BBS software for the PDP 11

geneb geneb at
Thu May 18 08:17:08 CDT 2017

On Wed, 17 May 2017, william degnan via cctalk wrote:

> There may have been Rainbow BBS programs, but I doubt anything for the
> 11/34.  You may have to write this.

That reminds me of a bit of obscure trivia...

Back in the early days of FidoNet, one or more of the Fido BBS sysops had 
DEC Rainbows.  The machines could run Fido just fine, but the serial port 
address/port didn't follow the convention laid down by the IBM PC.  At the 
time, there were other MS-DOS compatibles that also had a similar issue 
with the serial port and some of those folks wanted to run Fido.

Tom Jennings, Wynn Waggoner III(sp?) and Thom Henderson(sp?) got together 
to create the FOSSIL standard.

FOSSIL is Fido Opus Seadog Serial Interface Layer and provided a mechanism 
via INT 14 for any MS-DOS compatible computer to run any BBS or mailer 
software that had FOSSIL support and a FOSSIL driver available for it.

FOSSIL continued to be a thing long after the issue of serial port 
incompatibility was a thing of the past.  In fact there's modern software 
out there now such as NetFossil that telnet-enables software that can talk 
to a FOSSIL driver.

The two popular FOSSIL drivers that I recall from back in the day were 
BNU and Ray Gwinn's X00.

As an aside, if anyone has or knows where I can find the source code for 
Opus BBS, I'd be interested in hearing from you!


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