Mike Mallett D6K 23 Apr 97
More 8BS notes on the Internet
As I mentioned before, full Internet access requires a fast PC or Mac.
The major facilities are :
E-mail - electronic mail
FTP - file transfer from remote computers (e.g. Acorn s server)
Telnet - logging on to remote computers
IRC - Internet Relay Chat - basically an electronic version of CB radio
WWW - World Wide Web - a vast expanse of almost every sort of information.
Even if you don't have access, it may be worthwhile seeking this out
as there is still much of interest to the BBC owner. Access by the
hour is available from cybercafes and in some local libraries for
around three pounds an hour. Don't forget to take some floppies to
download all the files. You'll probably need to use the 3.5in. kind.
Usually these places will be happy to show you how to use the
computer and find your way around.
A good starting point is :
However, if you only have access to a BBC it is still possible to use
e-mail. Probably the lowest cost way is to find a local BBS which
offers this facility.
Since writing in 8BS before, I had several requests for information on
modems for use with a BBC. Old dual standard modems which were the
original type for the BBC can be picked up very cheaply. However
these only offer 300/300 BPS which is often disabled on many BBSs;
and 1200/75 BPS which was really only intended for use on the early
Prestel. Newer and faster modems are coming out all the time and so
models a few years old but with speeds up to 14400 BPS can be found
at reasonable prices. Higher speeds are not worthwhile on a BBC as
for most purposes the RS-423 port is limited to 9600 bps. As these
are most likely to have been used on a PC, a BBC cable needs to be
made up or purchased. Just remember that the 5 pin DIN plug on the
BBC can go in in two ways so be sure to mark the top !
Also comms software is needed. This was usually on a ROM and names to
look for are Communicator, Termi, Commstar and so on. I believe some
modems such as Prism and Demon needed a dedicated comms ROM - perhaps
someone with more expertise in this area could comment on this.
Although I now use a PC for comms, my Master is equipped with Commstar
II and a WS2000 300/300 1200/75 modem which I have successfully used
for accessing BBSs and sending e-mail.
Last but not least the modem can be used for the new EBTEL systems !
If you get online you can e-mail me at