continued from previous message PART 8 Reccoon Features in Rcn v0.55 A nice GUI configurat

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--------- continued from previous message ---------- PART 8 ================ - Reccoon ================ Features in Rcn v0.55: ------------------------ * A nice GUI configuration-program using gadtools. * Alternative text-based configuration-program that can be used from remote. * All textstrings in the BBS can be replaced with whatever you want. * Multi-language, up to 65536 different languages supported! * Different textfiles for different users, accesslevels and graphics modes. * Different task-priorities for each node when uploading/downloading. * Up to 65536 telephonelines (nodes) supported. * Support for multiple serial port board. * Speeds up to 4Gbaud supported (if your hardware and device driver does) * Highspeed modems supported. * RTS/CTS handshaking. * Configurable serial device driver and unit for each node. * More than 4 billion messageareas! * More than 4 billion fileareas! * Up to 65536 different accesslevels! * Lots of displaycodes that can be used almost everywhere. * Displaycodes uses sprintf(), making it possible to make strings adjusted to the right, left, integers written in decimal, hexadecimal, octal, padded with zeros etc etc! * Conditional displaycodes, such as "Send if the private flag is set", or "display textfile" * Action displaycodes, such as hangup and pause. * IEMSI support! * All nodes are opened as resizeable and movable windows on the shared ReccControl screen. * ReccControl supervises the system, avoiding conflicts of files, users etc. * VERY low CPU-usage! * ANSI support. * Textoutput optimizing. Replaces five or more spaces in a row with an ANSI-sequence. * Remote-DOS, using FIFO - Makes it just as your normal shell window! * Almost every Rcn-program are PURE, making it possible to make them resident! * Reccoon.library, making utilities small and uses less memory! They're real easy to code too, using that library! * Statistic such as total byte UL, DL, calls etc are stored on disk and displayed on the ReccControl screen. * All Reccoon-lines and ReccControl can be iconified as APP-Icons on the workbench-screen. * Pulldown menus. (with 3.0 look with OS v39 and higher) * OS 2.0 look. * AGA screenresolutions supported. * Macro-keys that can be used everywhere. * String-edit - the user can use arrowkeys in any string-prompt. * Very powerful custimized doorinterface making the door possible to almost everything. It has access to almost all internal data, and lots of internal functions, such as DisplayMessage() & ListFiles() * Possible to run multiple doors at the same time! * Run-back doors that works in the background. * Doors may add its own fields in the userstructure! * Action-doors such as Snake. * ARexx interface. * Paragon-Door interface. * Doorlink interface. * FPL interface (FPL is a script-language that looks and feels like C) * The entire logon-sequence can be replaced with an fpl-script. * Possible to run CLI-doors. * A GUI usereditor, with ARexx interface! * Possible to edit multiple users at the same time (each user in one window) * Alternative textbased user-editor which can be used from remote. * Possible to edit users being online, and they wont even notice. * Different keymaps supported. * Different fonts supported. * Character-translation - the user can chose between sysop configurable tables. * Up to 65536 different translation-tables supported. * 8-bit ASCII supported. * All programs are written in C, and smaller parts in fast 68000+ assembler. * Requires OS 2.0 (v37) or higher. * Users get congratulated on their birthday. * Smooth hotkeys. * Ctrl-C breaking * Multicolor-chat, which can be started any time, even when running doors. * VERY stable! Havent hanged my BBS since Oct-92 !! * NO Enforcer and Mungwall hits! * Crash-protection. Network: --------- * FidoNet support. * 10 different AKAs supported. * Very Fast and good mailprocessor! * SEEN-BY processing, making it possible to add/remove nodes from the Seen-By lines. (For both files and msgs) * 4D network addressing. * Pointsupport. * Areafix for both msgareas and fileareas! * Access-restrictions in areafix. * Passthru areas. * Fileechos! * Filerequest handler. * Possible to disable filerequest for certain nodes. * Magic filenames. * Wildcards supported in filerequests. * Possible to password protect files and whole areas for file request. * File request report sent to the Sysop on the remote system, and to the local sysop. (configurable) * Checks the nodelist for unlisted systems. * Byte and file-limit for freqs. * Multiple Netmailareas supported. * Crashmail. * Direct Netmails. * Very powerful routing capabilities. * Different archivers for different nodes. * Uses Trapdoor! * MSGID dupechecking. * MSGID/REPLY message linking. * Works fine in a HUB/HOST environment. * Accesses the nodelist using Traplist.library, so you wont need to have serveral nodelist-formats when you use Trapdoor as mailer. Messages ----------- * As said, more than four billions different messageareas! * Messages are stored in two files per messagearea, making it possible to scan messages EXTREMELY faaaast! * Possible to send messages to ALL users, so they receive it when then logon. * Fileattaches. The attached files are stored in a special filearea, so you as a sysop get a good overview of all attached files. * Handles. * Each user can have diffrent accessrestrictions for each message area. * Private messages. * Access-level restrictions on certain messages. * Possible to reply-protect areas. * Netmail reply. * Sysop menu that allows the message-writer and the Sysops to edit message-flags. * Each user have an own set of access-flags for each message- area, so you got 100% access-control! * Possible to age-protect areas, so very young users wont have access to adult message-areas. * Messages displayed in different colors (configurable) when quoted text, Seen-by lines, cludges etc. making it very easy to find the important parts in messages. * Possible to hide message-cludges (users option) * Message-display is hotkeyed, so you can proceed to the next message without to wait for the end. * The message header looks just as you want it to look. * Full-screen editor. Files --------- * Uses XPR = External protocols. * Opens a nice little window when transfering files. * Files can be marked by entering a number, a wildcard or the whole filename. * Both * wildcards and Amiga #? wildcards supported. * Very fast global-search function. * Each user has an own set of access-flags for each file- area, so you got 100% access-control! * View-archive function. * Test-archive function. * The uploader may edit his files, such as changing the description etc. The sysops for that area can also do other things such as remove credits, change area etc. * Auto-logoff after download. * Hotkeyed file-listing. * Files can be marked and downloaded at a later time. * Files can be a free download. * Some users can have free download in some areas. * Bps-restrictions for DL and UL (different for each filearea) Menus -------- * All menucommands can be used in any menu. * Supports both FPL menus and less advanced menus. * Lots of menucommands. * Possible to do serveral things on one single keyhit. * Access-restrictions on every menucommand. * A password menu-command, making it possible to password- protect certain things. * Possible to do certain things for certain access-levels. * Menucommands takes arguments and return results, example: /* this is a short FPL-script */ prevarea=msgarea; if(MsgArea(2)){ WriteMsg("Niclas Emdelius"); MsgArea(prevarea); }else Send("Area not found"); * You can trap almost every key, even the return key. =================== - TransAmiga =================== - Info for TransAmiga will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. ================== - Max's BBS v1.52 ================== - Info for Max's BBS v1.52 will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AMIGA HARDWARE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WHAT BASIC HARDWARE WOULD I NEED TO SET UP AN AMIGA BBS? ====================== - INTRODUCTION ====================== This part of the BBS FAQ explains the basic hardware requirements for those interested in setting up a BBS on a Commodore Amiga computer. This section covers the advantages to the Amiga's internal hardware, and how the hardware affects the BBS software that you will be running. In addition, this section will display some of the advantages and disadvantages to running a BBS on the Amiga. Terms enclosed in asteriks (*) are defined at the bottom of this article under "GLOSSARY". ====================================== - COMMODORE AMIGA ON THE INSIDE ====================================== The CBM (Commodore Business Machine) line of computers are based on the Motorola 68000 processor series (68000, 68020, 68030 etc.). Yet the Amiga is built unlike any other computer, in that it has a very customized chip set within the computer. These chips allow the computer to hardware *multitask* (see GLOSSARY at end of file), display graphics in a flash, and provide the Amiga with an effective *GUI* (Graphic User Interface). The first thing you need is obviously an Amiga computer, but don't go out and grab just any one. You should choose the computer suited to your needs. All of the Amigas multitask, and thus all of them are capable of running software that supports multiple lines; however, this may be misleading in that not all Amiga computers support multiple lines. Also, the older Amigas have slower processors and useless operating systems. ================================================= - KNOWING YOUR NEEDS WHEN SETTING UP A BBS ================================================= (or your company's needs) This is the first step in setting up any BBS, Amiga, IBM, or otherwise. I won't go into detail here, but there are some things you should keep in mind: (1) Do you need a large online file base, or are you message-oriented? (2) Do you need/will you need multiple lines? (Don't limit yourself!) (3) If so, How many multiple lines will you need? (4) Will you be hooking up to a network (such as FIDO or UUCP/UseNet)? The above considerations will affect your choice of hardware. The following chart will attempt to offer some guidelines your hardware requirements based on your needs. Note, however, that if you are buying a computer new, you should gather some information on your own, and the author is not responsible for any misconceptions you may have had before your purchase. Msgs-Base Files 1Line Multi-Line Comp. RAM Notes |--------|-----|-----|----------|------|-----|------| | X | | X | | A500 1MB *,! | X | X | X | | A500 2MB **,! | | | | | A600 @ | X | X | X | X | A1200 3MB+ # | X | | X | | A2000 1MB+ $,! | X | X | X | X | A2000 3MB+ %,! | X | X | X | X | A3000 4MB+ &,! | X | X | X | X | A4000 4MB+ *** Notes: ! This machine is either now obselete or is being faded out. * The A500 cannot be expanded to multiple ports. It is possible to run a BBS off of floppy disks, but nowadays it's hard to find good software to support this. Also, you would be quite limited in your expandability. ** The A500 cannot be expanded to multiple ports, and hard-drive controllers, harddrives, and RAM expansions are to be added seperately. If this is the computer you have, I would recommend a hard-drive and a BIG RAM expansion first before starting a BBS. The reason why the RAM requirement is higher than the previous listing is because harddrives take up RAM when mounted, and you need enough to run the software. ========================================= - AN EXPLANATION OF AMIGA SYSTEMS ========================================= @ The A600 is strictly a games computer and is useless for the purposes of running a BBS. # The A1200 is one of Commodore's newest machines. It has the latest state of the art graphics chip sets, supports a multi-port serial card, comes with a harddrive controller installed. In addition, it uses one of Motorola's latest processors, and is quite the quick machine. Perfect for a small yet expandable single or multi-line BBS. $ The A2000, unexpanded, is the same as an Amiga 500. Same processor, same features. % The A2000, expanded, can hold a muliple serial card, harddrives, RAM, etc., as is needed. However, the standard CPU is quite slow for multi-line systems, so you may want to buy an accelorator for this machine if this is what you'll be using to set up your BBS. & The A3000 is a great machine. It comes with a 68030 processor and a math co-processor (for much faster calculations), and has a suitable starting amount of RAM, and can take a multi-serial card. *** The A4000 is Commodore's latest benchmark, and if you can afford it, is excellent for running pretty much any kind of BBS you have in mind. Please note that the above are only guidlines and are not hard-coded theory. The number of lines you can support also depends on the software amount of RAM you have available, and the speed of your computer. Also remember that the larger your hard drive space, the larger your file-base; the more RAM you have, the less chance you have of crashing the computer. A big 11-line system in Ottawa, Ontario is running C-Net/3 software on an Amiga 4000 with 1.2 Gigabytes of harddrive space and 14 Megs of RAM, just to give you an idea. ============================================================== - PRO'S & CON'S ABOUT AMIGA HARDWARE WHEN RUNNING A BBS ============================================================== Advantages ----------- Hardware multitasking is much faster and more efficient than software multitasking systems; GUI makes things easy to use, with point-and-click type mouse operations; Amiga supports a GUI as well as a Dos-Shell, for the best of both worlds, making setting up a BBS easier to do; most Amiga BBS software has multiple-line support built right into the software. ********************************************************************* CHAPTER 6 - SYSOPS SURFING THE INTERNET HIGHWAY ********************************************************************* I want to provide Internet access on my BBS... (Topics to be covered) - Who do I contact to get Internet on my BBS? How much does it cost? - Are there different type of internet connections? If so, what are my options? - What is TCP/IP, SLIP, UUCP, ISDN, leased lines? - What type of software do I need to have an Internet connection? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SATELLITE SERVICES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How do I get an Internet connection with a satalite dish? PAGESAT --------- PageSat is a direct-broadcast satellite service carrying news groups from several major networks, principally the Internet. PageSat uplinks in Mountain View, CA, to a transponder on GE Americom's Ku-band K2 domestic satellite. It covers the entire continental United States and parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico. Coverage in Europe and Asia is planned for 3Qtr 1994. On average, PageSat delivers approx. 50 - 60 megabytes a day of Usenet News. Hardware consists of a 0.63-m (or larger where required) parabolic Ku-band antenna system and a PCSAT 100 Wireless Usenet Data Terminal. Any 286 or higher processor running DOS 3.1 is acceptable. You still need a land-line to an Internet host for outgoing mail. Contact: Duane J. Dubay PageSat Inc. 992 San Antonio Rd. Palo Alto, CA. 94303 (415) 424-0384 Email: djd@pagesat.net PLANET CONNECT ---------------- Planet Connect is a direct-broadcast satellite service. The base system uses a 2-foot dish with a flat roof mount, wall mount, or pole mount, Ku LNB and feed and Planet Connect Data Receiver (19,200 baud). Base service includes: FidoNET backbone NaNet Contact: Planet Systems, Inc. 213 Abbey Road Newport, TN 37821 Voice: 615-623-9335 Fax: 615-625-8831 BBS: 615-623-8203 V32: 615-623-8111 ==================================== - Turn your PC into a Usenet Site ==================================== To be provided in future versions of the BBS FAQ. ********************************************************************* CHAPTER 7 - NET IT UP - GETTING YOUR BBS ON AN ECHO NETWORK ********************************************************************* ===================== 7.01 - Why network? ===================== As electronic bulletin boards proliferate like particles in a nuclear reaction, the opportunities to "net" will likewise explode. Why do it? Well, why not? The costs are minuscule compared to the benefits offered by a well- operated BBS "echo" network. In real terms, the long distance phone charges applied to networked message have probably gone DOWN in the ten short years that individual computerists began linking up. actual outlay, though, may not have decreased -- since the amount of traffic has expanded like as super nova. Your users will benefit from the networks through the connections that link them with folks from all over the country and the globe, gaining insights and points-of- view unavailable in any other medium. Correspondingly, the users of other member boards in the network can benefit from the thoughts and opinions of *your* users. The many-to-many discussions offered in these nearly gatekeeper-free, nearly unedited channels may be one of the biggest attractions for users to gravitate to your BBS. The reason to net may not have changed much from the desire that led Tom Jennings to found the biggest and oldest self-sustaining echo net of them all -- FidoNet . He found himself on one coast and a friend on the other. He figured a way to auto-send messages at night when the rates were low. The technique spread. And now the BBS that is not networked in some way is a rarity. ============================= 7.02 - What is an echo net? ============================ "Echo" is the word that came to describe the act of netting chains of home-grown BBSs together because it is descriptive of the technique most commonly used. Your voice echoes when you send it through a canyon and it reverberates after striking each successive rockface. Your users' messages will do the same as they pass from your board to your UPLINK BBS in the chain. Later, often the next night, that uplink calls another NODE in the net, perhaps, which merely collects and passes your board's messages on; or it may call a HUB, which collects messages from its own users, as well as many other node BBSs like yours. Hubs of this kind do specially arranged exchanges among themselves in many network set-ups. Sometimes called "star" systems these central and regionally placed systems act as collection and distribution points and add measurable efficiencies to the passing of communications around the continents. There are also systems which do not merely echo messages but which also echo software and other data, usually in compressed form. Keep an eye out for the Shareware Distribution Network (SDN), a well-established collection of BBSs that spreads useful utility, entertainment and educational software. 7.03 - Where do I find information? ======================================== Call any BBS of which you are now aware, and you will probably finds a net attached to it. Normally each system in a net makes available the latest version of an information archive -- most often known as an "info pac". Ask the sysop for the name or how to get it. If you have no nets locally that you'd like to carry on your own system, there are places where networking folk gather to discuss issues and disseminate information. Look at all the nets local to you to see if any carry a conference on the topic of "networking". Sometimes these conferences are devoted to discussions of the LAN (local area networking) techniques of business and government, but ask anyway. You're sure to get a lead or two. You're probably not too far from a BBS carrying the FidoNet conference called OTHERNETS. For a sysop interested in networking, even long-distance contact with this conference will be well worth it. Messages by administrators and member sysops of other BBS networks (hence the name of the conference) comprise the vast bulk of the messaging activity there. Lastly, there is a certain book, (Surely, the reader knows that even if I wasn't the author, I'd mention it. Surely.) the current edition of which contains the complete NODELISTs (compilation of phone numbers) of member boards of 69 self-sustaining echo networks (and a partial list of one huge one). With the listings of the conferences carried, the entries in the directory range from the dependable and mainstream (RIME, a general interest net with its own elaborate technology and nearly a thousand member boards,) through the meditative (DharmaNet, devoted to Buddism) through the bizarre (Furnet, which, apparently, has something to do with anthromorphy, the role-playing of animals). The book is called _Free Electronic Networks_ (Prima Computer Books, Rocklin CA, ISBN 1-55958-415-7). Your local library may have it. (Library books are, after all, the original shareware.) Or browse through it at your local bookstore (but try not to make it too dog-eared.) 7.04 - Do echo networks charge fees? ====================================== By and large the echo networks almost religiously DO NOT charge for the privilege of joining them. Many, if they have thought to include the rule, even forbid their member board sysops from withholding the network conferences from users in exchange for fees (or "donations," as many sysops like to call them.) There are some that require fees for administrative reasons and some try to establish emergency funds to keep the systems up. A few may even exact charges from the individual users. This is rare. Some common charges may involve "hub" fees, where node systems are asked for a nominal monthly or weekly contribution in order to help offset the phone toll charges that accrue to the operators of network hubs, which sometimes haul huge amounts of data through their phone links. A well-run net will easily make these charges worth your while. And you can be sure that no one is making a killing, just sharing the load. The software used to network, in most cases is open and/or shareware, meaning the inventors don't mind if you tinker and the payment you make to them are on the honor system. Some networks require the software be "registered" (paid for) before allowing a hook-up. 7.05 - What are the differences between networking technologies? =================================================================== The basic known forms of net tech are the following: Fido; QWK; PostLink, WWIV, Citadel. Fido is a net and a tech. Your board can be part of the big FidoNet, or it can be part of a stand-alone organization that merely uses the same techniques and similar software to the Big Dog. The software has evolved but remains in the same basic form. The BBS interacts with the net through a software link called a "fossil" driver and another called a "mailer." Getting your board up and going in a Fido tech network can be somewhat technically daunting for the casual computerist, and may require more know-how than the other network forms. But the tradition of Fido has grown from the achievement of dedicated independent computerists, and they'd prefer the company of those who can muster up the minimum expertise it takes to join them. Search the BBSs near you -- or the commercial online services you patronize -- for a file named something like BIGDUMMY.* Inside will probably be a text file entitled "The Big Dummy's Guide to FidoNet" by Michael Schuyler. It's an informative and witty espousal of the Fido ways, whys and wherefores. QWK is a networking standard that grew out of the most successful of the mail reader formats to emerge over the last few years. A mail reader is a software device that allows a user to call your board and take messages away, for reading and responding at their leisure. The mail reader hooks up with a "door" on your board that knows the format used, and deals out the messages according to the users wants. It was not a far jump from this task to using the same pieces, with a bit of adjustment, for the task of networking between the boards themselves. Naturally then, since the form was founded for the use of your average users, the networking techniques cannot be too trying on the intellect. The ease of use has its drawbacks. QWK nets rarely offer "netmail" or "receiver- only" mail (sometimes erroneously known as "private e- mail." There is very little privacy available). WildNet is a large and active net based on QWK tech. PostLink is a proprietary technology (in that the developer would prefer you not use it if you haven't paid for it, and tinkering is not encouraged.) The large network based on this tech is the RelayNet International Message Exchange (RIME), a stable network which offers a modicum of security by providing encrypting netmail and other features not available in your average hacked, cobbled and tweaked net tech. WWIV is a technology that seems to attract those hobbyists (read as "hacker" in the mostly benign meaning of the word) with a penchant for "handles" and wild talk. WWIV offers conferences that are known as "subs" -- which is short for "sub-boards" or smaller divisions of the main board. The topics tend to be wild and the "sub" names wildly descriptive, since the technology allows for longer names. (i.e., The Wesley Crusher Must Die Club). The subs can be started on a BBS anywhere in the net and will spread around according to their popularity and audience -- a method the online radicals like to think of as anarchy, but which is really a demonstration of your basic orderly market economics. Like Fido, there is the big WWIV and there are some few other networks based on the tech that are stand-alone. Citadel is a technology nearly as old as FidoNet, with a core group of unshakable enthusiasts who would run nothing else. It is really a style of BBSing that naturally branched out into networking. There are BBS versions for nearly every computer technology that has been used since the early 1980's, including the extinct DOS predecessor CP/M and the widely ignored Ataris/Amigas. (Possibly excluding Macintosh. Do Macs net? Still can't say for sure. Haven't come across one.) Started as a BBS that could serve as a form of on-line role-playing game, the Citadels are "room-based" in that the conference areas are called Rooms. Groups of rooms related by topic are organized into floors (for instance, the "networking floor" and the "computer talk floor"). The individual rooms are networked in the catch-as-catch- can anarchic mode, where the sysops take and share the rooms they want. If you want a room that is not available on a board you net with locally, you are welcome to cast your line long distance and get it yourself. Topics are esoteric, indeed, in some rooms "topic" as a description would be a stretch. Interaction with a Citadel is a pleasant, primitive, sort of a welcome throwback to a younger computing day. Learning the commands may take bit more effort than today's menu-driven, hand-holdy BBS systems, but the old-timers don't mind if those without the patience stay away after the first call. They're in it for the long haul. ===================================== 7.06 - What do I have to do to join? ===================================== You might not want to think about joining a network until you have your BBS up and stabilized. Be sure that you will be around longer than a few months before trying for a net. Sysoping can be trying and demanding. Attrition of new boards is high. Adding a network may only add to your early frustration and gain you some ill will with the administrators if you falter and fade away. Once you decide to join one and have picked one out, you are likely to be put through one of a widely varying system of application processes. Some networks require little more than the achievement of a BBS up and running, and are thankful to have any nodes they can attract (these tend to be smaller, struggling nets); while others have a somewhat selective application process -- though the requirements most often are not extremely testing, normally consisting of pledges that you will try to control your users.) In the extreme case, there is a minority of BBSs with demanding -- nay, oppressive -- membership application processes. One might even call them "ordeals" -- which may include up-time minimums, lengthy, detailed applications and virtual "visits" by the "selection committee" to determine suitability. The trade off is that the sysop who lands a spot on a net like this can be assured a certain amount of civility. Often it is deceiving though, since these organizations are as subject to the biases and petty politics of any of the loosest net, even though they think their overbearing requirements make them immune. Each individual sysop will gravitate -- as you will -- toward the style of networking that suits them. Don't worry about acceptance, since for the most part, people realize eventually that they didn't really want to be anyplace where they weren't wanted anyway. ====================================== 7.07 - Do the echo nets have e-mail? ====================================== Some offer what's called "netmail". It is not instantaneous transfer e-mail like one may be used to on an internetted business or school system, but the messages travel at the same leisurely pace (usually one hop per night) as the other messages. Some net tech offer a form of somewhat instant mail called "crash mail". But it entails a direct long- distance call from one board to another, incurring the long-distance charges. Sysops won't allow this unless there is a plan to pay the costs. Also, even though the best sysops attempt to give a semblance privacy, no user should ever consider that their mail is completely free of snooping. Advise your readers that they should never commit to netmail anything they would be ashamed of if it were somehow to be made public. This will slowly change. If no one in this FAQ has mentioned it yet, every sysop should have a look at a book called _Syslaw_, by attorneys Lance Rose and Jonathan Wallace. It is their legal opinion that sysops should make every effort to provide their users with as much privacy as possible. Many sysops at present are under the impression that the government requires the opposite. A note on the grossly misused term -- censorship. Remember the First Amendment applies to governments ONLY, a private institution -- which your BBS will be -- is not required to allow any expression deemed inappropriate by its owner. This bears on networking in that no network can require you to carry a conference you consider in bad taste. Private organizations are well within their rights to edit and select what they present to their public. Think of yourself as a publisher, and don't shudder if some less-knowledgeable-than-you user shouts "censorship." They have no basis. ==================================== 7.08 - How can I start my own net? ==================================== Starting a net requires little more than a knowledge of the networking software and at least one other sysop of like mind. Establishing a large general interest network might be a staggering undertaking, but you can try your hand at a small narrowly themed network and see what happens. If it spreads, then go on from there. If it stagnates, then bide your time, learn, and try again some other time. ================================================== 7.09 - How will my users interact with the nets? =================================================== Few BBS networks apply any sort of draconian "moderation" (And those few are easy to identify, and avoid, if desired). Alternately, the security of a heavily controlled net may cause a sysop less loss of sleep over what sort of verbiage comes to reside in his or her storage memory. Expect to have an occasional user who draws the ire of the network brass. Your users may consider that you -- their friendly neighborhood sysop -- may have more loyalty to a local, possibly paying customer, than to some faceless network. Consider the pros and cons of backing a user against a network administration. Experience has shown that in the vast majority of instances, the sysop will side with the net, not wanting to endanger a feed that pleases so many other users, and offends but one. The issues involved in most network disputes are notoriously sticky and hard to resolve, if they can even be pinned down. There is a surprising amount of territoriality involved, and a not-very- surprising amount of -- as there is in every other human endeavor -- power madness. In practical matters, your users, the hip ones anyway, will use offline mail readers to grab messages from your local and network conferences. They can then be read offline and responded to at leisure. For this the sysop will have to provide a "mail door". There are many shareware models of these doors circulating. Most, if not all, adhere to the QWK/REP formats. ======================================================= 7.10 - How can I avoid becoming merely a "net outlet?" ======================================================== The act of establishing a non-networked BBS, which attracts users and has a life of its own, before hooking up to a net is the best way to insure that there is activity unrelated to your network feed. This can be done by establishing message areas with local flavor, or with topics that appeal to the users you will most likely attract. The best way to think of a BBS is as a "news service" and if you make it lively and different every day -- by initiating conversation and exciting interest in local issues -- you will go a long way to insure a loyal local following. ========================================================= 7.11 - What are some of the network that are out there? ========================================================= Here's a shorthand list of the echo networks whose administrators made the effort to get their nodelists into FENs (_Free Electronic Networks_). If one or more strike your fancy then perhaps you can pop over to the bookstore or book-carrying computer store and browse through for the numbers, committing the number of the closest to your locale to memory. This is not nearly a complete list of all the networks out there. Such a list might be impossible to compile. Network Topic -------- ------ ACONET Dutch network of Acorn computer users APEX Virtual reality ATARINET Atari users AUTHORSNET Writing BIGNET Large folk BIRDNET Exotic birds BIZYNET Business (requires individual user fee) CENTIPEDE Writing, philosophy and speculative history CHESS NET Chess CINEMA-NET Movies and show business CITADEL Nets The unnamed association of Citadel BBSs DHARMANET Buddhism DOORNET Online door software DUCKNET General interest EDA NET Fantasy role-playing EICNET General interest EPUBNET Electronic publishing EROSNET Adult ESN Enterprise computing FEDNET Canadian government agencies FIDONET General interest FISH NET General interest FRANCOMEDIA French language FURNET Anthropomorphism GEO INFO NET Geology HOME NET Homebodies HSANET N/A ICN General interest ILINK General interest INDRANET General interest INFINET Computing INFINITYNET General interest INFONET General interest INTELEC General interest ISANET BBSing ISG BBSing ISN Italian shareware distribution ITCNET General interest LION NET Adult MAGNET General Interest MARANATHA! NET Christian MHZ NET Computers MTLNET Internetting NORTHSTARNET General interest ODYSSEY-NET Networking OS2NET Operating System 2 PRIME Christian QBBSNET BBSing QUIXNET General interest RESHET Jewish RIME General interest RUSHNET Music SCURVY NET Alternative SING General interest SNJ NET General interest SOURCENET Computing STARNET General interest STORMNET General interest TOADNET General interest TGNET Cross-gender issues TSA-NET Computing ULINK General interest USERNET General interest USPOLNET U.S. Politics UTAHNET General interest VEGASNET Gambling VETLINK Military veterans WILDNET General interest WISHNET General interest WWIVNET General interest Good luck and see you on the nets. -- continued in next message --------

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