Below is a key for the "Facts" area of the BBS pages. I tried to be fair and complete, listing features important to sysops (such as those found in the hardware and general areas) as well as things important to users (such as the organization aspects).

You should not assume, however, that every aspect in every fact sheet is 100% correct. I did my best, but going through so many programs looking for such minutia of information in some cases got jumbled in my head. :) And so, if you see any facts which should be elaborated upon, modified, or outright corrected, feel free to leave me mail.

The Facts:

Here are the facts on the "Facts":

Hardware Information

Computer :
Simple, this is what computer or mode the BBS program will run in.

Video :
Applicable for Commodore 128 programs, this describes what video modes (40 or 80 columns, or even Hires mode possibly!) the BBS supports.

Drives :
The number and type of disk drives supported by the system. Almost all of them support standard Commodore (CBM) drives (such as the 1541, 1571, 1581, etc). Few, however, support CMD drives fully. That is to say that they will support CMD drives emulating CBM drives, or root file access to a default partition, but do not support accessing files in different partitions (which is what "no parts." means) or support native mode subdirectories (which is what "no subdirs" refers to).

Modems :
The types of modems and baud rates supported by the BBS.

Input :
Although all of the BBS programs support the keyboard, some may also support other input devices, which are listed here.

Output :
Whether a printer, or other non-screen output devices are supported.

RAM use :
Whether and how the BBS program uses ram expansion units, such as the 1700, 1764, 1750, and clones.


Pgm Struct :
How the executable parts of the BBS are organized on the disk and in memory. Most are single programs, though others may be large self-sufficient modules (such as in Color 64), or small support overlay modules (such as in Zelch 128, Zelch 64, and C-Net).

Menu Struct :
This describes simply how the BBS's online menus are organized both externally and internally. Whether they are hotkey, or word entry. Whether they are hard coded or programmable, etc. Word entry simply refers to the fact that after a command is keyed in, the return key must be struck for the BBS to take action.

Translation :
What computer character code translations the BBS supports. Almost all support ASCII for instance, many support PETSCII (the Commodore character set), and some support ANSI.

Access :
The number and configurability of user access levels; describes what kind of control the SysOp has over users and resources.

Handle/ID :
Whether handles are allowed, and how users are listed and represented in the system.

User info :
What aspects about a user are stored in the user records and user files.

User Logs :
What, if anything, about a call is logged by the system.

Calls/Time :
The call and time limits, how they are related to access, and how configurable these aspects are.

Network :
Whether a network is supported, and what type is supported.

Customizing :
Generally, how customizable the system is.

Programs :
Whether the executable code and coded strings are easily modifiable.

Displays :
Whether display strings and menus are changable by the SysOp.

Commands :
Whether commands and their execution are changable by the SysOp.

Areas :
The general organization of the menus, followed by where each of these aspects fits in to the overall menu structure. That is, whether each aspect appears on a main menu, or on separate menus.

E-mail :
. . .

Help :

SysOp Utilities and Support

Offline :
What SysOp programs and utilities are available outside of the BBS program. These are typically more extensive than online and remote utilities.

Online :
What SysOp utilities are available while a user is online, even if that user is not the SysOp.

Remote :
What SysOp utilities are available while the SysOp is online as a user, even if calling from a remote computer.

On-L Display:
How information about a user online is obtained by the SysOp.

W.F.C. Utils:
SysOp utilities available from the local computer while the BBS is waiting for a call.

Chatting :
Whether and at what points the SysOp may engage in chat mode with the user.

User :
What editors or utilities are available for editing user files.

Msg Bases :
What editors or utilities are available for editing the messages in message bases, as well as the message bases themselves.

Transfers :
What editors or utilities are available for editing the collection of files in the transfer bases or on transfer drives, as well as the transfer bases or drives themselves.

Programs :
What editors or utilities are available for adding or removing external or optional programs and utilities to or from the BBS.

Network :
Editors or utilities available for changing the configuration of any network.

Drives :
What utilities or options are available for doing maintenance of the BBS systems drives.

Terminal :
The nature and capabilities of any waiting for call terminal program.


By "News", I refer to SysOp customizable displays viewed after the user has logged on, but before the main menu is displayed. These displays should be forced displays to be considered news files.

Structure :
Whether news files are specially structured, or are simple SEQ files, and how they fit into the system generally.

Header :
What seen or unseen required information is kept about each news file.

Weeding :
How and in what manner news files are updated or deleted.

Display :
When and in what manner news files are seen by the user.


Structure :
How the messages in a message base are organized, whether in a linear fashion (where messages are relatively unrelated structurally), or in a highly structured system (where all replies are closely tied to the messages they are replies of). Linear style message systems may be linked or unlinked. Linked systems differ from highly structured by the way they are presented to the user, and how they are organized on the system.

Bases :
The organization of messages into separate groupings. Whether the groupings are named, and distinct, and how they are presented to the user.

Limits :
What limits on the number of messages may be imposed by the SysOp, as well as the manner in which these limits are enforced.

Reading :
How messages may be read by the user.

Headers :
What required seen or unseen information is stored for each message.

Format :
How the contents of messages may be formatted, whether simple text, text and graphics, or even binary messages.

Writing :
How the composing of new messages relate to the structure.

Anonymous :
Whether anonymous posts by users are allowed.

Network :
Whether network support is implemented for the message areas.

Message Editor

Structure :
The general structure of the message editor, most of which are simple line editors.

Commands :
How commands for editing or sending a message may be entered by the user.

Editing :
The types of tools available for making changes to a message.

Formatting :
What types of message formatting are available.

Graphics :
Whether color/graphics is supported by the message editor.


Bases :
The structure and organization of transfer files.

Storage :
How directories and files are represented and stored internally.

Limits :
Capacity and file limitations, and how they are enforced.

Credits :
The style of any credit system for promotion of uploading.

Protocols :
Transfer protocols supported.

Headers :
What information, hidden or seen, is stored about transfer files.

Selection :
How files are selected for uploading or downloading.

Listing :
What information about transfer files may be viewed by the user, and how files may be selectively listed, if possible.

Network :
Whether there is network support for transfer areas or drives.

Text Libraries

Structure :
How text files are represented in the system, and how they are organized with respect to the user.

Storage :
The format and manner of storage of text files internally.

Network :
Whether network support exists for this area.


Structure :
How electronic mail is accessed and organized for the user.

Sending :
At what points and how mail may be sent by the user to another.

Receiving :
Where mail may be read.

Network :
Whether network services are provided for this aspect.

Program Libraries

Structure :
The representation of supplementary programs to the user.

Programs :
How these programs are stored internally, and how they interact with the main program. Most external programs interact explicitly with the main BBS program, which means that they call input, output, and other routines in the main program to perform. Some BBS provide for programs which do not have such requirements, but run online and offline identically, or with online input and output to the modem provided through kernel patches.

Network :
Whether network services are provided for these programs.

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

To return to the BBS page, click here.