Antidote BBS

Antidote BBS Logon screen

Antidote is the longest running Commodore 64 BBS in the history of the C64 scene. It’s still online via telnet, running on the real thing and operated by Taper/TRIAD.

You are free to connect to antidote.triad.se:23 or antidote.hopto.org:23 and apply for an account. We recommend that you use one of these petscii enabled terms: Guruterm (C64+rr), Skyterm Beta (C64+rr, available for download on Antidote) or cGTerm (Windows, Linux & MacOS X).

If you need help navigating in a C*Base BBS system, download the Antidote BBS Tutorial.

Observe! No Journalists, Researchers, Scientists, Businessmen, Policemen or anyone else who calls out to make a living. Amateurs ONLY! (And that’s the LAW – if you disobey this notice, you are also violating the fourth paragraph of the the Swedish Computer Act).

System specifications

Hardware

  • Commodore 128 (in C64 mode) with heavy duty PSU
  • CMD Super CPU 20Mhz accelerator
  • CMD HD with Acard SCSI-IDE Bridge and 1GB Industrial Grade Compact Flash
  • CMD RamLink 16MB (donated by Hollowman/FairLight) with parallell cable (donated by Pcollins) to the CMD HD
  • CMD Swiftlink UART Interface (donated by Frantic/HT)

Software

  • C*Base version 3.3.5, Tao-modded

Operators

  • Taper/TRIAD (Sysop)
  • Jucke/ex.G*P (Co-sysop)
  • Frantic/HT (Co-sysop)

Design

  • Jucke and Taper

Petscii

  • Jucke, CMP, Deekay, Tristan, Twoflower, Tao, El-Topo and Bordeuax

Online periods

  • 1994 – 5 June 1999
  • 3 October 2003 ->

The upper C128 is the BBS computer. Notice the high-tech equipment in the rear end, and the CMD HD interface at the right. Also notice the Miami Vice color scheme on the walls.

A closeup of the SuperCPU, Ramlink with parallell cable to CMD HD and the Swiftlink cartridge.

Regardless of what the case says, this is no VIC-20, but rather Joyride’s old BBS computer, which was used to run The Highway. Also Antidote ran on this C64 for a couple of years, probably between 96-98. It’s a bit modded with jiffydos and drivereset. This C64 have seen a lot of action during the years, be sure…

This is the screen displayed when Antidote is waiting for a call. Note the number of callers in the upper left corner. Also note that the real figure is higher, as a HD crash wiped out a good bunch of data many years back. Be sure, few C64 boards have ever had so many calls as Antidote during the years.

History of Antidote

The Highway was a well-known BBS run by Joyride/Noice and located in Bjuv in the south of Sweden. Groups such as Hoaxers, Brutal, C0derz, Accuracy, Noice, Oneway, Chromance and Onslaught had HQ’s on the BBS during the years. Co-sysops were Jucke, Poison, Taper and Homeboy.

Taper and Jucke had in practice been managing The Highway during the last period of the boards life, as Joyride had lost interest and begun coding on the PC. Physically the BBS was still located in Joyride’s teenage room (a minefield of computer gear, electronic gadgets and empty coke cans), but most of the sysop tasks were performed remote. However, at times it was necessary to perform some tasks live at the BBS site. Taper recalls:

-The Highway was running one of the modded C*Base versions, could have been Radar or Cyborg, on a XETEC harddrive system. At times I put my 1581 in my backpack and rode the moped from my parents house to where Joyride lived to backup the BBS and hang out. Actually, I did backups of the uploaded wares more often than of the system and subs, which seem like a strange priority now…


One day in 1994 the harddrive crashed and it was game over for The Highway as Joyride was unwilling to invest more time and money into the BBS.

There was ofcourse no way the 042 area could be without a BBS. Taper had allready set up a C*Base BBS of his own, which was in a testing state, only open to a few selected callers. Work was intensified and Jucke came up with the name “Antidote” (inspired by an acid-jazz record) and delivered C/G screens and prompt design for the new BBS. After a few weeks, Antidote was officially opened to fill the void that The Highway left behind. The sub-boards on the BBS were named in honor of classic C64 boards, like The Forum, Tunnel of Wares, The Dungeon, Paradize and Attraction.

In the beginning, the BBS was running as HQ for Ambient and Oneway (who Jucke brought aboard). When Taper joined TRIAD, the board followed and became TRIAD’s second active BBS in Sweden (The Studio run by Jerry was the other one, and later also Tao opened his BBS Virtual Light). During this time Oneway was fading away as an active group, and it was more or less only Poison who supported the board from them, so Alpha Flight 1970 and Wrath Design were taken aboard to share Antidote with TRIAD.

Especially TRIAD and Alpha Flight supported the BBS with releases and callers. During some very busy periods the BBS was more or less occupied 24/7 and strict timelimits had to be imposed on all ordinary users to cope with the storm of callers. The users came from all over europe and the US, and all the major groups were represented among the callers.

Dates are a bit fuzzy after all this time, but Antidote suffered from HD corruption sometime late 1996 or early 1997. The BBS was quickly online again, but since it had to be restored from not-so good backups a lot of posts and some graphics were sadly lost in the process. This didn’t effect the storm of callers though, and there was no doubt that Antidote had become the most popular BBS in Sweden, even beating the old number one, Warez Aquarium run by Sledge/FairLight. In Propaganda#22, Antidote was runner-up to the best BBS of 1996 award together with the US board The Dungeon, only beaten by the german BBS Mystical Paradise.

However, the future would turn out to be less than bright for BBS systems in general. Around this time, internet began to attract and the boards started to feel the competition from the new kid on the block. As time went by, some of the cracking groups who used to be present on the boards worldwide started to get problems calling out. While some groups struggled on to support the boards, others decided to focus on the internet instead as an easy solution to their problems. Eventually, this led to loss of callers for all of the scene boards.

In 1998 Antidote was relocated to Ronneby as Taper moved to study there, and the board changed area code and number. A year later, the now worn out system harddrive crashed. Almost all data could be rescued this time though, and the plan was to install a new HD and re-open the BBS once again. But by 1999 the BBS scene was in bad shape. Internet had really taken over and callers had dried up, so Taper decided it was time to put Antidote to sleep. When he moved back to the 042-area again, the BBS gear was boxed away. The only remaining C64 BBS in Sweden was now The Studio.

As ironic as it might be, eventually the very thing that killed the boards became an opportunity to resurrect Antidote again. In late 2003, the BBS was re-opened on telnet with a full backup installed, as the first scene BBS running on real hardware available over internet. Still running under the flag of TRIAD, but now also HQ for Onslaught. Actually, Antidote is situated just a few hundred meters away from where Joyride hosted his The Highway.

The circle is complete…

 

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