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The Lost Art Of BBSing By The Mob Boss

:EmmaLambida: This E-ZIne/Texfile was written on April 2000 by The Mob Boss :EmmaLambida:
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The Lost Art Of BBSing By The Mob Boss
The 80's are forever remembered in our hacking and phreaking history as the good old days. Times of wide spread knowledge, great ezines, terrific research, and most importantly the time of BBSing. Bulletin Board Systems were the way most hackers and phreakers learned great things. Many started as newbies and by the end were experts assisting other newcomers. But those days are over, the great boards of yesteryear are nothing more but ANSI filled memories right? Wrong. Believe it or not, here in the year 2000 BBSing is not dead.

Of course it's not what it used to be, but it's something for us who missed those days to look at and enjoy. In fact I maintain a growing list of BBSs around the world, telnet and dial up boards in fact. Some great discussions are held on these boards every day, from California to Germany, some people are still keeping the BBS scene alive. This article is meant as a guide for dialing/telneting to these boards, how to get around once you're on, and prop!
er etiquette. This article is geared for those with Windows 95/98, sorry to you UNIX folks but I am not familiar with the terminal programs for it.

Let's get started. The terminal program we are going to use is hyperterminal because if you are running windows you already have it. To start it up go to Start -> Program Files -> Accessories -> Communications -> Hyperterminal. Run hypertrm.exe and it will bring up the program with a new connection window. Name it whatever you like, use whatever icon. Now the connect window will pop up. Now the question is, "What kind of board are you connecting to?". For now I will assume you are connecting using your modem, hence a dialup BBS. Now since whatever dialup BBS you are calling is most likely long distance, I am going to explain how to set this up so that you can do whatever you have to do to make the call and not connect until the number of the BBS is actually ringing. Since you'll be using the operator assisted dial feature it doesn't matter what area code and number you put in, but to keep things neat you might as well put in the number of the BBS. If you don't trust me or y!
yourself and don't want to accidentally be calling Germany directly then just stick in your home phone number, so that if the operator assisted dial feature was forgotten to be checked it will simply get a busy signal.

Also make sure you have selected your modem on the pull down menu "Connect Using:". Now you will have a connect window once you hit ok. Now let's go to modify. This will put you in the Properties window. Click configure which is located under the "Connect To" tab. Now first I suggest you turn up the modems speak volume if you usually don't. Like a mechanic with a car, listening to a modem can tell you a lot. Under the "Connection" tab, it should read Data Bits 8, Parity None, and Stop Bits 1. Now go to the "Options'' tab, check off Operator Assisted Dial. Hit Ok. Then hit Ok on the properties window. This will bring you to the "Connect To" window again. Now when you hit dial a new window will come up, "Manual Dial''. Now simply pick up the receiver, do whatever you pl!
and on doing. Hopefully you'll be legally calling your legally bought prepaid calling card (hehe).

Once the BBS number is ringing hit Connect on the manual dialing window and hang up the handset. You may hear another ring or two through the modem speaker but when it picks up your modem should connect to the BBS. This seems to be better than the instructions by MS to wait until the BBS picks up to hit connect and hang up. Now if all goes well then you should be greeted by an exciting ANSI opening screen with instructions for opening a new account. If not just put in the handle you want, when it then says that you are not from the board, it should prompt you to open up a new account. Now if you weren't able to connect, keep on trying. Many things can go wrong. You may have made a mistake in dialing, linenoise could have prevented the connection (that will happen a lot of transatlantic calls or ones that make a lot of hops through different systems), or possibly the BBS had a problem.

Now for those who rather not be calling Europe all the time the telnet-able BBSs may be a better choice. Some are text based, some are ANSI-based. So to connect to one of these babies, start up a new connection as we did earlier. This time though rather than selecting your modem, select TCP/IP (Winsock). I have heard conflicting stories of some versions not having this. If not then try upgrading. When you select TCP/IP you'll be presented with a box asking for the host and port. Enter those in and hit connect. Viola is connected.

Ok so now we are sitting at that ANSI screen. What do we do? Well we signed up for a new user account. Procedures vary. Boards like Sacrificial Lamb and L0pht will give you immediate access. Boards like this have several discussion boards, mail, and real-time chat. Boards like Subcultural Niche for instance in Denmark however are more old fashioned in their procedure. Once you fill out the new user information form you'll have to wait to be granted full access which includes, discussion boards, mail, files, chat, BBS Lists, etc. Usually access is granted within 24 hours. Now when filling out the form it asks for a lot of information. Name, address, voice number, data number, so on and so on. For your name put your handle, for address feel free to put your city and state, but don't feel obligated to put your street address. As for voice numbers there is no reason not to have a number to give them. With the abundance of free voicemail and fax numbers these days, I'm sure everyone has!

a number they can give. If you are giving a test on acronyms or they ask questions like "Why should we grant you access", just be sincere. Don't bug out if you don't know all the answers but make a habit of finding out what the answers were, that's what learning is all about. If you weren't granted access for some reason, feel free to find out why but don't dwell on it or get angry, probably wasn't worth being a part of anyways. Being turned down is pretty rare though so as long as you don't say, "i aM h3R3 f0r y0 wAr3Z f00l5'' then you should be fine.

Once you have access to a board, look around, read the help files so you learn how to move around the board with ease. Most boards have the same commands or similar ones so once you learn one or two you'll be all set. Set up your file transfer protocol the first time you upload/download something. Zmodem is probably what you wanna go with since it's pretty automatic. When you first get on the board with a file area it's polite to upload a few good texts that you have. Don't upload crap, upload things that you read and truly enjoyed or learned from. Some boards have ratios so uploading is not just courtesy but necessary if you want to download anything.

For those who do not know how to send a file, simply go to the upload menu following the prompts. When it's ready for you to send the file just go to transfer, send file, and choose the file you want to send. Again reading the help files will help a great deal in maneuvering around the board. Once you uploaded a few files and !
had a chance to look around, introduce yourself to the sysop or if he's not online post a message introducing yourself. Lurking around makes people suspicious and resenting you. If you can answer someone's question, go for it. Don't get involved in flame wars if you can withstand the urge. And always treat the BBS as you would your own system. Crashing BBSs or trying to break into them is very retarded, very few are around so breaking the few we have is not only wrong but retarded.

Again this is simply an introduction and wake up call to all those who thought BBSs were dead. They are alive and they are great. I have learned a great deal from boards like Sacrificial Lamb and Ripco. At the end of this file is a list of BBSs I currently know of that are alive. However for an up to date list check out http://come.to/mobdomain. Now once you get into BBSs a bit and see whether or not you enjoy them, consider opening one yourself. All that is required is a server with decent uptime or a spare phone line. If you can spare the time and resources go for it. It's a damn shame that there are no dialup BBSs in North America and few telnet boards. If you do decide to open one let me know and I'll assist in any way I can. Thanks to all those Sysops who helped me in my quest for BBSs and to all those who have taken the time to keep this great art going.

-The Mob Boss; http://come.to/mobdomain
Voicemail and fax: 1-877-203-3043

Special Thanks To Deo, Glock, And Tron


Visit These Fine Bulletin Boards...
  1. Ripco BBS: ripco2.ripco.com
  2. Northland Underground BBS nub.dhs.org
  3. L0pht BBS bbs.l0pht.com
  4. The Sacrifial Lamb Login as BBS english.gh0st.net
  5. Post Cards From the Edge Login as BBS luna.iirg.org
  6. Subcultural Niche +45-3888.9120
  7. Freedom Fortress freedom.darktech.org
  8. Perpetual Illusion +45-9816.2348
  9. Euphoric illusion +45-5852.0573
  10. West BBS +45-971-53471
  11. Voodoo Lounge +31-344-634429 lounge.myip.org (Not 24/7)
  12. Virtual Distortions vdbbs.dynu.com
  13. Death Chamber +49-5374-672979 excidium.wolfsburg.de port: 666 System Password: exmrocks
  14. Snow +31-20-6814216
  15. Fuct Image fuctimage.darktech.org
 

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