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RIME(tm) BBS conference user guide.
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RIME(tm) USERS GUIDE


INTRODUCTION

This manual deals with how you, as a user, can get the
most from the RIME(tm) network. It was written in response to
your requests and will hopefully answer your questions on how to
use the Relay to your best advantage.

RIME(tm) has been in existence since early 1988. It was
started by Bob Shuck and was originally composed of a small
group of 10 or so Washington D.C. boards. Dissatisfaction with
the software that then "UpLink" network was using, a casual
conversation with Kip Compton and the addition of a board in New
York gave birth to PCRelay Software and the RIME(tm) Network.

As you read this manual please remember that if there is
a subject you do not understand, the NewUsers conference is
always available for all questions. If your sysop does not
carry the NewUser conference, why not ask him/her to do so.
Never be embarrassed to ask a question on this network. We were
all new users once too. No question is ever considered too
dumb-- and really, we are a friendly lot!

WHAT IS RIME(tm)?

RIME(tm) is a world wide network of electronic bulletin
board systems (otherwise known as a BBS) that join hands to form
an electronic mail system. Messages you enter on one BBS are
copied to another BBS. That BBS in turn copies your message
along with it's own messages to yet another BBS. This is known
as echoing or relaying. When you leave a message or "mail" on a
participating board, that message is copied to all other boards
that participate in the network. The fact that your messages
travel from bulletin board to bulletin board is the only thing
that makes your message different from entering a message on a
purely local bulletin board.

This network of bulletin boards has one common goal: To
provide a environment for the friendly exchange of messages with
others all over the world.

RIME(tm) is also a group of very committed professional
sysops who have made the resources of an international BBS
network available to you.

RIME(tm) provides user support for a wide variety of
special interest groups and product support for a wide variety
of products. In fact, if you want to find a wider variety of
subjects you'd have to join a pay network like The Source or
CompuServe.

From all parts of the US, Canada, Europe and the Far
East you'll find members of RIME(tm).

WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?

RIME(tm) consists of one governing body: the Steering
Committee. The Steering Committee consists of 7 members. They
are the glue that holds the network together. They are
ultimately responsible for all decisions of the network. The
Steering Committee consists of:

Bonnie Anthony
Rex Hankins
Howard Belasco
Mike Labbe
JThomas Howell
James Spinelli
Mike Glenn

These people have put a lot of effort into making sure
that when you dial your local board, RIME(tm) is there. They are
also in charge of the network Hub. If you have a question about
policy, these are the right people to ask. If you need to send
them a message, address one message to STEERCOM. An individual
message to each member is unnecessary. You may leave your
question in either the COMMON or NetUser conference.

To help you understand some of this terminology:

NODE: A bulletin board system (BBS) that calls another bulletin
board system (called a Hub) in order to transfer mail. A
node does not receive mail directly from any other BBS.
(that is, no one calls it to transfer mail.)

HUB: A bulletin board system (BBS) that may or may not call
another Hub to transfer mail, but is called by one or more
nodes to transfer mail.

REGIONAL HUB: A Hub that does call another Hub to transfer
mail. It is called a Regional Hub because when the network
was designed, a Hub was placed in each of the major
regions to minimize long distance phone charges.

SUPER-REGIONAL HUB: One of seven Hubs located in different
geographic locations. These Hubs are appointed by the
Steering Committee. Generally, all Regional Hubs will call
a Super-Regional Hub, which will in turn call the NetHub.

NETHUB:The "home" of RIME(tm), operated in Bethesda, Maryland
by Bonnie Anthony. All Super-Regional Hubs call the NetHub
for their mail packets.

ID CODE:A one to eight character string which contains letters
only. Each node has a unique ID CODE which is used to
identify that node in the network.

HUB ID:An ID which always starts with the first three letters

HUB: A HUB ID is not used to identify a node, but rather the
Hub that a group of nodes call to transfer mail.

Then there are the conference hosts. A conference host
is in charge of a particular conference (defined later), just as
the Steering Committee is in charge of the network.

Skip Ross is the person currently in charge of creating
new conferences, appointing conference hosts and overseeing the
existing conferences. The conference hosts report first to him
and then to the Steering Committee in case any problem should
arise.
Last but not least are the unsung heros of the network,
the sysop! These are the people who go to great expense
providing equipment and phone lines so you can converse with the
world. The sysop is always the first line of defense in case a
problem arises.

HOW DOES MY MAIL GET TO ME?

Every day your local bulletin board calls its Regional
Hub, usually in the middle of the night. At that time all new
mess- ages users have entered on the BBS are uploaded to the
Regional Hub. Then, your board downloads a packet containing
all the public messages from every other BBS on the network,
plus the private, routed and encrypted messages for any user who
has a private mailbox on the board. (The specialized types of
messages are described below.)

The Regional Hub takes this packet and adds it to
packets from other boards connected to it and creates larger,
more complete packets. These packets contain messages, files
and requests from each board that calls the Regional Hub. At
least once a day, the Regional Hub calls the Super-Regional Hub
which calls the NetHub.

The NetHub takes the incoming packet of hub mail and
returns to the Super-Regional Hub all the mail it received since
that Hub last called. The Nethub then adds the new mail it
received to the waiting mail for all other Hubs. This is all
done automatically.

The Regional Hub takes all the mail it received from the
Super-Regional Hub and adds it to the packet for your board (and
all the other boards connected to it.)

Then you call your local board and either download the
mail to read using your off-line reader or read and reply to the
new mail on the board.

FEATURES AVAILABLE TO USERS

RIME(tm) uses PCRelay software written by Kip Compton.
This is without question the most versatile network software
ever written.

Some of the features, such as file sends and requests
are not normally directly available to users. However, if a
unique file is mentioned in a conference message, you might ask
your sysop if he could obtain that file for you.

Please remember that most Hubs call long distance for
their mail and files increase the time and therefore expense of
file transfers. Do not request files that you could obtain from
one of the local boards in your area in this manner.

The important feature, for you, of PCRelay software is
its ability to transfer messages within a conference area,
between bulletin boards.

A conference is a message area that is specific to one
particular topic of interest. There are over 200 conferences
currently defined on RIME. Your BBS probably does not carry all
of the conferences as the disk space required for this may be
high.

Your sysop may carry conferences that are both relayed
and not relayed. If you have any questions about whether a
particular conference is relayed, please ask your sysop.

When you enter your message in a relayed conference you
may be asked if you wish to "ECHO" the message. If you say
"Yes" your message will be sent out to all other participating
bulletin board Systems. If you answer "No" the message remains
on your local bulletin board and is not transferred within the
network. When you relay your message, please remember that it is
being copied to over 380 boards.

Although there will be reference numbers on the message, it
is considered polite to quote a few lines from the message you
are responding to. That helps the recipient remember the
"conversation" even if he reads the message days later.

Please be aware that every participating bulletin board
system will have a different set of reference numbers for the
same set of messages. This is due to the different times that
each board started receiving the particular conference.
Therefore you should not reference a message number unless you
are talking with someone on the same bulletin board.

TYPES OF MESSAGES

In reading the messages on the RIME network, you have
probably come across some relay terms that you are unfamiliar
with. Phrases such as "R/O", "Routed", "Encrypted", etc. refer
to the different ways of sending a message.

While no message placed on the network can legally be
considered private, you can direct a message to a single
individual by making it R/O, i.e. Receiver Only. The BBS
software in use on the BBS that you access RIME through will
determine how you mark a message as R/O. On PCBoard systems, it
is actually termed Receiver Only. On other systems, it may be
called "private". By marking the message as private or R/O on
the BBS, you are making the message R/O in respect to RIME as
well.

There is a consideration to be made before sending
someone an R/O message. This is whether or not the receiver has
a private mailbox enabled. An R/O message send will be
successful only if the addressee of the message has a private
mailbox established.

You can set up your own private mailbox by doing the
following. Enter an R/O message on the BBS where you wish to
have a private mailbox (you can have such a mailbox on any
number of BBSes) and address it to PCRELAY. On the first line of
the message, simply enter the word ADD.

You can also remove your mailbox from a system by
following the same procedure for adding a mailbox, but type the
word DELETE instead of ADD.

PCRelay also supports encrypted messages. To enable you
to read an encrypted message that is sent to you, you must
instruct PCRelay to generate encryption keys for you. This is
done in the same manner as creating a private mailbox except
that the word KEY would replace the word ADD. After three
relays, you will be sent a message containing a public and
private key (see below.) Unlike private mailboxes, you should
enter your encryption key request message on only one BBS.


Date: 04-13-89 (20:00) Number: 1747
To: BONNIE ANTHONY Refer#: NONE
From: PCRELAY Read: NO
Subj: WHATEVER Status: RECEIVER ONLY

->RUNNINGA

PUBLIC KEY : 12345
PRIVATE KEY : 67890
Thank you for using PCRelay, (C) 1988,1989 by Kip Compton



To send encrypted messages, you must know the
recipient's public key. You encrypt messages by placing two
tildes (~~) followed by the key in the first line and column of
the message. For example, if the receiver's public key was
22222, you would enter ~~22222 on the first line and column of
your message.

Routed messages may be either public or R/O. Routing
means sending the message to one, and only one, BBS. This is
accomplished by placing a hyphen and the greater-than-sign on
the first line and column of your message text immediately
followed by the NODE ID of the BBS to which you wish to send the
message. For example, if you wish to send a message to Randy's
Basement, whose NODE ID is BASEMENT, you would enter this on the
first line and column of your message:

->BASEMENT

The message will only appear on the BBS with the ID CODE of
BASEMENT in your network.

NOTE: The directional arrow is nothing more than a hyphen
("minus key") followed by a greater than key (>). It is
not the right arrow key on your keyboard.

NOTE: There is no space between the arrow and the ID CODE of the
destination node.

By using the Routing function, you can help decrease the
traffic of messages that clutter conferences and actually lower
the operating cost of many nodes.

You can also instruct RIME to notify you when the person
receives your message by placing an asterisk (*) at the end of
the NODE ID, e.g.

->BASEMENT*

PRIVATE MAIL:

When new mail is brought into a conference on a BBS, the
private messages are placed in each conference first. Therefore
if you leave a message telling a recipient that a private
message is to follow "this message", more than likely it is not
true and he/she has already read the private message.

When you use the Receiver/Only (R/O;private) or specialized
message function on RelayNet(tm) you are agreeing:

o To hold the net blameless for the release of the
message as a public message.

o To allow people who normally have sufficient security
to read your message.

o NEVER to use a private message to speak of or conduct
any business that may be contrary to network policy or
considered illegal in the outside world.

o That the message you enter is not the same private
message described in the recent ECPA rulings.

To be able to receive private messages, first ask your
sysop if s/he supports private messages on his/her board. If
so, you must open a private mailbox in order to receive private
mail.

While transferring mail, PCRelay software automatically
decides on which boards private messages to another user should
appear, based on whether or not that user has a mailbox on a
particular board.

This decision is made at the Hub level. Each time the BBS
you call relays with its Hub, the BBS informs the Hub which
users have a mailbox on that system. If a user is not in the
special PRIVATE file, no private messages are sent to that
system for that user. This helps to ensure the privacy of the
mail but it does not guarantee it!

Remember, the sysop of the receiving system and of the
sending system, as well as all other users on each system who
are qualified to read private mail can read all encrypted
messages. There is no such thing as a message that a SysOp
cannot read and a user can read.

USING OFF-LINE READERS

Off-line readers are a method by which you may read
messages from a BBS while off-line (i.e. not logged on.) You
start by logging on to a bulletin board, briefly, to download
your messages. Then, by using one of the off-line reader
programs, you may spend all the time you need reading messages,
entering
replies and any new messages you may come up with. When you
are finished, you log back on to the BBS, briefly, in order to
upload your replies and any new messages you may have created.

The process of uploading and downloading messages may be
done in one phone call. Log on to the BBS, upload replies and
messages from a previous download, then download the new
messages that have been entered since the last time you were on,
then log off the BBS. Those of you who call long distance may
prefer this approach as it would help to reduce long distance
changes by doing this whole process in one phone call.

The use of an off-line reader may save you telephone
charges by also shortening your daily total on-line time, and,
at the same time, it allows more users per day to access your
local BBS.

GENERAL CONFERENCE RULES

1) No Aliases are permitted. You must use your real name in
every RIME(tm) conference (except Recovery where a reasonable
alias is permitted.)

2) No offensive or abusive language is allowed. The use of any
word, group of words, expression, comment, suggestion, or
proposal which is profane, obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or
indecent, is strictly prohibited within the RIME(tm) Network and
may result in the removal of your user id from your BBS. Please
apply the standard rules of courtesy to any conversation you
have in the network.

3) No BBS ads permitted except in the BBS Ads or Ansi graphics
conference.

4) Since there are conferences for almost every subject, place
your message in the conference where it fits best. If you can't
find a good fit, consider using the UPLINK conference.

5) No for-sale advertisements are permitted in any conference
except the ForSale conference or where specifically allowed.
Ask the conference host of your particular conference if
for-sale ads are allowed in the conference.

6) Every ad selling software in the ForSale conference must
include a statement that the items sold include all disks and
manuals. Dealers must identify themselves in their for sale
conference ads. Dealers may post a specific ad only once per
week.

7) Uploading or transfer through the network of commercial
software is absolutely prohibited.

8) Messages in the Common conference are limited to 10 lines
including quoting but excluding software generated taglines.

The Common conference should be considered as a starting
place on RIME(tm) that you might greet each other, locate boards
in various geographically areas, post messages as you would on a
"live" bulletin board or make general announcements.

9) The Sysops conference is open to all sysops whether they are
members of RIME(tm) or not. Also, at the discretion of your
SysOp, he may grant you access to this conference.

10) RIME(tm) retains possession of all messages appearing in the
network. Do not transfer messages to other networks without
express permission.

11) Messages from other networks may only be used on RIME(tm)
with the consent of the messages' author and the other network.

12) The Net administration conference is open only to Relaynet
Sysops, Co-Sysops and Conference Hosts.

13) If you are asked by a Conference Host or Steering Committee
member to cease a message thread, please comply as soon as you
receive the message. Do not debate the issue further.

14) Questions directed to the Administration should be placed in
the NetUsers conference. Please use Steercom as the recipient
of the message if you mean it to be addressed to the Steering
Committee as a whole.

15) Quoting a person's message in your reply is often a matter
of disagreement among users, but keeping in line with the
avoidance of wasting space in a message would seem to include
limiting quotes. Quotes are wonderful tools, but they can be
overused. Usually a line or two will suffice to remind the
receiver of what you are replying about, which is the purpose of
quoting.

WHEN A PROBLEM ARISES

A problem arises? You need some sort of help? Here's
how to get the answers that solve your problem.

If it is a system problem or a general question, ask
your sysop first! Most times he/she will have the answer you
need to solve your problem. Leave them a Comment. This is a
private message to your sysop. Don't forget if you leave such a
message in a relayed conference it may be transmitted across the
network. Your sysop may not read every conference he relays, so
leave him/her a comment on the main board. Most sysops read
their main board.

If it is a conference specific question leave a message
to the conference host of that particular conference. If the
conference appears to have no host or you are unsure exactly who
the host is, leave a message to Skip Ross in the Common
conference - our "network bulletin board."

If you still have a question and it has not been
resolved by the steps above, write a message to STEERCOM and
leave it in the Common conference or if it is available on your
BBS join the NetUsers conference. The Steering Committee can be
found monitoring both conferences for any questions that users
might have. This is also the best route when a question of
network policy is involved.

ALL DECISIONS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE ARE FINAL

THE RECENT ECPA RULINGS AND PRIVATE MAIL

There is always lively discussion surrounding the issue
of private mail on a BBS network. Below is the RIME(tm) policy
regarding private mail:

TO ALL USERS OF RIME(tm)

Messages that are posted in any and all conferences on
any BBS designated as a member of PCRelay, RelayNet or RIME(tm)
are relayed ("echoed") throughout the international network.

RIME(tm) maintains the capability and capacity to send
and receive messages that are flagged as "Receiver-Only".
However, messages so flagged are NOT to be considered by any
user as actual "private" messages.

The purpose of the Receiver-Only flag for such messages
is intended solely to provide for a means of limiting the
possible number of BBS's that may have access to the messages
for display purposes. The following is the official RIME(tm)
policy regarding Receiver Only flagged messages.

PURSUANT TO THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT OF 1986,
18 USC 2510 et. seq., NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN TO ALL USERS OF
THIS NETWORK THAT THERE ARE NO FACILITIES PROVIDED BY THE
RIME(tm) INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR SENDING OR RECEIVING PRIVATE
OR CONFIDENTIAL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS. ALL MESSAGES POSTED
IN RELAYED CONFERENCES SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE READILY ACCESSIBLE
TO ALL NETWORK HUBS, NODES, AND USERS.

Do NOT use RIME(tm) conferences for any communication
for which you intend only yourself and one or more specific
recipients to read. All network-node sysops have the
capability, capacity and potential to read all mail posted in
this network, and, as a result, to post said messages as public
messages on their boards.

All participating Network Bulletin Board Systems shall
deem all messages posted within the RIME(tm) conferences to be
readily accessible to the general public at all times.

If you post a message within any RIME(tm) conference,
your acceptance of this policy is heretofore implied. The
RIME(tm) International Network and any participating bulletin
board system assumes absolutely no accountability or liability
whatsoever for any violations of this policy by any and all
users of this network.

To reiterate: This network provides the capability and
capacity to flag messages as R/O. However, messages so flagged
will not and cannot be considered or defined as "private
communications" between two or more people.

DUTIES OF A CONFERENCE HOST

The following are the general duties of a conference
host. These may vary from conference to conference. If you
think that you have a good idea for a conference, or would like
to host a conferences, please send a message to Skip Ross in the
COMMON conference. He will do everything he can to be of
assistance to you.

o Defining the operating rules of the conference.

o Dealing with those users experiencing difficulty conforming to
the set rules.

o Encouraging discussion by either responding to messages or
initiating pertinent topics for discussion.

o Replying to ALL messages that, either explicitly or
implicitly, call for a reply from the host.

o Convincing sysops not currently carrying your conference to
do so.

o Getting people who are leaving messages in other conferences
appropriate to yours to join the discussions in your conference.

o Coordinating wih other conference hosts whose conference
topics overlap with yours.

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER BOARD IN THE RIME(tm) NETWORK

Some of you may decide you like this medium so well you
would like to join the network with your own board. To do this
the Network requires that:

o You have legally Registered copies of all software involved
in the setup of your board.

o You download and familiarize yourself with the material
contained in a file called RELAYNET.ZIP.

o You allow no pirated or commercial software in your files
sections.

o You read and agree to the Network Bylaws.

o You complete and return the RIME(tm) application form along
with the inital membership fee which is currently $25.00, but
may change in the future.

If you meet these conditions you may join the network on a
temporary basis until a probationary period has elapsed. A
decision on your status will be made at the end of that
probationary period.


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