83 points by fcambus
17 days ago
This reminds me of a quite Mac centric BBS system called Firstclass. Its client felt almost like a normal Mac OS Classic Finder windows and it was so intuitive compared to normal text based BBSes which I also used at the time.
 I remember seeing it working with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 but it felt more kludgy and slow compared to the Mac version
Later on there was Hotline, some similar design ideas:
Back in the late 90s/early 2000s the IT program at RIT used FirstClass, and there was a pivotal moment I still think about to this day: I was seated at two computers, both signed into FirstClass on different accounts. I sent an email from one account to another. Before I had even finished lifting my finger off of the mouse button after clicking “Send” button on the first computer, the email showed up on the second computer. And that was the moment I realized just how crazy fast computers and networks are.
Unrelated, but while I’m here… I also remember FirstClass because for an IT database course we had to submit our final project into a write-only drop box. Except I found it wasn’t write-only. I emailed the professor informing them of this, but because logs showed that I had entered and opened one student’s submission, I got a zero on the project and my final grade dropped from an A to a B…
One of the big papers in my country ran a FirstClass BBS, which my family had access to for a few years before it was eaten by the internet. I remember it quite fondly, and indeed it was a great interface.
i have fond dual se30 server memories
one for uucp
one for firstclass
Firstclass allowed admins to create custom clients with resources (icons, backgrounds). I ran a board with something like four users when I was a teen. I dreamed of turning it into a thriving multi-line operation. Then AOL gave way to real home internet and there was no need.
The Hotline board that I ran once I had a cable modem was just straight warez and mp3s. I miss that era, where there was a sense of community in small subsets of the internet. They’re prolly still there in some form and I’ve just outgrown them or aged out.
Somewhat surprised that you could even use threads in System 6. I know in the 7 era you'd find applications that shipped with the Thread Manager, I'm guessing this individual must have rolled their own thread handling?
What a fascinating undertaking. I wonder how it plays with the backwards compatibility of "newer" powermacs on macos 9
Is there an active, modern-ish BBS-like software out there? SSH of course ;-)
What language do you prefer?
Enigma (NodeJS): https://github.com/NuSkooler/enigma-bbs
x84 (Python - needs some work to use current Python): https://github.com/jquast/x84
Synchronet (C, JS): https://www.synchro.net
WWIV (C++): https://github.com/wwiv
Please note that this runs on a processor that can't really have an SSH client because it can't do the handshake quickly enough to respond within OpenSSH server's default timeout of 1 minute.
Interesting. Sounds like there's a passion project out there for a cryptographer who wants to help secure vintage computers.
The usual solution is somehow proxying through a local server, e.g. RPi in the cupboard.
Alternatively, one can accept that one's BBS browsing goes over the internet in plain text.