Category : Various Text files
Archive   : GFILES.ZIP
Filename : GOODBBS.TXT

Output of file : GOODBBS.TXT contained in archive : GFILES.ZIP
The SysOp's guide to running a really cool BBS.
Electrik Kool Aid

SysOps are a slightly eccentric breed. Often they provide an outlet for
countless computer hobbyists that is free to everyone but the SysOp. In
return they tolerate abuse of their system, receive 3:00am voice calls
from users who have forgotten their password, incur substantial expenses,
and get very little, if any, acknowledgement that they exist as anything
more than the person who writes the logon announcements.

The low cost of the required hardware, the plethora of BBS software and
the relative ease with which a BBS can be run allows many people to enter
this somewhat bizarre profession in increasingly larger numbers. Though
often SysOps come and go as the passing fancy is crushed by the first
month's phone bill, there are those who enter and stay for the long-haul.

Telecommunications activity tends to snowball. Once a critical mass is
reached, more people are using BBSes and hence more want to run one. In
any area of notable size there may be several or several hundred systems
all competing for the finite pool of users and their limited spare time.

For a humble novice-SysOp to enter the ranks of the truly-exalted old
timers of the realm, s/he must make efforts and choose options that will
make his/her BBS "really cool" and hence a place everyone wants to call.


Naming your BBS is very important. Select a name that simply drips with
the uniqueness of your board. Preferred examples include Pirate's Cove,
[YOUR NAME HERE]'s Corner, Electronic Connection, The Dungeon, Satan's
Lair, The Asylum, USS Enterprise, or anything dealing with "The Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Universe" books.

The first impression a user has of your system is the intro screen. While
geeks may choose something modest that gives the BBS name and baud rates
in one or two colors, it is essential to spend 40-50 hours using THE DRAW
to make an awesome screen that contains all the ANSI colors and several
references to all the k00l people who are your co-sysops. Long-distance
callers especially appreciate screens that take 45 to 120 seconds to draw
and no system is complete without a crude drawing of a PC with flashing
disk-access and modem lights.

Adepts of the art will also make every effort to ignore computers that do
not handle ANSI commands properly. Certain programs for the Amiga and the
Mac will lock-up tight when subjected to obscure ANSI commands - especially
those that remap the keyboard. If you, by chance, happen to have a 1200 baud
modem it is critical that you animate your intro screen showing daggers
flying through the air, and people vomiting, urinating or ejaculating.
More action is better and will demonstrate to everyone that you have no life.

Some anal-compulsives tend to feel spelling is important. It is in your
best interest to ignore these idiots and use phonetics rather than the
dictionary for your opening screen.


Truly great BBSes need to have SysOp announcements. These should be long-
winded, obscure, and non-abortable. Special consideration should be made
towards keeping the same one for 9 or 10 months. Requesting money in
exchange for special access is also highly recommended - really absurd
figures (E.G. $200) can be justified by phrases that promise to spend the
money "to improve the BBS for everyone!!!". You should grovel shamelessly
and repeatedly.

If you can't manage to come up with anything sufficiently pathetic, it is
acceptable to post "leech" lists, trivial system statistics, allow fellow
"really cool" sysops to post animated announcements for their long-distance
RADICAL WAREZ board and make slanderous attacks against other SysOps.


If you happen to solicit callers from areas that are long-distance to your
BBS, be sure and make your logon process as long and involved as possible.
Once the user spends 20 minutes answering every obscure question you can
think of, it is vital to limit their access to nothing, thereby forcing them
to call back again to see if you are "really cool".

Anyone who calls more than three times should be considered a candidate for
being a co-sysop. This gives them the ability to crash your system and
lets half the user list see all the obscure data you have collected from the
other half. Be sure that home phone numbers are prominently displayed.
Anyone who calls your BBS will be more than happy to give free technical
advice at 6:00am on Saturday morning. Female callers should also have
their numbers made publicly available. Any real woman would "want it"
from a 14 year-old stud such as yourself - call her up at 3:00 am and tell
her what you have for her.

Keeping your callers under an iron fist is very important. Chastise them
repeatedly for playing games, downloading too much, or not posting messages.
The more you bitch, the more likely they are to see the error in their ways
and adhere to your policies. Though many geek sysops also use these methods,
a "really cool" sysop will make threats like "If you guys don't start posting
like right now I'm going to close the file section and we wouldn't want that
now would we?" All BBS users like to be treated like children and thrive on
these type of omniscient warnings.


All "really cool" BBSes have "war boards" where people can post messages
they would never dare say face-to-face if conversing with a real human
being. It is important to pick a scapegoat for this area and hound him
mercilessly. Make the messages anonymous so that only your co-sysops
know most of the truly spirited wars are simply you writing obscene notes
to yourself.

Once you have a thriving war board, turn every sub into a war board and
bitch at the geeks who might want to talk about computers or politics or
something equally stupid - especially if they should start a good debate
about the federal budget (or something intelligent), on your "Movie" sub.

If your BBS software happens to have special codes that display a user's
own data, (E.G. MCI codes) be sure and make five or ten messages per week
advertising the RADICAL PARTY!!!!!!!!!!! to be held at the user's address.
Watching someone fall for this the 4,219th time is just as funny as it was
the first time...

Successful boards have as many message areas as the software will allow.
Break each and every topic down into it's own area. For example, "Sports"
can be broken down into "Football", "Baseball", "Soccer", "Tennis", "Ping-
Pong", "Hockey", "Volleyball", "Rugby", "Basketball", "Curling", and "Water
Polo". Introduce every base with the obligatory "This Hockey sub is for
people who like hockey. Post your comments about hockey here" message.


Filez should be the heart of your board.

Special "elite" file areas should be set aside so that leeches may upload
half the required files to the latest warez. If by chance some weirdo
happens to upload something valuable, (E.G. all the disks to AutoCAD,
Turbo C++, Wordperfect, etc) delete it to make room for Air Jordan's One-
on-One Basketball - thereby saving yourself $20.


Really cool SysOps need to post the same message on every BBS in town at
least twice a week. Special attention should be paid to making involved
screens using high-ASCII characters that will not print correctly on
other systems. For example, ÍÍÍÍÍ (the horizontal box line) will show
up as MMMMM on PC-board and Wildcat! systems. Since you don't read the
messages on other systems, you wouldn't know that if I hadn't told you...


As in all things, there comes a time when the really cool BBS must end.
This could be because of the expense, moving, or boredom. If you are in
a network, it is vital that you simply turn off the phone line and never
mention your closing to anyone - including the guy who has been holding
4 megs of netmail for you the last three weeks. What a dweeb.

If you are running a non-network system, simply turn off the computer and
yell obscene comments into the phone anytime someone happens to call.

Though you are no longer a SysOp, be sure and request "visiting sysop"
privileges on every board you call for the next several years.


I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to all those teenagers who have attempted
to run a BBS on their paper route earnings. Though some have done a credible
job with very little money, others have made calling their systems an bizarre
experience I won't soon forget. Their dedication (all three weeks) and extra
special attention to ANSI detail have made my journey through the world of
BBSing a truly mirth-filled part of my daily life.

It is inevitable that many people are going to become extremely annoyed over
this "thesis". I seem to get more and more hatred E-mailed at me each and
every time, but life is short and all I can propose to those who feel wounded
is that if we can not laugh at ourselves, someone else will do it for us.

Please address non-lethal comments to me, and complaints to 1@18407.

Excuse me while I slip into my asbestos suit...

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : GFILES.ZIP
Filename : GOODBBS.TXT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: