Retro City -- iNterNet BBS


Retro City FAQ


What is a BBS?

A BBS is a shared system usually ran by a hobbyist for other hobbyists. Before internet access was common many BBSs where run on home systems using dial-up access. Common features of BBSs are message bases, door games, chat, and file sharing. These services are generally accessed from a menu system divided into various areas or conferences. Each conference having it's own subject or theme. Within the general idea of BBSs each BBS is usually heavily customised with it's own look and feel of the it's menus and overall content.

How Do BBSs Differ From Web-Forums and Social-Media?

BBSs are usually private systems run by hobbyists. As such they are more likelly to develop a more community orientated enviroment as opposed to large social-media sites with thousands if not millions of users on the same system. Small has it's advatages. As hobbyist run systems they don't generally have ulterior motives for your privacy and data.

BBSs are also not a web service, but a terminal login service as such they are protected from a great deal of data-mining that web-forums are subject too. As being a terminal based service you also have a stronger level of intent on people choosing to be there. Also as a terminal based service is inherently text based they are also inherenly protected from image and meme spam.

Aren't BBSs really old and obsolete?

Most BBS packages are really old and not well adapted to running in the modern world. The idea of a hobbyist run shared system on the other-hand I don't think is at all obsolete. However I would say that developing software that is more in-line with the modern world is important to keep BBSs relavant.

BBSs are still popular in many parts of Asia, exactly becuase smaller semi-private systems provide a lot more freedom in communication then large web services can ever accomplish. This really isn't a matter of paranoia, it's a matter of choice, and the simple fact that you can't possibly know everyone in large scale operations.

What About Synchronet, Mystic, and Others?

While there are packages are in current development they tend to be either continuations of very old software, or an attempt to continue making a BBS exactly like it was in the 90s. This is not the goal of either "Retro City" or my "Retro BBS Tools" package. The goals of this system is to work with modern protocols, modern terminal emulators, and take full advantage of modern tools. Such as being designed to be run on a small VPS, and using curses instead of hardcoded DOS ANSI.SYS controls.

"Retro City" and "Retro BBS Tools" both are intended to provide customized menus with the feel of classic BBSs, a flexable message base system, a chat system, text file browsing, and the ability to run any Unix console program as a door. It does not even attempt to re-implement serial transfer protocols, or deal with any dial-up baggage.

While I respect what they are doing, I don't see any future beyond nostolgia and DOS door games (e.g. Trade Wars, LORD) in a system that is hard to run on a VPS, and requires special terminal applications that support DOS ANSI.SYS

How Do I Connect To The System?

System  
Unix/Linux  Open a terminal and ssh <user>@retrocity.org
OS X  Open Terminal.app and ssh <user>@retrocity.org
On Windows  We reccomend using putty which is pretty much so the standard ssh client for Windows.

How Do I Get an Account?

We are currently still in development and not accepting new users at this time. When the system is more complete you can request an account by logging in as new password new.