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Online San Diego

From the January 9, 1998 ComputorEdge (Issue 1602)

By Jim Trageser

Wheel Werks BBS
(760) 729-2884

Wheel Werks, run by Jeff Kratka, is one of those new hybrids that is both BBS and Web site. The focus in this instance is on bicycling and flight simulators.

The Web site has basic info on the BBS, but no info on its own. It's basically a promotional tool for the BBS.

The BBS itself, which appears to be free, runs "Wildcat! for Win 95" and a high-speed modem. After the usual registration process, even first-time callers seem to have the run of the board with a 30-minute session.

I couldn't tell if it was just the way my terminal program read the ANSI code on the BBS side, but I was getting yellow text on both the Web site and BBS – it was a bit annoying and far too hard to read.

The conversation groups are gathered from a variety of networks: Fidonet, ChainLink, XpressNet and CoveNET. There are 55 message subs, with topics ranging from NASCAR and auto racing to for-sale and movie and game reviews. And all the subs seemed fairly busy.

The files area includes a four-disc CD changer, plus a single drive, meaning there are always five CD-ROMs of shareware available in addition to the local files on the hard drive. The local files include areas dedicated to bicycling and flight simulations. In the flight sim area you'll find patches and missions for flight sims like "Falcon" 3.0 and "USNF," along with new aircraft plug-ins. The bicycling files included things like riding/training logs, gear charts, clip art and spoke-length calculators. And there are also graphics of things like Tour de France action, Navy aviation and "Star Wars." Plus the San Diego BBS List is available as a .zip file.

Online games include Trade Wars 2002, various card games, Lost in Space, X-Files trivia and others; about a dozen total.

Greyhound Pets of America/California

This site is run by a La Mesa group that finds homes for greyhounds after their racing days are over. They're a bit over the top for my taste, talking about the things like they're children or something, but then Americans spend more on pet food each year than we do on the poor so what do I know?

The site is informative and easy to navigate. You can find the mission statement, how they rate prospective adopting families (not that they're picky, but you'd have an easier time getting into Arlington National Cemetery these days), learn how to sponsor a dog, browse the doggie gallery, visit the online gift store (and, really, just where else would you find an art deco lapel pin in the shape of a greyhound?), and a page of greyhound links.