Continued from previous message PART 4 VISIONX VISIONX FEATURES USER Configurable MENU Sup

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--- Continued from previous message ------ PART 4 =-=-=-=-=-=-= - VISION-X =-=-=-=-=-=-= VISION-X FEATURES =================== - USER Configurable MENU Support - 100 Conference Support - Real-time multinode chat - Leech Z-MODEM dectection (Anti-Hacker utility to detect illegal filetransfer) - File Deletion after D/L w/ user access of 20 - 100 Independent Message/File Conferences - Unique and fully secure MATRIX for Loging on and Applying - Built in Netmail Support - File Upload Checker - Rumours and One Liners - Up to 99 welcome screens displayed randomly - HST and 16.8k support with locking up to 38400 - Coloured messages - Configurable color selections for sysops and users - VGA Support - Configurable Matrix/Pulldowns - Online User Editor - Turbo Chat - Multi-Node Support - Desqview and OS/2 Aware - Network Capable - New User Voting with Comments - FULL ANSI support (and detection) - Animated screen open and closing (Terminator 2 inspired) - Online Doors VISION-X ORDERING INFORMATION as of May 1st, 1994 ================================================== Introductory price - $99 and $5 for shipping and handling. Phone number to contact: (214) 361-8249 (voice) e-mail: golla@seas.smu.edu - (Prasad Golla) =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - Waffle BBS =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - Info for Waffle BBS will be available n future versions of the BBS FAQ. The Waffle FAQ is available via anon ftp from rtfm.mit.edu =-=-=-=-=-=-= - WWIV =-=-=-=-=-=-= - Info for WWIV will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OPEN YOUR WINDOWS TO THE WORLD! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-= - What is Ghost BBS? =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-= - Info for Ghost BBS will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - POWER BBS =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - Info for Power BBS will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - Front Line for Windows v3.8 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= INTRODUCTION ============= Front Line is basically a replacement for Terminal For Windows. More importantly it can be used as a Front End for Excalibur (PDQComm Replacement) or as a simple host for the desktop. Frontline is very simple to use and the only part that is different from other terminal programs is the host options. Features Include: ================== - Potocols: Xmodem Checksum, XmodemCRC, XMODEM -1K(YMODEM), Ymodem-G, Ymodem Batch, Zmodem, Compuserve B +, ASCII - Multiple Comm Port Configurations - ANSI, TTY, VT100, VT52 Terminal Modes - Font Settings on the Fly - Change Terminal Colors - Support Serial Ports 1 - 8 - Scroll Back Features - Capture Data - Baud Rates - 1200 - 57600 - HOST MENUS - Basic Message System for the SysOp - Configurable Basic Menus (Host Mode) - Use Ansi Screens - Uploading / Downloading Host Mode Features =================== The Host subsytem of FrontLine supports: - X/Y, Kermit, ZModem Download/Upload protocols. - Log Manager which is very useful with MultiLine Systems - Editable Logon - Ansi Menu Support - Email To Sysop - User Listing which can request Address Information if the Sysop Desires. - Comm 1-8 support, Bauds 1200-57600. Where can I download Frontline? =============================== Frontline is currently available on America Online in the Windows Forum as FLINE38A.ZIP. Contacting the Author ===================== Internet: mcsonic@netcom.com AOL: Sonic Mike or Via Internet: sonicmike@aol.com BBS: 916-349-8517/8540 (ANSI or Excalibur Users) Registering Front Line ======================== To register send a self addresses stamped envelope with one high density (1.44) three & a half inch floppy disk & registration fee of $20, to: SONIC SOFTWARE P.O. BOX 41073 SACRAMENTO,CA 95841 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OS/2 Q&A ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - WHAT IS OS/2? ================ Os/2 is a preemptive, multitasking operating system with a windowing, grapihcal interface developed and distributed by IBM. The current version is 2.1. - WHY NOT JUST DOS? =================== In most cases, a BBS needs a multtiasking operating system to run multinode. The major contenders for this functionality are Desqview, Windows, and OS/2. Desqview runs on top of DOS and therefore carries the extra overhead. Windows, while also running on top of DOS, is not a true preemptive, operating system. - WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF OS/2 AS A BBS? ============================================= OS/2 does not run on top of DOS, and is a preemptive, multitasking operating system. It not only runs OS/2 BBS systems, but also multitasks DOS-based BBS systems. - WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF OS/2 AS A BBS? ================================================= It is a full operating system. It is not dedicated to the BBS processes. The BBS proecsses are competing with operating system processes. - WHAT BBS SOFTWARE RUNS IN OS/2? ================================== Most DOS-based BBS systems will run in a OS/2 DOS shell. A few other developers have built special versions of their BBS systems, optimized to run in OS/2's DOS shell. A still smaller number of BBS systems are written specifically for OS/2. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OS/2 SHAREWARE/FREEWARE BBS's ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-= - Oblivion/2 2.10 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-= - Info for Oblivion/2 BBS will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. =-=-=-=-=-= - KITTEN =-=-=-=-=-= TelPro Technologies BBS: 804-442-5865 Registration Fee: $195 FEATURES ========= DOS and OS/2 optimized versions. RIP support Multiline Multilanguage =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - LORA v2.33-1 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= FEATURES ========= - Shareware DOS and OS/2 optimized evrsions - Supporting up to fuor different message bases ta the same time, Fido-Base (*.MSG), the QuickBBS(also known as Hudson message base), the PIP-Base and the new Squish-Mail made by Scott J. Dudley. - Supporting up to 500 message/file areas. - Compatible built-in Front-End Fidonet Mailer, FTSC-0001, WaZOO and full EMSI capable. - Supporting multitaskers, leaving not used time to the active task, and local networks. - Integrated multiline chat. - Supporting up to twenty different languages, for a full international system. - Support for RemoteAccess 1.11, Maximus CBCS 2.00 and SuperBBS 1.16 compatible Embedded Commands. - Built-in TimeBank, FileBank, BBS List and UserVote doors. - Support for off-line mail readers compatible witht he QWK packet format. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= - MAGNUM v7.00C =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Gilmore Systems BBS: 805-379-3210 FAX: 805-379-1340 Registration Fee: $75 Features ========= - True OS/2 BBS. - 33-node(1 LAN, 32 dialup) capable. - A DEMO version (2-node: - 1 dialup + console) is also available, restricted to 128 users, 128 files, 128 messages, Magnum to Magnum remote mail is deactivated. - Supports IBM Artic and Digiboard cards. - 26 Message Conferences, Optional 'Extended MessageBase' module provides up to 6,656 - 26 File Xfer areas, Optional 'Extended FileBase' module provides up to 6,656 - Thread supporting message sysetm. - "MILC" commands(MAGNUM Interpreted Language Commands) - Off-line message format supported: Magnum's POWER, and QWK format. - Remote Job Entry (RJE) allows users to start jobs (programs) which run concurrently to their session which will continue to run after the user has logged off. - QWK mail format for off-line reading (and message entry/reply) is supported. - Games and other programs which run under OS/2 can all be run as a Child Process. A publicly available tihrd-party program (downloadable from MAGNMU BBS) will allow Magnum to run virtually any DOS-based door program. This capability reqiures both Magnum version 7.00 and OS/2 2.1. - Group Chat is available on all nodes. - Magnum BBS will run on a Local Area Network by purchasing additional copies of Magnum BBS for more DIAL-IN lines. - Optional CALLBACK available separately. ================== - Maximus v2.01wb ================== Support BBS#(613)389-8315 FEATURES ========= DOS and OS/2 optmiized versions. Free for non-commercial use. Multilingual Multinode Multinode chat MECCA macro language programming Support for the following doors: LASTUSER.BBS(Opus 1.03), DORINFO1.DEF (QuickBBS andR BBS), CHAIN.TXT (WWIV), ACLLINFO.BBS (WildCat!), and DOOR.SYS. ============================ - Virtual BBS v6.10 (VBBS) ============================ Virtual Technologies BBS#(616)399-4818 FAX:616-399-8934 Registration Fee: $99 FEATURES ========= - DOS and OS/2 optimized versions. - Multinode support for up ot 1028 users on-line is available; the shareware version supports up to 4 users on-line - Supports up to 999 networks completely transparently at any one time, including VNETtype, FIDOtype, WWIVtype, and UUCP-type. - Built-in FIDO front end mailer (No need for Front Door) - DigiBoard support in channel configuration - Built-in QWK door for off-line readers - VSCRIPT script alnguage programming - Multi-user teleconferencing - User-defined macros - Full CD-ROM or WORM capable databases - Split-screen chat function available - Supports optional use fo FOSSIL driver - Support for the following doors: DORINFO1.DEF( QuickBBS an dRBBS), CHAIN.TXT (WWIV), DOOR.SYS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OS/2 COMMERCIAL BBS's ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ============ - OraComm ============ - More info for OraComm BBS will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. Oracomm Support BBS, (612)894-5879 Sales and Support for Oracomm Multiline BBS Software Surf Computer Services, Minneapolis, MN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PC HARDWARE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - What basic hardware setup do I need to start a BBS? - What hardware is needed to add more phone lines? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NETWORKING YOUR PC BBS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - INTRODUCTION ============== This section (Networking you PC BBS) is designed to give the basics on how to make a networked BBS. There are a lot of FAQ's out there that can be more helpful than what can be written here, especially with the networking and using individual BBS software, but this will give you a place to work from. - WHAT IS A NETWORK? ====================== A networked BBS is one that has multiple computers 'hardwired' through some non-phone connection to each other, and they can send information to each other. If this is in a corporate environment, there might be just one computer with modems, with not only people calling in, but calling out as well, for telecommuting and the like. For most private use BBS's out there, however, all the machines on the network have modems on them taking calls. We'll look mainly at that aspect. - WHAT DO I NEED FOR A NETWORK? ================================= Assuming that your BBS software can handle multiple computers with multiple modems, all you need to make a network is an Network Interface Card (NIC), the wires going to each computer, the 'topology' of the network, and a Network Operating System (NOS). - THE TOPOLOGY ================= This is a fancy term for how the wiring will be laid. This is mainly dependent on the wiring used. There's two main types: The Bus and the Star. - HOP ON THE BUS ================== The bus is a series connection of computers. One to the other to the other to the other, with resistors at the end of the cable to tell the network you've hit the edge. It's probably the cheapest way to get into networking. However, if you are worried about one node (a computer on the network) going down, this is a bad way to go. The wire breaks in any way, shape or form, and the whole net comes crashing down. - HITCH YOUR DREAMS TO A STAR ================================ The other way to connect them is in a star configuration. All computers talking to one central hub. It's more expensive because you have to buy that hub. That costs from about $150 to easily over $1000. Unless this network will also support a few hundred other users, stick with the cheap, non-SNMP, non manageable hubs. - THE NIC =========== This is a card that will be installed into the computer and is dedicated to network transmission. There are a lot of them out there. You can easily pay from $30 to over $400. However, sometimes, you do get what you pay for. It is suggested to find a big company that will stand behind their product, both with driver updates and tech support when things don't work. You can do 3Com, Intel, Allied Telesis, SMC, Eagle, or others. - THE NOS & NETWORK TYPE ============================= Now this one is a very good problem. A lot of people are looking into this, not just for a BBS setup but for a variety of other applications too. The following is a list and brief description of some of the more popular networking software. - NOVELL NETWARE ================= Netware, by Novell, has to be by far the most popular NOS. Alot of companies run Netware, and there's all sorts of addons and support for it. It's a good, reliable, robust operating system. There's version 3.x and 4.x, with 3.x being more for small to medium companies and 4.x for Wide Area Networks and large companies. You'll be looking (as of 1 July 1994) at Netware 3.12 for your setup. 3.11 is also acceptable. Now, there's one major drawback to Netware: It has to be installed on one dedicated server. Dedicated means you can't do anything else with that machine but run it as a server. Netware 3.12 will run on a 386. - LANTASTIC ============= Lantastic, by Artisoft, is a peer-to-peer NOS. What does that mean to you? No dedicated server machine. So you don't have all sorts of money tied up in a machine that does nothing but manage your network. Before Windows for WorkGroups came along, this was the ONLY reliable and cheap peer-to-peer setup. It still is extremely popular, for one very important reason: it runs in DOS. Windows for WorkGroups is great as long as you're in Windows. As of 1 July 1994, Lantastic 6.0 has just hit the streets, and the price is very reasonable. - Windows for WorkGroups =========================== As mentioned in the Lantastic section, this is Windows- only. - The New Kid In Town: CoActive ================================== I'll quickly glance over CoActive, because there's one major problem with it: speed. The idea is simple enough: Give everyone an adapter to hang off the parallel port of your computer, run regular phone line between the machines, and run a peer to peer network with the greatest of ease. Each node takes about 10 mintues to set up, and that's pretty darn good. The price makes it even more attractive. However, it is not recommended if speed is a factor, it has an extremely slow transfer rate. It runs as a serial port, so the max it can do is 115K/second, where standard Ethernet pulls about 10 times that. If you have small files, or run a message-only board, you could get away with CoActive, but for anyone else it is not recommended. - EtherWave ============= This is another new one, very fresh on the market. It's from Farallon, and it's called Etherwave. Main claim to fame: You can 'daisy chain' machines on Ethernet. big problem: The ones near the end of the chain are very slow, and you still need a NOS to run this thing. - How does all this hardware help me? ======================================= Well, suddenly you can share your BBS files over your whole setup. In the Netware setup, you have one central location for all your files, for easy backup and maintenance options. In 3.12, you can hang a CDROM or two off the server, to give even more storage capability and value to your BBS. Suddenly, your nodes can be 'light' nodes, doing nothing but answering calls, with an 80 MB or so HD, and all the file storage is kept on the server. For the Peer-to-peer, each machine can have one special section for each file area, like games or utilities, and all the other people look to that area for the files. Still easy to maintain. Also, a network is a heck of a lot faster than standard serial ports, and easier to send big files from one machine to the other. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CD-ROMS & YOUR PC BBS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - How do I add a CD-rom to my BBS? - Can I have more than one CD-Rom for my users to access? - Do I need any special software to run a CD-rom(s)? - Books & other resources when using a Cd-rom on your BBS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BBS ADD-ONS UTILITIES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ========================= - What is RIPScript? ========================= RIPscript graphics are EGA quality graphics that are displayed over the modem. The BBS sends special codes which are interpreted by a special term program and draws the screen for the user. The results can be impressive. While there are other graphic protocols, such as NAPLPS and ROBO/FX, which are better than RIP (supporting VGA and better resolutions), RIP is the only one which can be made with simple ASCII sequences. This is good, since when you understand which codes do what (they are confusing), you can actually edit the screens in any text editor (although you won't see the picture, just the codes). There are a bunch of shareware programs which give you the power to draw your own RIP screens, using lines, circles, boxes, fonts, and other cool stuff. Several BBS programs also have special support for RIP, such as (but not limited to) Renegade, WildCat, and Synchronet. Other BBS authors are planning to RIP-enable their systems soon. =============================== - What is a fossil driver? =============================== Fossil drivers were invented in the mid 80's, when not every modem and/or serial device was 100% compatible. Fossils made sure that your program could talk to your modem, regardless of how oddball the modem. It does this by intercepting signals from the program, and converting them into something the modem can understand. These days, fortunately, the problems are much less severe. Fossils are used mostly because a BBS program that supports them doesn't have to be constantly updated to handle new speeds or protocols, just the fossil. The word "fossil" is actually an acronym for "Fido-Opus-Seadog Standard Interface Layer". Where can I download a fossil driver? --------------------------------------- FTP: gallifrey.ucs.uoknor.edu, in /pub/bbs/msdos/fossil The following available to download, - Fossil driver BNU v1.70 - X00 fossil, version 1.50 - A program called Video Fossil v1.10, which is needed if you want to run Binkley Term with colors. ========================================================= - What do I need to offer fax services to my users? ======================================================== Below is a list of BBS software programs that offer fax features while running your BBS. Please refer to the proper section of this FAQ where the BBS software is explained in detail. - Procomm Plus for Windows v2.0 (Refer to chapter 2 - under the topic, "What s Ghost BBS") - FirstClass BBS (Refer to chapter 3 for further details about FirstClass) - PCBoard (Version 15.1) (please see section 2.03 for more information about PCBoard) - Remote Access (Refer to chapter 2) NOTE: Several BBS packages support fax capabilities. Check with the software vendor/author first. BGFAX 1.09 ------------ BGFAX allows SYSOPs to accept faxes on their BBS line. BGFAX can also send faxes. (While BGFAX was originally designed just for sysops, it can also be used by Mr. Joe User who hates TSR based fax programs.) BGFAX is a tool designed for use with any Class 2 compliant fax modem. The fax modem must also support fully functional ADAPTIVE ANSWERING. Common Class 2 fax modems include the Supra, Practical Peripherials (may require purchase of a newer ROM revision if you are using an older model), Zoom, etc. BGFAX also directly supports ZyXEL fax mode. (AT#B1+FCLASS=6). BGFAX will not function with Class 1 only fax modems. Common Class 1 only fax modems include all non-v.32 turbo USR fax modems, Digicom Scouts, the AT&T Dataport, and the SupraLC. BGFAX can be used in FOUR distinct modes. FRONTEND MODE ... BGFAX will answer the telephone line ITSELF, handle events, pass data calls to a front end compatible BBS, and take fax calls. REAR END MODE ... BGFAX will be called from another program when an incoming fax is detected. FidoNet sysops using front end mailers such as FrontDoor, Intermail, D'Bridge, Dutchie, etc. are required to use this mode. The mailer must support the ability to exit to BGFAX when a fax is coming. SEND MODE ....... BGFAX has the ability to send faxes to another fax machine. (At this time, the file to be sent must already be in converted fax format.) INITIALIZATION .. BGFAX will only initialize the modem, and then quit. This mode is provided for people who need to use BGFAX in rear end mode, but their Fido mailer (or BBS software) will not allow the long initialization strings required for fax usage. CONTACTING THE AUTHOR OF BGFAX --------------------------------- B.J. Guillot 2611 Rushwood Circle Houston Texas 77067-1941 Voice 713-893-9320 Data/Fax 713-893-9124 INTERNET: st1r8@jetson.uh.edu Fido 1:106/400 Front-End Mailers ------------------- - Info for Front-End Mailers will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. ==================== ANSI & THE PC BBS ==================== - No outline provided in this version of the FAQ. ======================== FILE CHECKING PROGRAMS ======================== - When users upload files, what add-on utilities are avilable to check for viruses & duplicates? ============ QWK MAIL ============ - What is QWK mail? - The BBS software I chose did not include QWK mail capabilties, how do I add QWK mail to my BBS? - What QWK mail software is available? =========== BBS DOORS =========== - What is a BBS door? --------------------------- Loosely put, a door, as the name implies, is a gateway outside the BBS software. Doors can be anything, games, database applications, credit card registration systems, just about anything. Most doors are run by the BBS itself or by a batch file outside the BBS. The door program itself interfaces with the communications and the modem, and takes over from the BBS software after it unloads. - What doors are available? ----------------------------------- Doors are so numerous that this question is hard to answer. If you have a purpose in mind, you can generally find a door to suit it. - How do I install a door? ------------------------------ Say you just found the perfect game you want to add to your BBS, but you're unsure on how to configure it. This is a general set of steps to follow to configure most door programs out there: 1. Install the program. Some programs are compressed, needing uncompression programs such as PKUnzip, ARJ, etc. Others have their own installation software, which may or may not uncompress it. Others have a set of instructions in a file like READ.ME, READTHIS.1ST, README.NOW, etc. Make sure to follow the instructions as they are written, and try not to shortcut it unless you know what you are doing. 2. Doors usually have a configuration program or file containing various options. While most doors have options of their own, here are a few setup options and guidelines that are fairly common: a. DROP FILE NAME/TYPE: This file is the file that the door software gets most of its information from. From this file, the door can get the user name, speed, location, and many more items, some BBS dependant. In order for a door program to be supported, your BBS usually must support a similar drop file type. For instance, PCBoard, which supports it's own PCBOARD.SYS file and a generic file called DOOR.SYS, could only be used with door programs that can use one of these two files. Here are some sample BBS packages and their drop files: ------------------------------ BBS Drop File(s) ------------------------------ WWIV CHAIN.TXT PCBoard PCBOARD.SYS, DOOR.SYS RBBS DORINFO1.DEF RyBBS CURRUSER.BBS WildCat! CALLINFO.BBS There are some shareware programs that will translate door drop files into (probably) a format readable by your BBS. Check your local BBS's for such converters. After you know what drop file to use, configure the door to use it, as said in the docs. NOTE: Some drop files, depending on the BBS system, may also include the below configuration options, in which case you may not have to configure for them. b. COM PORT: The COM port the BBS is on. If you are running more than two lines, you may have trouble with this DOOR program unless it has controls over options b and c. This is because after going past two lines, you cannot assign standard COM port designations to each line. (See section on Multi-line door setups) c. IRQ - This is the Interrupt the communications port is on. If you are running one or two lines, you should select the default choice, or leave this option out, unless your serial board is oddly configured. For multi-line systems, you should choose the IRQ of the port it's on. (See section on Multi-line door setups) d. Base Address - This is the base address of the communications port. As with IRQ, unless running a multi-line system or an abnormal serial card, keep the defaults. If the door does not have defaults, the standard values for these are: - COM1, COM3: IRQ - 4 Base Address - 3f8 - COM2, COM4: IRQ - 3 Base Address - 2f8 e. Other modem/hardware information - Some doors will ask for various other information, such as whether to use hardware or software handshaking. Most of this should be set the same as the BBS is. If you are unsure, check the documentation. f. A note about VBRUN: Some doors that are written in basic need a utility called VBRUN in order to execute. This utility is BASIC's runtime module, and is usually not included in the door package. If, during testing, the door wants the location of a runtime module, this is what you need to look for. Most BBS's should have a copy, or know where to find one. After these are configured, various items about the door itself must be configured. For a game, it may be the number of turns per day, for a credit card system what types of cards are supported, etc. Configure these as you wish. 3. Test the door in local mode, if it is has such an option. Most doors have a command line switch, or some other way of runing the door in 'local' mode. Local mode allows you to use the door without a modem/serial line attached, and is usually good for testing. The purpose of testing ahead of time before adding it to the BBS is to make sure the the door itself is properly configured. Testing in local mode will pick up errors such as bad/missing filenames, improper configuration files, etc. 4. Install on the BBS itself - In all cases, check the documentation of the BBS software you have selected for proper configuration. Most BBS's do it one of two ways: (1) The door is run by the BBS itself. In this case, you need to configure the BBS software, which will usually have a set of configuration options relating to doors. When it asks you for the path to execute the door, input the path of the executable/batch file for the door. NOTE: Doors run on BBS's of this type may have problems with memory usage. For this reason, some BBS's have a special option to let you 'minimize' the memory usage. If you're experiencing memory problems, use this option. (2) The door is run outside the BBS in another batch file. In this case, an sample external batch is usually included with the BBS package. Most of these look similar to this: :cycle RunBBS ; Run the BBS program if errorlevel 50 goto DOOR_A if errorlevel 40 goto DOOR_B if errorlevel 30 goto DOOR_C if errorlevel 20 goto end ; test for each :DOOR_A tw2002 ; Run Trade Wars, a game goto cycle ; go back to the bbs :DOOR_B vote goto cycle ; vote and return :DOOR_C ccard goto cycle ; get a credit card, return :end ; end it off. In this manner, when the BBS exits, depending on the DOS errorlevel the batch file will execute a myriad of different programs. Some BBS's have preset errorlevels, and such BBS packages, like SpitFire, should have sample batch files with these presets. Others have configuration options to let you change the errorlevels, in which case you might have to create your own, personal batch file. The above should work for most BBS's of the batch file type. If you change this, remember that the 'if errorlevel' calls MUST be in descending order, because of the nature of the call. After the door itself is configured, you may have to add a menu entry or some other way of accessing it. Make sure, if sure BBS is up and running at the time, with non-sysop callers calling in, that the menu entry is set at sysop security level to prevent others from trying a potentially faulty door. 5. Test it online - This is a MUST. If you have another line, call into your BBS and test the door online, or have a friend do it if you don't have another line/modem to spare. If the door fails to operate, try tweaking the settings some, making sure that it has the same hardware/software setup as the BBS. If all goes well, you're ready to open it to the public. You can now change that sysop-only menu entry to a normal one. 6. Open it to the public - Now it's ready to be released into the wide world of BBS doors. After following these guidelines, you should be able to install and configure most door softwares. - Notes of Multi-line systems ------------------------------- 1. Multi-node systems, systems that use Windows, or DesqView, or OS/2, etc., should be aware that not all door programs were meant to be running at the same time. For instance, the old version of Trade Wars, a popular BBS game, could not have more than one node running it at one time. This is because of various restrictions that DOS, and the door program itself, put on file sharing. The door program will usually say in the documentation whether it supports Multi-node systems. If it does, follow the above configuration. If your BBS system does not share its configuration files, you must configure it for each node, or some nodes will be missing it. 2. Internal Multitaskers. These BBSs, such as The Major BBS, TBBS, Falken and more, do their multitasking internally, instead of with something like DesqView or Windows. Such BBS's may have an interface to use normal doors, but most require you to use only option modules meant for their BBS, since they didn't build it to multitask all kinds of programs. Use your manual to install such software, since it varies system to system. - Notes on DOORWAY -------------------- DOORWAY is a program that lets you run normal DOS programs that do not support comm routines, as doors. There is an inherent problem in this, though, because DOS programs are very finicky. Several DOS programs use direct screen writes, and, while DOORWAY supports these, can be very tricky. Graphics programs, obviously, are not supported. Another problem with common DOS programs is security. If the program offers anything like a shell to dos or a command running option, you probably don't want to offer it, unless you trust the people using it, or you found a way around. To install DOORWAY, use the above instructions, but when it comes to running the executable, run DOORWAY with its command line instead. If in need, most BBSs will carry a copy of DOORWAY, usually as DRWY____.ZIP or DOORWAY.ZIP. ---- Continued in next message -------------

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E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank