Contents of the FXBBSDSC.TXT file
This list provides highlights of the FX-BBS bulletin board program. It is
patterned after similar lists I've seen for other BBS programs. Is it as
good as other BBS packages? I dunno. I suspect that in some ways, the
other packages might sometimes be better... and that in some ways, FX-BBS
might sometimes be better. By looking at this list, you can better judge
for yourself. The latest version of the program available for download
includes the files FXB31A88.ZIP and FXB31AUT.ZIP, which together are about
440Kb in size. The documentation is in a seperate file called FXB30DDC.ZIP,
and is in the range of 170Kb in size (the revised documentation for FX-BBS
Version 3.1A was not yet completed when this file was being updated. The
revised documnetation, when completed, will be in a file called
Obviously, not every little feature is listed here. For example, the
program of course displays upload and download file status, estimates the
time required for a download, displays file size in terms of bytes and
blocks, and the actual time required. Other features are added from time
to time, and there is a limit as to what should be listed here. If you
have a specific question not addressed in this file, you can determine the
answer by calling the home BBS at 209-239-9853 and asking me (the SYSOP).
- The distributed shareware version of the program is _complete_ with
_all_ features listed here, and is therefore not "crippleware."
There are however, differences between the shareware and registered
versions of the program, as follows:
> The shareware version of the program is compiled to use the 8088
instruction set only and employes no overlays. The shareware
version is therefore the largest version available, in terms of
memory required to operate. Registered versions use the instruction
set for the 80186 and 80286 processors, making the program some
5Kb smaller. A registered version which employes overlays is also
available, reducing memory consumption considerably, thereby allowing
easier usage in multitasking environments.
> The shareware version has a short delay at program startup, along
with a display providing registration information.
> Source code is available only to registered users.
> Support for the program(s), along with any site licensing and
participation in profits, is of course reserved for registered
- Completely menu driven setup with default values specified for important
system parameters. Verification and automatic creation of required
paths/sub-directories is provided by the setup program.
- Provides multiple levels of optimization for DesqView and DoubleDOS
programs, including None, Minimal (for operating a single line BBS on
a system used for other things), and Maximum (for operating a multi-
- Provides multiple levels of communication optimization, ranging from
none (brute force all the way) to full support of transmit and receive
interrupts with variable buffer sizes.
- Supports up to eight standard modems simultaneously using the the DoubleDOS
program for two ports, or DesqView for more (requires hardware supporting
any IRQ, any port address space, available).
- Maximum of 99 telephone lines supported through the use of a LAN.
- Provides extensive SYSOP control over where things are placed in memory,
allowing better utilization of EMS memory and memory located above
- Properly determines DesqView screen buffer allowing direct screen writes
to be used even in small windows, regardless of cpu type.
- Provides option for using the BIOS only for screen updates (override of
direct screen writes).
- Complete file sharing support for use with DesqView, DoubleDOS and Local
Area Networks (LAN). While completely seperate BBSs, with seperate user
lists, files available, message sections, etc, can be accomodated, it is
also possible that one set of files can be maintained for all BBS lines
supported on the same system or across a LAN. (Requires Dos 3.x or
- Allows strings to be assigned to most function keys. Strings are
largely arbitrary, and can include almost anything one might normally
be required to type. Strings assigned to function keys may be
"chained" together so that longer inputs may be made with a single
- Supports baud rates to 38400.
- Supports "locking" the baud rate for high speed modems.
- Supports the National Semiconductor 16550 UART's built-in FIFO
- Provides built-in terminal program capabilities. It is not necessary to
bring up another seperate telecommunications program.
- Terminal program dialing directory supports up to 999 telephone numbers.
Dialing prefixes and suffixes may be entered to allow easy access to
Sprint and other long distance carriers.
- Built-in support of "TIC" files received via mail includes installation
of files into permanent directories, updating directory file descriptions
and optionally leaving a message to the sysop indicating receipt of the
- Supports importing and exporting of FidoNet Echo and Net mail messages
when used with a mailer program. Each BBS telephone line can be
configured to use a mailer program or not, as the SYSOP desires.
- Provides simplified echomail support in a single interface program,
including the importation and exportation of messages, polling of other
systems, holding of mail, file requests, file attaches and so on.
Optional overlayed version of mail support program is available for
use in situations where memory is at a premium.
- Supports use of multiple decompression programs (ARC, ZIP, ZOO, etc)
for use with echomail bundles. Allows sysop to specify the programs
of their choice for each file type, and determines which is required
by examining the files to be decompressed.
- Stores all messages and indexes for a given message section in one file,
reducing disk and directory space consumed, along with fragmented
directories (you need not format your hard drives with a reduced
sector size - sector size is largely unimportant).
- Provides caller with their choice of either a line oriented editor or
an ANSI full screen editor for message entry. Commands used in the
full screen editor are a subset of the WordStar program's command set.
- Allows messages to be designated as private. Prevents private echo mail
messages (private echo messages are technically a no-no, but are
permitted by some BBS and message entry programs).
- SYSOP can specify that callers can/cannot delete messages they have
entered or which are addressed to them, allowing "particularly good"
messages to be retained.
- Allows callers to send messages addressed to anyone within echo and net
mail areas, but restricts messages to only locally known callers in other
- Indicates the number of each reply message when one is found to exist, or
the number of a message another message is a reply to.
- Allows up to 32,767 messages per message section.
- Supports up to 80 message sections per copy of the program running.
Additional message areas can be provided for multi-line BBSs. With
32767 messages per section, up to 2,631,360 messages may be posted in
80 message sections, though no one is likely to have so much disk space.
(Assuming each message was only 80 characters in length, the space
required for that many messages would be 209,708,800 bytes, plus the
space required for each message header. Messages averaging 20 lines
in length would of course require 20 times as much space.)
- Allows message size to be controlled by the SYSOP, up to 798 lines (64Kb)
per message. Memory used for message editing is free for use by other
external programs such as doors and file transfer programs as required.
- Allows the SYSOP to directly import files as messages.
- Allows messages to be forwarded by one caller to another.
- Provides message scan function from the main menu. Allows messages in
each section to be read forward or backward, by number, receiver or
sender, or which are newer than the date the caller last logged on.
Caller is provided option to override the default search date and
request a different time period.
- Messages may read sequentially, or searched for by sender or receiver
name, subject or date and time. Subject searches may be limited to
message headers only, or a detailed search of all message text for a
subject may be requested. Multiple subjects may also be specifed
- Allows callers to import messages being replied to so that the original
message can be quoted from easily.
- Provides logon mail check, personal mail check and new mail checks which
scan all message sections, from the main menu. New mail check again
allows caller to specify starting date for search.
- Provides mechanism (CTRL-C) to abort searching of individual or all
- Allows automatic repacking of messages from within the BBS program or
externally as required.
- Tracks number of calls, including total and number of calls at each baud
- Displays list of most recent callers, along with which line the caller
called, at all times the system is idle.
- Displays information regarding the current caller and system status,
- On-screen sysop help menu continuously available.
- Provides option for use of modems in "auto-answer" mode to detect baud
rate, or via keypress as required.
- Built in support for standard protocols, including ASCII, SeaLink,
Xmodem, Ymodem (Xmodem-1K), CRC or checksum methods.
- Supports external file transfer programs, including Zmodem and Kermit,
and adjusts DesqView/DoubleDOS optimization appropriately.
- Allows external file transfer programs to be configured to support
batch file downloading. Supports batch downloads by default for
built-in SeaLink protocol.
- Terminal program and BBS provide menued support of all built-in file
transfer protocols, as well as any external transfers you wish to use.
- Solicits file descriptions prior to beginning uploads, with the infor-
mation discarded and file remnants deleted in the event of error or loss
- Allows for long file descriptions to be entered (limit of 20 lines of
text for callers, unlimited for SYSOP). Flags each file uploaded with
the date and time of the upload, file size in kilobytes, and the name of
- Provides for catagorization of files in an unlimited number of different
- Allows directory listings to be edited with a standard text editor.
File descriptions may be of any length, and can include ANSI graphics.
ANSI graphics may also be applied to directory listings by FX-BBS
- File descriptions can be duplicated in multiple directory listings as
required. Concordance program correlates files on disk with those in
- Allows callers to make files private for SYSOP (or others).
- Allows all new uploads (the upload directory) to be made private or
public as desired by the SYSOP.
- Provides automated maintenance functions, including file deletion,
addition of file descriptions, installation of files in the upload area
into permanent directories, making private files public, all from the
local keyboard or remotely.
- Allows SYSOP to organize files into directory trees as the SYSOP wishes
(structure requirements imposed on the SYSOP are minimal, consisting
only of a root directory name for downloadable files; directory structure
beneath the root directory is arbitrary).
- Supports up to six source devices/root directories for storing files.
Specification of private uploads allows a seventh to be specified, and
conference paths may be specified for an additional 20 seperate file
storage areas. This effectively allows unlimited disk space while
retaining a large degree of SYSOP control.
- Searches all caller accessible directories for files during both
upload and download requests (rather than just the "currently logged"
directory - callers are never logged or attached to a particular
- Allows SYSOP to exclude files with certain extentions from being
uploaded, such as non-compressed ASCII files for example.
- Includes utility support for automating conversion of new uploads from
ARC/LZH/ZOO/ZIP and other formats to a particular format that a sysop
has standardized on. Performs either file conversions, or file conversions
as well as updating the upload directory.
- Supports file location, or "whereis" function, using standard DOS
wildcards for all caller accessible directories.
- Allows caller to list the contents of ARC, PAK, LZH and ZIP files. Informs
caller when an ARC file is not compatible with the older ARCxxx programs,
or when LHARC or PKUNZIP is necessary for decompression.
- Allows caller to scan all directories for files newer than the last
time they called. Date used for search may be changed by caller.
Provides a summary listing of new files initially, with an option to
scan directory listings for detailed file descriptions.
- Provides built-in support for up to 40 "door" (external) programs, in
addition to support for external file transfer programs. Doors may
be configured to be selectable from a standard door menu, from the
main menu, from the files menu, at time of caller logon and at time
of caller logoff. Recaptures com port interrupt following execution of
a door program.
- Provides ability to "spawn" a door when sufficient memory exists, passing
most relevent parameters to the door via command line, with others passed
in door paramter files (see below).
- Provides option to exit to a door (via setting ERRORLEVEL) when a door
program requires large amounts of memory.
- Provides built in detection of loss of carrier from within a door (for
spawned door programs), terminating the door program when this occurs.
- Provides two ASCII text door parameter files containing extensive
information for use by door programs. Parameter file type one is largely
compatible with files produced by GAP BBS systems, with additional detail
provided for multitasking information. Door file type two is compatible
with RBBS doors. Door parameter files for each copy of the BBS program
running are uniquely identified and never conflict.
- Provides optional password protection of door programs.
- Provides for multiple SYSOP defined questionnaires on any subject, of
almost unlimited size. Questionnaires are created by using a standard
text editor, and are administered by the program itself (not by a door).
- Allows questionnaire answers to be read online by SYSOP and callers with
Assistant SYSOP access levels. Answers can be read offline using a
standard text editor.
- Stores Questionnaire answers in reverse order, with newest responses
appearing in the file before older responses.
- Provides a subset of SYSOP capabilities online for callers with an access
level indicating Assistant SYSOP, thereby providing such a person the
ability to perform system maintenance without the possibility of
harming the system in any way.
- Allows SYSOP to create "conference" areas, each with their own file and
message area, and each public or private. Up to 20 conferences areas
are supported internally.
- Callers may be added to or deleted from a private conference either
online or through the use of a seperate user editing program.
- Callers joining a conference become permanent members of such conferences
until they either quit or are removed.
- Callers who are members of a given conference can view or list other
members of that conference, while callers who are not members of that
conference cannot view members of same.
- Allows up to 99 bulletins to be presented to callers.
- Notifies a caller when a bulletin is either new or updated.
- Provides multiple "read-once" news files. These files are output any
time FX-BBS determines that a particular one is newer than the last
time the caller called. Multiple files simplify presenting callers
with only "new" news.
- Provides option to re-read news files from main menu.
- Provides the option for display of seperate informational screens for
callers with each access level at logon.
- Allows specific callers to be banned from the system.
- Provides for specification of names or fragments of names which callers
are not allowed to use during logon.
- Allows "stacking" of most inputs. Each input must be separated from
others by the use of a semi-colon.
- Allows caller to enter name either all on one line, or first and last on
- Minimal setup parameters are required from the caller. Includes ability
to support screen lengths to 100 lines, output of CR or CR/LF as required
by caller, password, and option to beep to notify caller of completed
downloads/uploads, line wrapping, etc.
- Provides for closed BBS support (all callers added by SYSOP only).
- Provides subscription logic.
- Provides option to require caller registration or not, as required by
the SYSOP, through Questionnaire processing.
- Allows SYSOP to completely disable new callers at a given baud rate and
below (registered callers or previously existing callers can call at the
lower rate if required).
- Allows SYSOP to specify a reduced time limit for callers at 300 baud,
regardless of access level.
- Simplified access level specifications. SYSOP can specify a maximum
number of calls per day for each caller by access level, along with a
time limit in minutes.
- SYSOP can specify an upload ratio for callers with low access levels.
- A maximum number of KB downloadable per day can be specified for each
- The option of providing (or not) a caller with "bonus time" for uploads
is provided and variable. Callers earning bonus time retain this time
on a daily basis.
- SYSOP can raise or lower caller access level and time remaining while
caller is online.
- SYSOP can shell to DOS while caller is online.
- Printer output (LPT1 or LPT2), forced chat, forced disconnect and "SYSOP
next on" functions are provided. "Stops the caller's clock" during chats
with the SYSOP.
- Provides mechanism for specifying regular daily hours during which the
SYSOP is available for chats. These hours can be omitted or overridden
by keyboard input as required. Notifies caller when SYSOP is available
or not as required.
- Sound functions are supported. No sound is output when the SYSOP is
not available for chat. When available for chat, unique sounds are
made when a caller logs on, when the SYSOP is being paged for a chat,
and when the caller logs off. In terminal mode, distinct sounds are
made when a connection is completed or terminated for any reason.
- SYSOP can invoke chat mode with a caller at almost any time, from
within almost any operation. The exceptions to this are during file
transfers and from within door programs, operations during which FX-BBS
has lessened control.
- All configuration information can be reloaded without exiting FX-BBS,
allowing most system parameters to be changed while a caller is online.
- FX-BBS provides screen blanking when the system is idle.
- SYSOP can enable/disable most of the keyboard as required (in the event
small fingers are about).
- Complete control over ANSI graphics is provided the SYSOP.
- Callers can disable PC graphics characters completely at logon (for
use by callers with non MS-DOS computers).
- Allows system to be run from batch file or not as required and confi-
guration for automatic program exit at specified time to allow house-
keeping functions to be performed.
- User file editing program (EDITUSER) supports addition of users, editing
of all user parameters.
- EDITUSER provides option to examine all unregistered users seperately,
allows automatic deletion of callers who remain unregistered.
- EDITUSER provides option to delete callers who have not called since a
certain date. If desired, EDITUSER will ask about each candidate prior
to deleting that person.
- EDITUSER supports "locking" of particular caller records which are not
to be deleted automatically or accidently by the program.
- EDITUSER program supports searching for users by record number or name,
and can be paged through using the PgUp and PgDn keys.
- EDITUSER supports listing the user file with the option to list passwords
or not as required.
- Comments (completely seperate from messages) may be left for the SYSOP.
Comments are written to the comment area in reverse order, with newer
comments stored before older comments.
- SYSOP has option to disable private comments to her/him should the SYSOP
prefer all inputs be made via messages.
- Detailed logging of all user inputs is provided as an option for each
copy of the FX-BBS program in operation.
- Comment and log files are self-regulating in size. These files
are not allowed to exceed a certain size. When the file in question
becomes too large, the oldest portion of the file is automatically
- FX-BBS converts messages addressed to SYSOP to messages addressed to the
SYSOP using her/his real name for local message sections.
- FX-BBS provides ability for callers on different com ports of the same
system to chat with one another in a "party line" manner (inter-node chat).
- Provides ability for callers on seperate systems connected via LAN to
chat with one another in up to seven seperate conference areas using
NetBIOS datagram processing, regardless of whether the program is running
under DesqView or DoubleDOS.
- Inter-node chats may be rejected by callers, or locked out for either
the duration of the call or until the caller re-enables Inter-node
- All menus may be created using a standard text editor, or ANSI graphics
editor. No custom program is required. Screen pauses can be inserted at
any point in any menu by the SYSOP. CTRL-S/CTRL-Q pausing of menus and
messages by callers is properly processed.
- An optional "goodbye" file can be created and output for the caller at
- All functions available to the caller are selectable from a single main
menu. Nesting of user inputs required to accomplish a given task is kept
to a minimum.
- SYSOP can enable or disable each command associated with the main menu
individually as required, with all commands available to the SYSOP
- Caller may initiate a download from the main menu, or at any time while
perusing the file listings.
- Allows wildcards to be used in requests to download and offers caller
option to download first matching file.
- Searches for filenames in all directories prior to accepting upload and
refuses if file is already present. Ignores extension during this search,
so that callers will be notified when the're uploading FILENAME.ARC and
FILENAME.PAK already exists. Provides option to override similar file-
names, and accept upload anyway without hazard to original file.
- FX-BBS maintains a history of the frequency particular files are down-
loaded. The option to display the 20 most popular downloads is provided
- The option to scan the users for the persons with the most uploads and
downloads is provided, with the 20 highest in each catagory displayed to
a given caller.
- A complete history of callers is maintained and viewable by others,
displaying the name of each caller, the date and time of the call, where
the caller is located and the duration of the call.
- A list of all callers (all BBS members) is available for viewing by
callers. The list may be viewed in its entirety, or serached for
- Call statistics are maintained, with many viewable by callers, including
a summary of the most recent several callers, total number of calls, number
of calls at each baud rate, and number of calls for the past seven days,
broken into the catagories of late night, morning, afternoon and evening.
- Complete help screens are provided callers for each of FX-BBS's inputs.
- Callers can toggle Expert mode on/off, and are also permitted to depress
CTRL-C for most menu and message display outputs to abort them early.
- Callers are not permitted to CTRL-C "news" and access level informational
files when first presented.
- Each incoming line of a BBS can be individually configured to be private
or public, accept calls only above a minimum baud rate or not, and to
require a minimum access level for access or not. Thus, seperate phone
lines can be configured as subscription lines or not and offer additional
features such as access to different doors, conferences, files or hardware
capabilities. One need only modify the configuration file for that
- Allows SYSOP to execute DOS commands from a remote location.
- FX-Shell hard disk maintenance program can be selected while caller is
online. FX-Shell provides high speed presentation of directories, and
supports rapid changing through the use of either the cursor pad or a
mouse. Registration of FX-BBS includes registration of FX-Shell (a
seperately available program).
- Registration of the standard FX-BBS program includes permission for
non-business users to use multiple copies of the program on the same
system and on Local Area Networks, as many as a particular configuration
will support. Licensing each of multiple copies is not required for
- Registration covers not only the present version of FX-BBS, but also
includes any updates to the program. FX-BBS and FX-Shell continue to
evolve with updated versions frequently made available for download.
Online support for the program is of course available, from BerthaBoard,
- No "backdoors" into the program exist.