ystem) 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.
pecification) A Plug and Play BIOS format that enables the user to determine the boot sequence. See OPROM