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About TelBox

TelBox is a BBS built in Python, created by Ho0ber with help from additional contributors:

Mission & Design

The TelBox BBS mission is simple, and can be described through these goals:

  1. To give us an excuse to connect old hardware to something on the internet
  2. To give us a clubhouse to talk about that old hardware (and anything else) using tech that makes us feel special/nostalgic
  3. To provide resources for those setting and troubleshooting up old hardware (file transfer, guides, etc.)

In an effort to further these goals, a few specific design decisions have been made:

  1. Users cannot post in threads or chat except through a telnet/modem connection to the BBS, even though chats can be read on the website. We chose to do this because otherwise our community simply becomes poor forum software with a live chat.
  2. We are using telnet (and eventually modem connections) and not SSH because security considerations are secondary to access considerations. Old hardware and SSH don't play nicely, generally speaking.
  3. Python was chosen in order to make the BBS easy to contribute to, and so we can continue building and adapting it, rather than simply considering it "done" as soon as it's online, like package software.

This is a living document and input is always welcome. A community isn't fun if it's only meeting the needs of its founder.

Yeah, but why?

Now why, might you ask, do we need another community for retro hardware when others already exist? There are a few reasons:

Existing BBSs and resources are often run by purists who are enjoying running the BBS on old hardware. While noble, and something I think is really cool, that's not our focus here. TelBox is built with modern tools to provide as much modern convenience as possible while working on some otherwise unforgiving and slow hardware. For instance, it's not taboo to put hyperlinks in our BBS chat, as we have a companion website to make it easy to visit links on a phone or other device, even if your main BBS device has no web browsing capabilities.

Existing BBSs tend to also have a specific retro hardware focus or an existing historical community that they cater to. The goal of TelBox is to build a new community with a broad range of hardware and other hobby interests. This community is also founded by a specific group of local area friends and is intended to grow organically.

Existing BBSs... exist! Half of the fun here is to explore old technology by getting to build something specifically for old technology. Half of the fun of the BBS is building it, and anyone is welcome to join and contribute to its development.