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Old 31 January 2020, 10:56   #1
Lasix
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New dial-up Amiga BBS online!

Dial-Up Nights is a new dial-up only bulletin board, running Max's BBS on native Amiga NG hardware.

The 'beta' version of the board is open 9pm - 6 am, and 24 hours at the weekends (UK time).
(The plan is to increase to 24/7, depending on demand.)

Amiga and general message banks, files. Door games to come.

Call tonight! 0208 363 3637

How?
You will need a landline and a dial-up modem to connect, as well as a way of connecting the modem to your computer.
On an original Amiga*, this is easy as you have a serial port. Simply dust off your (or buy another) serial modem, connect
one end to the Amiga's serial port, the other to your phone line, and you're good to go. NComm is a good free
terminal package - just enter the number into the dialer and you will connect.

Why?
Telnet would be easier...if you have an Amiga with internet. For all of those with original machines though, perhaps
with a landline (and even better a free calls package), I think this is just crying out for some traditional dial-up
action. And for me, dial-up has a certain magic. Plus, it's rather cool to be connecting to other machines and
communities, completely outside of the internet.

* N.b. On NG machines, you will need a USB to RS232 adaptor. You might have some luck with USB modems, but I didn't. However,
a PL2303 chipset USB adaptor works well on MorphOS and gives you the serial port you need. I struggled to get NComm's
fonts to work (weird overlapping problem) but Termite works well. Term also works, but freezes. Not sure about OS 4
or Aros.
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Old 31 January 2020, 14:15   #2
Phantasm
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Always interested in any new BBS's but dialup, thats pretty crazy


I presume that number is for the UK?
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Old 31 January 2020, 14:35   #3
Lasix
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Sorry - UK number. +44 for people calling internationally.

I've dropped home internet - for productivity reasons. It's great - but it's got me back into dial-up BBSing
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Old 31 January 2020, 14:59   #4
Phantasm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasix View Post
Sorry - UK number. +44 for people calling internationally.

I've dropped home internet - for productivity reasons. It's great - but it's got me back into dial-up BBSing

I was under the impression that modem's didn't work very well with typical digital phone lines that everyone has these days.
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Old 02 February 2020, 10:53   #5
Lasix
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I’ve heard that too. Haven’t experienced any problems myself though. There are a lot of faxes still in operation, which work on similar principles (I suppose lost bits of data translated onto paper is less problematic than lost bits of a file, however). But anyway - I haven’t noticed any issues.

Give us a call!
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Old 02 February 2020, 11:45   #6
redblade
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They are trying to phase out copper lines over here at the end of the year? What about for you guys in the .UK?
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Old 02 February 2020, 16:40   #7
Lasix
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Haven’t heard a timescale as tight as that. I dare say that’s the general plan. Fingers crossed though, it will still function across fibre optic or whatever technology is replacing wire.
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Old 03 February 2020, 19:19   #8
Phantasm
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i'd love to try and connect but i don't have a modem of any description
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Old 05 February 2020, 15:37   #9
Lasix
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Would love to have you as a member! Do you have an original Amiga? EBay 33.6k modems go for about a tenner - even for nice US Robotics ones. But - who wants to make an outlay for a single BBS which might go down next week? Maybe if I'm still here in the months to come (I will be ) - pick one up!
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Old 05 February 2020, 18:58   #10
Bren McGuire
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I love that you can dial to a BBS still today, but let's be real here: even if you have all the necessary Amiga hardware, not everyone has a landline, and even if you do, most if not all people will not have a way to cheaply connect to a BBS from abroad.

If I had a BBS I would offer the option to dial up AND telnet at the same time, it's not like BBSes have a huge audience nowadays, by limiting the BBS to dial-up only you will hugely reduce its activity.

I love BBSes and log in frequently but there's almost never anything really going on in them and it's usually the same ten people surfing around. I wish more people would log in to them but that's just not reality.

So in brief, if you want people to log in to yours, offer a telnet link too.
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Old 07 February 2020, 18:36   #11
Lasix
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I totally agree with all of your points. This isn't the best recipe to get lots of people connecting to a BBS.

I guess my motivation is a little different though. Maybe even a little...grander. For years now, I have had the sense that computing was somehow more fun in back in the 80s and 90s. There was a magic to that time which, for me at least, has been lost somewhere along the way. Perhaps this was because of growing older, I thought. Or perhaps it was pure indulgent regressive nostalgia. Or maybe it stems from the maturing of the computer industry, growing from something understood and enjoyed by a comparatively privileged few, to nearly everybody.

I ran a dial-up BBS back in the mid nineties, and rang a few boards a week where I was pretty active. I always say those were the most exciting times in my relationship with computing. I remember the names of a number of the callers. But then the internet came along. I first got online with my Amiga: IBrowse, YAM, Amirc, a cool newsgroup program I forget the name of. No more bulletin boards from pretty much the day the ISP activated my account. To be honest, they couldn't compete with even the dial-up speed crude websites and aminet FTP sites of the 90s. They certainly can't compete with the clickbait algorithm-driven personalised internet of 2020. That's why, as you rightly say, there's "almost never anything really going on in them." Because everyone is online. If they are anything like how I was, they are too busy fuming over a Facebook post, or wondering how many people will re-tweet them. Or living vicariously through Youtube - watching other people play games, or use their Amigas (does that ever strike you as weird?).

Having been online since about the mid-nineties, I got to know my way around it pretty well. I embraced it wholesale and rode all of the changes that came along. I lived in IRC. Worked in IT. Managed my life "in the cloud" when that became a thing. Maintained a social media presence - even a brand - with a respectable number of followers. I refreshed amiga.org and news.bbc.co.uk one hundred times a day...like pretty much everyone else. Thinking this was somehow important and useful.

Then one day I just got sick of all of it. I had a suspicion the benefits of the internet were being far outweighed by the negatives. I realised it was another addiction (try stopping if you don't believe me), and various addictions had set me back so much in my adult life. I thought it was time to cut it back a bit. Maybe go for more walks, or take up a hobby. Just like the buzzes from smoking or drinking, the internet gave me regular buzzes of "Ah ha! This is the Youtube video/post/blog entry/download/Netflix film that's going to change my life!" But after twenty five years of seeking the next hit, I realised none of it was adding very much value to my life at all. Sure, there were some great Coursera courses - there were some real benefits. I got some movies for free off Bittorrent back in the day. IRC was cool. But all of the wasted time and anger! And couldn't almost all of those actual benefits be replaced by offline alternatives? And why couldn't I concentrate long enough to read a book anymore?

[Long story about how hard it is to quit - deleted]

By virtue of this post, you can see that I'm still here, on the internet. It's pretty much impossible to avoid it 100% for me at the moment. But the lower I get the %, the better life seems to get. I got back into dial-up bulletin boards by cutting myself off from the internet at home. When I had the internet, I would connect via telnet to the odd board or two, but soon get pulled into something else. Sometimes I would be in a chat with the sysop, and I would get distracted by a browser tab and forget all about it. I'd come back an hour later and it would have logged me off. I wouldn't bother posting to any of the message banks or upload any files. There are websites for that. These BBSs were essentially time capsules or retro curios. Now, connecting to a bulletin board feels like a major highlight of enjoying my computer in the evening. I contribute to the message banks and am genuinely keen to download and upload files. It's a high point of geekery! And you know what? Most excitingly, computing has started to regain the feeling of magic of the home computing era once again! After I have read and responded to the BBS messages (maybe via QWK) I can enjoy reading an old Amiga magazine, or my C programming manual. I've programmed some actually useful programs. I have plans to subscribe to Amiga Future and buy some software (via mail order) from the likes of Amikit - positive things for the Amiga which I otherwise wouldn't have done. The buzz feels like it's coming from an internal place, rather than from some external source.

So that's why I don't want to offer telnet. And I hope there might be others out there that feel the same way. Who might even give this a go.

If not, so be it.

Maybe I'll start a PD library instead
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