BBS Lists – Still There

January 11, 2010

To know what BBSs were available in my area, I used to rely on a list which was published and updated frequently. It was known as Roxanne Spear’s BBS List. A work of love such as is seldom seen – but where is it now?

I actually have an old copy or two sitting in my archives. But the world has changed and almost all of those bulletin boards are gone now – almost, but not all.

In looking around, I found that there are quite a number of lists. Unfortunately some of them are out of date and others are just there for historical reasons. There are some which have been updated in recent years and still have live listings. I thought I’d share what I found so as to give others a jump start on the same path.

The BBS experience can be especially enjoyable on old machines where text still rules. One of the sites I found deals specifically with this, and is a fantastic archive and documentation of a period in popular computer history. Check out textfiles.com for a good time.

Dialup is getting rare but there is still some life in those quarters. Telnet is surprisingly common. Old machines, of course, generally support a serial connection so a modem is usually easy to set up. TCP/IP is sometimes more difficult, or impossible to get going on old kit, but either way there are still live BBSs out there.

BBS lists – Telnet and Dialup

The BBS Corner is quite extensive:
http://www.dmine.com/bbscorner/bbslists.htm

Here is The BBS Corner dialup list:
http://www.telnetbbsguide.com/dialbbs/dialbbs.htm

Here is The BBS Corner telnet list:
http://www.telnetbbsguide.com/

This is a recent BBS list for Canada:
http://www.hackcanada.com/hackcanada/oldsite/bbs/index.html
It covers both telnet and dialup.

USBBS covers both US and Canada:
http://www.usbbs.org/
It has been going since 1984, but I’m not sure how much deadwood it contains.

In the world of telnet only, there is Synchronet:
http://synchro.net/sbbslist.html
This is modern stuff, so it should be mostly good.

The last two links are not lists but are closely related and very interesting.

Contact old BBS friends
http://bbsmates.com/default.aspx
is an attempt to connect with the past.

Remembering text at: http://www.textfiles.com/ is a worthwile experience.
Go to http://www.textfiles.com/history/ for some very good history and stories from the golden age of the BBS.

As you see, there are still some phone line boards out there and some of those are old and hardcore – not even supporting telnet or having any other kind of web presence. However, at this point in time it is obvious that telnet is the dominant protocol. If you are reading this on a modern computer your browser might not support clicking on a telnet link, but you probably have access to a terminal window so why not type “telnet” and one of the very many names listed in the links above? The BBS lives!

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6 Responses to “BBS Lists – Still There”

  1. […] you can see from my first story on this subject, there are lists. It is a huge job to go through all the possibilities, so I tried […]

  2. […] prervious posts I have given links to lists of boards. These are useful, but the number of dead ends can make their use difficult. One […]

  3. […] BBS Lists – Still There « Voxigo’s BlogJan 11, 2010 … It was known as Roxanne Spear’s BBS List. A work of love such as is seldom seen – but where is it now? I actually have an old copy or two … […]

  4. roxanne spear said

    I stopped producing the BBSlist since the world is now depending on the Internet…

    Roxanne Spear

  5. voxigo said

    Hello Roxanne Spear. Thanks for posting, and thanks for publishing the list back then! I always thought you should have gotten a medal for that. Of course, that was way too much work – though I suppose it could be maintained rather simply at this point. Interestingly, Fidonet still has a (very) few hardcore members who are sticking to it. There’s also a few who think of BBSing via dialup as a sort of dark net.

  6. Sharphead said

    Games, games and more games at telnet://nexus.bbs94.com:23 – come check us out! MajorBBS 64 nodes on dedicated system. Customizing and art all by hand and just started back up.

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