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 Unfortunately some of them are out of date and others are just there for historical reasons.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:
Here is The BBS Corner dialup list:
Here is The BBS Corner telnet list:
This is a recent BBS list for Canada:
It covers both telnet and dialup.
USBBS covers both US and Canada:
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:
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
is an attempt to connect with the past.
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!