In 1986 we were one of the very first commercial platforms to be using The Major BBS. Having invested heavily in state of the art equipment at the time, we were able to offer access to the ancestor of what we know as the internet today.
People could dial in from the privacy of their own homes with a personal computer, a modem and a regular phone line and they could access a world of information, games and people.
They could spend hours in chat rooms or playing online games with other users. They could also have access to thousands of shareware files for their home computers.
- Due to a limitation of the 16-bit architecture of MS-DOS, Major BBS was limited to a maximum of 255 incoming lines (plus one ‘local console’). In practice, it was extremely difficult to scale to this level due to the 16MB RAM limitation of the Phar Lap 286 memory extender in use, as well as the physical limitations on connecting 255 modems to a single computer.
At the time this was a huge undertaking that required state of the art hardware. Servers with 16MB of RAM and cache-card HDD controllers with 4MB of RAM and a i286 processor on board, Galactibox multiplexer boxes with 16 internal modems in each one all connected to one smart card in the server.
Our system had 100 phone lines and functionned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users could join for as little as $10/month and use the system for an unlimited amount of time.
This venture led to our involvement as an early ISP (Internet Service Provider) when the World Wide Web came to everyone’s living room.
In fact the BBS is still operational to this day nearly 30 years later. You can access it for fun by using Putty and using the connection type – telnet to this address: 22.214.171.124