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Backtalk Site Registry

Jan Wolter and Steve Weiss

This page contains a list of sites known to have installed the Backtalk computer conferencing system.

If you want to try out Backtalk, the demo system is a good place to start. If you want to see an actual live system being used for real conferencing feel free to take out accounts on Grex or Starting Grid. Most of the other sites listed here should be really only be used if you have some interest in the site's mission. Thank you.

Cyberspace Communications: Grex
Grex is an eleven-year-old public-access conferencing system that is quite possibly ``the freest place on the Internet,'' giving full Unix access to anyone who asks without charge or validation. On Grex, Backtalk co-exists with the Picospan conferencing system, allowing web access to the same conferences. Most of the time Backtalk runs very nicely on Grex, but the server old, slow and very heavily utilized, with 80 people telnetted in at most times of day, plus lots of E-mail, ftp, and web traffic, so it can occasionally get a bit sluggish.

Huron Valley Community Network
HVCN promotes public access to the Internet for residents of Michigan's Washtenaw county and provides free web pages for non-profit corporations. Backtalk is being run stand-alone to support public discussion of topics related to a variety of community info-centers. Not very active. There is no validation on accounts and anonymous reading is enabled.

Starting Grid Magazine
A public access conferencing system for discussions relating to the sport of Radio-Controlled Model Car Racing and many other topics. This site is very active, and has definately been a big success.

Freeport BBS
Karyl Stein's conferencing system, with a rather nice customized "chocolate" interface. Doesn't appear to be open for business.

AEA Technology PLC
An intranet set up by Bull Information Systems, LTD. A very old version of Backtalk that doesn't appear to be in active use.

University of Michigan, Taubman Manufacturing Institute
An intranet conferencing area to support collaborative student/industry team projects. This site was developed by Arborlink and includes many customizations, including integration with other web applications. It's been years since I heard anything about this - it may not exist any longer.

Canton Public Library: Booktalk
A conferencing system for students and teachers of the Canton Michigan Public Schools. This site uses the bubblegum kid-friendly interface and the booktalk admin tools to create a site where students at various Canton Public Schools can share their thoughts about the books they read in class and out. The software developed for this site is available for free to other schools and libraries.

Backtalk Demo
This is just a test and demonstration system for the Backtalk conferencing system. If you'd like to try out the admin tools, contact me at

Arbornet: M-Net
Launched in 1983, M-Net was one of the world's first public access Unix servers and has been running public access forums since the beginning. Picospan and Yapp were both originally written for use here. Backtalk was only recently installed, so now M-Net's conferences can be accessed via either Backtalk, or command-line yapp. Still a lively conferencing experience after all these years.

I don't know a thing about it, but I'm told backtalk is on it.

A member-supported conferencing community based in Austin, Texas, since 1981. Yapp has long been the primary web conferencing program here. Backtalk was recently installed as an experimental alternative interface to the same conferences. Peaceful co-existance with web Yapp turns out to present many challenges, but seems to be working.

Stuyvesant Class of 83 Forum
This is a discussion area for a high school alumni group. In this instance Backtalk had to be integrated with a previously existing mysql database. Registration, authentication and user profiles are handled by the previously existing programs, which did not have to be altered to accomodate Backtalk. Backtalk's SQL interface is highly configurable, so it was easily adaptable to a user database formatted quite differently from Backtalk's default SQL user database. The gumball interface is used to present only one conference to the users. This site's interface scripts were much customized by Valerie Mates for a distinctive look and feel.

Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology
An intranet application.

A advocacy site for a concept of relating to "microtutions", which are contracts between political candidates and their constituents.

Not the official campaign site, but a non-partisan discussion forum for Bush and his campaign.

E-Mail Jan Wolter
Fri Jan 2 16:34:09 EST 2004

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