bbs . hmvh.net / roblist

Roblist

Roblist was the most comprehensive database of South African Bulletin Board Systems.

Roblist Intro Screen

It was published by Rob Fisher ("probably the country's best known BBSer") at the beginning of each month and was available on most boards around the country. Roblist was the de facto BBS list for South Africa -- and a little beyond.

Launched in the late eighties, the first editions were "painstakingly created using an ANSI editor," remembers Rob Fisher. "Roblist was written in assembler to keep the size down because we still only played around at 2400 baud."

It provided users with a list of all verified Bulletin Board Systems and their numbers, along with the System Operator's name, what BBS software is run, and which mail networks each BBS carried -- over and above mention of "special features" such as image or music files.

Roblist Alphabetic Listing

Roblist BBS Features

In time, as the BBS community expanded and modem speeds increased, the Roblist package grew to include newsletters and commentary on related topics. It became little short of an institution.

In fact, it could be fair to say that Roblist fostered the country's burgeoning BBS scene while, in turn, the program's reputation helped Mr. Fisher "become the biggest retailer of modems on the African continent in 1995."

Listed below are the BBSes appearing in the May 1993 issue:

  Eastern Cape    5:7104   Wind, Ostriches & J Bay!      
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Algoa BBS                 | (041)   46-4396  | Frikkie Potgieter             
  Big Mac Opus              | (041)   33-3113  | Dave McEwen                   
  Coltech                   | (041)   38-3611  | Pieter Joubert                
  Diakonos                  | (0441)   8-1652  | Deon Strydom                  
  Eliac EL                  | (0431)   5-7949  | Mark Pullin                   
  Mad Dog PE                | (041)   66-2491  | Bryan Haefele                 
  P.E.Technikon             | (041)   53-4278  | Renaldo Rheeder               
  Star                      | (0431)  37-2553  | Trevor Angus                  
  The Catalyst PE #1        | (041)   34-1122  | Henk Wolsink                  
  The Catalyst PE #2        | (041)   34-2859  | Henk Wolsink                  
  The Catalyst PE #3        | (041)   34-3279  | Henk Wolsink                  
  The Catalyst PE #4        | (041)   33-5088  | Henk Wolsink                  
  The Friendly City BBS #1  | (041)   51-1185  | Greg Murrell                  
  The Friendly City BBS #2  | (041)   51-2305  | Greg Murrel                   
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Foreign                  For the HST Boys and Girls!   
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Afro Line - Mozambique    | (09258) 1415303  | Helder Santos                 
  Almac - Scotland          | (0944)324-665371 | Alastair McIntyre             
  Apogee SW - U.S.A.        | (091)508-3652359 |                               
  Canada Remote - Canada    | (091)416-6297000 | Neil Fleming                  
  Channel 1 - U.S.A.        | (091)617-3545776 | Brian Miller                  
  Elnet  - Namibia          | (06331)    3270  | Poenie Van Zyl                
  ExecNet - U.S.A.          | (091)914-6674567 | Andy Keeves                   
  Forbin Project - U.S.A.   | (091)319-2660447 | John Friel                    
  Kronverk BBS  - Russia    | (097)812-1266972 |                               
  M.S.I. - U.S.A.           | (091)805-3950650 | Rick Heming                   
  MDS - Zagreb Croatia      | (0938) 41161360  |                               
  McAfee Ass - U.S.A.       | (091)408-9885138 | John McAfee                   
  PC Connection - Australia | (0961)33-880909  |                               
  PKWare's BBS - U.S.A.     | (091)414-3548670 | Mark Gresbach                 
  R.I.S.P. - Slovenija      | (0938) 61199400  |                               
  Salt Air - U.S.A.         | (091)801-2618976 |                               
  Strawberry Patch - U.S.A. | (091)606-4320879 | Terry West                    
  Sunrise Door Software - U | (091)404-2569525 | Al Lawrence                   
  The Soap Box  - Australia | (0961)38-984892  |                               
  Tropical BBS - Mozambique | (09258) 1425745  | Anibal Marques                
  US Robotics - Sit UBU Sit | (091)708-9825092 | Nick Dodge                    
  Warped Board  - U.S.A.    | (091)703-9414041 | Rick Welshans                 
  ZyXEL - U.S.A.            | (091)714-6930762 |                               
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Natal           5:7103   Home of the CURRIE CUP !      
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Chatterbox #1             | (031)  269-3728  | Richard Pillay                
  Chatterbox #2             | (031)  269-1484  | Richard Pillay                
  Connectix #1 to #7        | (031)  266-9992  | Dave Hall                     
  Connectix #8              | (031)  266-9907  | Dave Hall                     
  Data Link AH              | (031)   21-2457  | Robert Derot                  
  ESC                       | (031)   72-0231  | Mike Brand                    
  Hercules PC Club          | (031)  765-5312  | Dudley Marcus                 
  Honey in the Rock         | (031)  463-1709  | Melvain Donyes                
  Into the aBByS II AH      | (0351)  92-2979  | Lawrence Bowen                
  SOFTEL Monster #1         | (031)  765-5002  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #2         | (031)  765-5045  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #3         | (031)  765-5508  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #4         | (031)  765-5513  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #5         | (031)  765-5514  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #6         | (031)   75-3554  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #7         | (031)  765-5308  | Chris Kenward                 
  SOFTEL Monster #8         | (031)  765-5322  | Chris Kenward                 
  Starlight BBS             | (031)  701-5608  | Rodney Shaw                   
  The Force                 | (031)   83-7720  | Craig Johnston                
  The Network               | (031)   84-8562  | Peter Spies                   
  Treasure Trove            | (031)   83-2517  | Dale Pinn                     
  Twilight Zone             | (031)   77-3357  | Graeme Ross                   
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Free State      5:7105   Boerewors, Diamonds & Braais! 
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Bombed Out #1             | (018)  468-6262  | Charl Cilliers                
  Bombed Out #2             | (018)    8-6524  | Charl Cilliers                
  Goldfields #1             | (011)  393-3624  | Niel Uys                      
  Goldfields #2             | (011)  393-3626  | Niel Uys                      
  Maxfokus #1               | (01722)  2-3415  | Pierre du Preez               
  Maxfokus #2               | (01722)  2-2665  | Pierre Du Preez               
  Quantum BBS               | (0148)     6469  | Tiaan Van Aardt               
  Spiral Helix              | (051)   30-0434  | Kobus Myburgh                 
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Pretoria        5:7101   No mine Dumps Just the Zoo    
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Computer Haven            | (012)  343-3953  |                               
  Eeru BBS                  | (012)  320-0923  | Derek Nigrini                 
  Furbo AH                  | (012)  348-4933  | Marcel Groenewald             
  Giaans I #1               | (012)  333-1163  | Gawie Myburg                  
  Giaans I #2               | (012)  331-5088  | Gawie Myburg                  
  Giaans II                 | (012)  331-5088  | Loot Enslin                   
  HSRC Genealogy            | (012)  202-2433  | Isabel Groesbeek              
  Lazer BBS                 | (012)  386-1161  | Shaun Dicker                  
  Mossies BBS AH            | (012)   77-6811  | Anton Mostert                 
  Novell User Group         | (012)  221-2345  | Richard Peer                  
  PC Workshop               | (012)  661-5758  | Mike Hein                     
  Pat's System              | (012)  333-2049  | Pat Verner                    
  RGN/HSRC                  | (012)   28-3124  | David Butler                  
  SACEC                     | (012)  349-1095  | Deon Loretan                  
  Software People           | (012)   73-3104  | Various Sysops                
  Tele-Soft                 | (012)  807-2005  | Christoff Joubert             
  Top Byte                  | (012)  660-2410  | Neal Blount                   
  Unisa Editorial           | (012)  429-2882  | Steve Hayes                   
  Wolfenstein               | (012)  326-1332  | Michael Steyn                 
  Wow                       | (012)   73-9069  | Wilhelm Lehman                
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  JHB and TVL     5:7101   Mine Dumps and Sandton City   
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  A La Carte                | (016)   62-3602  | Kevin Pearce                  
  AECI BBS                  | (011)  608-1516  | Mark Symons                   
  ALienation AH             | (011)  472-4157  | Andrew Tavenor                
  Astro BBS AH              | (011)  768-2924  | Frits Kok                     
  BusiBaud                  | (011)  788-3874  | JJ Milner                     
  CDS Online                | (011)  403-1248  | Grant Anderson                
  Cablecom AH               | (011)  816-2455  | Michael Jordaan               
  Calm                      | (011)  900-1118  | Clive Jones                   
  Capricorn                 | (011)  434-1134  | Mike De Bruyn                 
  Catacomb                  | (011)  827-6763  | Craig Nichols                 
  Catalyst #1               | (011)  888-3341  | Tjaart Silvis                 
  Catalyst #2               | (011)  888-3332  | Tjaart Silvis                 
  Clipper Expert            | (011)  643-4201  | Russel Stromin                
  Concept BBS               | (011)  440-6246  | Paul Giraud                   
  Democratic Solutions      | (011)  826-2658  | Richard Koenis                
  Digitec Nodes #1 to #3    | (011)  476-7136  | Anthony Gerada                
  Digitec Nodes #4 + #5     | (011)  476-2008  | Anthony Gerada                
  Dynamic                   | (011)  680-9143  | Duggie Clarke                 
  FBI-BBS                   | (016)   81-1706  | Frik Havenga                  
  Fast!                     | (011)  706-1749  | Graeme Slogrove               
  Frisoft #1                | (011)  440-3215  | David Kusner                  
  Frisoft #2                | (011)  440-3216  | David Kusner                  
  Gamers Online #2 AH       | (011)  763-5846  | Peet Gouws                    
  GemNET! AH                | (011)  425-2380  | Craig Hind                    
  Graphics #1               | (011)  817-1321  | Hein Hurter                   
  Graphics #2               | (011)  817-1590  | Hein Hurter                   
  Gus BBS                   | (011)  696-1230  | Gus Pereira                   
  House of Games AH         | (011)  864-5787  | Ashley Kleyhans               
  LA Technology             | (011)  807-0077  | Sharon Van Blerck             
  Lakeside                  | (011)  472-5521  | Mark Stayt                    
  Layout de Marillac        | (011)  768-2435  | Allan Marillier               
  Le Club #1                | (011)  315-1791  | Ina Sonnenmoser               
  Le Club #2                | (011)  315-4682  | Ina Sonnenmoser               
  Le Club #3                | (011)  315-4681  | Ina Sonnenmoser               
  Le Club #4                | (011)  315-4680  | Ina Sonnenmoser               
  Le Club #5                | (011)  315-3477  | Ina Sonnenmoser               
  Lotus Club International  | (011)  476-6617  | Christine Masson              
  Megavibe BBS              | (011)  683-9623  | Justin Bloom                  
  Mon Ami                   | (011)  433-1988  | Deon Maartens                 
  Music and Mail            | (011)  395-1792  | Paul Clifford                 
  Neon BBS                  | (018)    7-1213  | Byron Sorgdrager              
  Netline Flagship #1       | (011)  789-6085  | Ian Gerada                    
  Netline Flagship #2       | (011)  789-6086  | Ian Gerada                    
  Netline Flagship #3       | (011)  789-6087  | Ian Gerada                    
  Netline Flagship #4       | (011)  789-6088  | Ian Gerada                    
  Netline KSD               | (016)   66-0955  | Gustav Karlson                
  Netline Magic #1          | (011)  646-8316  | Johnny Staskun                
  Netline Magic #2          | (011)  646-8317  | Johnny Staskun                
  Netline Northcliff        | (011)  477-1225  | Alan Kanowitz                 
  OS2 User Group            | (011)  475-3796  | Simon Snyman                  
  Online Direct             | (011)  807-0436  | Clive Jones                   
  P.I.L.L.S.                | (011)  884-3215  | Rene Doms                     
  Pc-2-Pc #1                | (011)  391-3627  | Carl Boshoff                  
  Pc-2-Pc #2                | (011)  391-3628  | Carl Boshoff                  
  ProFORUM #1               | (011)  441-4106  | Nigel Bakker                  
  ProFORUM #2               | (011)  441-4062  | Nigel Bakker                  
  Rand Data Systems         | (011)  412-2540  | Richard Kruger                
  Randburg Ultra            | (011)  476-4735  | Malcolm Kleu                  
  SOFTEX                    | (011)  975-9073  | Petrus Van Breda              
  Softpack Software         | (011)   54-3980  | Tomek Stochmal                
  Stalkers I                | (011)  884-7945  | David Herselman               
  Stalkers II               | (011)  442-7902  | Matthew Green                 
  Tech Air                  | (011)  884-6836  | William Sussman               
  Teddy                     | (011)  683-7541  | Mike O'Nay                    
  VC BBS #1                 | (011)  435-3922  | George Inacio                 
  VC BBS #2                 | (011)  435-1345  | George Inacio                 
  VC BBS #3 - AH            | (011)  435-3927  | George Inacio                 
  Virtual Reality           | (011)  880-6830  | Dan Wagner                    
  Windows Connection        | (011)  794-2569  | Van Gils Bros.                
  Digital Gallery           | (011)  783-9654  | Mark Furst                    
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Western Cape    5:7102   Grapes, Vino & Sandy Bay!     
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  BBS Name                  Number           Sysop
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ASM BBS                   | (021)  448-5876  | Pieter Scholtz                
  Active #1                 | (02231)  7-1779  | Franscois Jooste              
  Active #2                 | (02231)  7-9126  | Francois Jooste               
  Africa Board              | (021)  434-6173  | Dan Samara                    
  Ampac                     | (021)  510-5418  | Pieter Engelbrecht            
  Bee-Line                  | (021)  461-6275  | Mike Goode                    
  Brainwaves                | (021)  797-1696  | Chris Clarke                  
  ChatNet                   | (024)   56-3112  | Keith Waters                  
  Clarion Support           | (021)   72-9703  | Katja Christiansan            
  CoolBBS                   | (021)  761-8573  | Gaven Cohen                   
  Cyber BBS AH              | (021)   99-3022  | Andre' Miller                 
  Diocesan College BBS      | (021)  689-1072  | Andrew Martin                 
  Geonet Amiga              | (021)  592-2686  | Eric Carsten                  
  Infolink                  | (021)  683-2060  | Anthony Walker                
  Intergrated Systems #1-#3 | (021)  448-7439  | Adam Paster                   
  Intergrated Systems #4    | (021)  448-7442  | Adam Paster                   
  Interlink Hub             | (021)  683-2909  | Mike Cameron                  
  L&R BBS                   | (021)  595-2300  | Michael Nel                   
  Luna-Antics               | (021)  461-2656  | Martin Lorton                 
  M. to M. CT               | (021)  557-7785  | Kirk Kinnear                  
  M. to M. JHB              | (011)  403-1199  | Kirk Kinnear                  
  Magnum BBS                | (021)   26-1101  | Joe Rinck                     
  Meg-Data                  | (021)  531-0450  | Ian Meggy                     
  Mutant Pencil's Pad       | (021)   99-1756  | Santie Vandenplas             
  NCS                       | (021)  930-2752  | Colyn Brookes                 
  Night Hawk AH             | (021)   96-3734  | Barry Williams                
  R&G Board                 | (021)  975-1928  | Ron Stynes                    
  Specfix                   | (024)   55-4113  | Etien Plekker                 
  Virus Resource Centre     | (021)   24-2208  | Oliver Steudler               
  XYZ BBS                   | (021)  762-5891  | Andre Neuwnhuys               
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

But, as they say in the classics, all good things must come to an end.

"The internet led to the demise of Roblist," explains Rob in an email in December 2010. "BBS's started to close at a rate of knots as the internet spread and in a very short space of time our modem speeds were increasing and we were surfing the web."

December 1996 saw the final issue of Roblist.

  The internet continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.... I have
  seen a marked increase in "normal" people getting onto the Net! By
  "normal" I mean not the computer literate public only... Mr Joe
  Public are now buying modems.. the Internet is becoming a Business
  Tool as well as a Fun thing! People want to chat to their friends
  and family overseas and not have to sell their houses to pay off
  their phone bill. Business are being "forced" onto the net and they
  quite simply HAVE TO have an email address.

After Roblist disappeared and the Internet (read: WWW) gained a foothold on the South African public, BBSes gradually disappeared, too. Some SysOps saw the commercial opportunity and became ISPs in their own right while others emigrated on account of the country's changing political climate. Very much indeed changed in a short space of time.

According to rumours, the reins were to have been taken over by someone else. Nothing ever materialised.

Possibly the closest to any maintained list of BBSes remaining in the country (albeit without newsletters or editorials) was the Telix dialling directory kept on the HMVH Corporation BBS -- until its own demise in April 2000.

                Name                      Number    Line  Format    

    1  Alpha BBS (Excalibur)              435-0099  38400 N-8-1               
    2  Al's Place                  (031)  467-0244  38400 N-8-1               
    3  Bible Bulletin Board               764-6036  38400 N-8-1               
    4  Connectix #01-#08           (031)  266-9992  38400 N-8-1               
    5  Connectix #11-#15           (031)  266-9835  38400 N-8-1               
    6  Khanya BBS                  (012)  333-6727  38400 N-8-1               
    7  KLeiN BBS                   (021)  881-3316  38400 N-8-1               
    8  Novell User Group of SA     (012)  333-1642  38400 N-8-1               
    9  The HMVH Corporation BBS           768-6153  38400 N-8-1               
   10  The Lair                           884-7945  38400 N-8-1               
   11  Unisa Editorial             (012)  429-8641  38400 N-8-1 

By that time the state of the BBS scene in South Africa had become patchy, to say the least.

Steve Hayes, former SysOp of Unisa Editorial BBS (who also maintained a private list) sent this message to the alt.bbs newsgroup a few months later:

  Bulletin Board Services (BBSs) operating in Gauteng July 26, 2000

  BBS NAME AND PLACE            PHONE                 NETWORKS
  ==================            =====                 ========

  Khanya/Podvig                 (012) 333-6727 a/h    Family, CCC, Fido
  Novell, Pretoria              (012) 333-1642        Fido

  a/h = after hours - call after 9 pm.

  =====================================================================
  If you know of any other BBSs not listed above, please send the details
  to Steve Hayes:

  ...

  For more information about Pretoria BBSs, see the following Web page:

  http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/pretbbs.htm

  Recently closed BBSs:

  Bible BBS, Centurion
  Dungeon Keep, Alberton
  HMVH
  Inferno BBS
  Tele-soft
  The Lair
  Unisa Editorial, Pretoria

  Keep well

  Steve Hayes
    WWW: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/steve.htm

The end.



This page last updated: 16-07-2011 | Related blog post