BBS Construction Set v9.9F


Will Gaddy


I must say, this program caught me completely off guard. Going by its name, I guess it would be an op-code based system similar to UES, or Zelch 128. After perusing the configurator, I quickly discovered otherwise, finding it flexible only in the meager sense that Zelch 64 might be considered so. Moreover, it is an ASCII-only system with a weak message editor. I was quickly unimpressed. However, this is where the discovery truely began.

BBSCS Loader Screen.

First off, like the name DOES suggest, BBSCS has an extremely strong set of offline utilities (configurators). Each one presents the user with step-by-step questions, and suggested defaults for many values. Another offline utility provides the sysop with lots of tools normally found in a midnight maintenance mode type subsystem, along with a tool to recode the command keys and descriptions for all the menu commands.

BBSCS Waiting For Call Screen

What makes BBSCS such an un-commodore like program, however, is the arrangement of its features for the user into "Subboards". Now, the term "Subboard" on most BBS programs refers only to the named message bases. In BBSCS, however, the Subboard is truely a "Sub Bulletin Board"! Each named base is not merely a message base, but also optionally a transfer area, the main email repository, and the location of voting and polling features. This is a very unique arrangement among BBS programs, certainly unheard of in Commodore BBS programs.

BBSCS Main Menu (well, part of it)

Beyond this, as you can see above, the program has an enormous main menu. Barely half of the total commands fit on the screen when logged in as a SysOp. This is because the main menu doubles as the email section, text files area, message base menu, and sysop area.

The Facts:

I initially had a lot of trouble getting this program to run, either on my C128D or in the emulator. However, I found the documentation was written well enough to make the determination of these facts very easy to discern.

Hardware Information

Computer    :   Commodore 64 or 128 in 64 mode
Video       :   40 Columns
Drives      :   CBM, limited CMD (no parts., no subdirs)
Modems      :   1650, 1670, RS232, Hayes (300-1200)
Input       :   Keyboard
Output      :   Screen, printer
RAM use     :   N/A
Special     :


Pgm Struct  :   Single large program
Menu Struct :   Single menu, hotkey, definable keys
Translation :   ASCII only
Access      :   Progressive numeric access levels, somewhat definable
Handle/ID   :   Handles allowed, users listed by ID
User info   :   Name, access, phone, last call, etc.
User Logs   :   Name, time/date
Calls/Time  :   No call limit, time limit definable to each level
Network     :   N/A
Customizing :   Not terribly
  Programs  :   Compiled BASIC, not changable
  Displays  :   Some displays are SEQ files
  Commands  :   Command keys are definable
Areas       :   Single-menu structure
  E-mail    :   Send from main menu
  Messages  :   Main menu
  Transfers :   Seperate menu
  Network   :   N/A
  Programs  :   N/A
  Text      :   Main menu
  User Cmds :   Main menu
  SysOp     :   Main menu
  Voting    :   Main menu, integrated with message bases
  News      :   Main menu
  Help      :   N/A
Other       :

SysOp Utilities and Support

Offline     :   Configurator, cleanup tools, customizing tools
Online      :   Chat, logoff, auto-sysop mode, printer toggle, terminal?!
Remote      :   User editor, validate disk, time/date, integrated functions
On-L Display:   User's name, time/date
W.F.C. Utils:   Same as online
Chatting    :   From any prompt
User        :   Full editor provided
Msg Bases   :   Offline configurator, numerous integrated functions
Transfers   :   Offline configurator, numerous integrated functions
Programs    :   N/A
Network     :   N/A
Drives      :   Full CBM-DOS prompt available
Terminal    :   No terminal


Structure   :   Single opening bulletin
Header      :   No set header
Weeding     :   By SysOp
Display     :   At logon


Structure   :   Linear style, unlinked
Bases       :   Named bases, listed by number
Limits      :   Enforced by System
            :   Message limit definable per each base.
Reading     :   Individual and scanning, mail reading
Headers     :   To, From, subject, date
Format      :   Text and certain sysop codes
Writing     :   As new posts, or as new posts with reply subjects
Anonymous   :   Not allowed
Network     :   N/A
Other       :

Message Editor

Structure   :   Line editor
Commands    :   Hitting return on blank line gives editor
Editing     :   Insert, delete, rewrite, search/replace
Formatting  :   Word wrap
Graphics    :   Not supported


Bases       :   Named bases (same as message bases), listed by number
Storage     :   Filenames with base prefixes.  Files include header data.
Limits      :   Enforced by SysOp
Credits     :   No credit system
Protocols   :   Xmodem, punter, ascii
Headers     :   Filename, size, date, type, number, comment
Selection   :   By filename
Listing     :   Directories only
Network     :   N/A
Other       :

Text Libraries

Structure   :   Named bases (same as message bases) listed by number
Storage     :   As standard SEQ files
Network     :   N/A
Other       :


Structure   :   Integrated into message base system
Sending     :   From main menu, by posting a private message
Receiving   :   From main menu, on demand
Network     :   N/A
Other       :

Program Libraries

Structure   :   N/A
Programs    :   N/A
Network     :   N/A
Other       :

If you find anything in here you have questions or comments about, free to leave me email right here.

To return to my home page, click here.