Frederic Cambus

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The future of BBSes?

· BBS

Despite the fact I'm still using a lot of text-based applications, I have to confess I've not been using Telnet BBSes much lately. Actually, one of the last time I really enjoyed BBSing again was almost a decade ago.

In December 2004, soon after moving to Australia, I downloaded a Fidonet nodelist from an Internet cafe and tried to find dialup BBS numbers in what was then my local area (Brisbane, QLD). Surprisingly, I found one answering (Far Northern News) and connected on a regular basis while waiting for my DSL connection to be installed. And that was it. Even today, information overload and "always on" Internet connections do not leave any time for enjoying telnet BBSes.

Lately though, I've been using my smartphone more and more to read text-only sites like Hacker News, Lamer News, Lobsters and my own Echo JS. And it makes sense, fast loading times and text layouts are the ideal combination on mobiles. So I've been thinking, why not trying to use BBSes again on my phone? On an Android device, with the avalaibility of virtual keyboards allowing access to ESC, Control, and arrows keys (such as "Hacker's Keyboard"), it becomes a reality.

An Android phone connected to "The Deadline", an oldschool French BBS:

Mobile BBSing

Pushing the reflexion further, what about running BBSes on smartphones?