My Challenge for the “Retrochallenge: 2013 Winter Warmup”

My Retrochallenge consists of a living history of online communications. I am teaching my 14 year old Son how I used to get online back in the day.

I have had regular Internet access all of his life, with only the first two years of his life where we only had dial-up Internet access in the household. However, that is NOT what I’m demonstrating to him. I am demonstrating calling, via modem, to EXISTING BBS systems.

My equipment is as follows:

  • Commodore Amiga 2000
    • 68030/882 CPU/Co-Processor
    • 32MB RAM (via CSA Derringer board)
    • Workbench 2.1
  • “Term” terminal program
  • USRobotics 56K Faxmodem
  • and last, but not least… a bottle of Blue Point Brewing Company Winter Ale 🙂
    (for ME ONLY… Gotta keep it authentic! LOL)

I am using Vonage, a VOIP phone service, for my telephone line (which has a few operational caveats)


We have dialed the following BBS systems as of this date:

  • Empire of the Dragon: (303) 679-0161
  • Capital City Online: (502) 875-8938
  • Xanadu BBS: (780) 439-8364
  • Heatwave BBS: (602) 955-4491

Most of the BBSs are what I remember the experience(s) to be. What drew my son’s attention immediately is how fast (i.e. SLOWWWWW) the text came across the screen. I had explained to him what various BAUD rates meant and their relationship to the speed of characters coming up on the screen. I also explained how the fancy ANSI characters worked, and how the ANSI code sequence used a lot of “hidden” characters to define and code the color display.

Another interesting question he had, which almost seems too tough for a BBS veteran such as myself to reconcile for him, was, “How do you go to a website on these?”

I guess there is still more to teach him… 😉

3 Comments on “My Challenge for the “Retrochallenge: 2013 Winter Warmup””

  1. Thanks for the update on Empire of the Dragon.

    I verified the number and corrected it. It is 303-679-0161, not 8161.

    I guess a combination of my old eyes, a .80 dot pitch NTSC monitor, along with a slash through the zero had me confused!


Leave a Reply