1. [syn: bulletin board system, bulletin board, electronic bulletin board, bbs]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a computer that is running software that allows users to
leave messages and access information of general interest
[syn: bulletin board system, bulletin board,
electronic bulletin board, bbs]
V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (February 2016):
Bulletin Board System (telecommunication)
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[common; abbreviation, ?Bulletin Board System?] An electronic bulletin
board system; that is, a message database where people can log in and leave
broadcast messages for others grouped (typically) into topic groups. The
term was especially applied to the thousands of local BBS systems that
operated during the pre-Internet microcomputer era of roughly 1980 to 1995,
typically run by amateurs for fun out of their homes on MS-DOS boxes with a
single modem line each. Fans of Usenet and Internet or the big commercial
timesharing bboards such as CompuServe and GEnie tended to consider local
BBSes the low-rent district of the hacker culture, but they served a
valuable function by knitting together lots of hackers and users in the
personal-micro world who would otherwise have been unable to exchange code
at all. Post-Internet, BBSs are likely to be local newsgroups on an ISP;
efficiency has increased but a certain flavor has been lost. See also
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
bulletin board system
(BBS, bboard /bee'bord/, message
board, forum; plural: BBSes) A computer and associated
software which typically provides an electronic message
database where people can log in and leave messages. Messages
are typically split into topic groups similar to the
newsgroups on Usenet (which is like a distributed BBS).
Any user may submit or read any message in these public areas.
The term comes from physical pieces of board on which people
can pin messages written on paper for general consumption - a
"physical bulletin board". Ward Christensen, the programmer
and operator of the first BBS (on-line 1978-02-16) called it a
CBBS for "computer bulletin board system". Since the rise of
the World-Wide Web, the term has become antiquated, though
the concept is more popular than ever, with many websites
featuring discussion areas where users can post messages for
Apart from public message areas, some BBSes provided archives
of files, personal electronic mail and other services of
interest to the system operator (sysop).
Thousands of BBSes around the world were run from amateurs'
homes on MS-DOS boxes with a single modem line each.
Although BBSes were traditionally the domain of hobbyists,
many connected directly to the Internet (accessed via
telnet), others were operated by government, educational,
and research institutions.
Fans of Usenet or the big commercial time-sharing bboards
such as CompuServe, CIX and GEnie tended to consider
local BBSes the low-rent district of the hacker culture, but
they helped connect hackers and users in the personal-micro
and let them exchange code.
Use of this term for a Usenet newsgroup generally marks one
either as a newbie fresh in from the BBS world or as a real
old-timer predating Usenet.