Friday, May 16, 2008

Tips on Starting Your Own BBS

Tips on Starting Your Own BBS
Written by Pazuzu - November 11, 1993
(C) Copyright 1993 Digital News Associates

Most people, after they've been calling out for a while, eventually come to
the decision that they should start their own BBS. The allure of running
your own board is very strong - you dream of the immense power you'll have to
delete anyone on a whim, to create your own virtual city on-line for people
to call into and live for a few minutes (or hours) each day. However, few
people realize the immense amount of time it takes to set up, configure, and
run a BBS. Having been a SysOp for a number of years, I feel I am qualified
to give a few tips on how to create a successful BBS.

There are a lot of things one must consider when starting a system - what
software to run, what to name the system, what types of files and message
areas to have and so on and so on. One of the most important things about
your system is the name. If you have a lame name, people are going to think
your system is lame (unless you're a CdC site...). Try to avoid generic
names. There are probably about 50,000 bulletin board systems in the U.S.
alone, and I think about 80% of them have very generic names. You should of
course choose a name that is reflective in some way of your system's content
- a good reason why my system is named "DnA Systems, Inc.". Anything with
"Dark" in it is OUT. In my 11 or so years of modeming I have seen so many
"Dark Realm"s, "Dark World"s, etc, to make me want to vomit. BE ORIGINAL!
Or at least try. Also try to avoid using names of famous BBS's of the past.
Especially Cemetary Gates. Cemetary Gates was a HUGE board back in the
mid-80's to early-90's. EVERYONE who has been out here for any length of
time has heard of it and we're all sick of everyone copying its name. This
also includes adding a "II" to the end of the name like "The Drop Site II" or
"Louder Than Bombs II" - this is even worse than just copying the name.

Of course, you must also decide what software to run. The sheer number of
BBS packages available today is insane and it can be very hard to pick one.
You must first consider what features you require and then find out which
softwares have those features. Configurability is also a big issue. You want
to be able to make the BBS look and function the exact way you want it to and
you don't want to spend six years doing so. Networking support is also very
important - if you want to join WWiVNet (goD forbid!), running a forum hack
would be very stupid. It would be totally impossible to go over every
package available, but I shall try to cover the major ones, at least for
MS-DOS systems anyhow.

There are basically three "families" of BBS software out there - The WWiV
hacks and work-a-likes, Forum hacks (1,000's of them), and PCBoard
/ RBBS / Wildcat work-a-likes.

The WWiV hacks/work-a-likes are quite numerous. There is of course WWiV
itself (DO NOT run WWiV), then there's Telegard, TAG, Renegade, Dominions,
and Synchronet. NO, Synchronet IS NOT a WWiV hack (I HAVE the source.), but
it looks a lot like it. Telegard and Renegade are quite similar (well, since
Renegade is a Telegard hack I wonder why?). They add a menu editor to the
system so you can make the BBS do whatever you like whenever whatever key is
pressed. Dominions is a Telegard hack with not very much changed. I run
Renegade and like it a lot. It does basically everything, and you can
configure it to look like whatever you want. Synchronet costs quite a bit of
money so you'll probably want to stay away from that unless you can pirate it
from somewhere.

The Forum hacks are extremely numerous and they all look the same in the end.
Included are: Vision, Vision/2, VisionX, Liquid (bugs, bugs, bugs), Oblivion,
Celerity (or CELERY as I like to call it), and about 100,000,000 more that I
can't think of right now. There are LOTS. There isn't much to distinguish one
from the other, except the bug level. Liquid is by far the worst I've seen.
Stay away from it unless you are a hardcore masochist. Setting up Fido-type
nets (such as CyberCrime and DnANeT) on forum hacks is notoriously tricky, so
you may want to avoid them if you plan on being in any fido-type nets.

The PCBoard/Wildcat/RBBS/Etc family are utterly hideous and most people I
know won't even CALL a board running them. The message base operation on
these abominations is utterly horrid and the person that invented it should
be flogged. Avoid these softwares like the plague.

After you pick a software, you've got to configure it to the way you want it.
DO NOT run a BBS "out-of-the-box". It looks really lame, and people will
notice right off that you haven't spent any time setting up your system and
aren't likely to call very often. It can be very difficult to set up a BBS,
but the time spent is well worth it. You've got to change prompts and menus,
set up logon and newuser info files, create message and file areas, and
things like that.

You've also got to come up with a "hook" - something that makes your system
different from the billion other systems out there. Mine is the unusual
combination of phreak/hack/virus/etc, conspiracy/legal/political info, and
the occult. It's an unusual combo that many people like, and keep calling
for. It's also one a lot of people have imitated. One I've never seen done
is pirated software and good phreak/hack stuff, without the board becoming
involved in the 0.1 second warezzzzz set. I'd like to see someone pull it

The issue of nets is a big one these days - it seems EVERY system is in one
net or the other. The big problem with nets is that some systems get onto a
net, then become "a netnode". There's nothing to the system but the net. This
is something you want to avoid. If people are calling your system only for
the net, you've got some changes to make. Now, I'm not knocking nets - they
can be great - I'm on 4 of 'em myself. But choose them carefully and DO NOT
allow yourself to become a slave of the net. Most nets these days are of the
Fido-standard variety - a complicated subject for most people. There isn't a
single doc file in existence that attempts to help the fido novice understand
how to set up and run on a fido-type net. Until now, that is. Read my article
on the subject in this issue of DnA BEFORE you set yourself up on one of
these nets. I am SICK of SysOps who can't figure out how to run their mailer,
who make the net coordinator set it up for them, then GO DOWN when something
weird happens with their mailer or echo processor. My article will explain
all you need to know.

Once you get your board up, you've got to advertise. This is usually in the
form of posts on boards you call, or on a net. There is a great rule that N
Sult once told me (you may know him as D-Tox of ACiD, he's long gone now...)
*BECOME* THAT QUALITY. This is a great rule to live by. Always try to
advertise your system on systems of a quality YOU'D like your system to
achieve, then people will think you are, and hence your system will become
that quality. So, if you want your system to be the next big name in the p/h
world, advertising it on your local clone of the "Streetfighter II BBS" (WHY

Well, once you've got your system up, advertised it, and got people calling,
you're pretty much set. Running the system on a day-to-day basis isn't as bad
as most people make it out to be. Sure, you've got to validate new users (and
delete the idiots), make sure posts are of sufficient quality and on-topic,
make sure files get uploaded to the right directories (WHY THE HELL DO SO
so on.

Good luck to you.

>> EOF <<

i am not liable for any criminal or bad thing which you have done using this message and document. i am giving here for the educational purpose and care should be taken from your side before using this document and please get a written permission from the person before hacking or doing some thing in the network or system.This document is intended for judicial or educational purposes. I don't want to promote computer crime and I'm not responible of your actions in any way. If you want to hack a computer, do the decent thing and ask for permission first.
please read and use this for useful purpose only to protect the systems and information from the bad people. always seek permission from the system owner or who ever responcible for the system by written and then go ahead. Give a full report with honestly to the person or company about your experiments and findings from the system. Always Do Good Think Good and Belive Good.

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