--------- continued from previous message ----------
Features in Rcn v0.55:
* A nice GUI configuration-program using gadtools.
* Alternative text-based configuration-program that can be used from
* All textstrings in the BBS can be replaced with whatever you want.
* Multi-language, up to 65536 different languages supported!
* Different textfiles for different users, accesslevels and graphics
* Different task-priorities for each node when uploading/downloading.
* Up to 65536 telephonelines (nodes) supported.
* Support for multiple serial port board.
* Speeds up to 4Gbaud supported (if your hardware and device
* Highspeed modems supported.
* RTS/CTS handshaking.
* Configurable serial device driver and unit for each node.
* More than 4 billion messageareas!
* More than 4 billion fileareas!
* Up to 65536 different accesslevels!
* Lots of displaycodes that can be used almost everywhere.
* Displaycodes uses sprintf(), making it possible to make strings
adjusted to the right, left, integers written in decimal,
hexadecimal, octal, padded with zeros etc etc!
* Conditional displaycodes, such as "Send if the private
flag is set", or "display textfile"
* Action displaycodes, such as hangup and pause.
* IEMSI support!
* All nodes are opened as resizeable and movable windows on the
shared ReccControl screen.
* ReccControl supervises the system, avoiding conflicts of files,
* VERY low CPU-usage!
* ANSI support.
* Textoutput optimizing. Replaces five or more spaces in a row with
* Remote-DOS, using FIFO - Makes it just as your normal shell window!
* Almost every Rcn-program are PURE, making it possible to make them
* Reccoon.library, making utilities small and uses less memory!
They're real easy to code too, using that library!
* Statistic such as total byte UL, DL, calls etc are stored on disk
and displayed on the ReccControl screen.
* All Reccoon-lines and ReccControl can be iconified as APP-Icons on
* Pulldown menus. (with 3.0 look with OS v39 and higher)
* OS 2.0 look.
* AGA screenresolutions supported.
* Macro-keys that can be used everywhere.
* String-edit - the user can use arrowkeys in any string-prompt.
* Very powerful custimized doorinterface making the door possible to
almost everything. It has access to almost all internal data, and
lots of internal functions, such as DisplayMessage() & ListFiles()
* Possible to run multiple doors at the same time!
* Run-back doors that works in the background.
* Doors may add its own fields in the userstructure!
* Action-doors such as Snake.
* ARexx interface.
* Paragon-Door interface.
* Doorlink interface.
* FPL interface (FPL is a script-language that looks and feels like C)
* The entire logon-sequence can be replaced with an fpl-script.
* Possible to run CLI-doors.
* A GUI usereditor, with ARexx interface!
* Possible to edit multiple users at the same time (each user in one
* Alternative textbased user-editor which can be used from remote.
* Possible to edit users being online, and they wont even notice.
* Different keymaps supported.
* Different fonts supported.
* Character-translation - the user can chose between sysop
* Up to 65536 different translation-tables supported.
* 8-bit ASCII supported.
* All programs are written in C, and smaller parts in fast 68000+
* Requires OS 2.0 (v37) or higher.
* Users get congratulated on their birthday.
* Smooth hotkeys.
* Ctrl-C breaking
* Multicolor-chat, which can be started any time, even when
* VERY stable! Havent hanged my BBS since Oct-92 !!
* NO Enforcer and Mungwall hits!
* FidoNet support.
* 10 different AKAs supported.
* Very Fast and good mailprocessor!
* SEEN-BY processing, making it possible to add/remove nodes from the
Seen-By lines. (For both files and msgs)
* 4D network addressing.
* Areafix for both msgareas and fileareas!
* Access-restrictions in areafix.
* Passthru areas.
* Filerequest handler.
* Possible to disable filerequest for certain nodes.
* Magic filenames.
* Wildcards supported in filerequests.
* Possible to password protect files and whole areas for file request.
* File request report sent to the Sysop on the remote system, and to
the local sysop. (configurable)
* Checks the nodelist for unlisted systems.
* Byte and file-limit for freqs.
* Multiple Netmailareas supported.
* Direct Netmails.
* Very powerful routing capabilities.
* Different archivers for different nodes.
* Uses Trapdoor!
* MSGID dupechecking.
* MSGID/REPLY message linking.
* Works fine in a HUB/HOST environment.
* Accesses the nodelist using Traplist.library, so you wont need to
have serveral nodelist-formats when you use Trapdoor as mailer.
* As said, more than four billions different messageareas!
* Messages are stored in two files per messagearea, making
it possible to scan messages EXTREMELY faaaast!
* Possible to send messages to ALL users, so they receive
it when then logon.
* Fileattaches. The attached files are stored in a special
filearea, so you as a sysop get a good overview of all
* Each user can have diffrent accessrestrictions for each
* Private messages.
* Access-level restrictions on certain messages.
* Possible to reply-protect areas.
* Netmail reply.
* Sysop menu that allows the message-writer and the Sysops
to edit message-flags.
* Each user have an own set of access-flags for each message-
area, so you got 100% access-control!
* Possible to age-protect areas, so very young users wont
have access to adult message-areas.
* Messages displayed in different colors (configurable)
when quoted text, Seen-by lines, cludges etc. making
it very easy to find the important parts in messages.
* Possible to hide message-cludges (users option)
* Message-display is hotkeyed, so you can proceed to the next
message without to wait for the end.
* The message header looks just as you want it to look.
* Full-screen editor.
* Uses XPR = External protocols.
* Opens a nice little window when transfering files.
* Files can be marked by entering a number, a wildcard or
the whole filename.
* Both * wildcards and Amiga #? wildcards supported.
* Very fast global-search function.
* Each user has an own set of access-flags for each file-
area, so you got 100% access-control!
* View-archive function.
* Test-archive function.
* The uploader may edit his files, such as changing the
description etc. The sysops for that area can also do other
things such as remove credits, change area etc.
* Auto-logoff after download.
* Hotkeyed file-listing.
* Files can be marked and downloaded at a later time.
* Files can be a free download.
* Some users can have free download in some areas.
* Bps-restrictions for DL and UL (different for each filearea)
* All menucommands can be used in any menu.
* Supports both FPL menus and less advanced menus.
* Lots of menucommands.
* Possible to do serveral things on one single keyhit.
* Access-restrictions on every menucommand.
* A password menu-command, making it possible to password-
protect certain things.
* Possible to do certain things for certain access-levels.
* Menucommands takes arguments and return results, example:
/* this is a short FPL-script */
}else Send("Area not found");
* You can trap almost every key, even the return key.
- Info for TransAmiga will be available in future versions of
the BBS FAQ.
- Max's BBS v1.52
- Info for Max's BBS v1.52 will be available in future versions
of the BBS FAQ.
WHAT BASIC HARDWARE WOULD I NEED TO SET UP AN AMIGA BBS?
This part of the BBS FAQ explains the basic hardware requirements
for those interested in setting up a BBS on a Commodore Amiga
computer. This section covers the advantages to the Amiga's
internal hardware, and how the hardware affects the BBS software
that you will be running. In addition, this section will display
some of the advantages and disadvantages to running a BBS on
Terms enclosed in asteriks (*) are defined at the bottom of this
article under "GLOSSARY".
- COMMODORE AMIGA ON THE INSIDE
The CBM (Commodore Business Machine) line of computers are based
on the Motorola 68000 processor series (68000, 68020, 68030 etc.).
Yet the Amiga is built unlike any other computer, in that it has
a very customized chip set within the computer. These chips allow
the computer to hardware *multitask* (see GLOSSARY at end of file),
display graphics in a flash, and provide the Amiga with an
effective *GUI* (Graphic User Interface).
The first thing you need is obviously an Amiga computer, but don't
go out and grab just any one. You should choose the computer suited
to your needs. All of the Amigas multitask, and thus all of them
are capable of running software that supports multiple lines;
however, this may be misleading in that not all Amiga computers
support multiple lines. Also, the older Amigas have slower
processors and useless operating systems.
- KNOWING YOUR NEEDS WHEN SETTING UP A BBS
(or your company's needs)
This is the first step in setting up any BBS, Amiga, IBM, or
otherwise. I won't go into detail here, but there are some
things you should keep in mind:
(1) Do you need a large online file base, or are you
(2) Do you need/will you need multiple lines? (Don't limit yourself!)
(3) If so, How many multiple lines will you need?
(4) Will you be hooking up to a network (such as FIDO or UUCP/UseNet)?
The above considerations will affect your choice of hardware.
The following chart will attempt to offer some guidelines your
hardware requirements based on your needs. Note, however, that if
you are buying a computer new, you should gather some information on
your own, and the author is not responsible for any misconceptions
you may have had before your purchase.
Msgs-Base Files 1Line Multi-Line Comp. RAM Notes
| X | | X | | A500 1MB *,!
| X | X | X | | A500 2MB **,!
| | | | | A600 @
| X | X | X | X | A1200 3MB+ #
| X | | X | | A2000 1MB+ $,!
| X | X | X | X | A2000 3MB+ %,!
| X | X | X | X | A3000 4MB+ &,!
| X | X | X | X | A4000 4MB+ ***
! This machine is either now obselete or is being faded out.
* The A500 cannot be expanded to multiple ports. It is possible to
run a BBS off of floppy disks, but nowadays it's hard to find good
software to support this. Also, you would be quite limited in your
** The A500 cannot be expanded to multiple ports, and hard-drive
controllers, harddrives, and RAM expansions are to be added seperately.
If this is the computer you have, I would recommend a hard-drive and
a BIG RAM expansion first before starting a BBS. The reason why the
RAM requirement is higher than the previous listing is because
harddrives take up RAM when mounted, and you need enough to run the
- AN EXPLANATION OF AMIGA SYSTEMS
@ The A600 is strictly a games computer and is useless for the
purposes of running a BBS.
# The A1200 is one of Commodore's newest machines. It has the latest
state of the art graphics chip sets, supports a multi-port serial
card, comes with a harddrive controller installed. In addition, it
uses one of Motorola's latest processors, and is quite the quick
machine. Perfect for a small yet expandable single or multi-line BBS.
$ The A2000, unexpanded, is the same as an Amiga 500.
Same processor, same features.
% The A2000, expanded, can hold a muliple serial card, harddrives,
RAM, etc., as is needed. However, the standard CPU is quite slow
for multi-line systems, so you may want to buy an accelorator for
this machine if this is what you'll be using to set up your BBS.
& The A3000 is a great machine. It comes with a 68030 processor and
a math co-processor (for much faster calculations), and has a suitable
starting amount of RAM, and can take a multi-serial card.
*** The A4000 is Commodore's latest benchmark, and if you can afford
it, is excellent for running pretty much any kind of BBS you have in
Please note that the above are only guidlines and are not hard-coded
theory. The number of lines you can support also depends on the
software amount of RAM you have available, and the speed of your
computer. Also remember that the larger your hard drive space, the
larger your file-base; the more RAM you have, the less chance you
have of crashing the computer. A big 11-line system in Ottawa,
Ontario is running C-Net/3 software on an Amiga 4000 with 1.2
Gigabytes of harddrive space and 14 Megs of RAM, just to give you an
- PRO'S & CON'S ABOUT AMIGA HARDWARE WHEN RUNNING A BBS
Hardware multitasking is much faster and more efficient than
software multitasking systems; GUI makes things easy to use, with
point-and-click type mouse operations; Amiga supports a GUI as well as
a Dos-Shell, for the best of both worlds, making setting up a BBS
easier to do; most Amiga BBS software has multiple-line support built
right into the software.
CHAPTER 6 - SYSOPS SURFING THE INTERNET HIGHWAY
I want to provide Internet access on my BBS...
(Topics to be covered)
- Who do I contact to get Internet on my BBS? How much does it cost?
- Are there different type of internet connections? If so, what are
- What is TCP/IP, SLIP, UUCP, ISDN, leased lines?
- What type of software do I need to have an Internet connection?
How do I get an Internet connection with a satalite dish?
PageSat is a direct-broadcast satellite service carrying news groups
from several major networks, principally the Internet. PageSat
uplinks in Mountain View, CA, to a transponder on GE Americom's
Ku-band K2 domestic satellite. It covers the entire continental
United States and parts of southern Canada and northern Mexico.
Coverage in Europe and Asia is planned for 3Qtr 1994. On average,
PageSat delivers approx. 50 - 60 megabytes a day of Usenet News.
Hardware consists of a 0.63-m (or larger where required) parabolic
Ku-band antenna system and a PCSAT 100 Wireless Usenet Data Terminal.
Any 286 or higher processor running DOS 3.1 is acceptable. You still
need a land-line to an Internet host for outgoing mail.
Contact: Duane J. Dubay
992 San Antonio Rd.
Palo Alto, CA. 94303
Planet Connect is a direct-broadcast satellite service. The base
system uses a 2-foot dish with a flat roof mount, wall mount, or
pole mount, Ku LNB and feed and Planet Connect Data Receiver
Base service includes: FidoNET backbone NaNet
Contact: Planet Systems, Inc.
213 Abbey Road
Newport, TN 37821
- Turn your PC into a Usenet Site
To be provided in future versions of the BBS FAQ.
CHAPTER 7 - NET IT UP - GETTING YOUR BBS ON AN ECHO NETWORK
7.01 - Why network?
As electronic bulletin boards proliferate like particles
in a nuclear reaction, the opportunities to "net" will
likewise explode. Why do it? Well, why not? The costs are
minuscule compared to the benefits offered by a well-
operated BBS "echo" network. In real terms, the long
distance phone charges applied to networked message have
probably gone DOWN in the ten short years that individual
computerists began linking up. actual outlay, though, may
not have decreased -- since the amount of traffic has
expanded like as super nova.
Your users will benefit from the networks through the
connections that link them with folks from all over the
country and the globe, gaining insights and points-of-
view unavailable in any other medium. Correspondingly,
the users of other member boards in the network can
benefit from the thoughts and opinions of *your* users.
The many-to-many discussions offered in these nearly
gatekeeper-free, nearly unedited channels may be one of
the biggest attractions for users to gravitate to your
The reason to net may not have changed much from the
desire that led Tom Jennings to found the biggest and
oldest self-sustaining echo net of them all -- FidoNet
. He found himself on one coast and a friend on the
other. He figured a way to auto-send messages at night
when the rates were low. The technique spread. And now
the BBS that is not networked in some way is a rarity.
7.02 - What is an echo net?
"Echo" is the word that came to describe the act of
netting chains of home-grown BBSs together because it is
descriptive of the technique most commonly used. Your
voice echoes when you send it through a canyon and it
reverberates after striking each successive rockface.
Your users' messages will do the same as they pass from
your board to your UPLINK BBS in the chain. Later, often
the next night, that uplink calls another NODE in the
net, perhaps, which merely collects and passes your
board's messages on; or it may call a HUB, which collects
messages from its own users, as well as many other node
BBSs like yours. Hubs of this kind do specially arranged
exchanges among themselves in many network set-ups.
Sometimes called "star" systems these central and
regionally placed systems act as collection and
distribution points and add measurable efficiencies to
the passing of communications around the continents.
There are also systems which do not merely echo messages
but which also echo software and other data, usually in
compressed form. Keep an eye out for the Shareware
Distribution Network (SDN), a well-established collection
of BBSs that spreads useful utility, entertainment and
7.03 - Where do I find information?
Call any BBS of which you are now aware, and you will
probably finds a net attached to it. Normally each system
in a net makes available the latest version of an
information archive -- most often known as an "info pac".
Ask the sysop for the name or how to get it.
If you have no nets locally that you'd like to carry on
your own system, there are places where networking folk
gather to discuss issues and disseminate information.
Look at all the nets local to you to see if any carry a
conference on the topic of "networking". Sometimes these
conferences are devoted to discussions of the LAN (local
area networking) techniques of business and government,
but ask anyway. You're sure to get a lead or two.
You're probably not too far from a BBS carrying the
FidoNet conference called OTHERNETS. For a sysop
interested in networking, even long-distance contact with
this conference will be well worth it. Messages by
administrators and member sysops of other BBS networks
(hence the name of the conference) comprise the vast bulk
of the messaging activity there.
Lastly, there is a certain book, (Surely, the reader
knows that even if I wasn't the author, I'd mention it.
Surely.) the current edition of which contains the
complete NODELISTs (compilation of phone numbers) of
member boards of 69 self-sustaining echo networks (and a
partial list of one huge one). With the listings of the
conferences carried, the entries in the directory range
from the dependable and mainstream (RIME, a general
interest net with its own elaborate technology and nearly
a thousand member boards,) through the meditative
(DharmaNet, devoted to Buddism) through the bizarre
(Furnet, which, apparently, has something to do with
anthromorphy, the role-playing of animals).
The book is called _Free Electronic Networks_ (Prima
Computer Books, Rocklin CA, ISBN 1-55958-415-7). Your
local library may have it. (Library books are, after all,
the original shareware.) Or browse through it at your
local bookstore (but try not to make it too dog-eared.)
7.04 - Do echo networks charge fees?
By and large the echo networks almost religiously DO NOT
charge for the privilege of joining them. Many, if they
have thought to include the rule, even forbid their
member board sysops from withholding the network
conferences from users in exchange for fees (or
"donations," as many sysops like to call them.)
There are some that require fees for administrative
reasons and some try to establish emergency funds to keep
the systems up. A few may even exact charges from the
individual users. This is rare.
Some common charges may involve "hub" fees, where node
systems are asked for a nominal monthly or weekly
contribution in order to help offset the phone toll
charges that accrue to the operators of network hubs,
which sometimes haul huge amounts of data through their
phone links. A well-run net will easily make these
charges worth your while. And you can be sure that no one
is making a killing, just sharing the load.
The software used to network, in most cases is open
and/or shareware, meaning the inventors don't mind if you
tinker and the payment you make to them are on the honor
system. Some networks require the software be
"registered" (paid for) before allowing a hook-up.
7.05 - What are the differences between networking technologies?
The basic known forms of net tech are the following:
Fido; QWK; PostLink, WWIV, Citadel.
Fido is a net and a tech. Your board can be part of the
big FidoNet, or it can be part of a stand-alone
organization that merely uses the same techniques and
similar software to the Big Dog. The software has evolved
but remains in the same basic form. The BBS interacts
with the net through a software link called a "fossil"
driver and another called a "mailer." Getting your board
up and going in a Fido tech network can be somewhat
technically daunting for the casual computerist, and may
require more know-how than the other network forms. But
the tradition of Fido has grown from the achievement of
dedicated independent computerists, and they'd prefer the
company of those who can muster up the minimum expertise
it takes to join them. Search the BBSs near you -- or
the commercial online services you patronize -- for a
file named something like BIGDUMMY.* Inside will probably
be a text file entitled "The Big Dummy's Guide to
FidoNet" by Michael Schuyler. It's an informative and
witty espousal of the Fido ways, whys and wherefores.
QWK is a networking standard that grew out of the most
successful of the mail reader formats to emerge over the
last few years. A mail reader is a software device that
allows a user to call your board and take messages away,
for reading and responding at their leisure. The mail
reader hooks up with a "door" on your board that knows
the format used, and deals out the messages according to
the users wants. It was not a far jump from this task to
using the same pieces, with a bit of adjustment, for the
task of networking between the boards themselves.
Naturally then, since the form was founded for the use of
your average users, the networking techniques cannot be
too trying on the intellect. The ease of use has its
drawbacks. QWK nets rarely offer "netmail" or "receiver-
only" mail (sometimes erroneously known as "private e-
mail." There is very little privacy available). WildNet
is a large and active net based on QWK tech.
PostLink is a proprietary technology (in that the
developer would prefer you not use it if you haven't paid
for it, and tinkering is not encouraged.) The large
network based on this tech is the RelayNet International
Message Exchange (RIME), a stable network which offers a
modicum of security by providing encrypting netmail and
other features not available in your average hacked,
cobbled and tweaked net tech.
WWIV is a technology that seems to attract those
hobbyists (read as "hacker" in the mostly benign meaning
of the word) with a penchant for "handles" and wild talk.
WWIV offers conferences that are known as "subs" -- which
is short for "sub-boards" or smaller divisions of the
main board. The topics tend to be wild and the "sub"
names wildly descriptive, since the technology allows for
longer names. (i.e., The Wesley Crusher Must Die Club).
The subs can be started on a BBS anywhere in the net and
will spread around according to their popularity and
audience -- a method the online radicals like to think of
as anarchy, but which is really a demonstration of your
basic orderly market economics. Like Fido, there is the
big WWIV and there are some few other networks based on
the tech that are stand-alone.
Citadel is a technology nearly as old as FidoNet, with a
core group of unshakable enthusiasts who would run
nothing else. It is really a style of BBSing that
naturally branched out into networking. There are BBS
versions for nearly every computer technology that has
been used since the early 1980's, including the extinct
DOS predecessor CP/M and the widely ignored
Ataris/Amigas. (Possibly excluding Macintosh. Do Macs
net? Still can't say for sure. Haven't come across one.)
Started as a BBS that could serve as a form of on-line
role-playing game, the Citadels are "room-based" in that
the conference areas are called Rooms. Groups of rooms
related by topic are organized into floors (for instance,
the "networking floor" and the "computer talk floor").
The individual rooms are networked in the catch-as-catch-
can anarchic mode, where the sysops take and share the
rooms they want. If you want a room that is not available
on a board you net with locally, you are welcome to cast
your line long distance and get it yourself. Topics are
esoteric, indeed, in some rooms "topic" as a description
would be a stretch. Interaction with a Citadel is a
pleasant, primitive, sort of a welcome throwback to a
younger computing day. Learning the commands may take bit
more effort than today's menu-driven, hand-holdy BBS
systems, but the old-timers don't mind if those without
the patience stay away after the first call. They're in
it for the long haul.
7.06 - What do I have to do to join?
You might not want to think about joining a network until
you have your BBS up and stabilized. Be sure that you
will be around longer than a few months before trying for
a net. Sysoping can be trying and demanding. Attrition of
new boards is high. Adding a network may only add to your
early frustration and gain you some ill will with the
administrators if you falter and fade away.
Once you decide to join one and have picked one out, you
are likely to be put through one of a widely varying
system of application processes. Some networks require
little more than the achievement of a BBS up and running,
and are thankful to have any nodes they can attract
(these tend to be smaller, struggling nets); while others
have a somewhat selective application process -- though
the requirements most often are not extremely testing,
normally consisting of pledges that you will try to
control your users.)
In the extreme case, there is a minority of BBSs with
demanding -- nay, oppressive -- membership application
processes. One might even call them "ordeals" -- which
may include up-time minimums, lengthy, detailed
applications and virtual "visits" by the "selection
committee" to determine suitability. The trade off is
that the sysop who lands a spot on a net like this can be
assured a certain amount of civility. Often it is
deceiving though, since these organizations are as
subject to the biases and petty politics of any of the
loosest net, even though they think their overbearing
requirements make them immune.
Each individual sysop will gravitate -- as you will --
toward the style of networking that suits them. Don't
worry about acceptance, since for the most part, people
realize eventually that they didn't really want to be
anyplace where they weren't wanted anyway.
7.07 - Do the echo nets have e-mail?
Some offer what's called "netmail". It is not
instantaneous transfer e-mail like one may be used to on
an internetted business or school system, but the
messages travel at the same leisurely pace (usually one
hop per night) as the other messages.
Some net tech offer a form of somewhat instant mail
called "crash mail". But it entails a direct long-
distance call from one board to another, incurring the
long-distance charges. Sysops won't allow this unless
there is a plan to pay the costs.
Also, even though the best sysops attempt to give a
semblance privacy, no user should ever consider that
their mail is completely free of snooping. Advise your
readers that they should never commit to netmail anything
they would be ashamed of if it were somehow to be made
This will slowly change. If no one in this FAQ has
mentioned it yet, every sysop should have a look at a
book called _Syslaw_, by attorneys Lance Rose and
Jonathan Wallace. It is their legal opinion that sysops
should make every effort to provide their users with as
much privacy as possible. Many sysops at present are
under the impression that the government requires the
A note on the grossly misused term -- censorship.
Remember the First Amendment applies to governments ONLY,
a private institution -- which your BBS will be -- is not
required to allow any expression deemed inappropriate by
its owner. This bears on networking in that no network
can require you to carry a conference you consider in bad
taste. Private organizations are well within their rights
to edit and select what they present to their public.
Think of yourself as a publisher, and don't shudder if
some less-knowledgeable-than-you user shouts
"censorship." They have no basis.
7.08 - How can I start my own net?
Starting a net requires little more than a knowledge of
the networking software and at least one other sysop of
like mind. Establishing a large general interest network
might be a staggering undertaking, but you can try your
hand at a small narrowly themed network and see what
happens. If it spreads, then go on from there. If it
stagnates, then bide your time, learn, and try again some
7.09 - How will my users interact with the nets?
Few BBS networks apply any sort of draconian "moderation"
(And those few are easy to identify, and avoid, if
desired). Alternately, the security of a heavily
controlled net may cause a sysop less loss of sleep over
what sort of verbiage comes to reside in his or her
Expect to have an occasional user who draws the ire of
the network brass. Your users may consider that you --
their friendly neighborhood sysop -- may have more
loyalty to a local, possibly paying customer, than to
some faceless network. Consider the pros and cons of
backing a user against a network administration.
Experience has shown that in the vast majority of
instances, the sysop will side with the net, not wanting
to endanger a feed that pleases so many other users, and
offends but one. The issues involved in most network
disputes are notoriously sticky and hard to resolve, if
they can even be pinned down. There is a surprising
amount of territoriality involved, and a not-very-
surprising amount of -- as there is in every other human
endeavor -- power madness.
In practical matters, your users, the hip ones anyway,
will use offline mail readers to grab messages from your
local and network conferences. They can then be read
offline and responded to at leisure. For this the sysop
will have to provide a "mail door". There are many
shareware models of these doors circulating. Most, if not
all, adhere to the QWK/REP formats.
7.10 - How can I avoid becoming merely a "net outlet?"
The act of establishing a non-networked BBS, which
attracts users and has a life of its own, before hooking
up to a net is the best way to insure that there is
activity unrelated to your network feed. This can be done
by establishing message areas with local flavor, or with
topics that appeal to the users you will most likely
attract. The best way to think of a BBS is as a "news
service" and if you make it lively and different every
day -- by initiating conversation and exciting interest
in local issues -- you will go a long way to insure a
loyal local following.
7.11 - What are some of the network that are out there?
Here's a shorthand list of the echo networks whose
administrators made the effort to get their nodelists
into FENs (_Free Electronic Networks_). If one or more
strike your fancy then perhaps you can pop over to the
bookstore or book-carrying computer store and browse
through for the numbers, committing the number of the
closest to your locale to memory. This is not nearly a
complete list of all the networks out there. Such a list
might be impossible to compile.
ACONET Dutch network of Acorn computer
APEX Virtual reality
ATARINET Atari users
BIGNET Large folk
BIRDNET Exotic birds
BIZYNET Business (requires individual
CENTIPEDE Writing, philosophy and
CHESS NET Chess
CINEMA-NET Movies and show business
CITADEL Nets The unnamed association of
DOORNET Online door software
DUCKNET General interest
EDA NET Fantasy role-playing
EICNET General interest
EPUBNET Electronic publishing
ESN Enterprise computing
FEDNET Canadian government agencies
FIDONET General interest
FISH NET General interest
FRANCOMEDIA French language
GEO INFO NET Geology
HOME NET Homebodies
ICN General interest
ILINK General interest
INDRANET General interest
INFINITYNET General interest
INFONET General interest
INTELEC General interest
ISN Italian shareware distribution
ITCNET General interest
LION NET Adult
MAGNET General Interest
MARANATHA! NET Christian
MHZ NET Computers
NORTHSTARNET General interest
OS2NET Operating System 2
QUIXNET General interest
RIME General interest
SCURVY NET Alternative
SING General interest
SNJ NET General interest
STARNET General interest
STORMNET General interest
TOADNET General interest
TGNET Cross-gender issues
ULINK General interest
USERNET General interest
USPOLNET U.S. Politics
UTAHNET General interest
VETLINK Military veterans
WILDNET General interest
WISHNET General interest
WWIVNET General interest
Good luck and see you on the nets.
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