8-Bit Software Online Conversion

SYSTEMS commumications VERSION 1a CUSTOMISED bulletin board database User Guide VERSION 1.1 ______________________________________________________________________ OVERVIEW ~~~~~~~~ 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 Phone No(s) Baud rate used Opening Hours 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 ) ______________________________________________________________________ REQUIREMENTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. (i) ------------------------ 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 (ii) THE SYSTEMS (commumications) USER GUIDE CUSTOMISED FOR : Bulletin Boards Version 1.1 (May 1990) (iii) SECTION 1 ~~~~~~~~~ 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 ______________________________________________________________________ screenshot one 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! Page 1 SECTION 2 ~~~~~~~~~ 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 screenshot. ______________________________________________________________________ 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 LOAD METHD CHK DIGIT 9 CONFIRM Y SYSTEM MUST RE-BOOT - PRESS RETURN ______________________________________________________________________ screenshot two Explanation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ FIELD 1 - ID CODE - Must be 7 characters or less long - do not include spaces, full stops or any other punctuation. 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 1st field. 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). Continued ...> Page 2 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 READY _______________________________________________________________________ screenshot three ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 ... Command List ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 ..... Page 3 SECTION 3 ~~~~~~~~~ COMMAND EXPLANATIONS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 programs present. 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 LOCATION Herts. 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 PASSWORD 42 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 ______________________________________________________________________ screenshot four ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Explanations ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. Continued .......> Page 4 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 Continued .....> Page 5 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 next command. 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. ********************* Page 6 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 displayed. 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. Continued ...> Page 7