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Macintosh Bulletin Board Systems


Macintosh Bulletin Board Systems

Remember FirstClass, ResNova, Telefinder and other Mac-based BBS software systems?

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Mar 16, 2015

Discussion Forum

Favorite Macintosh BBSs

Started by VannBaker Feb 15, 2009.

Comment Wall

Comment by VannBaker on February 15, 2009 at 1:03pm
Computer Bulletin Boards were a big part of the early Macintosh experience and while I did spend a lot of time on Compuserve, GEnie, early AOL and numerous WildCat systems, I loved BBS systems running Macintosh software, and I ran my own BBS called Pathways for a few years using FirstClass server and client software.

While I love the Internet, I do miss the BBSes of old, and the familiar modem "handshaking", but I don't miss the per minute long-distance charges and slow downloading.
Comment by Derek on February 15, 2009 at 1:35pm
Yes, I remember! The Revelation BBS was one of the largest FirstClass systems in western Canada at one point. About a thousand users and six phone lines, all served up from a IIsi (then a IIfx) with a Hurdler quad serial card. (I actually found one of these babies recently along with four hardware-handshaking serial cables, all sealed in their anti-static bags.)

For the past few years, I've found myself administering FirstClass systems at work. Nobody can figure out why I'm so nostalgic about such a horrible system. :-)

I do remember trying out a few ResNova boards. On a 2400bps modem, the experience was almost unbearable. I'd love to know more about how it worked under the hood.

Strangely enough, a vendor that RMC mentioned still sells and supports TeleFinder:

I also remember Hermes being a great ANSI graphics-driven BBS package, though I could never figure out why anyone bothered to write such a thing for the Mac.

The guy who wrote FirstClass continues to develop FirstClass Server to this very day.

I wonder what happened to authors of these other systems...
Comment by VannBaker on February 15, 2009 at 4:33pm
FYI . . . You can still get Hermes which will run on Macs through OS 9.2 . . . I am tempted to install this on a Beigh G3 Mini Tower I have that needs to be put to work.

And I have thought about reviving my old FirstClass system, but I am not sure if there is a Client to let it work with OS X.

What I think is cool is that it had much of what AOL had in the early 1990s: chat, file attachments, email, private/public groups.

It was a pain to backup and restore when things went wrong, as I am sure you know!
Comment by Derek on February 15, 2009 at 6:00pm
FirstClass is still being sold today, so there is indeed a client. What version of the server did you have? I can grab an older client for you if you like.

I never cared much for AOL's look and feel, though RMC episode #53 has an interview with the creators of eWorld and they talk about some of their connections with AOL.

It's nice to see Hermes is still being developed (sort of). :)
Comment by Kendall Seabury on August 30, 2009 at 10:31am
maybe one of us should make a bulletin board and we can a dial into it :D
Comment by Christopher on September 4, 2009 at 4:27pm
well you can set one up using Hermes and access it via the internet using any telnet client. all you need is to set up a redirection using something like Dyndns
which is free to setup. it's quite doable as I set it up under OS.9.2.2 on my local
network at home but did not get as far as connecting it over the internet. This will be the next thing to test.
Comment by DaveW on September 4, 2014 at 3:44pm

I am curious if there is any Mac BBS that will work with the ax.25 protocol that is in use with amateur packet radio.  I know PC software like FBB has been adapted to work with it but don't think standard BBS would work.

Comment by Bill Kochman on March 15, 2015 at 6:33pm

Greetings. Thanks for accepting my membership here. I discovered your board yesterday while searching with Google. I was very happy to discover a discussion group called "Macintosh Bulletin Board Systems", because to be honest, I have felt like a fish out of water.

That's because I've spent the past few days surfing the web, looking for Macintosh-based and Macintosh-oriented, telnet-accessible BBSes.

Just yesterday, I downloaded the March 2015 edition of The BBS Corner's "The Telnet & Dial-Up BBS Guide". To my amazement, out of a list of about 350 or so telnet-accessible BBSes on the list, not one single one of them was a Macintosh BBS. My fellow Mac users will understand how I feel.

We are really a dying breed it seems. In fact, for all I know, I may possibly be the only Macintosh SysOp left!

Let me share some of my personal BBS history with you. I have been running my Macintosh-based BBS on and off since early 1994. Well, guess what? About two weeks ago, I put my BBS back online again, after struggling with setting up both the SheepShaver and Basilisk emulators under Yosemite. I now have both emulators installed, and my Hermes II BBS is once again available for anyone who may be interested.

In fact, just a few days ago I compiled the latest Hermes II source code -- 3.5.11 -- from the GitHub website, and I dare say that I am now the only one who is running Hermes II 3.5.11. It was a challenge to compile it, until I received help from Michael Alyn Miller, who is the current owner of Hermes II, and its most recent developer.

Anyway, if you are interested in the history of my BBS, please visit its official home page here:

If you would like to learn how to compile the latest version of Hermes II yourself, using SheepShaver under Yosemite, please go here:

Finally, if you actually want to telnet to my BBS, then use my static IP address in the Mac OS X Terminal:


In conclusion, it would certainly be great if there were more Macintosh SysOps around. Let's not let this ancient tech go quietly into the night without a fight. Maybe I will be the last man -- or Macintosh SysOp -- standing! :)

Comment by Bill Kochman on March 16, 2015 at 4:34pm

I just wanted to mention that I just purchased a new domain name so that my BBS has its own standalone website. Thus, the above two URL's are now incorrect. To learn about the history of my BBS, you can now go here:

Armageddon BBS Home Page

And to learn to compile the latest version of the Hermes II BBS software for Macintosh, you should go here:

Hermes II BBS Compilation Guide


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