BBS Software

From: Michael Current (aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/20/94-02:32:09 PM Z

From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: BBS Software
Date: Sun Nov 20 14:32:09 1994

From: (Winston Smith)
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 08:30:00 GMT

Here is the run down of ATARI 6502 8-BIT BBSes that I am aware of:
  o  A.M.I.S. BBS --  The A.C.E. Message Information Service.
                      This BBS was written in BASIC by the Atari Computer
Enthusiasts computer club (was it the Michigan chapter?).  It included
designs for a ring-detector.  You needed a sector editor and had to
allocate message space by hand, hex byte by hex byte.
  o  F.O.R.E.M. BBS --  Friends of Rick E. Moose BBS.
                        At the time, there were a lot of BBSes around
called things such as "FORUM-80" and "BULLET-80", ergo the name.  FOREM BBS
was the first truly RBBS-like BBS for the ATARI 8-bit.  It was programmed
in BASIC and was somewhat crashy.  I think that this is the
great-grandparent of the FOREM-XE BBSes that survive today.
  o  ABBCS --  The ANTIC Bulletin Board Construction Set.
               The user design of the ABBCS was very good.  It sported
features such as intra-line editors.  Unfortunately, the coding of the
ABBCS was really poor.  You could practically blow on your keyboard and
crash this BBS.  The BBS would sometimes crash several times a day.
  o  NITE-LITE BBS --  Paul Swanson's BBS with RAM disk.
                       Paul Swanson was a programmer from the Boston,
Massachusetts, USA, area.  I'm not sure whether his BBS for the ATARI 8-bit
has been placed into the public domain or not.  This BBS was the first to
support a RAM-disk, which Paul Swanson called a "V:" device for "virtual
disk".  This BBS was written in ATARI BASIC and required a joystick
hardware "dongle" device.  This was notable as being one of the first ATARI
8-BIT BBSes that could actually go for a week without having to be
rebooted.  Pointers to the message base were kept in an ATARI "very long
string" (for which ATARI BASIC is famous).  The BBS would only have
problems (for the most part) if this string became corrupted.
  o ATKEEP --  An ATARI 8-BIT version of CITADEL BBS.
               I believe that AT-KEEP, like FOREM-XE, requires the use of
the commercial BASIC-XE cartridge to run.  This BBS program was very
popular around Louisiana, USA, from what I understand.
  o Benton's SMART BBS --  BBS written in BASIC by Marco Benton.
                           This program is written entirely in BASIC.  It
expects to be running under a SPARTA-DOS environment.  This was a problem
until very recently, when SPARTA-DOS was released into the public domain.
This BBS program uses a "modem clock string" rather than an R-TIME-8
cartridge in order to retrieve the current time.  It also comes with an
ATARI BASIC game door called "Sabotage".
  o FOREM-XE --  FOREM using BASIC-XE.
                 This version of FOREM BBS requires the commercial BASIC-XE
cartridge in order to run.  It is in the public domain and can import and
export messages from the ATARI PRO! BBS EXPRESS-NET (7-BIT text only,
control ATASCII graphics are reserved for message data-structure bytes).
FOREM-XE BBS is still currently in use as we speak, and may be reached via
the PRO! EXPRESS-NET as long as the cross-networking "transnet" is still in
  o The BBS Express  --  PRO! BBS demo program.
                         This is the public domain version of EXPRESS!-BBS,
which is the Keith Ledbetter companion project of the EXPRESS!-TERM
terminal program of days gone by.  I am not familiar with this program.  I
think that it is written in ACTION! and only supports XMODEM Checksum
transfers.  I have never called or seen this program demonstrated.
  o OASIS JUNIOR III --  OASIS BBS demo program.
                         OASIS JUNIOR III is the --ALL MACHINE LANGUAGE--
demo version of the OASIS BBS program.  OASIS is very crash-resistant and
comes with a "dial out" screen so that the Sysop can use the BBS as a
terminal program to call and fetch files without having to bring the BBS
down and reload a terminal program.  OASIS supports "Door programs" which
it refers to as "OASIS PAL modules".  This OASIS demo module comes with an
excellent message system.  The OASIS file system is one of the most
complicated that I have ever seen.  It consists of "file libraries" with
suites of "file types".  There is quite a bit of overhead involved in
performing a download (which may be a good thing, as it discourages file
hogs).  There is a commercial version of OASIS called "OASIS IV" that
performs networking.  There was an OASIS network between Boston,
Massachusets, USA and Murfreesboro(SP?), Tennessee, USA.  Occasionally word
of the OASIS IV developers reaches the network from New Zealand or Canada.
  o Frank Walters BBS --  I know nothing about this BBS except that Frank
                          Walters wrote it.
     OASIS IV, CARINA, and BBS-EXPRESS-PROFESSIONAL! are all commercial
programs.  I haven't heard anything about OASIS IV and CARINA for a while,
but PRO!-BBS is still a viable commercial enterprise last that I had heard.

Michael Current, Keeper of the 8-Bit Atari FAQ & Vendor/Developer Lists
 Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIGOp: aa700 /

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