SYSTEMS commumications VERSION 1a
CUSTOMISED bulletin board database
User Guide VERSION 1.1
This is a command driven program which is capable of storing and
handling USER INFORMATION on all the bulletin boards you use. It
stores the following information ...
SYSTEM INFORMAION Your modem model & make
The bauds your modem is capable of running
Your computer make & model
BULLETIN BOARD Name of BB
INFORMAION Location of BB
Baud rate used
Call time limits (if any)
Logon ID & password
Downloading Conditions (if any)
Phone call charge band
Ringback OR autoanswer
Viewdata Capabilities (yes or no)
Data bits/parity/stop bits - optional
No. Phone Lines on board
BULLETIN BOARD Popularity Rating )
RATINGS Amount of downloads available )
Quality of dowloadable material )
Sysop Availability rating ) optionals
Sysop Helpfulness rating )
Board Updates Frequency )
Computer: Prog. written on BBC Model B Issue 3 - Not tested on others.
DFS: Acorn 1770 or 8271 DFS (not ADFS) - Not tested on others.
Memory: 32k minimum
Loading: Program is CHAINed
Page: This ***MUST*** be set at &1900 before loading.
Advice: Format a fresh blank disc (40 or 80 tracks)
It is advisable not to have any other files present on disc
apart from this program & the files it creates. This helps
to avoid the dreaded "Can't Extend" error which can ruin
BB data saved to disc.
NOTICE: NO RESPONSABILITY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY LOSS INCURRED THROUGH
ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT USE OF THIS PROGRAM HOWSOEVER CAUSED.
------------------------ INDEX TO THIS MANUAL -----------------------
Section 1.1 ..... How the program operates ........ Page 1
1.2 ..... Loading the program ............. Page 1
Section 2.1 ..... Creating the user ID file ....... Page 2
2.2 ..... Using the Program ............... Page 3
Section 3.1 ..... Adding BB Information ........... Page 4
3.2 ..... Amending BB Information ......... Page 7
3.2.1 ... Selecting the Command
3.2.2 ... Entering the BB to be Amended
3.2.3 ... Amending Information
3.2.4 ... Confirming Amended Information
3.3 ..... Deleting BB Information ......... Page 8
3.3.1 ... Deleting a Single BB
3.3.2 ... Deleting All BB's
3.4 ..... Amending Equipment ID Info ...... Page 8
3.5 ..... Obtaining FULL BB Info .......... Page 9
3.6 ..... Essential Log On Information .... Page 9
Section 4.1 ..... A note about security ........... Page 10
4.2 ..... Errors (user & system) .......... Page 10
4.3 ..... Programmers Notes ............... Page 11
4.4 ..... Comments/Ideas/Suggestions ...... Page 11
THE SYSTEMS (commumications) USER GUIDE
CUSTOMISED FOR : Bulletin Boards
Version 1.1 (May 1990)
1.1 How the program operates
The SYSTEMS communications program is a command driven program that,
when loaded, provides the user with information on a particular
Bulletin Board (BB) that he/she may use. It is designed to help
organise people who use many boards by providing a base holding all
Phone Numbers, Passwords, Limits & Restrictions etc. (full list at
front of guide).
The program will create & use two data files one of which holds
information concerning the type of equipment used and the other
storing the Bulletin Board data. A technical manual detailing the
programming will be produced only if there is sufficient demand.
1.2 Loading the Program (new users)
The program MUST run at page set at &1900 or higher (but NOT lower).
It will run with a 6502 2nd processor but you will have to reset page
to &1900 before chaining the program. After CHAINing the program, you
should see a header message simalar to the following ...
SYSTEMS database VERSION 1a
(c) Duncan Webster May 1990
Enter ID Code
The program has now loaded sucsessfully and you should now read the
next section overleaf in order to obtain an ID code and Password for
future use with the system.
To exit the program, press <break> ONLY when the "READY" prompt is
showing at the bottom of the screen. Warning! Never press <break>
during the execution of a command or when the disc drive is active!
2.1 Creating the User ID file (and password)
In order to create a new ID and password, press RETURN at both the
"Enter ID Code" and "Password" prompts after running the program.
You will then see the words "NEW DATABASE IDENTIFICATION" printed at
the top of the screen and the computer will prompt you for an ID CODE.
You are now ready to create your new database. Follow the example
below substituting your own data for the example I have given.
Explanations are given for each field in the section below the
NEW DATABASE IDENTIFICATION
ID CODE Duncan
NUM PSCODE 5555
MODEM NAME Nightingale
MODEM MAKE Pace Electronics
BAUD 300.300 & 1200.75 & 75.1200
COMP MAKE BBC Computer Model B Issue 3
PR HK FILE
CHK DIGIT 9
SYSTEM MUST RE-BOOT - PRESS RETURN
FIELD 1 - ID CODE - Must be 7 characters or less long - do not
include spaces, full stops or any other
FIELD 2 - NUM PSCODE - This will be your numeric passcode which will
be entered every time you use the program. It
must be 4 digits long and must range in-between
0001 and 9999.
FIELD 3 - MODEM NAME - Enter the brand name of your modem.
FIELD 4 - MODEM MAKE - Enter the manufacturer of your modem.
FIELD 5 - COMP MAKE - Enter the name and/or make of your computer.
FIELD 6 - PR HK FILE - leave blank - just press return.
FIELD 7 - LOAD METHD - leave blank - just press return.
FIELD 8 - CHK DIGIT - Enter a digit between 1 and 9 inc. - it does
not matter what number you enter at all as it
is for the use of the program and you will
never use or see it again.
FIELD 9 - CONFIRM - Check to see if you have entered the above
correctly - if so enter Y else enter N (and
press return). If you enter N then the
computer will clear the screen & return to the
The computer must now re-run (or re-boot) the program - just press
return and you will be returned onto the signon screen as illustrated
in screenshot one (page 1).
2.2 Using the Program
You may now enter the program using the ID Code and Password you have
just created. In future, every time you use the program you must
enter these two fields of information before being allowed access to
the program (see "A note on Security" for more info).
Enter your ID Code as prompted to and press <return>
Enter your 4 digit password (it will be concealed) and press <return>.
Having done this you will see a screen simalar to the following...
SYSTEMS database VERSION 1a
(c) Duncan Webster May 1990
The program is now waiting for you to enter a command as indicated by
the "READY" prompt and flashing block cursor. You enter a command by
typing it's abbreviation and then pressing <return>. Unrecognised
commands are rejected and the computer beeps. A list of all recognised
command abbreviations now follows ...
ADD - Adds a new bulletin board (& it's info) to the data file.
AMD BB - Amends information held on bulletin boards.
AMD ID - Amends User Equipment information.
DEL - Deletes a bulletin board (& it's info) from the data file.
LOG - Displayes Essential Logon Information
INF - Shows Full Information of any given BB
LST - Lists All BB's and Phone No.s Held on system.
COM - Shows all commands that system understands
For example - you will probably wish to add a bulletin board to your
data file so you would enter ADD and press <return> at the READY
prompt. You can obtain an on-screen list of all understood commands
by entering COM at the READY prompt and pressing return. - try it now!
If you tried entering COM you should now see a command list with the
READY prompt indicating that the computer is ready for your next
command. With the exception of the COM command - you must enter some
information into your datafile using command ADD before any of the
other commands will work.
NOW SELECT YOUR COMMAND - ENTER IT & PRESS RETURN THEN REFER TO THE
SECTION IN THIS MANUAL DETAILING YOUR CHOSEN COMMAND. COMMAND
EXPLANATIONS BEGIN IN THE NEXT SECTION .....
3.1 Adding BB Information (the ADD command)
Description: Enables the user to add new information on a bulletin
board to his/her datafile. Warning! - This command can cause the
dreaded "Can't Extend" error meaning that the disc is full. If this
happens then your data has probably been corrupted! So please make
regular backups & use this program on a blank disc with no other
Enter the command ADD & press <return> from the "READY" prompt - you
will be presented with the screen detailed below. Enter info as
prompted substituting your own data for the data in my example.
Neccessary explanaions are given below the screenshot.
NEW BULLETIN BOARD
NAME Resolve Communications
PHONE NO 1 0582832653
PHONE NO 2 None
BAUD USED 1200/75
OPEN HOURS 24 Hours/day
CALL LIMIT 30 Mins/call
LOGON ID Deepthought
DNLD CONDS Leave Message Before Download
CHRGE BAND N
RINGBACK N AMOUNT DL E
AUTO ANSWR Y RATING DL E
VIEWDATA Y SYSOP AV O
DATA BITS 8 SYSOP HLP V
PARITY NONE UPDATE FR X
STOP BITS 1 CONFIRM Y
PHONE LNS 2
POP RATING A
FIELD 1 - NAME - The Name of the BB
FIELD 2 - LOCATION - The National Location of the BB
FIELD 3 - PHONE NO 1 - ) Two fields are provided in case BB has a
FIELD 4 - PHONE NO 2 - ) 2nd phone line with a different phone No.
FIELD 5 - BAUD USED - The baud at which you normally Logon.
FIELD 6 - OPEN HOURS - The Opening Hours of the BB
FIELD 6 - CALL LIMIT - Time Limit of calls to BB
FIELD 7 - LOGON ID - Your Logon Name or Handel
FIELD 8 - PASSWORD - Your BB Password (see "a note on Security")
FIELD 9 - DNLD CONDS - Enter any conditions that have to be met
before you are allowed to download software.
FIELD 10 - CHRGE BAND - The distance charge of your phone call.
Select a letter from the table below ...
L = Local
B = Within 56km
B1 = Low cost route over 56km
N = National (over 56km)
FIELD 11 - RINGBACK - Enter Y if BB is a ringback system
otherwise enter N.
FIELD 12 - AUTO ANSWR - Enter Y if BB is an auto answer system
otherwise enter N.
FIELD 13 - VIEWDATA - Enter Y if BB supports PRESTEL viewdata
graphics, otherwise enter N.
FIELD 14 - DATA BITS - Enter the No. of data bits your modem has
to bet set at (range 0-9). If you don't
know (or don't care) enter X.
FIELD 15 - PARITY - Enter ODD, EVEN or NONE or X (if unknown).
FIELD 16 - STOP BITS - Same as for DATA BITS (range 0-9 or X)
FIELD 17 - PHONE LNS - No. of phone lines on BB (range 0-99).
If unknown then enter X
FIELD 18 - POP RATING - The "populatiry rating" of the BB (ie. how
busy does it get?) - select an entry from the
table below ...
U = Usually Engaged
A = Average (about fifty fifty)
S = Sometimes Engaged
AL = Always Available (or more often than not)
X = Don't know
FIELD 19 - AMOUNT DL - Amount or Variety of Downloads available on
the bulletin board. Select from following ...
E = Excellent G = Good
A = Average B = Below Average
P = Poor N = No Downloads!
X = Don't Know
FIELD 20 - RATING DL - How you rate the quality of items you
download. Choose an item from the table in
FIELD 19 above.
FIELD 21 - SYSOP AV - SySop on-line availability - According to
your own judgement - select an item from the
table below ...
U = Usually on-line
S = Sometimes on-line
O = Occasional (average)
N = Not usually around on-line
X = Don't Know
FIELD 22 - SYSOP HLP - How helpful is the SYSOP when you chat?
V = Very Helpful
U = Usually Helpful
A = Average
B = Below Average
P = Poor
X = Don't know
FIELD 23 - UPDATE FR - How often is the BB updated?
A = Always up to date
W = Usually Weekly Updates
F = Usually Fortnightly Updates
M = Usually Monthly Updates
L = Less than Monthly
X = Don't Know
FIELD 24 - CONFIRM - Check all the above is correct (you can amend
details later if you wish) and then ....
Enter Y if correct
Enter N to re enter all data (if incorrect)
Enter E to abort the ADD command completely.
If you confirmed the above as being correct, then the computer will
save the details to disc and return to the READY prompt to await your
If you entered N then the computer clears the screen & starts the ADD
command all over again! (not really necessary as you can amend later)
If you entered E then the computer aborted then command and returned
to the READY prompt.
Now go back to the command list on page 3 & enter your next command.
3.2 Amending BB Information (the AMD BB command)
Description: Enables the user to AMEND information stored on the disc.
You can either amend by NAME or step through all BB's in the file
amending each one as you please.
3.2.1 Selecting the Command:
Enter the Command AMD BB from the "READY" prompt. You will then be
prompted to enter the "NAME" of the bulletin board. You can do either
of the following at this point ...
a) Enter the Bulletin Board's Name and press <return>
b) Enter ALL and press <return>
If you enter ALL then the computer will step through all BB's held on
file offering each one up for amending in turn. However if you entered
a specific BB name then the computer will search for that particular
name and if found then it will be displayed & offered for amending.
If no match is found then a user error will be returned and the
command will be aborted.
3.2.2 Entering the BB to be Amended
Enter the name of the BB you wish to amend (or enter ALL to go through
them all). If the BB is found by the computer, then it's details will
be displayed on the screen. The cursor will position itself on the
1st letter of the 1st field. If you do NOT wish to amend this
particular BB (ie. move on to the next one if you are going through
them all), then press the right arrow key once and the next BB will be
3.2.3 Amending Information
In order to amend informaion - All you do is overtype what is already
being displayed. For example if you wish to amend the BB's name all
you do is start typing the new name. Don't worry if your new words do
not completely overtype the existing words as the computer will insert
spaces automatically to keep up presentation (as you will see when you
press return). If you do not wish to amend a particular field, then
just press return and the data will remain on the screen unchanged and
the cursor will move to the next line.
3.2.4 Confirming Amended Information
When you have finished amending information, you must keep pressing
<return> until you reach the CONFIRM field (it will appear when you
press return after the UPDATE FR field). You must then either confirm
(enter Y) or deny (enter N) the amendment.
If you enter N then the computer will return the cursor to the name
field at the top of the screen, BUT IT WILL NOT CHANGE AMENDED DATA
BACK TO THE ORIGIONAL DATA !!! - you have to do this yourself for the
moment. At this point you must either re-amend data or press the
right arrow key (from the NAME field) to move to the next BB.
If you enter Y then the computer will amend the data accordingly, and
then it will either proceed to the next BB to be amended or ask you to
confirm all changes before returning to the READY prompt.