Color 64


Greg Pfountz

(1983 - 1985, Released as freeware Sept. 1995)


Color 64 holds a very special place in Commodore BBS program history as the software which truely began the effort to show the potential in our systems for color/graphics, online movies, background changes, etc. Before Color 64, although there were some color BBSs out there, none were very polished or allowed graphics use very easily. Color 64 did all this while still maintaining the level of capability and sophistication we've come to expect from our software.

Moreover, Color 64 is unique. From its famous cycle of colors on all text strings to the really cool prompts, the keystroke logs that added so much to SysOping, the ability to save cursor movements and other fancy characters without entering codes or worrying about it coming out differently when being read; Color 64 simply did things others refused to do, and did it with definite style.

About the only uncolorful part of the system is the waiting for call screen.

Color 64, however, loaded modules. The length of these modules and the sheer sucking of online time they entailed was enough to drive many SysOps either crazy, or outright AWAY from this software. The following screen shows a message many users sat patiently through...

Immediately after logging on, one waited seeming hours for the first module to load.

The Facts:

The information below pertains to Color 64 v7.37, the last official version of the system, which is now freeware. I compiled the information based on documentation from the Color 64 home page, and from what I recall of the systems I've seen. If any information here needs to be changed or updated, please let me know.

Hardware Information

Computer    :   Commodore 64 or 128 in 64 mode
Video       :   40 columns
Drives      :   Commodore drives, full CMD support, REU support
Modems      :   1650, 1660, 1670, Hayes, RS232, 100 - 2400 baud
Input       :   Keyboard
Output      :   Printer
RAM use     :   As a swap area for system modules
Special     :   1571 flippy support


Pgm Struct  :   Large overlayed modules
Menu Struct :   Text changable, hotkey system
Translation :   ASCII, PETSCII
Access      :   9 levels, semi-flexible definitions
Handle/ID   :   Handles allowed, listed by ID number
User info   :   Name, phone, handle, xfer blks, last call, baud, etc
User Logs   :   Full keystroke log kept in memory, backed up to disk
Calls/Time  :   Definable per access level, includes idle timer
Network     :   Proprietary system, Network v1.26, and Comlink
Customizing :   Relatively easy, all code in uncompiled BASIC
  Programs  :   BASIC interpreted code, easy to change
  Displays  :   Most displays are SEQ files, text lines in BASIC
  Commands  :   Command keys changable only
Areas       :   Most options accessed from single main area
  E-mail    :   From main menu
  Messages  :   From main menu
  Transfers :   From main menu
  Network   :   Integrated with networked functions
  Programs  :   From main menu
  Text      :   Separate menu
  User Cmds :   From main menu
  SysOp     :   From main menu
  Voting    :   From main menu, selection system
  News      :   Not implemented
  Help      :   Separate menu, extensive
Other       :

SysOp Utilities and Support

Offline     :   SEQ file, complete configuration/setup editors
Online      :   User access, chat, autologoff
Remote      :   User/file/transfer/message editors; CBM-DOS shell
On-L Display:   User info line before prompt
W.F.C. Utils:   Terminal program, local logon
Chatting    :   From legal areas
User        :   Complete user editor
Msg Bases   :   SubOp control, message editing
Transfers   :   File editors and SubOp controls
Programs    :   Extra programs integrated with main program
Network     :   Unknown
Drives      :   CBM-DOS shell, nice little extras
Terminal    :   Full featured terminal program


Structure   :   N/A
Header      :   N/A
Weeding     :   N/A
Display     :   N/A


Structure   :   Linear, with linked threads
Bases       :   Named bases with catagories, both access restricted
Limits      :   All messages on bases under message limit for that base
            :   Weeded during auto-maintenance
Reading     :   By number, or global new reading
Headers     :   Name, date, subject
Format      :   Color graphics, cursor movements, etc
Writing     :   Replies and new posts under same limits, access restr.
Anonymous   :   Anonymous posts allowed with access
Network     :   Supported
Other       :

Message Editor

Structure   :   Line editor
Commands    :   Meta commands from a blank line
Editing     :   Search/replace, deleting
Formatting  :   Word wrap, uppercase graphics
Graphics    :   Full color/gfx, cursor movements, smart delete


Bases       :   Named bases, listed by letter
Storage     :   Directory files kept per base
Limits      :   Maintained by SysOp/SubOp
Credits     :   Definable ratio
Protocols   :   Xmodem (CHK, CRC), Punter (multi)
Headers     :   Blocks, filename, type, date
Selection   :   By filename
Listing     :   Global new files listing supported
Network     :   Not supported
Other       :

Text Libraries

Structure   :   Linear list of titled files
Storage     :   As standard SEQ files
Network     :   Not supported
Other       :   Downloading


Structure   :   Options from main menu, and message base reading
Sending     :   By ID number, handle, or as reply
Receiving   :   On command, or at logon
Network     :   Supported
Other       :

Program Libraries

Structure   :   From main menu
Programs    :   Integrated into program, explicit interaction w/BBS
Network     :   Not supported
Other       :

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