Frequently Asked Questions

As this BBS list is starting to grow in popularity, I'm getting an awful lot of questions which I usually have to respond to rather incompletely. Most of these questions deserve more attention and will be answered here as well. Don't hestitate to mail me (jason at textfiles dot com) if you have further need for information.

I get an awful lot of mail from people who are lucky enough to live in wonderful, exotic and in some cases distant locations (to me) who want to know why I'm building this big list and leaving other countries out. The simple fact is, it's killing me enough to just keep track of North America, which is the only place I called, and I wrote all my scripts to think of things in North American area codes. As I'm striving to make this list as accurate as possible, I can't be adding lots of numbers from countries I don't even know, and being completely unable to know the layout of the country's phone system, or, for that matter, speak the language the country speaks.

I invite anyone who knows a specific country to ask me for copies of my scripts to do work in, and they can take care of a country. Over time, as I get a better grip on these BBS numbers, I will probably expand to the United Kingdom and Australia, two countries I happen to have some knowledge of. But the field is wide open for now. I'm only one person!

Oh, goodness. Please stop feeling sorry for yourself. I got the vast majority of these BBS numbers from BBS lists from the 1990's. I had FidoNet Nodelists to work with (mostly selections from a given year) and I still have dozens of lists lying around to sort through. If you weren't on one of these (or on them for very long) then I didn't have your info up yet. But you know, you could save me the trouble of tracking down all the info about you that you know by heart by mailing me the following information:

Name of your BBS.
Your Name, the Sysop, including any handles.
Your Phone Number (VITAL)
The Software your BBS Ran.
The Years of Operation, to the nearest Year.

Additionally, you have something that I will NEVER get off ANY BBS list I find: Your Story. Send me photos of your BBS, your history with the BBS, the times you had, the people you knew. I'll find a way to get it on the list, even if I have to give you a separate page to do it!

No one's excluding you here. This is one club and list you're guaranteed to be welcome on. Send me your information.

Yes, one of the side effects of the way the list was set up was that the area codes as they CURRENTLY are (21st Century) were used as the guides, not as they were in the 20th Century. I have technical ways I can deal with this, and make the towns more accurate, etc. Rest assured, I am aware that not every BBS in 617 was located in Boston, and not every BBS in 206 was in Seattle, etc. This is what happens when you look back at 25 years and go "Let's make a list.".

Yes, that's very likely the case. This is the weirdest question and/or complaint I get; the BBS List will only show the years that the BBS has been verified as being up. That means that when it was yanked from a BBS list or set of BBS lists, only the year that that BBS comes from was added. This is the safest way to avoid giving a BBS a timespan way longer than it actually existed.

I welcome corrections of the timespan, but please, include the phone number of the BBS you're talking about! If you say "The Tower BBS" or even "The Tower in 681", I won't be able to get to it as quickly as if you gave me the full number.

About a dozen Perl and Bourne shell scripts, dozens of BBS Lists culled from the net, donations, and my collection, and an almost single-minded devotion to saving the past. My friends can't stand how I won't shut up about it.