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The area code 513 includes Cincinnati, Ohio. The metropolitan area includes part of Kentucky that was in the 606 area code but was moved to the 859 area code in 1999.

The area had a lively BBS scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was known for BBS's such as Law Talk (which was run by a lawyer and consisted of lively discussions of law-related issues), Electronic Magazine, and Information Loom (which was renamed Information Store). Cincinnati BBS's had numerous "personalities" (both young and old) who frequented various BBS's and acquired celebrity status among the BBS scene.

Cincinnati was the site of legendary flamewars and vulgarity-filled posts that were fondly remembered for years after they first appeared. This resulted in call validation rapidly replacing open systems. Some of the vulgar postings resulted in Cincinnati being cut off from statewide or international FidoNet message bases. Cincinnati was also the site of what may be the first known cyberbullying attack (in 1987).

In the mid-1990s, Cincinnati BBS's became so dominated by right-wing ideologues that many users were chased off the scene. Also around this time, Hamilton County authorities raided several BBS's (including some that were across the state line in Kentucky, which were out of Hamilton County's jurisdiction), accusing them of offering pornography. The computers (which contained users' private e-mail) were seized without a trial. One of the BBS's that was raided offered premium services that competed against those offered by a BBS owned by an officer who was on the task force that raided it.

These raids discouraged people from continuing to operate BBS's in the area, and the number of BBS's in the area decreased rapidly. This also discouraged the founding of local dialup ISP's in the Cincinnati area. (Cincinnati had far fewer ISP's than other American cities of its size.)

None of the BBS's that were raided were ever found to have actually been offering pornography. However, the seized computers were not returned.

COFNet was formed and originated from the Bearcat's Den BBS which stood for "Circle of Friends" which was 14 BBSs inside the Greater Cincinnati area and outside to Chicago, Pittsburgh and Charleston SC and Galveston Tx.

COFnet was set to combat the problem with known "Flamers" and Hackers and the growing problem with the Hamilton County Sheriff Department falsely accusing BBS's of Porn distribution and drugs.

One of the hidden message bases was setup for the Sysops to read and interact called CAP which was aimed at watching the police and Sheriff department in Hamilton county and providing counter intelligence to other Sysops when inside information was given.

It was also used to pass on information for meetings with the Sysops about Problem users and possible informers and Virus makers that plagued the area.

List of local BBSs[]

BBSs in the Cincinnati area included:

  • Annie's
  • AppleSiders
  • Basic Concept
  • Bearcat's Den
  • BPs Domain
  • Cathouse
  • Cincinnati Computer Connection
  • Cin-Comm
  • CinchBug
  • DataNet
  • Electronic Magazine
  • End Of The Road
  • Haz-Mat
  • Information Loom (Information Store)
  • Jesse's Board
  • Kroger Information Center
  • Law Talk
  • Magic$oft
  • Michael's Play
  • Night Owl Network
  • Night Owl Network II
  • Night Owl Network III
  • NKU/AppleSiders
  • RJ's Board
  • Ralph's After Hours BBS
  • Red Scorpion
  • Renegade Cavalry
  • Sam's Trivia Arcade
  • SpeciaLink
  • The Basement
  • Tri-State Online
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