A Little History

After my Commodore days in the late 80's I decided to go with an IBM Clone as they were called. I bought a Magnavox 286 PC with a whopping 40 meg hard drive. It didn't have a sound card or a cdrom (they where not a thing yet). I believe it had a 2400 baud modem though. After finding the BBS world in Kingsbay, GA I bought a 386 and with a friend set up a BBS using Telegard. I called it The Darkside, my handle being Garib, a character in a story I had written. Of course I purchased quite a few door games and made that the basis for my BBS. I was in the Navy which require me to move a lot. My time in Georgia with the BBS was short maybe a year or so.

I was transferred to a submarine in the shipyard at Norfolk, VA. I ran the BBS for about six months while the ship was in drydock. After we came out of the shipyard the sub transferred to San Deigo where I spent around another three years on the submarine. Kind of hard to run a BBS when you're not always there. I did get it online a couple of times, but mostly just called other people's BBS's.

In 1992 I was transferred to Charleston, SC. I was able to set my system up again. This time I decided to go multi-node. Having experienced so many BBS's with some form of "Dark Side" as their name I decided to change my system name to The Fool's Quarter. I also changed software to RemoteAccess and networked three 486 computers together with Lantastic 7, still have all those discs... RemoteAccess allowed my BBS to have two call-in nodes and one local node. I paid to have a dedicated phone line for one of the nodes the other one used a ComShare device with my main phone line. Every night I had a batch file to run the door game maintenance files and then shut off the bbs. I had another sytem using a X-10 module that would cycle the outlets and turn the computers off and back on, booting into the BBS. This would reset any hang ups if I was working the graveyard shift. It was amazing how many people lined up right after midnight to call.

After the Internet took over I purchased a four node version of Wildcat hoping to set up a telnet BBS. But my time was up in Charleston and I was being moved to Guam. I didn't really wish to move a ton of computers there so I just let it set.

In 2012 I found Synchronet and set my system up again. Dusting off my old door game files and set up the system. It was fun seeing it all up and running again. I think I had it up for about four months when the hard drive crashed and I put it away again.

Finally with all the free time in 2020 I found another computer, downloaded the current version of Synchronet and set it up again. Connecting to Dovenet and Fidonet and BBSLink it was enjoyable to set it up again. I had initally set the system up on a WindowsXP machine not realizing it would run on Windows10 32 bit. I stole my computer out of the garage, reloaded windows as 32 bit and moved everything over. I could not get some of my older games to run under that version of Synchronet, so I gave Gamesrv a try. It seemed to work seemlessly. I ran it on the same computer as Synchronet just RLogin from one area to the next. With Synchronet 3.19b I was able to get it to run all my old games correctly so I stopped using Gamesrv and just run them directly from the BBS software. Gamesrv is an excellent stand alone game server if you just want to play door games without setting up a BBS.

Now that it was getting more serious I dug through my old computer stuff, I have so much stuff. I might even have a slight horder problem there, I found many registration files and disks, some I didn't remember. Even a 5-1/4 floppy set for The Pit. It's amazing how many old registered games I found as I was rummaging through those old boxes.

A couple of the games were difficult to setup. Using a program called Moslo I was able to slow the computer down enough to run a game called Falkenpede. Yankee Traders had some special steps to get it to run correctly. Solar Realms Elite had a Year 2000 bug and I had to run the setup on my dos machine and move it over. Caribbean Contraband, one of my favorites wouldn't run, it turned out I had to use the dorinfo1.def drop file and not the door.sys. But that is what I like about running the BBS, it's a challenge.