TUCoPS :: Dialup BBSes :: lostart.txt

Misc: The Lost Art of BBSing

The Lost Art Of BBSing 
By The Mob Boss 
     The 80's are forever remembered in our hacking and 
phreaking history as the good old days. Times of wide spread 
knowledge, great ezines, terrific research, and most 
importantly the time of BBSing. Bulletin Board Systems were the 
way most hackers and phreakers learned great things. Many 
started as newbies and by the end were experts assisting other 
newcomers. But those days are over, the great boards of 
yesteryear are nothing more but ANSI filled memories right? 
Wrong. Believe it or not, here in the year 2000 BBSing is not 
dead. Of course its not what it used to be, but its something 
for us who missed those days can look at and enjoy. In fact I 
maintain a growing list of BBSs around the world, telnet and 
dialup boards in fact. Some great discussions are held on these 
boards every day, from California to Germany, some people are 
still keeping the BBS scene alive. This article is meant as a 
guide for dialing/telneting to these boards, how to get around 
once your on, and proper etiquette. This article is geared for 
those with Windows 95/98, sorry to you UNIX folks but I am not 
familiar with the terminal programs for it. 

    Lets get started. The terminal program we are going to use 
is hyperterminal because if you are running windows you already 
have it. To start it up go to Start -> Program Files -> 
Accessories -> Communications -> Hyperterminal. Run 
hypertrm.exe and it will bring up the program with a new 
connection window. Name it whatever you like, use whatever 
icon. Now the connect window will pop up. Now the question 
is, "What kind of board are you connecting to?". For now I will 
assume you are connecting using your modem, hence a dialup BBS. 
Now since whatever dialup BBS you are calling is most likely 
long distance, I am going to explain how to set this up so that 
you can do whatever you have to do to make the call and not 
connect until the number of the BBS is actually ringing. Since 
you'll be using the operator assisted dial feature it doesn't 
matter what area code and number you put in, but to keep things 
neat you might as well put in the number of the BBS. If you 
don't trust me or yourself and don't want to accidently be 
calling Germany directly then just stick in your home phone 
number, so that if the operator assisted dial feature was 
forgotten to be checked it will simply get a busy signal. Also 
make sure you have selected your modem on the pull down 
menu "Connect Using:". Now you will have a connect window once 
you hit ok. Now lets go to modify. This will put you in the 
Properties window. Click configure which is located under 
the "Connect To" tab. Now first I suggest you turn up the 
modems speak volume if you usually don't. Like a mechanic with 
a car, listening to a modem can tell you a lot. Under 
the "Connection" tab, it should read Data Bits 8, Parity None, 
and Stop Bits 1. Now go to the "Options" tab, check off 
Operator Assisted Dial. Hit Ok. Then hit Ok on the properties 
window. This will bring you to the "Connect To" window again. 
Now when you hit dial a new window will come up, "Manual Dial". 
Now simply pick up the reciever, do whatever you plan on doing. 
Hopefully you'll be legally calling your legally bought prepaid 
calling card (hehe). Once the BBS number is ringing hit Connect 
on the manual dialing window and hang up the handset. You may 
hear another ring or two through the modem speaker but when it 
picks up your modem should connect to the BBS. This seems to be 
better the instructions by MS to wait until the BBS picks up to 
hit connect and hang up. Now if all goes well then you should 
be greeted by an exciting ANSI opening screen with instructions 
for opening a new account. If not just put in the handle you 
want, when it then says that you are not from the board, it 
should prompt you to open up a new account. Now if you weren't 
able to connect, keep on trying. Many things can go wrong. You 
may have made a mistake in dialing, linenoise could have 
prevented the connection (that will happen a lot of 
transatlantic calls or ones that make a lot of hops through 
different systems), or possibly the BBS had a problem. 

    Now for those who rather not be calling Europe all the time 
the telnet-able BBSs may be a better choice. Some are text 
based, some are ANSI-based. So to connect to one of these 
babies, start up a new connection as we did earlier. This time 
though rather then selecting your modem, select TCP/IP 
(Winsock). I have heard conflicting stories of some versions 
not having this. If not then try upgrading. When you select 
TCP/IP you'll be presented with a box asking for the host and 
port. Enter those in and hit connect. Viola your connected. 

    Ok so now we are sitting at that ANSI screen. What do we 
do? Well we sign up for a new user account. Procedures vary. 
Boards like Sacrifical Lamb and L0pht will give you immediate 
access. Boards like this have several discussion boards, mail, 
and real-time chat. Boards like Subcultural Niche for instance 
in Denmark however are more old fashioned in their procedure. 
Once you fill out the new user information form you'll have to 
wait to be granted full access which includes, discussion 
boards, mail, files, chat, BBS Lists, etc. Usually access is 
granted within 24 hours. Now when filling out the form it asks 
a lot of information. Name, address, voice number, data number, 
so on and so on. For your name put your handle, for address 
feel free to put your city and state, but don't feel obligated 
to put your street address. As for voice number there is no 
reason not to have a number to give them. With the abudance of 
free voicemail and fax numbers these days, I'm sure everyone 
has a number they can give. If you are giving a test on 
acronyms or they ask questions like "Why should we grant you 
access", just be sincere. Don't bug out if you don't know all 
the answers but make a habit of finding out what the answers 
were, thats what learning is all about. If you weren't granted 
access for some reason, feel free to find out why but don't 
dwell on it or get angry, probably wasn't worth being apart of 
anyways. Being turned down is pretty rare though so as long as 
you don't say, "i aM h3R3 f0r y0 wAr3Z f00l5" then you should 
be fine. 

    Once you have access to a board, look around, read the help 
files so you learn how to move around the board with ease. Most 
boards have the same commands or similar ones so once you learn 
one or two you'll be all set. Set up your file transfer 
protocol the first time you upload/download something. Zmodem 
is probably what you wanna go with since its pretty automatic. 
When you first get on the board with a file area its polite to 
upload a few good texts that you have. Don't upload crap, 
upload things that you read and truly enjoyed or learned from. 
Some boards have ratios so uploading is not just curteousy but 
nessecary if you want to download anything. For those who do 
not know how to send a file, simply go to the upload menu 
following the prompts. When its ready for you to send the file 
just go to transfer, send file, and choose the file you want to 
send. Again reading the help files will help a great deal in 
manuevering around the board. Once you uploaded a few files and 
had a chance to look around, introduce yourself to the sysop or 
if he's not online post a message introducing yourself. Lurking 
around makes people suspicious and resenting of you. If you can 
answer someones question, go for it. Don't get involved in 
flame wars if you can withstand the urge. And always treat the 
BBS as you would your own system. Crashing BBSs or trying to 
break into them is very retarded, very few are around so 
breaking the few we have is not only wrong but retarded. 

    Again this is simply a introduction and wake up call to all 
those who thought BBSs were dead. They are alive and they are 
great. I have learned a great deal from boards like Sacrifical 
Lamb and Ripco. At the end of this file is a list of BBSs I 
currently know of that are alive. However for an up to date 
list check out http://come.to/mobdomain. Now once you get into 
BBSs a bit and see whether or not you enjoy them, consider 
opening one yourself. All that is required is a server with 
decent uptime or a spare phone line. If you can spare the time 
and resources go for it. Its a damn shame that there are no 
dialup BBSs in North America and few telnet boards. If you do 
decide to open one let me know and I'll assist in any way I 
can. Thanks to all those Sysops who helped me in my quest for 
BBSs and to all those who have take the time to keep this great 
art going. 

-The Mob Boss; http://come.to/mobdomain 
Voicemail and fax: 1-877-203-3043 

Special Thanks To Deo, Glock, And Tron 

Visit These Fine Bulletin Boards... 

Ripco BBS 

Northland Underground BBS 

L0pht BBS 

The Sacrifial Lamb 
Login as BBS 

Post Cards From the Edge 
Login as BBS 

Subcultural Niche 

Freedom Fortress 

Perpetual Illusion 

Euphoric illusion 

West BBS 

Voodoo Lounge 
lounge.myip.org (Not 24/7) 

Virtual Distortions 

Death Chamber 
excidium.wolfsburg.de port: 666 
System Password: exmrocks 


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