Packet Radio has started up again here in Bay County, Florida. Bob KK4DIV has a Bulletin Board System BBS at his home in Lynn Haven. The frequency is 145.050 on 2 Meter FM. Connect to KK4DIV-1 for the BBS. Also, check out the chat server at KK4DIV-2. An introduction to Packet Radio is here.
The traditional way to do packet radio is using a hardware Terminal Node Controller (TNC). They are many TNCs for sale on EBay. Most of them have a serial interface to the computer. You will need a USB to Serial Converter. There are some new ones for sale that have a USB interface like the Timewave PK-96 TNC available ar HRO. The radio to TNC interface can be homemade or purchased from BuxComm. If you like, do research on sound card TNCs and try them out. I have not tried a KISS TNC so I am unsure how well they will work.
Packet radio is an alternative way for hams to communicate locally. The more who participate the more fun it will be. Bob KK4DIV is experimenting with forwarding messages to the WinLink system via HF. Personally, I want to use packet to send Field Day messages for the bonus points. I am on packet radio as N4KGL and my Personal Mail Drop is at N4KGL-1