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"BBSing in L.A -Yes, it's quite different from here [Santa Barbara], mainly because most boards are specialized–there are Commodore boards, Apple boards, Atari boards, CP/M boards, IBM boards; gaming boards, ham radio boards, dating boards, etc. There is no board that I have seen that even remotely resembles the Enterprize, Empire, Citadel, Stonehenge, or what have you. Most users rarely call more than one board, and the ones who do are usually only on a certain group of boards. There is a heavy segregation of users… while here in S.B. there seems to be a BBS melting pot. "

  1. - Danny Howell, Enterprize BBS, 06-Apr-87

My first contact with BBS's anywhere was in Summer 1985, at a Santa Barbara Apple Users Group meeting, at a computer store (long defunct) in Loreto Plaza. As part of a demonstration, we dialed into the Citadel, Noah's Ark, and Father John's Place (q.v.).

Later that year, and throughout 1986 I had limited access to the local boards, by using a borrowed NEC 8216 laptop computer (with built-in modem). In early 1987, I was able to set up my own system (a TI-99/4a, limited to 300 baud) for calling BBS's.

I left the Santa Barbara area in Summer 1987, and returned to Los Angeles, but I still continued to call Bowhead Whale, and occasionaly other SB boards, until mid-1989 or so. This is a listing of the the BBS's that were active in Santa Barbara during 1985-1987, when I was there. No phone numbers are given because almost all of these systems are now defunct. However, each system is listed with its sysop and/or software (if known) in parentheses.

If anyone has any corrections, or additional historical information to add to this document, please let me know.

- Charles P. Hobbs

[ed. note: Please let me know, too.]

SB BBS's of special note

These were the systems that I called regularly in 1985-1987 and that seemed to have the most consistent activity.

* The Citadel (Tom "Toad" Marazita, Citadel) The quintessential SB BBS. Extremely popular and busy, with many message bases. Terminated operations in Summer 1986.

1. Bowhead Whale (Bob Blaylock, Citadel/Stonehenge) Where most of the SB BBS conversational activity went after Citadel shut down. Great message bases, some files.

2. Enterprize (Barry Boone and others, Custom software) Another good conversational board (no file section). This is where the first known BIFF attack took place. There was at least one major disagreement ("Enteprize-gate") among the sysops of this board around early April 87.

3. Heechee Board/Macross City ("Oreo Cat"-Jim Lick, Stonehenge) Again, mostly message bases, with good selection of files (including Mac graphics). Somewhat younger, more free-wheeling crowd than Bowhead or Enterprize

4. Programmer's Shack (Joi Thompson, Fidonet) Fidonet board, but only occasionally received echomail. Good file section (IBM, Apple, ASCII text files and pictures) though.

5. Oxgates (two systems: one in Santa Barbara and one in Goleta) These two CP/M based BBS's required mail-in registration for access, but offered a reasonable selection of downloads (CP/M and IBM mostly)

6. Compucations (Craig Lindstrom, BBS-PC, then Citadel) Operated on C64, then Amiga. One of the first known BBS's anywhere to offer Internet e-mail (in 1987, via UCSB VAX system).

Other experiments included networked C64's Good discussions, small file sections due to no hard drive.

7. Noah's Ark (TBBS) Had discussion sections on birds and animals, but was most noted for its file section. (and strict download ratios!)

B. Other SB BBS systems (I called these less frequently, if at all.)

8. System Royale Unstable CP/M board (crashed a lot with "Bdos Error on B" type messages). It operated for only a few weeks in 1986 and, again in 1987

9. Minas Tirith/Infinity's Edge ("The Omega"/"The Vision", a.o, Applenet) "Private" system, difficult for most users to get validated on. . .

10. The Wimp (Jim Patchell) Great political discussions, but no new-users allowed!

11. The Beast Atari software for download, message bases

12. Father John's Place Religious board with good discussions (1986)

13. The Breadbasket Another religious board (1987). Featured an overzealous "cussing filter" that replaced such words as "balls" with asterisks (even if you were talking about plural convex spheroids). . .

14. Quark (Howard Owen, BBS-PC) Amiga board started up in 1987.

15. ECO BBS Another Fidonet board started in late 1987. Named after the sysop's late Springer Spaniel (Any connection with current ECO BBS?)

16. Third Eye 300 baud. Attempted to emphasize quality discussions, as opposed to file transfers.

17. Empire 18. Sanctuary IBM and/or Atari boards with discussion bases, D&D games and file transfers.

19. Backdoor 20. The Trap 21. Guru's Hookah Commodore-64 boards of varying quality. At least one of these displayed "If you don't have at least ten new C-64 games, hang up now!" at signon.

22. Digital Dungeon (Glen Heinz, Custom software) Started in Summer '87. For a while, networked with a board (of the same name) in Los Angeles.

23. UCSB Fido (Pete Gontier?, Fidonet) Operated for a short time in mid-1986. No direct affiliation w/UCSB.

24. Tri-Tec Center (Conrad Weiler?) Operated by Santa Barbara City College, or a division thereof.

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