Sunday, October 5, 2014

Synchronet, dust off your old BBS memories

Back in the early 90's I was part of a unique BBS option in the Wausau, Wisconsin area.

The name was "Wausau Online of Wisconsin" or WOW, and it gave me my first taste of what data transfer could mean.

There was a community, games, art, music (midi format), so much (i thought) was available to me. I would hang on there for hours, just reading posts, replying, looking at pictures, listening to midi's, playing "door games"...

It was a unique experience I will never forget. Then a company called Datawave, a internet ISP showed up in Wausau, and started the quick demise of my BBS. In 2 years there where only a handful of us left.

When I saw there were still BBS's available via the internet, and that thanks to software packages like Synchronet they where having a comeback, I signed up for the first one that seemed interesting.

Ahh nostalgia. Here's some info about this great software:

"Synchronet Bulletin Board System Software is a free software package that can turn your personal computer into your own custom online service supporting multiple simultaneous users with hierarchical message and file areas, multi-user chat, and the ever-popular BBS door games.

Synchronet development began as a personal hobby in 1990 for single-tasking MS-DOS compatible computers and Hayes compatible modems. The program was sold commercially from 1992-1996 after which time it was released (with source code) for both the 16-bit DOS and 32-bit OS/2 platforms to the public domain and development by the author was ceased.

In November of 1999, the author found a renewed interest in further developing Synchronet, specifically for the Internet community, embracing and integrating standard Internet protocols such as Telnet, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IRC, NNTP, and HTTP. Synchronet has since been substantially redesigned as an Internet-only BBS package for Win32 and Unix-x86 platforms and is an Open Source project under continuous development.

Synchronet Version 3.1x for Win32 and Unix (Intel-x86 architecture) is available for download now and can be previewed on Vertrauen (Home of Synchronet BBS Software)." -

Thanks to this unique software, there are a lot of BBS systems still available today.

I personally like Vertrauen then best, but there are many unique ones out there.

The thing I find interesting is even though there are so many BBS's available, they are still part of a larger community thanks to the Dovenet and FidoNet news boards, in which anyone can leave messages to the rest of the community about anything and everything.

Currently there are 108 verified BBS systems running this software. You can find the list here:

You can go to Vertrauen's ( website and use the flash or java terminal programs, but for that authentic feel, I suggest SynchTerm.

You can get SynchTerm here:

It is specifically designed to render in that wonderful old ansi art style.

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