The Trashcan BBS - The Best Trash 24 hours a day!

JustaXnet 510:5126/0 - Fidonet 3:772/210 -  AdventureNet 33:1000/200
 STN 111:8644/1 - RelayNet 900:104/3159


Late in 1988 The Trashcan BBS was born as an 'after 10pm' BBS on the home phone of Chris Hellyar's parents. Ben Arnold was onboard from the start as the Co-sysop then Craig Shore joined some time in 1989.

In early 1989, The Trashcan BBS went 24 hours.

7 May 1991

Chris purchased Searchlight 2.15 from Jay Montilla (NZ Distributor for Searchlight Software - $221.85).

19 June 1991

First phone bill paid for as Chris had moved the BBS to his flat.

20 March 1992

Chris purchased 80mb hard drive from donations to store downloads - cost $618.75 (Ouchy!).

17 May 1992

Node 2 added. The Trashcan initially used DESQview 386 as the multi-tasker/task switcher under DOS.

27 October 1992

Chris placed an advertisement in the Press advertising The Trashcan BBS for the first time to drum up callers.

4 November 1992

Chris purchased first of three ZyXel modems. $1,143 each (Ouch!).

February 1992

Chris moved from DESQview to a networking stack using Netware 3.0, coax ethernet and 4 PC's. A
386sx25 for the server, 2 separate 286-16's for the nodes, and a 486-DX40 for his workstation. Floppy boot for the nodes, and a massive dual 120Mb's in the server at $750 each.. The big time!

15 March 1993

Node 3 added for subscribers only - added another 286 PC to the 'network in a stack' setup.

13 April 1993

Searchlight 3.0 upgrade purchased.

3 June 1994

Searchlight 4.0 upgrade purchased - support for RIP graphics added.

26 September 1994

Node 2 disconnected - The internet was starting to rear its head.

21 May 1995

At 7:23pm Chris signed out of the BBS for the last time before handing it over to Nigel Adler.

Nick (current Sysop) last signed in at 3:24pm the same day, and made a total of 3077 calls to the rubbish! 

Top Callers

Nick MacKechnie 3077 calls
Craig Shore 2973 calls
Dean McIntosh 2172 calls
Nigel Adler 1455 calls

On the last day of The Trashcan BBS in 1995, there were 724 active user accounts, 406 logged in during the last month Chris operated it.

There were only ever 16 paying users.
The last user to pay a subscription was Alan Dodds on the 8th of August 94.


Due to other commitments Nigel passed The Trashcan BBS onto Nick to run. Nick continued to live in Christchurch until he accepted a new job up in Auckland in 1998. The BBS and computers were placed in storage for a few years.


Nick was surfing the web, and came across 'The BBS Documentary' and felt inspired to re-live his youth and excellent friendships, and The Trashcan BBS was reborn on to the Internet. Access to file and message areas via the web, newsgroups, door games were added. The Trashcan BBS is accessible via Telnet these days, with a read only view via the web of the message and file areas. I believe this piece of history should remain the way it was in the good ol' days. Searchlight Software ceased development after it was sold to TeleGrafix in 1999. TeleGrafix went bust and only ever produced a Y2K update for the Searchlight BBS.


Nick and his family returned back to Christchurch after spending 8 years in Auckland. The Trashcan BBS has returned to Canterbury and is one the last BBS's left in New Zealand as well as one of a handful of Searchlight BBS's still running worldwide.

Sysop: Nick MacKechnie
Dialup: N/A
Telnet: telnet:// Port 2324 or via
City: Christchurch, New Zealand
Inception: Originally 1988
Fees: Free - Unlimited Access
Files: General Selection of over 25,000 Shareware files
Nets: JustaXnet 510:5126/0 - Fidonet 3:772/210 - AdventureNet 33:1000/200 - D'Bridge Net 201:2000/1 - STN 111:8644/1, RelayNet
Software: Searchlight 5.1 Beta Revision 2, Irex 2.29, Squish/386 1.11
Doors: Barren Realms Elite, L.O.R.D, Usurper, Falcons Eye, Global War, Death Masters
CDs: Night Owl 13, 15 ,16 ,17 ,18 ,19 ,20 , 21, 24, 25, 26
Notes: Searchlight BBS Software Support Site, Offline (QWK) mail is available, points on request.



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