Today, BBSing survives largely as a nostalgic hobby in most parts of the world, but it is still an extremely popular form of communication for Taiwanese youth see PTT Bulletin Board System. The introduction of the Smartmodem led to the first real wave of BBS systems. In comparison, BBS systems relied on a direct point-to-point connection, so even dialing multiple local systems required multiple phone calls. Only larger BBSes with multiple phone lines using specialized hardware, multitasking software, or a LAN connecting multiple computers, could host multiple simultaneous users. A precursor to the public bulletin board system was Community Memorystarted in August in Berkeley, California. The Smartmodem could pick up the phone, dial numbers, and hang up again, all without any operator intervention. Similar functionality was available to most mainframe users, which might be considered a sort of ultra-local BBS when used in this fashion. Bulletin Board Systems could be found for almost every hobby and interest. An industry standard technology called NAPLPS was also considered, and although it became the underlying graphics technology behind the Prodigy serviceit never gained popularity in the BBS market.
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Common themes were based on fantasyor were intended to give the user the illusion of being somewhere else, such as in a sanatoriumwizard's castle, or on a pirate ship. This allowed commands to be sent to and from the modem using the same data pins as all the rest of the data, meaning it would work on any system that could support even the most basic modems.
One example was the Remote Imaging Protocolessentially a picture description system, which remained relatively obscure.
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As the volume of FidoNet Mail increased and newsgroups from the early days of the Internet became available, satellite data downstream services became viable for larger systems. Since most early BBSes were run by computer hobbyists, they were typically technical in topic, with user communities revolving around hardware and software discussions.
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Many SysOps also adopted a theme in which they customized their entire BBS welcome screens, prompts, menus, and so on to reflect that theme.
Today, BBSing survives largely as a nostalgic hobby in most parts of the world, but it is still an extremely popular form of communication for Taiwanese youth see PTT Bulletin Board System.
A number of modems of this sort were available by the late s. Views Read Edit View history.
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FidoNet was platform-independent and would work with any BBS that was written to use it.