The Return of Cottonwood BBS: The Last Dial-Up Commodore BBS Online?

December 8th, 2006 by Benj Edwards

Cottonwood BBS SetupAndrew Wiskow emailed me today with news that his long-planned Commodore dial-up BBS’s return to glory is now complete. The Cottonwood BBS, perhaps the last dial-up only BBS running on authentic Commodore hardware (feel free to correct me on this!), is now up and accepting callers at 1-951-242-3593. Andrew also posted a comment about his BBS on another VC&G post, which I have reproduced below:

Well, after a bit of a delay, Cottonwood BBS is now back up and operational! As it turns out, the 1200 baud modem wasn’t the problem, but instead it was the VoIP line I was trying to run the BBS on. I had to switch back to a regular phone line in order to get good results. The 2400 baud modem I tried to used wasn’t working well, so I’m back to where I started on the 1200 baud modem.

AnywayÒ€¦ You can call Cottonwood BBS at (951) 242-3593. Open 24 hours a day, running at 300/1200 baud. For more information on the BBS, or to get some tips on connecting, check out the following website:

http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs/

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Be sure to check out his website to pick up a copy of C64Term for the best Commodore BBS experience for PC users. I haven’t made a call yet, but I plan on it when I get the chance. If you give it a call, please let us know how you liked it.



22 Responses to “The Return of Cottonwood BBS: The Last Dial-Up Commodore BBS Online?”

  1. KitsuneDarkStalker Says:

    1-900? 0_0 Thanks but no thanks….

  2. KitsuneDarkStalker Says:

    But actually really thanks for the pic, I have the same TV and was wondering if I could hook a C64 up to it, now I know! ^.^

  3. RedWolf Says:

    Who said anything about 1-900? The area code is 951.

  4. KitsuneDarkStalker Says:

    Oh, my bad… I just now saw that. I’m sorry…I’m stupid at teh intrawebs -__-

  5. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    The area code is 951… 951 and 909 are area codes in Riverside County, California.

    As for the TV… I actually use the S-Video and composite audio inputs in the rear. The front composite video and audio inputs are what I use for the DirectTV box that’s on top of the TV. I got a custom video cable made for my Commodore 64 with an S-Video plug from a guy on eBay. Apparently, the luma and chroma wires that were used for Commodore monitors are the same as what S-Video uses. You can order your own S-video cable for the Commodore 64 (or Atari, or TI-99/4a, et al) from this address:
    http://stores.ebay.com/Vintage-Computer-Cables

    Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

    -Andrew
    (aka Balzabaar – SysOp)

  6. Alex G. Says:

    Awesome! I’m going go try and call it now!

  7. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    I’ve made some improvements to Cottonwood BBS these past couple days…

    I was able to track down All American BBS’s author Nick Smith, and I had a pleasant conversation with him over the phone. Turns out he still has his records of all the registered AA BBS owners, and he was able to look up my name and give me my serial number (which I had lost). So I tested out AA BBS v9.6, which is the last version I got from him (he offered to send me a copy of the last version he released in 1991 or 1992, which I believe he said was v11.2b… just have to wait for him to do some testing to be sure he has a good copy).

    As it turns out, it appears that AA BBS works with my 2400 baud modem, which Ivory didn’t… It also appears that AA BBS works properly with 64HDD, which both Color 64 and Ivory wouldn’t. AA BBS v9.6 comes with 22 online games — Ivory has none. And it’s not as “hardware intensive” as Color 64…

    So… Long story short… I switched to AA BBS!

    Call COTTONWOOD BBS!
    Now running All American BBS!
    Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
    Operating at 300 – 2400 baud!
    Running on two 1541’s and SIX “simulated” 1581’s!
    Bulletins (message boards)! File transfers! Online games!
    (951)242-3593

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS from COTTONWOOD BBS!

    Andrew Wiskow
    (aka Balzabaar – SysOp)

    P.S. Since I changed my setup, I’ve also updated the above photo. Check out the updated photo at the Cottonwood BBS informational website:
    http://www.wiskow.hpg.ig.com.br/

  8. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Maybe I should have posted this before… Here’s a direct link to the new photo, in case you don’t want to wait for the entire page to load:

    http://www.wiskow.hpg.ig.com.br/cottonwoodbbs2.jpg

    -Andrew

  9. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Too bad I can’t edit previous posts! Anyway…

    The BBS’s website had to be moved. The server at hpg.ig.com.br was too flakey, and updates weren’t being updated, it seems. Anyway, the address for the website’s new home is:

    http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs

  10. RedWolf Says:

    Hey Andrew,

    I changed the link of your BBS site in the article to the new one. Thanks for keeping us updated.

  11. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    I’ve recently aquirerd a CMD HD-200 hard drive (thanks, Al!), as well as a couple 1581’s (thanks, Marco!), and with this, I’ve vastly improved the setup for my BBS. Until I get the update for AA BBS from its author, I’m only able to have one 16 MB partition of the 245 MB hard drive on the BBS, but even so, this is a VAST improvement over what I was running. And now, I can officially announce quite happily that I have DIVORCED my C=64c from the PC it was connected to. Everything is now 100% original!

    I’ve updated the photo of my setup on the Cottonwood BBS website at http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs

    Here’s what the BBS is now running on:
    1 Commodore 64c Computer
    1 Commodore 1084S Monitor
    2 Commodore 1541 Disk Drives
    1 Commodore 1541c Disk Drive
    1 FSD-2 Excellerator+ Disk Drive
    2 Commodore 1581 Disk Drives
    1 CMD HD-200 Hard Drive (245 MB)
    1 MultiTech MultiModem224 (2400 baud)
    1 Black Rotary-Dial Desk Phone
    1 All American BBS by Nick Smith

    Check it out now at (951)242-3593. Call and experience the world’s last remaining Commodore 64 dial-up BBS!

    -Andrew
    (aka Balzabaar – SysOp)

  12. Benj Edwards Says:

    That’s awesome, man. Thanks for the update!

  13. c0ldfr3ak Says:

    TECHNICALLY! This isn’t one hundred percent authentic… He needs the commodore monitor. I have one… but I am trying to get rid of it… check the Buy/Sell/Trade section of the forum

  14. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Actually, I do have a Commodore monitor now. You can see a more recent photo of the BBS’s setup on the Cottonwood BBS informational website, here:
    http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs

    Also, you can always find the latest updates on my BBS here:
    http://www.commodore.ca/forum/viewforum.php?f=7

    My current “project” is getting a “hybrid” setup working so that I can run the BBS as both a dial-up system AND a Telnet-accessable system. If I can pull it off, it’ll be the first time this has been accomplished with a Commodore computer. πŸ™‚

    -Andrew

  15. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Well… much has changed since I last posted here…

    First of all, my initial “experiment” in running a dial-up BBS has failed… But all is not lost! The problem with dial-up is that too many people just can’t access it anymore. Either they no longer have a “real” phone line, or they don’t have a modem anymore, or they just don’t want to deal with the long distance charges. In the four months that I ran Cottonwood BBS as a dial-up board, I had a total of 18 users registered.

    Also, my idea for setting up a “hybrid” system, accessable via both dial-up AND Telnet, didn’t work out…

    Well, I decided to “join the crowd” and make Cottonwood BBS accessable via Telnet. You can now access it by going to the following Telnet address:
    telnet://cottonwood.servebbs.com

    You can still see the latest photo of my setup, as well as newly updated connection tips, at the Cottonwood BBS website:
    http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs

    I’m now running the last version of All American BBS for the 128 that was released, thanks to a kind donation by the program’s original author, Nick Smith. I’ve got AA BBS 128 v12.5c up and running! There are about 50 online games, definately the most exiting “feature” of the BBS. Not to mention that I’m the ONLY one running this software.

    I also took on the responsibility of reviving the old Commodore 64/128 Bulletin Board List, which hadn’t been updated since October 2005! This list contains all known ACTIVE BBS’s run on genuine or emulated C64’s and 128’s, and you can always find the latest edition of the list at:
    http://hometown.aol.com/cottonwoodbbs/cbm-bbs-list.txt

    So stop on by the “new and improved” Cottonwood BBS, take a look around, and relive a bit of computing history, today! πŸ™‚

    -Andrew

  16. FRANK Says:

    been trying to connect to the cottonwood bbs, it seems to be going under some sort of problem, i guess the HD crashed or something, so i think for right now it will be on a standy.

  17. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Frank, you’re right, Cottonwood BBS was down for about a week due to a hard drive failure. I’ve rebuilt the hard drive, and now it’s back up again… Everyone may now call in at the following Telnet address:
    cottonwood.servebbs.com

    -Andrew

  18. Adam Brower Says:

    I was just remenicing of the old c64 bbs days, I was compelled to write about the experience. http://hippobytes.com/email-instant-messages-file-sharing-1987/ Wish I could dial in!!!

  19. William Says:

    Dude! I just got a LEX-11 Acoustic modem 300 baud, now your telnet πŸ™

  20. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    After a little over 3 years of downtime, Cottonwood BBS is now back up and running!

    Check it out at the following Telnet address (port 23):

    cottonwoodbbs.dyndns.org

    Running on a real Commodore 64c with Color 64 v7.36 software!

  21. Andrew Wiskow Says:

    Looking for a dial-up BBS? As of today, Borderline BBS has returned as the world’s only dial-up BBS running on a C64! So dust off your modem and give it a call at 1-951-652-1690! Running 24/7 at 300/1200 baud. It’s a truly 80s telecommunications experience! πŸ™‚

  22. mech Says:

    Nice guys! tried to call the other day but both my land lines exhibit noise over a mere 1200 baud. not sure if its the old copper coming from town(digital over copper) or is it is a case of some digital compression causing it. tried with and w/o the dsl filters and still too much noise ;/

    Mike

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