Ah, the halcyon days of yore, when you, armed only with a 2400bps (or 9600bps if you're really lucky) would connect to the BBS in question.
Basically a BBS is sort of an electronic bulletin board where members can swop files, pictures (yes, it did include "hot" pictures, but mostly you'd be disappointed at miff tits ) and other electronic bits 'n bytes.
Most BBS'es have board games, where you can play with other users (if the BBS had multiple, incoming lines). One "feature" of some BBS'es was a "bot" which acted as if it was the SysOp. If you're lucky, you'd be chatting with the real SysOp self.
Ina Sonnenmoser and others was pioneers in South Africa, for starting a growing trend.
Most of the BBS'es remain "isolated", but some got connected to what was the beginnings of the Internet, and thus some of us could get an email address.
Electronic spam was unheard of those days. Ah, it was so nice NOT to have your mailbox clog up with unwanted blue pills adverts and the such.
The bane of many a BBS user (and BBS SysOp) was lightning. Most of these people just braved it, and others would unplug all their equipment at the mere hint of a thunderstorm.
Many a good modem perished in a thunderstorm if the owner(s) was unlucky.
US Robotics, Rockwell, Hayes and so on is names which will be familiar with most of those BBS users, as well as the AT command set, with which you can fine tune your modem settings. Including the command to silence the modem's internal beeper, so your other half won't know you're going online...
Is it only me, or was the older equipment more reliable than the latest "softmodems"? But I digress...
The more lights a modem got, the merrier
In another thread you might read about Rob Fisher and his famous "Roblist" - the so-called "black book" for many BBS users.
At that time it was not so exactly cheap to call long-distance, so most of us BBS'ers would get the R7 call package (good grief... do you still remember that???) and be online after hours and over weekends to download the latest games - games such as DOOM, Descent and so on.
There still is a few BBS'es operating, but they're far and few in between. One can Google for existing BBS'es and relive the halcyon days of yore.
I had a Le Club BBS T-shirt, it got lost somewhere along the way