bulletin board system


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to bulletin board system: bbs, CompuServe, Computerized Bulletin Board System

bulletin board system

[′bu̇l·ət·ən ‚bȯrd ‚sis·təm]
(computer science)
A computer system that enables its users, usually members of a particular interest group, to leave messages and to share information and software. Abbreviated BBS.

bulletin board system

(communications, application)
(BBS, bboard /bee'bord/)

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".

Apart from public message areas, a BBS may provide archives of files, personal electronic mail and any other services or activities of interest to the bulletin board's system operator (the "sysop"). Thousands of local BBSes are in operation throughout the world, typically run by amateurs for fun out of their homes on MS-DOS boxes with a single modem line each. Although BBSes have traditionally been the domain of hobbyists, an increasing number of BBSes are connected directly to the Internet, and many BBSes are currently operated by government, educational, and research institutions. Fans of Usenet and Internet or the big commercial time-sharing bboards such as CompuServe, CIX and GEnie tend to consider local BBSes the low-rent district of the hacker culture, but they serve a valuable function by knitting together lots of hackers and users in the personal-micro world who would otherwise be unable to exchange code at all.

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.

BBS

(1) (Bulletin Board System) A computer system used as an information source and forum for a particular interest group. They were widely used in the U.S. to distribute shareware and drivers and had their heyday in the 1980s and first part of the 1990s, all before the Web took off. A BBS functions somewhat like a stand-alone website, but without graphics. However, unlike Web access via one connection to the Internet, each BBS had its own telephone number to dial up.

Although still used in some parts of the world where there is little or no Internet access, most every resource found on a BBS migrated to the Web. Software companies may still maintain their old BBS to serve as alternate venues for downloading drivers.

Comm Programs Are Required
To access a BBS, a general-purpose communications program such as Crosstalk or Qmodem Pro is used. The address list in a comm program stores telephone numbers like a Web browser stores bookmarked URLs.

(2) (BIOS Boot Specification) A Plug and Play BIOS format that enables the user to determine the boot sequence. See OPROM.
References in periodicals archive ?
The basic story is that a fellow named Tom Jennings was writing a bulletin board system with a friend of his.
After several false starts, beginning with tax year 1999 partnership returns, the Service announced that it would no longer accept returns submitted on magnetic media, or transmitted electronically via MITRON or the Bulletin Board System. In addition, the IRS discontinued the Paper-Parent Option.
* One bulletin board system (BBS) PC, 32 megabytes of RAM, with four gigabytes of hard drive space with a 3.5[inches] floppy drive and eight external modems
This past fall the Maintenance Division purchased laptop computers for all garage supervisors for a roadside safety inventory collection system, but then worked with DTN to develop a bulletin board system in Omaha, Nebraska, the company's headquarters.
AOTA has had a member bulletin board system (BBS) - The Reliable Source - for several years.
In 1985, he co-founded a bulletin board system called the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL) as a "pioneering experiment in electronic discussion." At present, his projects include the Global Business Network, a management consulting firm.
Bulletin Board System (BBS) - electronic versions of hallway messages centers, bulletin board systems allow users to express concerns, ask and answer questions, and receive information from others, usually about a topic of common interest.
For information on the bulletin board system contract Lawson "Rick" Gist jr.
A bulletin board system (BBS) added to the PC will enable staff in every facility statewide to access up-to-date regulations.
As a starting point, they are using a Macintosh-based bulletin board system called FirstClass to allow citizens to discuss local issues, send mail (also to the Internet), and plan other steps as they improve the links to the outside world.
Since the crime analyst was already entering crime information into a database, Hockenberry determined that this database could simply be downloaded into a bulletin board system (BBS).
Editorially, the paper is advanced, too, boasting a computer bulletin board system that enables the company's newspapers to transmit stories and columns by modem.

Full browser ?