Houston's (almost) only dial-up BBS in 2009!!!

HOURS 11 pm - 8 a.m. CST
300/9600/14400/28800/33600 BAUD

If you ever owned a 8086, 286, or 386 PC and used DOS or Win 3.1 and a modem no faster than 14,600 baud you undoubtedly remember the good ol' dial up BBS's (bulletin board systems) of yesteryear. If you're from the Ipod generation, you'll probably have no idea what this page is about.

They heyday of the dial-up BBS was from around the late 80's until around the mid 90's. Most were privately owned, and hobbies by their owners, known as 'sysops' or system operators, and were a labor of love. Each telephone line, or 'node' that a user would dial in on required it's own modem, and needless to say a multinode system required considerable time and expense to set up and maintain.

This began to rapidly change in the years 1993 to around 1995 as the internet became mainstream and grew in popularity, and as PC's became more affordable, and grew in CPU performance and memory - whereas Houston Texas, for example, had around 1,000 BBS's at one time, by the late 90's, they were all but extinct.

Local dial-up BBS's had a real sense of community. Whereas the internet is global, and often impersonal, most BBS enthusiasts would dial a local number, exchange files, chat live, and post messages with others in their community - perhaps even meeting in person for local events and activities - develop close friendships - or whatever.

As the internet thrived, the local BBS became a dinosaur, but such is "progress". Unfortuneatly, along with all the good things the internet has to offer, this "progress" has lead to the state of the internet today, virus', spam, malware, misleading and downright deceitful commercial ventures - one has to really be careful in the year 2009 on the 'internet'.

So why, you might ask yourself, in the age of blackberries, iPods, high speed internet and streaming videos would I set up a BBS?

Several reasons actually. One, curiosity, I was never a 'sysop' back in the day, so to speak, but I was very active in the days of the BBS. Secondly, I have a phone line and a computer with a modem at my disposal, and began to experiment with some of the old DOS BBS software.

Mainly though, it's for a friend with a hearing disability, called Menierres disease - and voice phone conversations are all but impossible at times. So, I gave her an old laptop and set up this BBS - we'll see how it goes.

Of course the system is open to all - already I have a few users signed in, not only from around Houston, but other various cities in the U.S.

Right now the system doesn't have a lot to offer other than the message bases and a few files, but I welcome and encourage anyone who is interested to call in and check it out.



Pentium 120 mhz
16 megs RAM
33.6K Rockwell ISA modem


DOS 6.22

DIAL IN: 713-728-3245
300 BAUD - 33.6 K BAUD
HOURS: 11 PM to 8 AM CST

Matt Gilbert

westburian (at) yahoo.com

this page last updated June 5, 2009

an early IBM 8086 PC

an IBM 286 PC

Radio Shacks 386