Here are some useful Atari links, if you would like to be added to the list please send us an Email with your URL.

Antic  is a vintage computing podcast about the Atari 8-bit line of computers.  We cover Atari 8-bit news, review modern upgrades, provide interviews with well-known Atari figures and so much more.  It's also available on iTunes

Atari Museum 

Wizztronics

Atari 2600

The Video Game Source (Germany)

SoundPool

darkforce.org  (Atari BBS Demo and Full Working BBS)

CT60 / CT63  060 Upgrade for Falcon 030   (France)

Older Atari items (France)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bulletin Board System History

By Ronald Hall

A long time before the Internet became the popular phenomenon that it is today, there existed an elite group of computer users who dedicated their time, money and collective genius to setup their home computers and a phone line so that other computer users could call.  Using a device known as a "modem" hooked to their telephone line, users could call, send and
receive e-mail, upload and download files, play games and more.  Millions upon millions did just that. These Bulletin Board Systems, or BBS, as they came to be known, were run by Sysops, or System Operators.  The entire concept of being online was learned by many, from these BBSs.  BBSs became so popular that many magazines, newsletters, and even other BBSs would carry their access numbers.  Commercial BBSs even sprang up, such as Delphi, CompuServe (bought out by AOL), and Genie.

Because of standards that prevailed almost universally, it didn't matter what hardware or software you were using.  Almost anyone with a modem, a computer and communication software could call almost any BBS.  Atari users were no different, of course.  Atarians all over the world used software on their 8bit (Atari 800, 1200XL, 65XE, 130XE Computers) and ST 16/32 Bit machines to call and operate BBSs.  An Atari BBS in your community was usually considered as one of the best resources for all things Atari, whether it was advice, opinions, or more.  Even if a BBS wasn't available locally, many users would dial long distance willingly.  A typical Atari user would boot up their computer with communications software, dial their favorite BBS, and login with a user account and password.  Speeds would typically range from 300 to 19,200 baud.  At first, BBS software was mostly text and offered little in the way of graphics, but eventually VT52 and even ANSI graphics became very popular.  Atari Corp in Sunnyvale California, itself even ran a multi-line BBS at one point in time.   As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end", and so it was, as the Internet became increasing popular through the early to mid 90's, more and more BBSs closed down.  Some adapted, and actually became part of the Internet itself, via access protocols such as telnet.  Now, instead of using a modem and communications software, users will typically open up a shell, command line, or prompt, and enter a command such as this, "telnet xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx", where the x's are numbers in the IP address of the BBS.  After the usual user name and password are entered, the familiar and welcome face of a BBS will be seen.  Atari users, resourceful as ever, adapted as well.  Thanks in no small part to a company called Lantronix, who market the UDS10 serial port/LAN adaptor.  It basically interprets signals from the serial port of your Atari computer and communicates with a LAN, or local area network.  Using the UDS10, Atari 8bit and ST BBSs have once again become available to users everywhere, and without the price of a long distance phone call.

After nearly 5 years of inactivity, we have resurrected The DarkForce! Atari BBS and we're proud to join the small but growing list of Atari BBSs returning to action.  You can access a Demo of the DarkForce BBS on the Internet by doing the following:

A.  Click on this DarkForce BBS Internet Site.
 
B.  Next Click on the Atari word on the left column.
 
C.  Click on the Dark Force BBS Demo in the left Column.
 
D.  Click on the View the Log on Screen in the left Column
 
E.  Click anywhere on the Log on Screen to see a Sample BBS Menu.   This Sample BBS menu is not active but will give you an example of what a typical BBS Menu screen looked like back then. 

The Full working DarkForce! BBS can be reached at IP address "24.177.23.74" or telnet://darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org   Further information and status can be found at "www.darkforce.org".  If a user has the telnet protocol setup in their web browser, DarkForce! BBS can be accessed directly from the website itself.  I look forward to hearing from old Atari users from around the world on the DarkForce BBS!