Contents of the SLINFO.DOC file
SEARCHLIGHT BBS FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS
(Extended Versions of Searchlight BBS)
Full Searchlight offers WordStar compatible full screen editing
Screen in all areas of the system. Both color and monochrome ANSI
Editing terminals are supported. The message editor features built
in help screens, messages and status flags that stay on the
screen as you edit. Special commands allow viewing and
importing of original message text when composing a reply.
Fast editing is achieved through the effective use of ANSI
screen control codes, and three ANSI modes are available to
support popular communications software. Full screen editing
extends to all user input prompts and OPTIONS displays, where
users can change options in a familiar way using arrow keys
and highlight bars.
Command Searchlight's standard command interface allows the user to
Interface select commands in "Lotus 1-2-3" menubar fashion, with
verbose command descriptions displayed as the user scrolls
through commands with the spacebar or arrow keys (verbose
descriptions are turned off in "Expert" mode). Over 6,000
words of online help text are available at a touch of the F1
key. Help screens and menu displays can be customized with
text files and/or ANSI display screens. Searchlight reacts
quickly to ^S/^Q and ^C keys, and continuously scans for
command keys, allowing the user to bypass menus when he or
she becomes familiar with the commands.
Doors Searchlight's DOORS system features a powerful BIOS driven
Interface modem interface, as well as compatibility with PCBOARD door
software. Using software interrupts, Searchlight duplicates
BIOS input and output functions, allowing most BIOS-
compatible programs to run in the online environment. By
using ANSI code translation, Searchlight even supports
programs that use colors, full screen cursor manipulation,
cursor keys and function keys. This makes it extremely
simple to write SLBBS door programs using standard language
features such as PRINT, LOCATE and COLOR in Basic, or Write()
and GotoXY() in Turbo Pascal.
Searchlight BBS can pass parameters to DOOR programs on the
command line or it can generate a PCBOARD 12.0 or 14.0
version of the PCBOARD.SYS file, making it directly compat
ible with thousands of existing PCBOARD programs.
Modem Searchlight uses custom, built in RS232 drivers and supports
Support all standard modems. Connect speeds up to 19,200 baud are
possible, with "Locked DTE" rate and hardware handshaking
available up to 38,400 bps. High speed modems such as the
Hayes 9600 and Courier HST are fully supported.
One of Searchlight's most unique and useful features is its
ability to perform modem output buffering completely in
software, using the interrupt facilities of the 8250 comm
unications chip. Output buffering can dramatically increase
performance as it allows the system to send information to
the modem as a background task while performing disk I/O and
other operations in the foreground.
Message Searchlight's message system is organized into public message
System sections, private mail, and bulletins. All message texts are
compressed and stored in one compact file. Deleted message
space is recycled, eliminating the need for periodic maint
enance (although a packing program is provided to optimize
fragmented message files).
Public message areas can have a sub-sysop, access level, and
maximum message length. In addition, the sysop can assign or
deny subboard access on a per-user basis. Users themselves
can designate a list of preferred subboards, locking others
out as "invisible". Searchlight's NEW message function finds
all new messages based on the last message you read in each
subboard, regardless of your last logon date or time. Scan/
Search features locate messages by sender or subject. Exist
ing messages are easily edited, deleted, or mass-purged.
Unlike other systems, Searchlight renumbers messages to keep
message numbers within a convenient, manageable range.
Electronic Searchlight's MAIL facility provides a private mailbox for
Mail each user on the system. Users can quickly read, list, and
access NEW mail in their mailbox, search for particular
messages, send mail to another user, and purge old mail. A
special 'Inquire' function lets you check on the status of
mail sent to someone else- and even edit or delete the
message if it hasn't been received. Sending mail is fool
proof because Searchlight looks up each recipient's name in
its database using a fast binary search algorithm, and even
matches and completes partial names. Multiple recipients,
alias names, and group names are supported. There is no
limit to the number of messages that can be in each mailbox.
For the SYSOP, keeping a permanent record of electronic mail
is easy, because a special Mail Logging function is included
that writes all mail sent and received by a particular user
to a text file on disk. Mail logging can be enabled, at the
SYSOP's discretion, for any user account on the BBS.
Files Because Searchlight stores directory information in indexed
System binary files instead of text files, it supports extremely
fast searches, gives alphabetical and date sorted listings,
provides individual password protection on files, records
the owner (uploader) of all files and the number of times
downloaded, and can edit file descriptions online. Copy,
Move, Rename and Kill functions (with wildcard support) are
provided for easy maintenance. A VIEW command shows the
internal directory of ARC, ZIP and LZH type files (including
ZIPfile comment strings). An Import facility can convert
existing "text" style directories to Searchlight's binary
format. External protocol capability is included, in
addition to built-in Xmodem and Ymodem. Batch uploading and
downloading are fully supported. Two way file transfers
(ala BiModem) are fully supported.
Filename With filename completion, you never have to type lengthy
Completion filenames and extensions because Searchlight automatically
locates files based on the first few characters of the file
name. This facility extends across directories, and prompts
you for the correct file if more than one match is found.
Sysop Searchlight's SYSOP utilities allow you to purge old users
Utilities and messages by date and access level, make global changes to
access levels and time limits, rename users, and swap message
subboards. The powerful CHECK and BALANCE commands perform
internal checks on the system's data structures, and can
repair damaged or corrupted files.
All of Searchlight's SYSOP utilites, including the CONFIG
program, can run during an online session, providing the
system operator with full maintenance capabilities even from
a remote terminal.
Expansion/ Searchlight's powerful SLMAIL companion program provides
Netmail for importing and exporting messages to and from text or
FidoNet *.MSG files, giving you a flexible interface to
networks and other systems; Echomail is fully supported
within Searchlight BBS. Searchlight supports scheduled
events and "front end" type programs, opening up a wide range
of customization and expansion opportunities. A feature
called "AutoDoors" lets you run DOOR programs when a user
logs in, logs off, and when new users register, allowing you
to insert questionnaires, scripts, messages, etc.
System Searchlight BBS requires less than 250K memory to run, and
Requirements is thus one of the only full-featured systems in its class
capable of running two nodes on a single 640K PC. A hard
disk is recommended, as is DOS 3.0 or later. Color and
monochrome display adapters are fully supported. Searchlight
recognises DesqView(tm) and DoubleDos(tm) and will perform
function calls to these systems to increase efficiency.
Pricing Searchlight BBS current pricing is:
And Shareware Registration .......................... $35
Support Single User Extended Version .................... $70
Multiuser Extended Version ...................... $95
Extended versions include software and utilities on disk,
printed user manual, updates, and support. Searchlight
Software's authorized dealers in the U.S., United Kingdom,
Canada, New Zeland, and Europe offer Searchlight BBS products
and support; or you can order directly from us, using the
enclosed order form.
Searchlight Software is fully committed to updating and
supporting our BBS product. We have two 24-hour support BBS
systems running at 516-724-0971 and 212-962-1920 and we are
available on CompuServe at 73040,2557. We release four
updates per year (usually two major and two minor). Upgrades
are made available on our BBS systems or can be mailed
automatically for a small additional cost.
Third Searchlight Software supplies fully commented data file
Party definitions and sample code for our BBS product, enabling
Development others to design Searchlight BBS utilities and compatible
add-on products. We encourage development and provide
additional information and assistance where required.
Searchlight 24-Hour Support Systems
Searchlight BBS Wise Byte BBS
516-724-0971 (9600 HST) 212-962-1920 (1200/2400)
212-962-1946 (9600 HST)
Frank LaRosa, Sysop Ron Chibnik, Sysop