The following new files have been added to the BETA test archive:
PCBOARD.OPS (this file)
ZIPNEWS.PCB (This will become your door command file -- and will be
renamed ZIPNEWS, no extension, not to be confused
with the Waffle ZIPNEWS external command file.)
With this version of ZipNews (v0.94á) we introduce operations with PCBoard.
It is expressly for those PCBoard sysops who have installed the Waffle BBS
package as a DOOR under PCBoard.
Although rather crude when compared to other doors for PCBoard, at this
point in its development, ZipNews works effectively and is perhaps the
fastest means available for accessing Usenet newsgroups. Once caller
choices of newsgroups have been established in the normal manner within
Waffle, a caller need not take time to enter Waffle in order to access
Usenet news. ZipNews is entered directly from PCBoard but references and
updates to the caller's Waffle JOIN file are accomplished outside of Waffle.
I anticipate enhancements in the operation of this door with PCBoard
over time. But for now, here's how it goes:
1. Install your door command file either in your common door directory
or a copy in each of your node directories. A sample door command file,
ZIPNEWS.PCB, is included. It should be renamed ZIPNEWS (with no extension).
If you are not using the normal PCBoard door-control environment variables,
you'll have to extensively modify this file.
2. Using PCBSETUP, define your ZipNews door within DOORS.DAT as you would
any other DOOR. For USER SYS enter Y, for DOOR SYS enter N, for Shell
enter N, and, if appropriate enter your path to DOOR files.
3. Assuming you have already setup ZipNews for Waffle as an external command,
there is no need to do more. (It is assumed that ZN.COM and ZN.CFG
are located in a directory in your DOS PATH and that you have already
configured ZN.CFG as described in ZIPNEWS.DOC.)
To Operate the ZipNews Door from PCBoard:
Your ZipNews door requires a command line parm of the valid login ID
(Waffle Account) corresponding to the present PCBoard caller. If a
given caller wishes to invoke the door and he or she has previously logged
into Waffle, has established an account and has named some newsgroups to
his or her JOIN file, ZipNews knows all that is necessary to serve up the
latest news to this caller if his/her login is presented on the command
Example: BILL JONES is the PCBoard user and has previously established
his Waffle account as bjones. To invoke ZipNews from
PCBoard he enters at the main prompt:
OR open 1 bjones
OR door 1 bjones (assuming ZipNews was installed as Door #1)
As you can see in the ZIPNEWS.PCB file, a 2nd parm is needed on
the command line invoking ZN.COM to inform it that it is running from
PCBoard rather than Waffle. The command line is:
ZN %pcbdoor% pcb (where %pcbdoor% specifies the environment variable
PCBoard uses to convey the door command line parm)
The general syntax is now:
ZN WaffleAcct [local] [pcb]
Yes, you can try the PCBoard form of the door out if you run it from
the DOS command line in local mode as in this example:
zn bjones local pcb
Well, that's ALMOST all there is to it, but . . .
ONE LAST, BUT IMPORTANT NOTE!
There IS one more aspect that must be considered. Should a caller
accidentally (or otherwise) enter someone else's valid Waffle Account ID,
the incorrect JOIN file and set of configuration data would be used and
updated. There is, therefore, a need to verify that the PCBoard caller
is indeed the same individual who has established the Waffle Account
entered on the ZipNews command line.
I have considered several ways to do this. Also, I'd like to avoid
processing Waffle's PASSWORD file which might be of some help (but no
guarantee that the full name there is the same as the form of the name
used by every caller in PCBoard). So, for now, here is what is
For each Waffle Account you wish to grant ZipNews access direct from
PCBoard, you must do the following --
1. Place a file named PCB.ID in the user directory for that Waffle
2. A PCB.ID file must contain one line of text containing the
the PCBoard caller's name/ID as he/she is known on PCBoard.
So, if you have specified your user directory in ZN.CFG as
c:\waffle\user AND if we're dealing again with BILL JONES,
you will place in c:\waffle\user\bjones a file named PCB.ID.
In PCB.ID is one standard ASCII text line (terminated with CR/LF):
This may seem kludgey at the moment, and it represents the need for
some grungy manual effort on the part of the sysop. But, it IS foolproof.
The door WILL NOT allow BILL JONES access to the news and the JOIN file
belonging to the account, bjones, unless that individual's PCB.ID file
is set up as described above.
Hopefully we'll have an improvement in this area in a future release for
PCBoard-Waffle sysops. Meanwhile, there's gonna be some VERY fast news
accessing on PCBoard-Waffle boards with this technique. Enjoy. (And
let me hear your ideas and bug reports.)
- Jack Kilday