The next era for The Major BBS / Worldgroup has been dubbed Project Phoenix. The aim is to re-unite the MBBS/WG community and to foster a new era of hobbyists who can enjoy what was one of the most innoative and advanced pre-internet communication platforms available. This project will focus on several key areas which are listed below, one of which will be the release of The Major BBS v10.
The first part of Project Phoenix is to re-build the once strong Major BBS community and this website is one of the pieces to that goal. Our forums will also serve as a key point of interaction for users, whether they be sysops, users, nostalgia hunters or newcomers. We therefore encourage you all to join us on the forums!
Expanding and promoting MajorLink (the new name for Worldlink) which enables Major BBS systems to interact with each other will also be a focus as will supporting new sysops in getting their BBS setup.
To support those new sysops, we will be providing Worldgroup v3.3 (NT) with 32 user licenses free of charge.
It has been over 20 years since MBBS/WG was actively developed due to the demise of Galacticomm Technologies. Since then, there has been a number of groups that have packaged various distributions of MBBS/WG to run in Virtual Machines in order to be usable on today’s hardware. The community has been divided over this due to the fact that these distributions technically contain pirated versions of MBBS/WG.
As such and to remove any ambiguity over the status of the DOS versions of MBBS, we plan to provide free licenses and most source code (excluding items such as the GSBL) open source in order to make them legally available to anyone that wishes to use them. To do that we will be providing free 256 user activation codes to anyone who requests one to the DOS MBBS core platform. In addition we intend to open source several add-on modules to these platforms. Further details about where to access these will be provided in due course. Keep an eye on the News page!
In recognition of the many Sysops who have continued to run Worldgroup v3.x (NT) for the decades since it has been actively developed, we will provide those Sysops who own a limited user license (anything less than 256) with a 256 user activation code free of charge. Please use the Contact page to get in touch with us. You will need to be able to provide proof of your legal purchase of Worldgroup v3.x in order to qualify.
Prior to the release of The Major BBS v10, a new Worldgroup setup application will be released to streamline the current installation process. This will introduce some minor changes that will no longer require the manual registry entry changes needed to setup Worldgroup under Microsoft Windows and also apply some small patches.
The fourth and most challenging phase is our plan to modernise the Worldgroup code base in order to make it more compatible with today’s software development tools and operating systems. There is no intention at this stage to attempt to make a 64bit version due to the incompatibilities with all the 32bit add-ons that are no longer being developed and the source code is not available. As part of this phase, the product will return to its roots and be called The Major BBS v10.
The Major BBS v10 will only be available in a 256 user licensing model and while the price is still being determined, it will not be expensive. Our intention is not to profit from this but instead to re-build the communities which BBSes were run for.
Additionally we will provide The Major BBS v10 SDK free to the community in order to encourage developers to help create new add-on modules.
It is hoped that this will enable a new generation of users to experience what we all did as Sysops back in the 1990’s.