PC Connection Australia BBS
In June 1984 I upgraded my home IBM-PC to have two
half-height floppy disk drives and a 10 Mb hard disk drive.
It went on-line as Australia's first IBM-PC based Bulletin Board System
(BBS) in July 1984, called PC Connection Australia.
A Sendata 2000 auto answer, auto disconnect 300 baud
modem was provided by Electro-Medical Engineering via the
Melbourne PC User Group. Initially 2 Mb worth of public
domain software was available for downloading.
The BBS software was written in BASIC and compiled using
the IBM BASIC Compiler. By November 1984 there were four
other Australian IBM-PC based bulletin boards systems using
the same software. In 1995 Richard Tolhurst helped me with
some significant changes to the BBS software.
My IBM-PC proceeded to run almost continuously 24
hours per day, seven days per week as a BBS until replaced
in early 1989. Along the way upgrades in the form of two
half-height 20 Mb Seagate hard disk drives, and later two
half-height 30 Mb Seagate hard disk drives were made. And
the Sendata 300 baud modem was replaced by a Sendata 1200
In December 1985, PC Connection Australia became a
closed system where visitors only had limited access and
users paid a small fee to register for full access. Two
things led to this change. First, I couldn't afford the
ongoing costs of operating the BBS. Second, there were just
too many people abusing their free access to the BBS,
placing offensive messages on the system and uploading
copyright software. Many other bulletin board systems
switched to closed mode during this period for this reason.
PC Connection Australia Goes Multi-User
In 1989 with the support of MicroHelp Computers &
Communications, the PC Connection Australia BBS was
upgraded to become Australia's first true multi-user BBS
system. I switched to using "The Major BBS"
software from Galacticomm. Moving
on to a fast Intel 80286
based system permitted the simultaneous support of four 2400
By late 1990, PC Connection Australia had twelve
NetComm SmartModem 9600 baud modems available to the public.
The hardware involved was a Samsung system with an Intel 80386
20 MHz CPU, with 4
Mb RAM, 120 Mb of hard disk storage and two Stargate PLUS-8
8-port serial cards. A NetComm/Telebit TrailBlazer modem
capable of 18,000 bps throughput was used to exchange mail,
newsgroups and public domain software with other systems. A
couple of SCSI CD-ROM drives were used to place on-line what were
then considered some very large software collections.
At its peak, PC Connection Australia had more than 2500
subscribers who paid 50 cents per hour to access the
system. The services available to the users included:
electronic mail, teleconferencing, forums, file libraries,
shopping mall, polls and questionnaires, plus a number of
multi-user online games.
Saturday, 21 January 2006