1980s BBSes return from the dead

Vintage computing hobbyists are resurrecting lost digital communities and running some on their original 8-bit hardware.

The technology is based around Raspberry Pi and TCPser (which emulates a Hayes modem for Telnet connections).

One runs the original software on a decades-old Commodore 128DCR. Another routes telnet connections across a real telephone circuit that connects to a Hayes modem.

According to Ars Technica, Dura-Europos BBS is back in business after nearly 23 years using an Apple IIe running its original GBBS Pro software, a modern CFFA3000 compact flash drive, and a Raspberry Pi running TCPser.

It can be found at dura-bbs.net, using port 6359.  The rise of the World Wide Web and the demise of protocols that came before it killed off a lot of the BBSes.

Owners of older 8-bit machines had little reason to maintain their hardware as their userbase migrated to the open pastures of the Web, and the number of bulletin board systems plummeted.

But some sysops never quite gave up on the BBS and like to dial in to the BBS using a domain name and port number instead of a phone number in their preferred terminal software.

Besides the old games, there are conversation threads dating back decades were available verbatim like a buried digital time capsule.

It is rather popular because it is fairly private, and is considered pretty much a techies wet dream.