Introduction: Get Back to BBS'ing!!
Back in the day, before the internet was a thing called BBSs, or Bulletin Board Systems. These places were somewhere you could go to by using your computer and a phone line. You could chat with other users online, play games, post messages in distinct message bases, in hopes of getting answers. Topics of conversation usually revolved around what was going on locally, as most callers were local to the area. MUDs (Multi-User-Dungeons) were very popular, as you could play text-based games in real time with other players. Imagine playing Zork, only with a few others online in the caves with you. Casting spells, fighting orcs, etc. Fun times indeed! Well, BBS's never died. The games never stopped being developed, and there is a resurgence in popularity with people calling BBS's to discover the fun they used to have. I've made this Instructable to get those who are interested in wanting to get back on a BBS without using their phone lines but using Telnet.
Step 1: SyncTERM (or Your Choice)
Being able to access the Telnet portion of the Internet requires a small program. One of my favorites is one called SyncTERM. It displays all the colorful ANSI's as good as they get. Open up a web browser, and head to:
http://www.syncterm.net/. Click on the waving flag to download the archived program. This will open up a page on the Sourceforge website https://sourceforge.net/projects/syncterm/files/latest/download and begin to download the file. Open the file by clicking on the downloaded file.
Step 2: Installation
Allow the program to install, as Windows will pop-up the usual warning sign. Install as normal. By default, the program doesn't install a desktop icon, so tick the box if you do. Finish the install and start the program.
Step 3: Default Directory
The program will launch with a directory of BBS's that may or may not be currently running. We need to add one (or more) systems to the directory
Step 4: INSert Key
Press the INSert key on your keyboard to insert a new telnet site. I'll use the CNetBBS site known as Future World 2 as the example of inserting a new BBS. In the pop-up window, type: Future World 2 and hit enter.
Step 5: More Configuring
After hitting Return (or Enter) to enter the name of the Telnet site, you are offered a new window. Press the down arrow twice to change the connection type to Telnet, and hit Enter.
Step 6: Adding Telnet Address
The next pop-up is a bar asking for the address. The address for Future World 2 is:
Type that in and hit Enter
Step 7: Change That PORT!
Most Telnet ports used to access port 23. This became the default port to use, bu the port has become over-run with spammy robots So most BBS's change the default port. The port number is the last part of the Telnet address, which specifies which port is open on your network to allow traffic. To change this, you will notice that the directory has added Future World 2 to the list. To edit this, press the F2 button on your keyboard. Then on the next screen, arrow down to Telnet port. Change the default setting of to 6800 by hitting Enter and adding the numbers. Hit Enter again to accept the change in port number, and then hit ESCape to return to the main directory.
Step 8: And Off You Go!
When you hit Enter on the highlighted entry in the directory, SyncTERM will attempt to establish a connection to the BBS. Once it has connected, follow the onscreen prompts to make a new account! Congratulations! You have successfully connected with a BBS! There are hundreds of them all over the world, with each and every one of them looking as differently as they can to include different games (or doors) to play. The last screen shot is of a Multiplayer User Dungeon (MUD) known as Luminari. A game I frequent daily on a different BBS known as aBSiNTHE. The address is absinthebbs.net with the port number of 1940. Access these sites (along with mine scbbs.ddns.net port 6400). See you online!