Zelch 128 is the crowning achievement of Elite Software, which consists of myself (Bo Zimmerman) and Bill Fink (see "Elite BBS"). It began when myself and Bill, then fellow SysOps of Zelch 64 and C-Net 128 BBSs respectively, were discussing our past work on our own ventures into BBS software programming. Bill had a brilliant idea of a BBS program that was basically an interpretor for a BBS language consisting of commands and data fields. The program would be event driven, loading menus and executing miniature BBS programs whenever the activation key was pressed, assuming the user had access to the little "program". The idea was to have a BBS program so versatile that it might emulate other BBS programs. This way, we could reconcile our EXTREMELY different visions of what a BBS should look like in a single program. In this, Zelch 128 was born.
It should be noted that Zelch 128 is NOT a venture of Planet Ink., and is NOT the Commodore 128 version of Zelch 64. The name of the BBS was part of a compromise: I got to name the program, Bill got to name our business.
Elite Software marketed and distributed the BBS program starting and ending with Zelch 2.0. 1.0 was never released to the public. However, despite our great pride in our product, it takes money to market, and we had none. Besides, it was 1991, and the Commodore 128 was already on its way out.
Pictured here is the waiting for call screen, with the options menu popped up.
Zelch 128 was, and is, a rival to its peers. More versatile then any other program might dream, including access to an on-line BASIC interpretor, ANSI and COMPLETE Color/Graphics support, powerful SysOp controls and utilities, structured message bases, 80 to 40 column text translation, on-line games, networking capability, access to variables and system data inside text files, REU support, a powerful and full-featured transfers area, hotkey and word command style menu support, and our undying motto: "Zelch 128 can EMULATE any BBS program you can name!". Pictured to the right here is one possible main menu configuration. Below is another.
Computer : Commodore 128 in 128 mode Video : 40 or 80 column support Drives : All CBM drives, CMD (part. ok, no subdirs), REU drive Modems : 1650, 1660, 1670, Hayes 300-2400 baud Input : Keyboard, and joystick/1350 mouse Output : Printer (optional) RAM use : Ramdrive REU support Special :
Pgm Struct : Base program with numerous small overlay modules Menu Struct : Event driven programs of op-codes, hotkey or words Translation : ASCII, full Commodore color/graphics, ANSI output Access : 26 cus. levels, 26 cus. user access flags, SubOps Handle/ID : Handles allowed, users listed by ID User info : Handle, name, phone, age, numerous flags, etc. User Logs : Keystroke log for each user Calls/Time : Definable for each access level, idle time supported Network : Proprietary system ZelchNet Customizing : Easy and complete Programs : BASIC interpreted code, easy to change Displays : All files and output text is customizable Commands : Actions of all menu commands are programable Areas : Only a first menu and a sysop menu are defined E-mail : Op-codes may appear in any menu Messages : " Transfers : " Network : " Programs : " Text : " User Cmds : " SysOp : " Voting : ", selection and free entry systems News : " Help : None provided, software documentation only Other : Scripts are also supported
Offline : Menu, SEQ file, user, and configuration editors Online : System setup utilities, terminal program, etc. Remote : Complete user and system setup utilities On-L Display: User info windows, pull-down SysOp utility menu W.F.C. Utils: BASIC shell, sysop menu, term program, "gate" controls Chatting : Interrupt driven, may chat anywhere input is scanned User : Complete user editors Msg Bases : Message base editors, fixers, msg editors, SubOps Transfers : Via CBM-DOS shell, and transfer base editors, SubOps Programs : Via BASIC shell; changes to main program require reboot Network : Networking systems and passwords editor only Drives : CBM-DOS shell, or op-codes for particular functions Terminal : Upload/Download, ASCII/PETSCII, no buffer, no ANSI
Structure : News files are maintained by news op-codes Header : Title, new-until date, delete date, access Weeding : During auto-maintenance Display : At logon (if still new), or on command
Structure : Structured topic/reply system Bases : Named bases, listed by letter Limits : Separate limits for topics and replies per base : Weeded during auto-maintenance Reading : By number, global and local New reading Headers : Handle, date, subject Format : Color/Gfx, variable codes, 40/80 col translation Writing : New posts, or replies to previous posts Anonymous : Supported if access allowed Network : Supported Other :
Structure : Line editor Commands : Menu or meta-commands from beginning of a line Editing : Search/replace, or line replacing Formatting : Word wrap, line numbers, uppercase gfx, (all optional) Graphics : Full Color/GFX, cursor movements, smart delete
Bases : Named bases, listed by letter Storage : Files are marked in filenames as belonging to bases Limits : File and capacity limits per base Credits : Definable ratios Protocols : Xmodem, Punter (multi) Headers : Name, date, uploader, description, size Selection : By name, or Yes/No for multi Listing : Directories only Network : Not supported Other :
Structure : Only as text files accessed by SEQ file op-codes Storage : As normal text files Network : Not supported Other :
Structure : Series of op-codes accessible from anywhere Sending : By ID number or Handle Receiving : On request, or at log-on Network : Supported Other : Listing also supported
Structure : Imp. as op-codes which run BASIC or online modules Programs : Modules which interact with BBS, or standard BASIC programs Network : Not supported Other : Most BASIC programs will run on-line
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