ZipNews v0.94á (1/22/93)
Here's a quick review of the features of ZipNews for Waffle:
* Offers high-speed, efficient access to Usenet newsgroups for callers
of Waffle BBSs (as a Door or Waffle "external command").
* Produces a single compressed ASCII text file of all new articles
contained in newsgroups listed in the caller's Waffle JOIN file.
(The ASCII text format is the first of a number of different formats
planned. Future formats may include support for several offline
readers/mailers with any of several formats being selectable by
* Also can serve as a PCBoard Door on systems that are running Waffle as
a door under PCBoard. That is, it is accessed directly from PCBoard
without requiring the caller to log into Waffle each call.
* Updates the last article read pointers in the Waffle JOIN file only
if the download completes successfully.
* ZipNews is SHARE-compatible, and supports multi-node operation
(unlimited simultaneous BBS node access).
* Allows complete system operator and caller freedom in specifying and
selecting from archiver utilities and file transfer protocols.
System operator can configure choices of up to 5 different archiving
utilities and up to 10 file transfer protocols. (Limits are pretty
arbitrary; will increase if there is demand.)
* Handy "local" mode of operation to support system operator testing.
* Individual caller configurations are "remembered" for reference
during subsequent calls.
* Supports RAMDISK work directories for speed and easing the burden
on hard drives. A different directory for each BBS node can be
specified using a single entry in one config file.
* Complete comm port support built-in (supports non-standard comm
ports). Disables FOSSIL communications to use its own comm
routines. (FOSSIL comm is "reset" upon return to Waffle in the
normal way.) CAUTION: Will not work with multi-port boards
requiring special drivers (e.g., DIGIBOARD, ARNET, etc.).
* Includes carrier monitoring & keyboard timeout monitoring. Returns
to Waffle in the event of lost carrier or keyboard timeout (3 mins.).
* No fancy graphics in normal operation -- compatible with any/all
caller platforms -- similar to Waffle in this regard (i.e.,
* No charge for upgrades to future versions. (Once you have a
registration number, it may be applied to all future upgrades.)
Registration COST: $19.95
Distributed as uncrippled, fully functional SHAREWARE. The unregistered
version of the product DOES prominently display that it is an
unregistered, evaluation copy, etc., on-screen and in the text files it
produces. (I have avoided making this crippleware, and, I hope, I've
struck a happy medium and avoided "annoyware" as well. Comments
The executable is self-registering in that "Evaluation Copy" and
"Unregistered" remarks are removed by running in "register" mode and
entering registration number supplied when you register the product.
Considerations for the Future
- In the longer range, we're considering developing an offline news
reader/mailer for ZipNews (this would be marketed as a separate
product). Upgrades to the ZipNews Door to accommodate such input
from a reader/mailer would be free to system operators who have
- Also being considered is the addition of mail to ZipNews' "news"
packet. A caller would be able to download his entire mail "folder"
in each news packet (or maybe just unread messages -- this not firmed
up yet). Until a reader/mailer becomes available, however, this would
be just a one-way process.