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.
Old 618 BBSers:
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.
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 * *****************************************************************************
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