Unbearable Lightness of BBSing

Posted on Apr 19, 2023

I’ve said for years that the BBS, at least as I remember it, was an elegant social media for a more civilized age. I’ve been toying around with the notion of setting up a telnet BBS for years, but haven’t been interested in setting up some modern package like Mystic or Synchronet on Windows or Linux. Instead, I’ve wanted a BBS using vintage software on the same hardware I would have set it up on back in the early ninties, during the ‘heyday’ of the computer bulletin board systems.

I finally got my act together and managed to get the 386 upgraded to the point where it would run OS/2 Warp 3 reasonably well. Initially I had set it up using MS-DOS and Desqview, just like the first BBS I ran many years ago, and just like many years ago it wasn’t quite as good at multitasking as I would like it to be. Just like back then, the move to OS/2 brought a much better multitasking experience with the 80386 processor.

Sometime in the early 90s I became the co-SysOp on a BBS called ’nocturnal me’ back in Harrisonburg, VA. That system ran on the T.A.G. BBS software. The current system runs on the same software, with some additional software to support fidonet-type networks (in this case, a small network called FSXnet). There are also about 10 door games.


  • AMD 40 MHz 80386 CPU
  • 256k Cache
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 1 GB IDE HDD
  • ATI Mach 8
  • 3COM Etherlink III


  • IBM OS/2 Warp 3
  • T.A.G. 2.7d2 BBS Software
  • Binkd Fidonet mailer
  • FastEcho mail tosser

For a much more detailed description and more information about the hardware, software, and doors it’s running, you can check out the period-appropriate website I built for the bbs at https://walledctty.com. If you just want to check out the board itself, telnet to port 1989 at bbs.walledctty.com with the telnet client of your choice.