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About JohnPolka

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    Portland, Oregon USA
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    Currently my focus is on Atari 8 bit computers, old school BBSs, emulators, and the Lynx hand held. However, I also enjoy Atari ST computers, Jaguar, and 2600.

    My non-Atari interests include TI-994A and Coleco Adam computers.

    I am originally from the Cleveland Ohio area. So, I am always interested in reconnecting with other Cleveland Atarians -- especially those from the old Atari BBS scene in the 80s and 90s.

    I run the Basement BBS. The BBS is running a customized version of BBS Express Pro! Telnet: basementbbs.ddns.net. Port: 9000. This BBS originally ran from 1986 - 1998, so it is truly an Atari time capsule on the Internet! :)

    Another BBS to check out is Part-Time. It was run by my step dad from 1985-early 2000. It was the longest running Atari 8 bit BBS in the Cleveland 216 Area Code. To connect, telnet to ptbbs.ddns.net Port: 8000.

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  1. In December 1984, Gardner Computing Company released the 835 & 1030 BBS Program. The BBS software retailed at $74.95 + $2.50 shipping. An auto-answer/ring-detector module was included with the BBS since the supported modems did not provide auto-answer functionality (source: ROM Magazine v1i9 page 37). The software was later sold by a company called Duplicating Technologies, Inc. (DT). See the DT ad on page 44 of Antic Magazine Volume 4 Number 10 (February 1986).
  2. Quill, a new BBS software written in Action!, is announced at TARICON '84 in Detroit, Michigan (source: ROM Magazine v1i8 page 6).
  3. I can't believe anyone would buy it back then. According to the linked ad above, it was $74.95 in 1984 dollars! That's $185.97 in 2020 dollars!
  4. That's cool. I never saw it running before. I wonder what it was like. Yeah, most BBSs before BBS Express! would regularly crash. That was par for the course until original BBS Express! was released. Carina I was especially problematic in that sometimes the BBS would crash and leave the user in a BASIC prompt. I know a SysOp who had his hard drive formatted by a user after the user was dropped in a BASIC prompt (the user admitted doing it years later). I think Carina II is more stable now, but unfortunately, it lost potential market dominance with Carina I's instability. -JP
  5. The other neat thing about this game is that the rooms are rendered with simple, but effective, ASCII. So, non-Atari users can play the game too. It's really cool playing this game again...it brings back memories! -JP
  6. See also the Last Day to Preorder BBS Express! Pro!
  7. April 18, 1988 was the last day to preorder the BBS Express Pro! BBS Software. It was also originally scheduled for release on this day. However, its ended up getting released in May 1988. Below is a copy of the Preorder announcement and order form: BBS Express! Professional V1.0 (c) 1988 Orion Micro Systems Midlothian, Virginia 23113 >> Express! PRO Preorder Announcement << ---------------------------------- Preorders are now being accepted for BBS Express! Professional. Current release target date is April 18th,1988. All preorders will receive first priority when shipping begins. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ System Requirements: o Atari 800XL or 130XE o Sparta Dos 3.2 or greater o Hard Drive Recommended or min: large ramdisk ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Retail Price: $49.95 plus $4.00 ship/handling Upgrade Price: $29.95 Plus $4.00 ship/handling plus one of the following: [1] A Xerox copy of the original 850 or 1030 disk label bearing your registered serial number. [2] Your original 850 or 1030 Express! master disk. [ NOTE: Only one upgrade per Serial Number] Upgrade Orders received without meeting one of these upgrade requirements will be returned. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Additional Preorder Bonus: Preorders received prior to the April 18th release date may also purchase a copy of HardBack, our Hard Disk/MIO Backup Utility for $10.00. HardBack normally retails for $39.95. Orders received after the April 18th release date can purchase HardBack for $20.00 if ordered at the same time as BBS Express! PRO. [This Offer Expires April 18,1988] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Send All Preorders To: Orion Micro Systems ATTN: PRO PREORDER 2211 Planters Row Drive Midlothian,Virgina 23113 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ You may freely capture this notice and place it on your board and/or upload it to other BBS Systems if you wish. Orion Micro Systems ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Here's a handy order form for you to print and use with your preorder. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Preorder Form | | | | ATTN: Orion Micro Systems | | ATTN: PRO PREORDER | | 2211 Planters Row Dr. | | Midlothian,Virginia 23113 | | | | Qty Description Price | | --- ------------------ ------- | | ___ BBS Express! PRO with HardBack........................$ 59.95 | | | | ___ BBS Express! PRO Only.................................$ 49.95 | | | | ___ BBS Express! PRO Upgrade with HardBack................$ 39.95 | | | | ___ BBS Express! PRO Upgrade Only.........................$ 29.95 | | | | Sub-Total : $ ______ | | | | Add Shipping/Handling $ 4.00 | | | | Total : $ ______ | | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Complete this section for upgrade price. | | I Have Enclosed: | | ___ My Master Disk SN __________ or ___ Xerox Copy Of Master Disk | | | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Rush My Order When Released To: | | Name: ________________________________________________________ | | | | Addr: ________________________________________________________ | | | | City: __________________________ State: _____ Zipcode: ______ | | | | Country: ___________ | | | | [ P l e a s e P r i n t ] | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Office Use Only: Date Recv: ____/____/____ Recv By:_______ | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
  8. See also the August 1st calendar entry for more BBS statistics.
  9. That's a very cool graph! You can find some more BBS stats at the following link: https://atariage.com/forums/calendar/event/89-the-number-of-bbss-multiply-in-1979/ Like the above graph, the link refers to 1994 as the peak year for BBSs in the U.S.A. -JP
  10. In August, 1986 there were over 2,000 Bulletin Board Systems in the United States (Source: August 1986, Volume 5 Number 10, issue of Antic magazine; page 15).
  11. Check out the link to ROM #8 above...there's a big Atari BBS list there too. -JP
  12. I've seen that web page before, but I must have missed the 835/1030 BBS program by Gardner Computing Company/Duplicating Technologies (DT). Maybe that page was updated recently? While looking up the 835/1030 BBS ad, I came across another BBS program called "Quill". Have you heard of it? It apparently came out in 1984 and was supposedly written in Action! A one line mention is in issue #8 of ROM Magazine (page 6): https://archive.org/details/ROM_Magazine_v1i8/page/n5/mode/2up?q=BBS You can see an ad for the 835/1030 BBS at the following links: Rom Magazine #9 December 1984/January 1985 (page 36; an ad from Gardner Computing Company) https://archive.org/details/ROM_Magazine_v1i9/page/n35/mode/2up?q=Bulletin Antic Magazine Volume 4 Number 10 February 1986 (page 44; an ad from Duplicating Technolgies) https://archive.org/details/1986-02-anticmagazine/page/n43/mode/2up?q=Bulletin I don't know anything about the 835/1030 BBS either. -JP
  13. There's also a growing interest in BBSing by young people (those in their 20s and 30s) recently. This has pleasantly surprised me. It also gives me hope that this hobby will be around for many years to come. -JP
  14. On a related note, the Mousenet BBS in Germany has all of its ATASCII screens in true 80 columns. They look great on the XEP80 setting of Syncterm. I imagine they would look equally as nice on a native XEP80 card. You can check it out for yourself by telneting to bbs-mousenet.dynip.online:23. -JP
  15. If you want to just do screens (not movies), then the editor that comes with the Action! cartridge works good. -JP
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