Unfortunately, the software used on our BBS was not Y2k compliant,
and decreasing use of the BBS made it uneconomical to upgrade. The BBS thus
closed on 31 December 1999.
The PCUG Bulletin Board
This is a big topic! We won't try to explain it all here - there really
is no substitute for just trying it out. However, here are the salient
What is a BBS?
A Bulletin Board System is a computer running some software that
allows you to ring it up and communicate with it - much as though
your keyboard at home was controlling the BBS computer, and the BBS
computer was displaying stuff on your screen at home. To do this,
you need to have appropriate hardware and software - this is described
in more detail below. For the phone numbers and so on, see the
Short for System Operator, the Sysop of a Bulletin Board is the
person who runs it, making sure that it keeps providing the service
it should. Questions about its use, or suggestions for enhancement
should be sent to the Sysop.
The primary function for most users of the Bulletin Board is its
messaging facility. The BBS lets you send and receive electronic
mail - either specific (addressed to particular people) or public
(everyone can read it and reply). Because the BBS is part of a
worldwide amateur network called FidoNet, you have this facility
worldwide - for the cost of a local phone call. Note that at this stage
FidoNet electronic mail is distinct from and incompatible with Internet
The BBS also holds thousands of files. These files are available for
download (ie., transfer to your PC at home). There is also a means
for you to share your own files with others by uploading them to the
BBS, so that others can download them.
A word of warning though - the PCUG does not allow or condone
software piracy. If you knowingly upload software for which you do
not own the copyright or for which the copyright owner does not
specifically permit such actions, you will permanently lose access
to the BBS.
Files stored on the BBS CDROMs are only accessible if you have paid
your Software Access Fee.
All PCUG Members are eligible to use the BBS at no extra cost. However,
the BBS has its own membership list and you need to tell the Sysop that
you would like access. When you first log on, you will be asked for
several details, which will be recorded. When you log off, the BBS
software will ask if you would like to leave a message to the Sysop.
Say yes and leave a message stating your full (and REAL!) name and
your membership number and ask for full access to the board. Your
request will typically be processed within one working week.
What You Need
To access the BBS, you will need a modem and appropriate cables to
connect your modem to the telephone system and to connect the modem
to your computer. The BBS supports modem speeds up to 28800 bps
(V.FAST), but does NOT support speeds slower than 1200bps. If you are
buying a new modem, the dealer will be able to advise on appropriate
cables. Note that your computer will need to have a serial port
available. If any of these terms are totally foreign to you,
contact the BBS Sysop for advice.
You will also need appropriate software. The Software Library has a
number of excellent shareware packages available and we can highly
recommend Telix. Again, if you need advice
contact the BBS Sysop.
The technical information you will need, regardless of what software
you use, is as follows:
Luckily, these are almost certainly the defaults!
1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, 28800
Your First Call
We strongly recommend that you get a knowledgeable friend to guide you
through setting up and using your communication software for the first
time. Alternatively, attend the PCUG course "Using the BBS".
Set your software up to dial the BBS phone number, then tell it to
dial. You will probably hear your modem dialling and may even hear the
BBS answer. A series of changing tones will follow, as the BBS and your
modem 'lock on'. The tones will suddenly stop, and you should see the
'CD' light on your modem light up. As long as that light is on, you are
connected to the BBS.
Wait a few seconds - the BBS will send you a welcome notice, and you
are on your way. The BBS software has very comprehensive menus, with
help available for most options.
You should probably spend your first session on the BBS 'playing
around'. We recommend that you read the bulletins first, as these
contain the latest information about developments on the BBS.
Remember - nothing you can do (short of pouring
keyboard or suchlike) can possibly harm the BBS or your computer.
Feel free to experiment. The worst that can happen is that the
connection is lost, in which case just dial up again.
There are a limited number of modems on the BBS. The most popular times
to call are between about 5.30pm and 11.00pm. If you can avoid that
period you will experience less frustration and help out those people who
can't call early in the morning or during the day.