History of Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) in Trinidad and Tobago

This is a historical record of the Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) which were in operation in Trinidad and Tobago between 1986 and 2000.

A BBS was a computer system that allowed users to connect to the system (typically via dial up modems). Users logged in could chat, email, download files, post messages in forums for other users to read and respond to. BBSes were a precursor to what many persons do on the Internet today, social networking, downloading files, chat, reading and posting in forums or on email lists.

Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) in Trinidad and Tobago were a popular means of communications beginning in the late 1980s even though personal computers were expensive and few persons actually had one at home. That scenario began to change by the early 1990s as prices on computer hardware began to decrease and modem speeds increased.

The use of BBSes in Trinidad and Tobago declined with the availability of Internet access in the third quarter of 1995, allowing Internet users to communicate with other Internet users globally, coupled with the BBS features (chat, file downloads, forums) and the ever increasing diversity and quantity of information available via the World Wide Web all accessible on the Internet.

Please note that all of these BBSes are no longer in operation so don’t dial these numbers. Such phone numbers and addresses are listed for historical reference only.

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) would like to obtain further information about Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) which were in operation in Trinidad and Tobago for this page. If you have printed material, photos, interesting anecdotes, general memorabilia, etc. please contact us at info a@t cs.tt.

The TTCS acknowledges the contributions of information for this article by:

  • Kevin Maharaj
  • Alexander Jared Rampersad
  • Mario Pinheiro

BBSs in Trinidad and Tobago

(listed in alphabetical order)


A-Line was possibly the first BBS to be placed online in Trinidad and Tobago. It was activated by its System Operator (sysop) Mary Adam on Saturday 1st February 1986. It was established to provide a BBS for local computer users because an international phone call (required to connect to overseas BBSs) was too expensive. It has been described as “a general interest computerised bulletin board and electronic mail service, specialising in information exchange in the computer field”.

There was a subscription fee for persons who wanted use the BBS and registration forms were available at the local Computerland outlet. By 1987 there were 50 members. Callers were limited to 30 minutes per call but there were no restrictions on the number of calls per day that could be made to the BBS.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 300/1200 bps.
  • Phone line: 628-6806.
  • BBS Software: Let’s Talk.
  • Machine: Apple II with floppy disk drives (later upgraded with an external 20MB hard drive).
  • Lines: 1.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other Information:

  • Telephone (voice): 622-2973.
  • Sysop: Mary Adam.
  • Established: 01 February 1986.
  • Registration: Information not available.
  • Fee: Information not available, but it was a pay-subscription BBS.

A-line 2

A-Line 2 was unique in that users were expected to contribute files (upload new files) and actively participate in forums in order to keep their accounts valid. There was no subscription fee.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 300 bps.
  • Phone line: 622-1376.
  • BBS Software: ALFA-III.
  • Machine: Apple II.
  • Lines: 1.
  • Availability: 4pm – 7am.
  • Sysop: Mary Adam.


Ambionet was operated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLAC) and promoted itself as “The Caribbean’s Environment conscience”. It offered access to several databases about trade, tourism, etc. and supported users in the Caribbean, Mexico, Nairobi, U.S.A. and Canada. It was also the official carrier of ACURIL and CEIS.

Ambionet offered telnet access at 2400bps to shell accounts on a New York server. Users could run ftp, pine, lynx and gopher via a menu interface.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 9600 bps supporting ATI V.32/V.32bis.
  • Phone lines: (809)-627-0979, 627-7544.
  • BBS Software: Major BBS V6.12.
  • Error Correction: yes.
  • Machine: Gateway 80386-33.
  • Lines: 4.
  • Storage: 121 Mb.
  • Availability: 24 hours.
  • X.25: 3740004208 TYMNET 16 Circuits.

Other Information:

  • Address: 22-24 St. Vincent Street,Port of SpainTel: (809)-623-1969Fax: (809)-623-8485
  • Sysop: Roger St. Hilaire.
  • Established: July 1992.
  • Registration: Free.
  • Fee: Free.

Artic Lair

Information not available.


Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 300 bps.
  • Phone line: 657-5257.
  • Availability: Monday to Friday: 7pm to 7am, Weekends: 7pm Saturday to 7am Monday.
  • Sysop: Linc Chandler.

C.O.L (Computers On-Line)

From Mario Pinheiro, owner/Sysop of the C.O.L (Computers On-Line) Bulletin Board System:

C.O.L. which was the second BBS in Trinidad, and the first true multi-computer system back then. I knew Mary from A-Line very well back then and remember many chats with her by voice and by CHAT (Computer). A-Line was set up for computer information between Apple computers. My goal with C.O.L.(Computers On-Line) was a BBS for all brands of computers. C.O.L. first came on-line in 1987 and consisted of a Commodore 64 computer, and 2 5.25″ floppy drives. After a short time, word spread very fast and soon I had over 60 users logging-in using, not only Commodore 64 and Commodore128 but Apple, Amiga, IBMs, Texas Instruments, Sanyo, and many other brands of computers which A-Line never had because of it’s dedication to Apple computers. I also gave people a free 30 trial on C.O.L. which every one just loved.

Mario goes on to state that in 1988 he decided to migrate to Canada and had to shut down C.O.L. However, by that the time, the BBS had

well over a hundred users from all over Trinidad and one or two from Tobago. A small fee was charged to use C.O.L. and membership included an I.D. badge and we were holding monthly meetings to exchange ideas on home computers at my home in Blue Range, Diego Martin. I didn’t think of it before the first meeting, but what most people was surprised about when they came home by me, was the fact that this popular BBS was ran on a Commodore 64.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 300 bps.
  • Phone line: 633-4654.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other Information:

  • Tel (voice): 637-8864.
  • Sysop: Mario Pinheiro.
  • Established: 1987.

Generation X

From Alexander Jared Rampersad, owner/Sysop of the Generation X Bulletin Board System:

I was 13 years of age and very intrigued by computers, especially since I built my new computer with a CD-ROM drive, soundcard and a modem, I used to send the phone bill sky high calling all those different BBS’s in Trinidad and abroad.

My friend Ivor and I decided to make up a FREE discussion forum since we couldn’t get connected to the Internet with TSTT. The Generation X (people referred to it as “GenX”, but it wasn’t) bulletin board system was setup and running I think it was around the beginning of 1996 , I could be wrong, it was so long ago but I remember it was when TSTT was offering dialup internet access and I had taken out my account and for weeks no one could log in. The only way we got internet was to dial-up to Opus Networx and use the trial internet from there (that’s how I got the BBS software in the first place). (Thanks Peter Wimborne!).

When Internet access from TSTT was running smoothly we shut down the BBS, because most of the time the phone was on the ‘net. When we shut down, we had over 100 registered users. The most popular feature was the chat: We had setup a virtual girl, it was quite intelligent and she picked up information from every session.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 33,600bps (33.6Kbps) (Zoltrix Internal V.34+ 33,600bps (FM336i) modem)
  • Phone Line: 649-2646
  • BBS Software: EzyCOM BBS 1.20 by Peter Davies + various EzyCOM Add-ons.
  • Machine: Cyrix 6×86 PR166 (133/66) CPU with 32MB RAM.
  • Lines: 1.
  • Max speed: 33.6Kbps.
  • Error Correction: Yes.
  • Storage: 1,000MB.
  • Availability: 12 hours per day, 7 days a week (6:00pm – 6:00am).

Other Information:

  • Address: Boodoo Trace, DeGannes Village, Siparia, Trinidad.
  • Sysop(s): Alexander Jared Rampersad (STRiDER) and Ivor Reid (WiZZ).
  • Established: 1996.
  • Registration: FREE (just fill out questionnaire correctly).
  • Fee: None, no download limits.


Infoline was the oldest non-commercial online system to provide services to the computer users of Trinidad and Tobago. It was activated on Friday 19th April, 1991. It was officially shut down in the third week of January 2000. Note: by the time it was shutdown in 2000, Infoline was operating 28800bps (28.8Kbps) modems on both of its phone lines.

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 2400 bps (Hayes 2400 Smartmodems) (later upgraded to 28800bps (28.8Kbps) modems).
  • Phone lines:(809)-625-7543, 625-7544.
  • BBS Software: Major BBS V5.31.
  • Machine: IBM PS/2 Model 70 80386 (later upgraded to a Pentium 75 with 16MB RAM).
  • Lines: 2.
  • Max Speed: 2400 bps.
  • Error Correction: no.
  • Storage: 120MB.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other Information:

  • Address: The Society of Computer Users of Trinidad and Tobago,Newtown Post Office, Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Sysop: Wayne Sheppard.
  • Established: April 1991.
  • Registration: Society membership of TT$20.00 (students), TT$60 (individuals).
  • Fee: None to members of the Society.


Information not available.


Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 2400 bps.
  • Phone lines: (809)-622-9045, 622-9046, 622-9047, 622-9048, 622-9051, 622-9054, 622-9056, 622-9057.
  • BBS Software: Major BBS V6.11.
  • Machine: 80486-66.
  • Lines: 8.
  • Max Speed: 2400 bps.
  • Error Correction: MNP5.
  • Storage: 1000Mb.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other Information:

  • Address:5 Picton Court, Picton Street,Newtown, Port of Spain
  • Sysop: Joey Gonsalves.
  • Tel: (809)-622-9053.
  • Established: July 1993.
  • Registration: TT$30.00 (students) TT$70.00 (individuals) TT$100.00 (corporate).
  • Hourly Fee: TT$8 (US$1.88).

Opus Networx

Opus Networx promoted itself as “the Caribbean’s Biggest BBS”. It offered:

  • RIPscrip graphical interface
  • Internet E-mail
  • Forums
  • Teleconferencing
  • A large software library (estimated at over 17,000 files online)

Operating systems for the following platforms were supported:

  • IBM
  • Macintosh
  • Amiga
  • Commodore64
  • Atari
  • UNIX
  • OS/2

Technical Specifications:

  • 2400 bps phone lines: (809)-622-4473, 622-4467, 622-6267, 622-6271, 622-6276, 628-5023 (Modem brand: Supra 2400i).
  • 9600 bps phone lines: (809)-628-6220 (Modem brand: Motorola UDS v32).
  • 14400 bps phone lines: (809)-622-6878 (Modem brand: Supra V.32/V.32bis).
  • Internet: opus-networx.com.
  • BBS Software: Major BBS V6.12 – RIPscrip.
  • Machine: Gateway 80386-33.
  • Lines: 9.
  • Max Speed: 14,400 bps.
  • Error Correction: MNP5,V.32,V.42,V.32bis,V.42bis.
  • Storage: 900MB.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other Information:

  • Address: Post Office Box 972,Port of SpainTel: (809)-625-5949Fax: (809)-625-5950
  • Sysop: Peter Wimbourne.
  • Established: February 1990.
  • Registration: TT$115.00 (US$20.00) signup includes 5 hours of time.
  • Hourly Fee: TT$11.50 (US$2.00).

Rock and Roll

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 14400 bps.
  • Phone line: (809)-633-5185.
  • BBS Software: Remote Access v1.1.
  • Machine: 80486-33.
  • Lines: 1.
  • Max Speed: 14400 bps.
  • Error Correction: yes.
  • Storage: 320Mb.
  • Availability: 24 hours.

Other information:

  • Address: Post Office Box 1068,Port of Spain
  • Sysop: Mark Raymond.
  • Established: August 1993.
  • Registration: TT$35.00 + $1.50/100k of download.
  • Hourly Fee: None – 1 hour per day access limit per user.


Information not available.

The Quest

Technical Specifications:

  • Speed: 300 bps.
  • Phone line: 628-3363.

Other Information:

  • Sysop: Bert Williams.

About Datanett

Datanett was not a BBS. It was a data communications network that allowed local BBS users to connect to overseas BBSs and other online services which were accessible through the Telenet and Tymnet networks in the USA. If the overseas service was not connected to either of these networks the Trini user was required to make a “prohibitively expensive” direct telephone call in order to access the service. In other words, it was cheaper to use Datanett than to make a traditional phone call.

Datanett was a joint venture operation by Telco and Textel (these two companies were eventually merged to form Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT)). Potential subscribers had to apply to Telco Business Services to set-up an account.


  • Installation Fee: one-time charge of TT$55.
  • Rental: TT$15 per month.
  • TT 40 cents per minute for an overseas calls (compared to the TT$5.00 a minute rate for a regular overseas voice call that was being used by Telco at the time).
  • Download rates: TT$70 for every 64K sent or received.

Other Information:

  • Telephone access number: 624-5555.
  • Trinidad “identifier”: A9.
  • Users had a “n.u.i” which was a 12 character access code consisting of the user i.d. (6 characters) and the password (6 characters).

Access to Datanett was only part of the process by which local users could gain access to overseas services. After paying for a Datanett account, users would then have to log into the overseas BBS/database/online service and depending on the service, pay additional and separate fees for continued access to that service.

These were the charges incurred when using the service:

  • The “network” charge for using Datanett/Telenet/Tymnet, etc.
  • The hourly connect charge of the service you were accessing (e.g. Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL, etc).

Most of the large online services offered cheaper connect charges for off-peak hours but Datanett did not have off-peak rates even though it was considered to be a subset of Telenet.