlist




Writings about Writing


News about pop culture


Juiced.GS — The Quarterly Apple II Journal


Nibble Magazine


Apple //e


Apple IIGS




Warp Six BBS Package


Scott Johnson


Spaceship of Death Door Game!


Apple Hide-a-way BBS (A newsletter that mentions the BBS)


International Apple II BBS List from Maya 8, 1995


BBS Mates entry for The Playground!


508 Area Code List w/ The Playground!


Contra Dance

New England Sysop Association’s Quest for the PERFECT BBS —

This is a small article I came across while putting together the upcoming interview with Ken Gagne. It was squirreled away in a ZIP file on (where else!) Jason Scott’s huge textfiles.com website.



New England SysOp Association
Mark Linehan
32 Beaver Street
Salem, MA 01970

Well, I began my BBS’ing before I even owned a computer by leeching off of my friends, oh about a dozen years ago, maybe more. Well back then we were calling BBS’ with 300 baud, 2 floppies, 6 message bases, and a scant few files to download. This was great, back then. Oh the times have changed drastically in just one short decade. I believe technology always makes jumps and leaps, then idles for a while. We are in one of those idle times right now I think, but we are about due for another leap. Well, until that leap comes, and we prepare ourselves for a whole new world of BBS’ing we still need something solid for a BBS program.

I have seen, used, called, set-up, and ran, dozens and dozens of different BBS programs. They have always intrigued me. Even when I did not have a BBS program up and running I would set them up and see how they looked. Well I can safely say I have never found one that did everything I wanted it to do, the way I wanted it to do it. Well, that’s what brings me to writing this file. I have asked many sysop’s and users about BBS’s, what they think is better, what they think is best, and what they want to see. Here is an overview of what I have learned through my own adventures, and through the eyes and ears of other people.

-Messages should be available to read right at logon, just the new ones though.
-Not enough BBS’ let you scan for new MAIL/MESSAGES at logon.
-Not enough BBS’ have a full screen editor.
-Most full screen editors are too &%@*#$ up!
-A lot of BBS’ keep 100’s of messages stored, which is a bummer for NEW USERS.
-More BBS’ should use OFF-LINE message readers and repliers. Blue Wave is cool.
*To date “MAJOR BBS” has the best MESSAGE HANDLING I have seen. It is simple, quick, and very configurable. (it does not, however, give you the option of scanning for new messages at logon)

-File X-fers HAVE to be simple, but effective or I won’t bother calling.
-File areas should have a (D)ownload New Files Option at logon.
-Too many BBS’ collect crappy files just to make their file area(s) bigger.
-A lot of BBS’ s use KEY-WORD searching, but noone ever puts in KEY-WORDS!
-A file system should allow for (F)lagging downloads while you are scanning the files.
-They should decide on one standard protocol to use, and use it.
*To date the best file transfer system I have used in on a PC-Board (I don’t know if this was the standard file section for PC-Board or not)

-Door’s should be written so that ANY BBS can run them, regardless of what BBS it is.
-Too many 3rd party developers. Why don’t the BBS AUTHOR’s write some DOORS!
-Not enough people write for compatibility these days!
-Flash games are AWESOME! I’ll pay for those!
-We need more FLASH GAMES!
-Some of the SMALLER BBS programs need to support FLASH GAMES also!
*I agree with all of the above here.

Well that’s about it. I hope this helps you in some small way, with a decision or something along those lines. It is always better to ask a large number of people questions, choose the best answers, and go with the flow.

Keep On Byting!

Original Review: Animation Station BBS —

You may have heard on the Electric Dreams podcast episode, Episode 0: Together in Electric Dreams, that Jeff was once Co-Sysop of a BBS in York, Pennsylvania called, Animation Station.


It turns out that Jeff was recently rummaging through a box that contained the contents of an old desk drawer from way back in 1995. Inside that box, along with an 8-bit ISA SCSI and 8-bit ISA 10-Base-2 Ethernet card, was a clipping from an April 1994 issue of Computer Shopper magazine. The clipping contains a Computer Shopper columnist’s review of the Animation Station BBS.


Some minor details are incorrect, like the misspelling of the owner’s name, and are not worth mentioning. Attached to this post is a JPG scan of the actual article. Just click on the image to load a full size version of it.

Animation Station BBS Review from the April 1994 Computer Shopper magazine

Animation Station BBS Review from the April 1994 Computer Shopper magazine

A BBS calling weekend… —

I just got back from a long weekend trying to call BBSs on as many 8-bit machines as we could. We had some successes, one partial success and one outright failure. The dream is to document all of this to make it really simple for anyone to get their vintage hardware ready to call telnet hosted BBSs.

I’ll list the machines we tried under their final result. We’re not done. This is just the beginning. I’ll detail more in our next episode.

Apple IIGS (technically a 16-bit!)
Apple IIc Plus
Atari 800

Partial Success
Apple //e Unenhanced

Apple IIc

Homages —

Mike listens to a lot of podcasts. He is, therefore, influenced by so many that a lot of the “ideas” he used in Electric Dreams are in-use or are pioneered in other podcasts. Episode 0 has one homage. Can you pick it out?

And since this is usually the follow-up question, here are the podcasts that Mike listens to regularly. (Note: All links go to a podcast’s feed for easy subscribing!)

99% Invisible

ANTIC: The Atari 8-bit Podcast


Drop III Inches

Floppy Days

The History of Personal Computing

The Intellivisionaires


No Quarter

Open Apple


Retro Computer Roundtable

Retro Gaming RoundUp

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine


This American Life

Uninformed Opinions

You Don’t Know Flack


And here are the podcasts Mike listens to less regularly but only because there’s not enough time in a week or month:

The Bobby Blackwolf Show

Chicken Lips Radio

My Brother, My Brother And Me

Next Without For

Polygon’s Quality Control

The Retrobits Podcast


As always, if you have any trouble with these links, send feedback!