RBCP'S BIG STUPID HOMEPAGE

BBSing in the 618 area code

wwiv bbs

A long time ago, before the average household had a computer, computer enthusiasts used to connect to local computer systems called Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes). Someone had the bright idea of calling them Bulletin Board Systems because they resembled community bulletin boards since you could post messages on them. The similarity didn’t go much further than that, though, since you could also chat, play games, download porn and slander your neighbors. BBSes were huge in the 80′s for the few people who owned computers. But the fad started fading away in the mid 90′s when the internet became popular. Today BBSing is more or less dead and you’d be lucky to find a local BBS in your area. Even if you do find one, it’s unlikely that many people call it anymore.

I got into BBSing in 1989 after I purchased my first computer with a modem in it. I quickly became a BBS addict and spent hours a day on local systems. Since BBS systems were reached by phone, I was limited to calling only BBSes in my local calling area. At that time, this meant I had to stick to East Alton, Alton, Wood River, Bethalto, Roxana and a few other local cities. But very soon after I became a BBS addict, Illinois Bell (our phone company at the time) increased the area’s local calling plan to include far-away cities such as Granite City, Belleville, Collinsville, East St. Louis and more. This more than tripled the number of local BBSes available in our calling area.

Today, you pay your internet provider a monthly fee to connect to the internet. Back then, BBSing was completely free. Some people tried setting up pay BBSes, but they never went over very well with the local community since there were several dozen free systems to choose from. So who ran these systems? Anybody with a home computer and a spare phone line could set one up. I even set up my own BBS called Hotel California for awhile. Most BBSes ran BBS software called WWIV, myself included. There were plenty of alternatives to WWIV, but for some reason everyone in 618 seemed to prefer WWIV. To connect to a BBS, you needed a terminal program (this is before anyone had Windows) and most people used either Telix, Procomm or Qmodem. Most people had either 1200 baud or 2400 baud modems, which is about 20 times slower than your 56k internet connection.

I was inspired to make this page as a homeage to 618 BBSing after I found a few old floppy disks full of some old BBS captures from the early 90′s. Eventually I’ll put some of those captures up somewhere on this page. I’ve also had a few people sign my guestbook over the past few years, making references to past 618 BBS systems. If you’ve found this page through a web search and you’re looking for a local community in the 618 area, you can either look at notla.com or on the Riverbend Community Yahoo club. If you’ve got something to contribute to this page or feel that I’ve left something out, feel free to contact me.

If you’re an ex-618 BBSer, be sure to join the Myspace and Facebook groups.


Old 618 BBSers:
————–
Dappy
Sepultura
Black Trancer
RedHotChiliPepper
Amigados
Piano Man


LINKS:

BBSmates.com You can search for old es on this site, by name, city, area code and more. There’s quite a few listings for old 618 area BBSes in there. There’s even a message board for each BBS so you can attempt to contact the people who used to run them.

618 Still Talking About PLA This is an article from 1998, written by that hard-core phreaking group The Dark Fluffy Phreaking Bunnies. Just a few posts from The Clip Joint, probably the last BBS to exist in this area.

PLA Issue 34 Most of this PLA issue revolves around several pointless BBS wars that happened in the summer of 1995. There’s the Greg Carson/Hitman incident, the Chatterbox BBS incident and some stuff about an old hacker BBS. It’s a lot of reading and probably not that interesting if you weren’t personally involved in the whole thing.

PLA Issue 35 This is a followup to the 618 BBSing PLA issue. More endless logs and details. There’s also a followup to the Greg Carson story 5 years later located here.


Here’s an old list of 618 BBSes, dated March 31, 1992. It was compiled by Brad H. Geisen, aka Bear1. Don’t try calling any of the phone numbers in this list because I’m sure all of them were reassigned years ago. A few other BBSes that you might remember were Hotel California, Wayne’s World, Chatterbox and APCi.

  This text file was created for the benefit of all those who enjoy BBSing.
         The following numbers are in the (618)- area code.
*****************************************************************************
* 452-3182  AFFINITY EAST-SIDE    * 277-6417  LOST WORLDS                   *
* 667-9397  ALCATRAZ BBS          * 536-2289  MAC SHAC                      *
* 656-8842  BAKER & ASSOCIATES    * 538-7756  MAC'S PLACE                   *
* 286-4554  BASEMENT CORNER       * 931-7814  MANSION                       *
* 628-0521  BELGARIONS BELFRY     * 628-0035  MICRO ALTERNATIVES CONNECTION *
* 667-8111  CAVERN OF CYBORG      * 259-7707  MILLIWAYS III                 *
* 277-1162  C-BOARD               * 233-6982  MISSING-LINK                  *
* 398-8186  CLIP JOINT            * 236-7907  MULTIVERS BBS                 *
* 234-0307  COFFEE SHOP           * 529-3210  NIGHT LINES                   *
* 346-9164  COMM-CENTRAL          * 259-7707  PARRIS ISLAND                 *
* 277-8502  COMPUTER ROOM SOFTWARE* 632-4590  PANDORA'S BOX                 *
* 288-6961  COMPULINK             * 277-9511  PEANUT GALLERY                *
* 344-9048  CORPORATION BBS       * 233-2315  PHEONIX                       *
* 345-3770  DARK TOWER            * 344-9048  PHILL-NET                     *
* 234-6622  DJ'S DINER            * 254-0637  PLATO'S                       *
* 254-6303  DOWNEASTER ALEXA      * 235-9229  PLAYBYTE                      *
* 234-6892  DOWNTOWN TOWER        * 669-2044  POCAHONTAS                    *
* 931-8226  EAGLE'S SPACE ODYSSEY * 251-6229  RAY'S BBS                     *
* 536-2284  EATHEREAL REALMS      * 457-0138  ROCKETT'S PAD                 *
* 233-1659  ECHO MANIA            * 529-5999  ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW     *
* 397-9481  ELECTRONIC TITANIC    * 749-1838  RUN                           *
* 394-0065  EMERALD KEEP          * 529-5346  SGT. MELL                     *
* 235-1510  EMPIRE BBS            * 397-1789  SIL-NET                       *
* 397-4569  EXECUNET              * 234-2631  SNAFU SOFTWARE                *
* 233-9806  FANTASIA EXOTICA      * 277-9884  STARSHIP EARTH                *
* 254-6804  FANTASY ISLAND        * 632-5554  STOKER'S PALACE               *
* 797-6114  FAMILY                * 259-7707  SILVER LINING                 *
* 259-9454  FLIGHT DECK           * 452-3454  STARFLEET HEADQUARTERS        *
* 451-0064  FLOPPY DISK           * 235-6705  TOWER OF POWER                *
* 233-9821  FREE WORLD            * 234-6622  TOWER OF POWER II             *
* 344-8963  GHOST PARADISE        * 632-3993  TYMNET                        *
* 667-4727  GOLDEN REALMS         * 931-8226  UNIVERSAL WORLDS              *
* 684-3990  HARD DISK CAFE        * 549-3960  WEEKENDER                     *
* 234-2873  HOUSE OF MAGEN        * 254-4704  WHIZKEY MAN'S BBS             *
* 453-8512  INFO QUEST            * 398-5703  WIZARD'S LAIR                 *
* 692-4832  INNER SANCTUM         *******************************************
* 746-2336  INNER SPHERE          * 624-5664  GREAT UNKNOWN                 *
* 895-8853  LORD CHAOS            * 392-2145  GALLACTIC BOARD SUPPORT SOFT. *
* 632-8185  LAND BBS              * 656-0663  BOGUS JOURNY                  *
* 288-3046  LITTER BOX            * 656-8220  STRANGE BREW                  *
* 744-1838  LOGAN'S RUN           * 797-2812  INFINITI                      *
*********************************** 234-0841  EASTSIDE TOWER                *
* 234-0183  PIRATE'S COVE         * 462-9669  THE TRIP                      *
*****************************************************************************


FAKE BBSES:

For one reason or another, there were a few guys in my high school that I wanted to prank. But I didn’t want to waste my own time making prank calls to them. So I came up with the idea of creating ads for a new BBS in the area that everybody would want to call. Then I would list the phone numbers of these guys I didn’t like and they’d get dozens of calls from people trying to connect to a computer system. I think I got a little carried away in the ad, talking about how great these systems were. I think I posted these ads mostly on Ray’s BBS and Fantasy Island. Here they are…

Introducing the newest BBS in the East Alton area:
 
                      ___      _
                       |  |_| |_
                       |  | | |_

                        24-Hour
               _  _  _  _    _  _  _ ___
              |_)|_)|_ /_\|/|_ /_\(_  |
              |_)| \|_ | ||\|  | | _) |
         _______   _       _      _   ________
         \  ____\ \ \     \ \    \ \ \  ____  \
          \ \      \ \     \ \    \ \ \ \___\ /_
           \ \      \ \     \ \    \ \ \  ____  \
            \ \_____ \ \_____\ \____\ \ \ \___\  \
             \______\ \______\\________\ \ ______/

                    Sysop-Detention Teacher
                                                                                                                                      
Now accepting calls at 300, 1200, 2400, 9600.

Online time can be increased up to 100 minutes                     
daily depending on  your upload contributions.

Sorry about the trouble in the past, folks! We had some problems
with getting our new phone lines put up, but everything seems to
be working great now.

Features:  -Instant High-Resolution Graphics on ANY computer system
            no matter what your baud rate is. 
           -Over 2500 files available for downloading
           -82 On-Line games including the newest versions of
            Global Thermal Nuclear War and Super Pac-Man III
           -New "Breakfast Technology" allows complex on-line
            music, sound effects, and voice instructed menus!
           -National and Local conferences on subjects such as
                +++Heavy Metal Music    +++Photography/Videotaping
                +++Nintendo/Sega        +++Religion
                +++Current Movies       +++Many More!

Node 1--
       _    _  _  _    _  _   _  _ 
 /  | (_) _  )|_ (_)_ |_ |_  (_)  )
(_) | (_)   /_ _) /    _) _)  /  /_
           
Node 2--      
       _    _  _       _  _      _
 /  | (_) _  )|_  | _  _) _) /  / \
(_) | (_)   /_ _) |    _) _)(_) \_/

Play Double Dragon or Rad Racer between nodes!
 
New users will be validated and have COMPLETE access within
at least 3 hours of calling. Page the sysop and maybe sooner!

-------------------------

                ________________
               /Metallica AC/DC/   |_| _  _        |\/| _ _|_ _  |
              /Stryper Anthrax/    | |(/_(_< \/ \/ |  |(/_ | (_< |
             /Poison    Great/                  /
            /___White Motley/___       |_| _  _      _
               /Crue LedZepplin/       | |(/_(_< \/ (/_ |\|
              /Ozzy   Osbourne/                           
             /Kiss  Lita Ford/              (or hell
            /Vixen   Warrant/ whichever way you'd like to look at it)
           /____Def Leppard/____
                \  WhiteSnake  /   Of course we support all kinds of
                 \ Aerosmith  /    music including Contempory, Country
                  \          /     Rap, Christian, Top-40, Oldies,
                   \        /      Classical, Soul, Disco, Pop, Rock,
                    \ tons /       everything you could think of! If
                     \more/        we don't have it, just ask and
                      \!!/         we'll get it for you.
                       \/
                                   24hrs a day --

In this next file I found, I was trying to create what appears to be a legitimate ad for my favorite BBS which was called Fantasy Island. But for some reason I wrote that one of the features was pirated games which I'm sure was not a feature of that BBS. Who knows what I was trying to stir up...

     _________ __       ___   _  _________ __    ______    _        _ 
    / _______//  \     |   \ | ||__   ___//  \  \  ____\  \ \      | |
   / /__     / /\ \    | |\ \| |   | |   / /\ \  \ \_____  \ \     | |
  / __ /    / ____ \   | | \   |   | |  / ____ \  \____  \  \ \    / /
 / /       / /    \ \  | |  \  |   | | / /    \ \  _____\ \  \ \  / /
/_/       /_/      \_\ |_|   \_|   |_|/_/      \_\ \_______\  \ \/ /
 ______________________ _     _        ________________________\  /
|                    | (_ |  /_\ |\| |\                          /
|____________________|_ _)|_ | | | | |/_________________________/
                                            _   _           _  _
    =Tons of on Line Games                ) |_ |_| _  / (_)/ \|_|
     soon to come!                       /_  _)  |   (_)(_)\_/  |
    =Large message base
    =Pirated games

6 comments

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  1. jas

    just wanted to let everybody know that bbsing is still alive in some form, via telnet.

    there’s a list of bbses here http://telnetbbsguide.com/

    you have to weed through a bunch to find decent bbses, but it’s worth it.
    Also check out http://www.myspace.com/bbses for more bbs information, especially for those
    people that are using vista, you have to enable the telnet client.

    a good client is mt32, you can get it at http://ozone.eesc.com

    i’d like to see more GOOD people in the bbs scene, so i’m working on getting people involved again!

    have a good one!

  2. Josh Renaud

    There are groups on Facebook and MySpace for reuniting folks from the 314/618 BBS scenes:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4749577653

    http://groups.myspace.com/bbs314

    Another place to check out is http://www.bbsmates.com which has a pretty good list of BBSes from over the years. You “join” those BBSes you were part of back in the day, and find other former users.

  3. Chuck

    I remember most of these boards. It was a great time back then. I used to run a board for a while, first one was on a Commodore 128 called The Viper’s Pit and the other was on a PC Clone called The Shadowrun BBS.

    Guess it’s still in my blood, I’ve moved away from IL, but put a Telnet BBS up a while back and still mess around with it, called The Midnight-Club BBS.

  4. Uzzle

    Hey there !

  5. KyleBear

    I remember the first bbs I called in S Florida back in 1986 called “The Cave” I think it was run out of a Radio Shack store. The sysop was named Starshine and it was so cool when she’d ‘chat’ with me. I thought it was the coolest thing ever (it actually was at that moment in my life). That was back when you actually needed a bit of computer literacy to use a computer.

  6. Josh Renaud

    I got a kick out of seeing the 618 BBS list. Over on the other side of the Mississippi, Fire Escape published meticulous, monthly directories of the St. Louis BBS scene.

    I thought it would be fun to take those 314 directories and turn them into interactive charts showing different facets of our local BBS scene. You said WWIV was the dominant software in 618, and it was the same in 314 throughout the 1990s.

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