BBS File Distribution Networks & Games Servers

BBS File Distributio Networks and Game Servers (thumbnail)

Some BBSes (Bulletin Boards) are members of Game networks that allow gamers from all over to join in and play in leagues, and also there are BBSes that are members of massive file distribution networks which have terabytes of files to share. Want to know how to get in on the action? Just watch this video!

Whilst I’m at it, here are some personal recommendations of some great BBSes to try out, including my own one!:

The Quantum Wormhole bbs.erb.pw
The Bottomless Abyss bbs.bottomlessabyss.net (port 2023)
Al’s Geek Lab BBS bbs.alsgeeklab.com (port 2323)
20 For Beers 20forbeers.com (port 1337)
The Underground theunderground.us (port 10023)
The Agency BBS agency.bbs.nz
Absinthe BBS absinthebbs.net (port 1940)
Wizards Rainbow wizardsrainbow.com (host to Black Country Rock games)
The Vault BBS thevaultbbs.ddns.net (port 2323)

Easily run Windows 3.x/16 bit apps in Windows 10/11 with WineVDM (no VM!)

If you’ve ever tried to use old Windows 3.x (or even 1.0 and 2.x) apps on Windows 8,10 or 11, you’ll find that generally they don’t work. Now, you can install a virtual machine with Windows 3.x on it then install the software, but it’s never integrated with your real operating system. Imagine if I told you you could install and run Windows 16 and 32 bit applications within Win64 without issue? Well, watch and see as I run up a bunch of Windows 2.x applications, followed by a full demo of me running Setup and installing Word 6 for Windows NT 3.5 and have it print using my real Windows 10 printer subsystem.

Back to the BBS Episode 7: The Music Tracker Scene

Starting with the Commodore Amiga, Module tracker music was the first widely used consumer grade sampled audio. It made huge inroads in computer games and the Demoscene from the late ’80s onwards. This episode of Back to the BBS starts off from where the last episode on the Demoscene left off. Interviews in this episode include members of the legendary Demo group, The Future Crew: musicians Purple Motion (Jonne Valtonen) and Skaven (Peter Hajba) join cTrix (Chris Mylrae), TDK (Mark Knight) and Trixter / Mobygamer (Jim Leonard). We talk about the equipment, how the music was made, how the demoscene adopted the format as well as fame and fortune with the games industry. This is a bumper episode that you don’t want to miss!

New Zealand Lower North Island Vintage Computer Show and Tell 24th Oct, 2021

A great day out here in the Lower North Island of New Zealand where owners of vintage computers got to show off their machines, talk about them and have fun.

On display was the following computers:

  • Atari: Atari 800, XEGS, 130XE and the 800XL
  • Apple Computers:The Apple Lisa, Apple IIGS
  • Oric:The Oric Atmos 48K, Oric One
  • IBM:The IBM PC Jx, 5155 PC Portable
  • Sinclair: Cambridge Z88, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, ZX Spectrum Plus, ZX Spectrum 128K, ZX Spectrum +2 and +3 (in box), Sinclair ZX80, another home-made ZX80 (in a calculator case!), a Sinclair ZX81, the new ZX Spectrum Next.
  • Commodore: PET 8096-SK, PET 8032, PET 4016, Commodore Amiga A1200HD
  • S100/Kit computers: The ‘Dream 6800’ S-100 kit computer, The MSI 6800 University Trainer machine, the SWTPC 6809
  • The rest: Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4, Memotech MTX 512, MB Vectrex, Panasonic MSX CF2700, The Backplane Pro (s100 style modern machine).

Bonus content!

If you become a member of my channel by pressing Join, or by becoming a Patron, there is a full length version of this video with bonus content showing how great the Apple Lisa was to service, as well as the Lisa Operating System. All of the Sinclair stuff, including a UHF broadcast from a Raspberry Pi, as well as more detail on the MTX, Oric’s and more!

Back to the BBS Part 5: The Underground (HPAVc/Warez)

In this episode of Back to the BBS, we take a step down memory lane to look at where the darker side of the Internet came from. We examine Warez BBSes and explain what HPAVC boards were all about (Hacking, Phreaking, Anarchy, Virii, Cracking & Carding). We interview Dan Smolders who recalls what life was like for the average underground BBS user, and chat with ‘deathr0w’, who talks about the race to release warez, and how modern day warez is released.

Despite being involved with some illegal activity more than 20 years ago, ‘deathr0w’ still requires anonymity today!

Back to the BBS Part Three: Privacy, Message Groups and Retro Hardware

In this part of the documentary we introduce the matter of privacy, with all the erosion of privacy on the net, the #BBS might provide a real alternative for you. We also introduce BBS messaging, a fun forum and email service. Finally we cover hardware to get your retro equipment such as #Commodore 64 and #Atari machines to connect to a BBS via WiFi!

Don’t forget to LIKE this video and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel! Press that NOTIFICATION bell so you get to know when new great videos come out that you’ll like! I really do appreciate your subscriptions, it makes the countless hours I spend on this channel feel so worthwhile!
If you really like my stuff and fancy spotting me a cup of coffee, don’t forget to check out my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages:
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This episode features interviews with (in order of appearance):
Howard Sherman (of Excaliber BBS – http://excaliber.club)
‘Denis’ – A young BBS user
Chris Eldrige (Kurisu Yamato)

Contents:
0:00 Introduction
1:38 Privacy
8:41 BBS Messaging Overview
9:19 Chris Eldridge describes Echomail
11:35 Echomail demonstration
18:08 Private email: Netmail
20:22 Using retro hardware to get on a BBS

Back to the BBS Part Two: Games & Mods

In this part of Back to the BBS we introduce Games and Mods. There are interviews with the authors of some excellent brand new games, as well as talking to sysops that make add-on software (mods) to BBS’s that give it some modern and fun functionality. Bulletin Board Systems (BBS’s) were what people went online with before the web. This multi-part documentary shows you what BBS’s do, why they are still relevant and fun to use today.. 

Don’t forget to LIKE this video and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel! Press that NOTIFICATION bell so you get to know when new great videos come out that you’ll like!  I really do appreciate your subscriptions, it makes the countless hours I spend on this channel feel so worthwhile!  If you really like my stuff and fancy spotting me a cup of coffee, don’t forget to check out my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages:

https://www.ko-fi.com/alsgeeklab

https://patreon.com/alsgeeklab

Back to the BBS – The return to being ‘online’

This is part one

Ever wondered what happened ‘online’ before the Internet? Yes! There was something before the ‘net. The crazy thing is, that it’s still going today. They’re called Bulletin Board Systems (BBS’s). They are great fun, they have an awesome community of really fun people (as you’ll see in this video), they have games, cool add-on apps called ‘mods’, message forums (kinda like Facebook groups or usenet), and what’s more, it’s private (in most cases). Completely away from the prying eyes of Google and Facebook, it’s a world that is coming right back to life, and could become even more relevant in this age of online censorship and (mis)use of our information so that Facebook et al. can make money from us.

Think of the best bits of E-mail, usenet, Reddit, Facebook Groups, filesharing and a few more besides. Package it all in one area, with a really cool retro aesthetic and you have a BBS. People run BBS’s today because they are passionate about engaging in a community of people with similar ideals, something they won’t get anywhere else.

Join me in part one of the documentary. Part two is just around the door. I’ve put many months of work into this documentary, with dozens of interviews. Across the series I cover the following topics:

PART ONE:

  • INTRO TO BBS’s
    • What is a BBS?
    • Why are BBS’s fun? (interviews)
    • History
    • Connect via the Internet
    • ANSI graphics/text
    • How to use a BBS
    • Dave Cloutier / BBS Demo
    • Subi (15 yr old BBS user)
    • Dave Perussell (future of BBS’s)
    • Daniel Kelly (aBSINTHe BBS demo)

The following parts of the series cover:

  • GAMES / DOORS
  • MODS
  • HARDWARE
  • BBS SERVER SOFTWARE
  • BBS MESSAGES
  • PRIVACY
  • ANSI GRAPHICS
  • DEMOSCENE / MOD SCENE
  • THE UNDERGROUND

Star Micronics Colour Dot Matrix Printer Unboxing (dot matrix printing)

I picked up this 1989 Star Micronics NX-1000 dot matrix printer from a recent computer warehouse haul in Auckland. There’s a good chance it hasn’t seen much use in 25-ish years, but I was surprised to see that it came in its original box. During the unboxing you’ll see that its manuals and cables all present and correct, so I had hopes that this epson compatible printer might work.This lovely little printer was one I was familiar with from primary school back in the day of the BBC micro, and it was a very nice machine back in its day.