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Choosing a Monster BBS Copyright © 1994, Gage Steele All rights reserved

What exactly IS a "Monster BBS" anyway? The definition is unclear, but

when you find one it's obvious: a large number of nodes, disk storage measured in Gigabytes rather than megabytes, and several CD ROMs.

A Monster BBS should also be well-rounded; a variety of interests

should be represented. Numerous (registered) doors, a comprehensive online chat system, many different networks, shareware distribution sites and technical support are all key examples of the well-rounded system.

 Each month we'll take a look at a different Monster BBS to help you

choose the best overall system for you.

Monster BBS: FUN University Net Software: Major BBS Main Number: (415)327-4591 Location: Menlo Park, CA SysOp(s): Wendie Established: ? Aprox. Size: 8 phone lines

           1 Gigabyte

Access Fee: 30 day free trial/$120 per year Rating: 91/100

Online Experience _

What this system lacks in files, she makes up for in style. No, there isn't a ton of leech-o-rama to be found on FUN University. So, if your download finger is itching, this ain't the one for you. However - and this is a big "however" - Prodigy (until that ZIFFNET deal) hadn't files online, either.

Ahh, Prodigy.  Funny I bring that up.  If you aren't familiar with the 

kindergarten of online services, get yourself a free startup kit, and have a look…

Then, call FUN University.  I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself more, and

spend less money doing it.

No, seriously!  The people at FUN have truly pushed RIP Graphics to the

limit. We're talking full-mouse, clickie-pointie, VGA in your face, honey. The pictures are so great (little campus-type buildings, theatre kiosks, funky little people pointing at menu selections), I almost forgot that I was on a BBS, and not some commercial enterprise (psst, Prodigy, that means you).

No more struggling to learn UNIX barebones commands just to read a few 

letters. FUN University has Usenet (Internet) feeds galore. The system is set up so well, that even in ANSI emulation, a compleat beginner should have no trouble navigating the message subs.

If real-time interaction is your thing, check out FUN's simulations.  These

aren't your average RPG Door Games. The SysOps have fashioned their sims after controversial and timely issues (gun control, abortion), taking "Role Playing" to a much higher level. Don't worry, though. None of it is presented in tiresome means. Someone over there knows how to play with metaphors. Note that FUN's simulations are billed separately.

Other key points:  Online chat across 8 nodes, DOS and MAC file areas,

puzzler games (The Stumper of the Month, Mystery of Q), and voice support.

FUN is fun.  FUN makes you think.  So, it's a little pricey, competing with

the big boys in cost. They're competing with the big boys in service, too - sometimes surpassing them. Hey, who needs those other guys, anyway?

Pros

Credit Cards accepted.
Interactive Simulations.
Internet/Usenet.
NON-IBM files available.
RIP graphics.
Auto RIP detection.
Auto RIP download.
Submenus.
UPI News Wire.
Voice Support.

Cons

Poor CPS rate in binary transfer.
Slightly expensive.
Wobbly 14.4k connection.
Finally, a system that proves BBSs deserve as much respect as any other

online service (I will not say that "P" word again, folks).

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