does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS? - Linux

This is a discussion on does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS? - Linux ; Hi all, This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System), which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS system, and ...

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  1. does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Hi all,

    This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    browsing and posting and replying messages.

    I frequently visit several such Firebird variant BBS systems. When you post
    a message, you have to first login on, and select a category/board, then
    post, etc. It is not very convinient. I want to automate the process and
    write a program for myself, so every parameters such as account username,
    password, etc. can be simplified and fixed a priori.

    The best interface would be like a EMAIL client, in a drop-down menu, it
    list some discussion forum/board/category names, I select multiple boards,
    and then I write a message, then by one clike, I can post my messages to
    several selected destined boards/categories/forums...

    Does anybody know the simplest way to write a client program to do such
    automation? I am not a very good programmer, so I really want to use the
    method that is easiest for me to implement. I don't care about slowness or
    ugly interface...

    Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot!



  2. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Mike wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages.


    There were lots of different BBS programs, depending on the platform ie
    Amiga, IBM pc. Shappire springs to mind for the pc. You should Google, BBS
    did a lot more than you think it did.

    Dave

  3. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?


    Mike wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas.


    Telnet is only one means. Simple serial over modem was very common.
    Hotline and other proprietary network protocols also exist.

    > There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages. ...
    >
    > The best interface would be like a EMAIL client, in a drop-down menu, it
    > list some discussion forum/board/category names, I select multiple boards,
    > and then I write a message, then by one clike, I can post my messages to
    > several selected destined boards/categories/forums...
    >
    > Does anybody know the simplest way to write a client program to do such
    > automation? I am not a very good programmer, so I really want to use the
    > method that is easiest for me to implement. I don't care about slowness or
    > ugly interface...


    The first thing to establish is whether the protocol and existing
    client/server code is open or proprietary. If it's open(source) then
    you have a much better chance of succeeding with a replacement client.

    --Toby

    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    > Thanks a lot!



  4. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?


    toby wrote:
    > Mike wrote:
    >
    > > There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > > browsing and posting and replying messages. ...

    ...

    > > Does anybody know the simplest way to write a client program to do such
    > > automation? I am not a very good programmer, so I really want to use the
    > > method that is easiest for me to implement. I don't care about slowness or
    > > ugly interface...

    >
    > The first thing to establish is whether the protocol and existing
    > client/server code is open or proprietary. If it's open(source) then
    > you have a much better chance of succeeding with a replacement client.


    And if not, you could wrap "expect" around it.

    --
    Tony Lawrence
    Unix/Linux/Mac OS X Resources
    http://aplawrence.com


  5. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    "Mike" writes:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages.
    >
    > I frequently visit several such Firebird variant BBS systems. When you post
    > a message, you have to first login on, and select a category/board, then
    > post, etc. It is not very convinient. I want to automate the process and
    > write a program for myself, so every parameters such as account username,
    > password, etc. can be simplified and fixed a priori.
    >
    > The best interface would be like a EMAIL client, in a drop-down menu, it
    > list some discussion forum/board/category names, I select multiple boards,
    > and then I write a message, then by one clike, I can post my messages to
    > several selected destined boards/categories/forums...
    >
    > Does anybody know the simplest way to write a client program to do such
    > automation? I am not a very good programmer, so I really want to use the
    > method that is easiest for me to implement. I don't care about slowness or
    > ugly interface...
    >
    > Any ideas?


    Yes, as Tony mentionned, expect will be essential to interface to the BBS.
    You can write an expect script for each kind of BBS.

    But note that since the advent of Internet, a lot of these BBS also
    have already a gateway to the Web or email (mail-lists). I guess
    information about it would be given on the BBS itself.


    --
    __Pascal Bourguignon__ http://www.informatimago.com/

    "Klingon function calls do not have "parameters" -- they have
    "arguments" and they ALWAYS WIN THEM."

  6. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    "Mike" (housing2006@gmail.com) writes:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages.
    >

    Did you really have to post it to 4 different newsgroups?

    What you're missing is that BBSs were running on either the bare CPU,
    or a rudimentary operating system. The BBS software had to supply
    everything. (See the article in 1978, I forget the month, in Byte
    magazine by either Ward Christenson or Randy Seuss (or maybe it
    was by both) about their BBS, which is said to be the first to run
    on a small computer.)

    There were all kinds of kludges, to feed in Usenet, and to make
    use of more memory, that all pretty much derived from the limited
    software.

    Nowadays, all you'd really need is a system running Linux. All they
    key bits, newsgroups, email, whatever else, are all there out of
    the box and doing it all well. If you want to limit what they can
    do with the system, then you let them see nothing more than a menu,
    that lets them start something like Pine for email (and even newsgroups
    if you like), start up a newsreader for the newsgroups (and you can
    have your own local-only newsgroups) and whatever else you want
    them to be able to do. No kludges, and it's all pretty much a very
    standard system.

    If you want to link with other BBSs, that may complicate matters since
    they would use a BBS-specific arrangement for the message boards and
    maybe even the transfer of those messages.

    But the basic concept is far more doable with Linux than it ever was with
    BBS software.

    Michael

  7. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?


    > What you're missing is that BBSs were running on either the bare CPU,
    > or a rudimentary operating system.


    You think the Amiga had a rudimentary OS ?

    Dave


  8. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Mike wrote
    (in article ):

    > Hi all,
    >
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),


    Not really so much a "technology" as a forerunner to the modern
    Forum website, usually with file upload/download capabilities
    (XMODEM, YMODEM, ZMODEM, etc.). But, with (usually) only one
    person being able to access it at a time, over a conventional
    phone line. Some "fancy" systems ran something like DoubleDos
    with multiple phone lines and could have more than one person
    using them at a time. Baud rates of 110, 300, 1200, 2400 were
    typical until near the end of the "era" so to speak. I ran
    several, some for private hobby purposes, others for businesses,
    which used them for electronic technical support forums and
    patch download services back before anyone had heard of the
    "information superhighway".

    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages.


    Some also hosted games, supported ASCII color and graphics and
    some crude animation.

    > I frequently visit several such Firebird variant BBS systems. When you post
    > a message, you have to first login on, and select a category/board, then
    > post, etc. It is not very convinient.


    No. It was pretty cool in the 70s and 80s though. A matter or
    perspective.

    > I want to automate the process and
    > write a program for myself, so every parameters such as account username,
    > password, etc. can be simplified and fixed a priori.


    Download any of a number of MySQL-based web forum packages and
    you're done. Most are open source if you want to tinker around.
    > Does anybody know the simplest way to write a client program to do such
    > automation? I am not a very good programmer, so I really want to use the
    > method that is easiest for me to implement. I don't care about slowness or
    > ugly interface...


    See above, this wheel has been invented quite a few times
    already.


    --
    Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)
    "The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those
    who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw






  9. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 01:27:15 -0800, Mike wrote:

    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board
    > System), which is a telnet based forum


    Actually, they were dialup until Internet made widespread use of telnet
    possible. I used to love my local board.

    > I want to automate the process and write a program for myself, so
    > every parameters such as account username, password, etc. can be
    > simplified and fixed a priori.


    I used to use Zap-O-Comm under OS/2, and there's a Windows version.
    Damned shame it's not available for Linux, as it's an *excellent*
    telnet client, ssh client, and terminal emulator.
    http://www.emtec.com/zoc/

    For Linux, I'd probably use Kermit.

    http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/

    > The best interface would be like a EMAIL client in a drop-down menu,
    > it list some discussion forum/board/category names, I select
    > multiple boards, and then I write a message, then by one clike, I
    > can post my messages to several selected destined
    > boards/categories/forums...


    THIS doesn't sound like a terminal emulator; this sounds like an
    offline mail reader. I liked MultiMail. It reads Blue Wave, QWK, OMEN
    and SOUP packets and is available for Linux (as an RPM or as source),
    MS-DOS, OS/2, Win2k/XP, and OSX.

    http://multimail.sourceforge.net/


  10. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Hey, BBSes aren't old! If they were, then _I_ would have to be old --
    and we all know _that_ can't be the case!

    --Esther
    who was sysop on several BBSes

    Mike wrote:
    > This is about an old technology term called BBS(Bulletin Board System),
    > which is a telnet based forum that people can post messages and reply
    > messages and exchange ideas. There is one such system called Firebird BBS
    > system, and it had many variants, the later variants allow web-based
    > browsing and posting and replying messages.



  11. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    On 18 Dec 2006 13:29:35 -0800, estherschindler wrote:

    > Hey, BBSes aren't old! If they were, then _I_ would have to be
    > old -- and we all know _that_ can't be the case!


    Absolutely not!

    I haven't seen you in a while. Are either you or your husband still
    using OS/2 in any way?


  12. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Here in comp.os.linux.misc,
    "estherschindler" spake unto us, saying:

    >Hey, BBSes aren't old! If they were, then _I_ would have to be old --
    >and we all know _that_ can't be the case!


    Heh. No, no, that obviously couldn't be true. :-)

    >--Esther
    > who was sysop on several BBSes


    I wasn't a sysop but I spent a LOT of time on Fido and RIME and also
    calling big BBSes like Exec-PC and Channel 1 for the latest files, but
    I didn't really start playing with such things until 1989 or so.

    For those who don't know -- Exec-PC is still around. Just telnet to
    bbs.execpc.com (preferably with a Zmodem-capable telnet client like
    ztelnet or mTelnet) and have fun exploring the file collections! :-)

    --
    -Rich Steiner >>>---> http://www.visi.com/~rsteiner >>>---> Mableton, GA USA
    Mainframe/Unix bit twiddler by day, OS/2+Linux+DOS hobbyist by night.
    WARNING: I've seen FIELDATA FORTRAN V and I know how to use it!
    The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then.

  13. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    Here in comp.os.linux.misc,
    "Mike" spake unto us, saying:

    >I frequently visit several such Firebird variant BBS systems. When you post
    >a message, you have to first login on, and select a category/board, then
    >post, etc. It is not very convinient. I want to automate the process and
    >write a program for myself, so every parameters such as account username,
    >password, etc. can be simplified and fixed a priori.


    Most DOS communications programs used during the height of the BBS era
    (Telix, Telemate, Terminate, Procomm+, HA/5, {COMMO}, etc) had decent
    scripting languages that allowed for such automation.

    Alternatively, most BBSes also provides a QWK door for offline reading
    of messages. QWK readers like MultiMail should still exist for Linux.

    --
    -Rich Steiner >>>---> http://www.visi.com/~rsteiner >>>---> Mableton, GA USA
    Mainframe/Unix bit twiddler by day, OS/2+Linux+DOS hobbyist by night.
    WARNING: I've seen FIELDATA FORTRAN V and I know how to use it!
    The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then.

  14. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how toprogram BBS?

    Richard Steiner wrote:
    > "Mike" spake unto us, saying:
    >
    >> I frequently visit several such Firebird variant BBS systems.
    >> When you post a message, you have to first login on, and select
    >> a category/board, then post, etc. It is not very convinient. I
    >> want to automate the process and write a program for myself, so
    >> every parameters such as account username, password, etc. can be
    >> simplified and fixed a priori.

    >
    > Most DOS communications programs used during the height of the
    > BBS era (Telix, Telemate, Terminate, Procomm+, HA/5, {COMMO}, etc)
    > had decent scripting languages that allowed for such automation.
    >
    > Alternatively, most BBSes also provides a QWK door for offline
    > reading of messages. QWK readers like MultiMail should still
    > exist for Linux.


    I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    terminal).

    The laptop can't use windows because I blew it away for insisting
    on assent to the impossible EULA, and it has no recovery CD.

    If I could find and install such things as Ztelnet or mTelnet I
    might be able to break the impasse. Even xxmodem.

    I have secured the 6 CD set for Slackware 11, which I hope will
    have everything needed on the CDs. I'll get around to trying it
    real soon now.

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.



  15. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how toprogram BBS?

    Bill Marcum wrote:
    > CBFalconer wrote:
    >>
    >> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >> terminal).

    >
    > Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    > (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).


    No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(

    > ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.os.linux.development.apps.]


    comp.programming and comp.os.linux.misc restored, since I don't
    inhabit c.o.l.d. Added alt.os.linux.ubuntu.

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.




  16. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 10:10:59 -0500, CBFalconer
    wrote:

    >Bill Marcum wrote:
    >> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >>> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >>> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >>> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >>> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >>> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >>> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >>> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >>> terminal).

    >>
    >> Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    >> (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).

    >
    >No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(


    According to http://packages.ubuntulinux.org/dapper/comm/minicom , it
    *is* there. It may not be in the menus, but I'm sure a search from a
    shell prompt would turn it up. And it specifically mentions zmodem
    support.

  17. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how toprogram BBS?

    rkh@hallorans.org wrote:
    > CBFalconer wrote:
    >> Bill Marcum wrote:
    >>> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >>>> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >>>> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >>>> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >>>> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >>>> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >>>> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >>>> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >>>> terminal).
    >>>
    >>> Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    >>> (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).

    >>
    >> No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(

    >
    > According to http://packages.ubuntulinux.org/dapper/comm/minicom , it
    > *is* there. It may not be in the menus, but I'm sure a search from a
    > shell prompt would turn it up. And it specifically mentions zmodem
    > support.


    I based my 'not there' on running synaptic and doing a search for
    'minicom'. The 6.06 CD is mounted. Is there operator error
    involved? I also just did a "grep minicom /cdrom/md5sum.txt" with
    no result.

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.



  18. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how toprogram BBS?

    CBFalconer wrote:
    > rkh@hallorans.org wrote:
    >> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>> Bill Marcum wrote:
    >>>> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>>> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >>>>> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >>>>> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >>>>> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >>>>> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >>>>> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >>>>> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >>>>> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >>>>> terminal).
    >>>> Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    >>>> (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).
    >>> No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(

    >> According to http://packages.ubuntulinux.org/dapper/comm/minicom , it
    >> *is* there. It may not be in the menus, but I'm sure a search from a
    >> shell prompt would turn it up. And it specifically mentions zmodem
    >> support.

    >
    > I based my 'not there' on running synaptic and doing a search for
    > 'minicom'. The 6.06 CD is mounted. Is there operator error
    > involved? I also just did a "grep minicom /cdrom/md5sum.txt" with
    > no result.
    >

    have to run apt-get install minicom to find it and install it from the
    CD. Have to run it as sudo tho

  19. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and how to program BBS?

    try DOSBox



    "CBFalconer" wrote in message
    news:45895283.6B5CE249@yahoo.com...
    > Bill Marcum wrote:
    >> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >>> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >>> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >>> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >>> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >>> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >>> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >>> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >>> terminal).

    >>
    >> Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    >> (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).

    >
    > No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(
    >
    >> ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.os.linux.development.apps.]

    >
    > comp.programming and comp.os.linux.misc restored, since I don't
    > inhabit c.o.l.d. Added alt.os.linux.ubuntu.
    >
    > --
    > Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    > Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
    >
    >
    >




  20. Re: does anybody know an very old technology called BBS and howtoprogram BBS?

    vejan wrote:
    > CBFalconer wrote:
    >> rkh@hallorans.org wrote:
    >>> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>> Bill Marcum wrote:
    >>>>> CBFalconer wrote:
    >>>>>> I've got a chicken/egg situation here. I have a laptop with Ubuntu
    >>>>>> 6.06 mounted, and no floppy drive, nor network access. I can't get
    >>>>>> network access because I can't find out how to use the internal
    >>>>>> modem (a Thinkpad T30) and network here means dial-up. My primary
    >>>>>> machine is running W98FE, and can't write CDs. Nor can the USB
    >>>>>> system on it access a Gizmo I bought from Crucial for the purpose,
    >>>>>> although the T30 can. I can't use a null modem cable because I
    >>>>>> can't find a zmodem capable terminal for the T30 (nor even any
    >>>>>> terminal).
    >>>>> Minicom can do zmodem. You can also do ppp with a null modem cable
    >>>>> (not sure how you would set up the Windows end).
    >>>> No such item as minicom on the Ubuntu CD. Thus I can't use it :-(
    >>> According to http://packages.ubuntulinux.org/dapper/comm/minicom , it
    >>> *is* there. It may not be in the menus, but I'm sure a search from a
    >>> shell prompt would turn it up. And it specifically mentions zmodem
    >>> support.

    >>
    >> I based my 'not there' on running synaptic and doing a search for
    >> 'minicom'. The 6.06 CD is mounted. Is there operator error
    >> involved? I also just did a "grep minicom /cdrom/md5sum.txt" with
    >> no result.

    >
    > have to run apt-get install minicom to find it and install it from the
    > CD. Have to run it as sudo tho


    Result (typed, can't paste across machines):

    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dpendency tree... Done
    E: Couldn't find package minicom

    Now what?

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.




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