In my recent messages and Inputs to and Outputs from the
PAL, I spoke mainly about the mirrors and the roles played
by them on both sides. A second mechanism ... that of the
world-wide organizations of Electronic Bulletin Boards.
Simtel.Net feeds sites like AOL, CompuServe, Genie, and
others, and there are Electronic Bulletin Board systems (BBSes)
in almost every city in the world which feed from the
Internet, AOL, CompuServe, and Genie in turn. These
BBSes sometimes have direct links to the services or the
Internet, sometimes are tied to each other via the special-
purpose software they run, and sometimes are manually fed.
Many today have CDROM drives as well (and more are getting
DVD drives). Electronic BBSes are run by individuals as well
as organizations, and organizations ranging from computer
clubs to official facilities (like the Air Force Logistics
Command) use Electronic BBSes. A very large number of these
BBSes are fed either directly or indirectly (via CDROM or
DVD from Simtel.Net). Like Walnut Creek regularly publishes
an Ada CDROM, Walnut Creek also publishes a Simtel CDROM and,
now, a Simtel DVD (with over 4G bytes of compressed material
on it). A piece of the PAL is on both the Simtel CDROM and
the Simtel DVD. A piece of the PAL is also on this myriad
of Electronic Bulletin Board Systems (not all BBSes carry the
ada tree of Simtel, but many do).
In preparation for this message, I downloaded from Simtel.Net
the Oct 97 listing of BBSes in the United States only. It
identified over 4,800 of them. There are some other lists
for various countries, like France. You can find out more if
you are interested by accessing Simtel.Net and going to the
bbslist tree. Like all trees on Simtel.Net, the file 00_index.txt
in the bbslist tree identifies the files in that directory.
Your local BBS may also carry BBS Lists.
mailto:[log in to unmask] http://www.monmouth.com/~conn/
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of anyone else.