Q. Ok, I'd like to use the NorthStarBBS, but don't know where to start.
A. No problem, the NorthStarBBS is quite easy to setup and use. First of all, you'll need to download it. The northstarbbs.zip file has everything included; source code, binaries, database script and a compiled version almost ready to go.
Once downloaded, unzip the zip into an empty folder. In the "dist" folder you'll find the nsbbs.war file. Place this file into the webapps folder of Tomcat and restart the server (or unpack it with the server of your choice). This should unpack the war into it's own folder by the same name as the war file. Now find the WEB-INF folder and open the web.xml file. Follow the instructions in the file to setup smtp servers, passwords, etc.
Now you'll need to setup the database. Assuming you're using MySQL, find the db_script folder and locate the create_database.sql script. I will not go into details in regards to administering MySQL, I'll assume you know how to do that. Open the MySQL shell and type "source " without the quotes, and replace with, you guessed it, the path to the script file. The database should be setup in seconds.
Finally, restart the application server again and the NorthStarBBS should be up and running.