Full Description of File
|12*** CheapTalk 1.0r from KaplanSoft ***
|14One-liners like you never imagined!
|10Assign messages to anyone, a password,
|11specific users or security level! Many
|13features! Many possibilities! SW: $5
Contents of the CHEAPTLK.DOC file
CheapTalk 1.0r (C) Copyright 1993, Brad Kaplan. All Rights Reserved.
WHAT IT IS
CheapTalk is basically a channel to let users say what they have to say. When
ideally in operation, it will not only allow users to enter messages, but it
will display a random message at any menu prompt you wish to install it.
WHY IT IS
A while ago, I used to help out a lot of the locals with adding things to
Telegard. One of the most popular files was a piece called RUMORS which
allowed users to enter a one-liner that would randomly be chosen to be
displayed at whatever prompt. So when I had the opportunity to help someone
with fixing up a Renegade, it was one of the first files I got my hands on.
However, for whatever reason, it failed to work. So naturally I decided to
write my own.
WHAT MAKES CHEAPTALK UNIQUE
CheapTalk is unlike any utility of its kind that I have ever seen. For
starters, it uses itself to display the random message at the prompt in an
effort to overcome the 10 .ans limit on Telegard/Renegade for the capability
of 36 different messages (0-9,A-Z).
When a user edits a message, s/he first selects the message to edit rather
than the RUMOR method which just picks any old message at random and decides
to write over it. This also allows for one of the unique features of
CheapTalk: the SysOp (and users at 'control' level), are able to ASSIGN
messages so that (1) anyone may edit them, (2) only a specific user may edit
the message, (3) a message can be protected via a password or (4) a message
can be protected so it requires a certain SL to edit it. This actually allows
for the ability to rent out the messages for fun and profit (your very own
little Prodigy (R)).
WHAT YOU NEED
As far as I am aware, all you need is BBS software, and actually, you don't
even need that. It was designed especially for Telegard/Renegade but the
door itself will run with any software that writes a DORINFO1.DEF file. For
the option of displaying messages, it helps to have an option such as
FIRSTCMD (which automatically runs the door when the menu is loaded), but it
could always be made a manual option. It does, however, require BRUN45.EXE
to operate properly. Laugh if you must, but it was that option or tacking on
WARRANTY/GUARANTEE/DISCLAIMER/TURN BACK NOW
All that I can promise you is that I've done my best to insure that this
program will not be hazardous to your BBS's health. Unfortunately, things tend
to happen (although never with my stuff... really). There is no access to any
of the Renegade files themselves, so nothing damaging should ever happen.
I also don't have a clue as to how it would react on a multi-node system, but
being the programmer, I wouldn't advise it. But if anyone trusts me enough,
I'd like to know what happens.
It has run successfully (so far) on a two node system, one node being local.
However, when both nodes are in CheapTalk, there is, at this point, no way
to really tell who did what via the logs (next version!).
This nifty piece of software is (the S word)... SHAREWARE. This means that I
feel I'm entitled to a little something for my lot of work and frustration.
There is no time agreement, nor is this crippleware. The very simple agreement
we have when using this unregistered, is that the program makes it very clear
that it is not registered, a few of the 'goodies' are inactive and you agree
not to sell any 'advertising' space until the $5 registration fee is paid
(not to mention that each day, the assignment file will be reset, so
assignments to users or passwords won't be kept).
SETTING IT UP
There isn't much need to explain much of anything. It's quite simple. All you
have to do is set up a door to create a DORINFO1.DEF file (DD on Renegade/
Telegard) and to execute the batch file to call CheapTalk.
It's advisable that you create a special subdirectory for CheapTalk because
all-in-all, there will be about 40 files (and the CHEAPTLK.ANx files are
enough to give you a headache alone). The batch file should look something
That's it. Now in order to display a message, all it needs to know is the
COM port number and whether or not to use ANSI. So quite simply, set up a
couple of FIRSTCMDs for each .MNU you want the file to be displayed in, make
it a door (D-) and feed it the COM port (%P) or the COM port (%P) and "/a" for
ANSI mode. The batch file should look something like
cheaptlk.exe /f %1 %2
Be sure to make one of the FIRSTCMDs for access "!ea" (not ANSI) and to only
send %P. Then set the other up for an access of "ea" and feed it %P as well
With exception to the CHEAPTLK.CFG file (which must exist before-hand), all
other required files will be generated automatically.
This file MUST be present in the cheaptlk directory. It's quite simple (too
simple to actually warrant a .CFG file, but there was more and there probably
will be more, so, I'm keeping it in). It goes as follows:
The first line will be the registration number. This must be entered exacty
as it is used to built the decryption tables to determine registration.
The second line is the filename containing the message that you wish to be
placed in each message upon resetting the messages. This is disabled in
unregistered copies. If you are running a registered copy and choose to use
this option, be sure that the number of lines in the file is less or equal to
the value of line 4.
The third line is the SL required to have control over CheapTalk for certain
commands, such as Assigning messages, resetting messages, seeing passwords,
viewing the activity log and overriding edit restrictions (i.e. passwords and
user name assignments).
The fourth line is the maximum number of lines you wish each message to have.
This, in the UNLIKELY event it exists, is a brief list of errors that
mysteriously occured and should be submitted to an official support site along
with a description of surrounding circumstances of each error, if possible.
This, when you register, will contain the encrypted information in regards
to whether or not it's registered. It has a built-in check to insure that it
has not been edited as well as it will compare the encrypted BBS and SysOp
name to the one listed in the DORINFO1.DEF files.
There's also nothing you can do in a hex editor to 'fix' CheapTalk (unless of
course you're a god). The program itself has checks, so please don't tamper
with the program at all, otherwise you could end up disabling it completely.
The .KEY file is encrypted with the KapCode revision 1.0 method, which is
unique, extremely difficult to crack (in my opinion as its creator) and is
nowhere else to be found anywhere else (that is, that would give a clue as
to how it works).
KapCode R1.0 (C) 1989, 1990 Brad Kaplan.
For registered versions, CheapTalk supports SysOp definable color filters
(up to 26 filters, up to 10 colors for each fiter). You can study (and even
use) the enclosed CHEAPTLK.COL file to see how to set up filters. The first
line of a filter is the name of the filter (it's advisable not to use a
number for the first character). Then on the next line, type the number
that corresponds to the Renegade MCI pipe color. Then the second number on
the next line and so on until you have defined the pattern for your filter.
Then if you choose to add another, just type it in the same way right
underneath it. There should be no blank lines in this file and your only
concern is not to exceed the limit of 26 filters and the maximum of 10
colors per filter.
There are two files that can be used for whatever needs you have. The first
is WELCOME.ASC or WELCOME.ANS (TTY and ANSI files respectively). Both must
exist in order to display the file.
The other is MENU.ASC or MENU.ANS which will display as a menu as opposed to
the built-in menu. Unregistered versions must use the internal menu.
Included in this package is an online .HLP file, it will explain what
commands are available. Whatever it doesn't mention should be fairly obvious.
OOOOH. IT'S UNREGISTERED
Okay, I lied, it *might* be considered CrippleWare. Well, here's the catch.
Each day, the .ASN file will be reset. Also, the system will make it plenty
o' ware that the program is unregistered (including a slight delay). Options
such as the model file for resetting messages as well as Global Edit and
Global assignments are not supported, as well as the color filters.
There are two levels of registration. Level 1 is $5 and entitles you to
download a .KEY file from the CheapTalk support system. Level 2 is $10 and
entitles you to either download the .KEY file from the support system or
have it sent to you (see CHEAPTLK.REG). It also entitles you to receiving
the next two major upgrades free.