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Article #579 (635 is last):
From: gkoby@juno.com (Greg  Koby) (by way of Michael Current)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news
Subject: Atari Heaven BBS
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Thu Mar 26 11:31:05 1998



***** PRESS RELEASE *****


ATARI HEAVEN BBS
(C)1991-2050   Greg Koby
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

ATARI 8BIT software specialized to unleash the power of ATASCII
telecommications.


NOTE:
  The usual reaction by those who have shown the demo is "WOW!!!!!",
"AWESOME!!","GREAT!!!!!", just to name a few.

A.A.A.U.A. user group former president
  Todd sunrunner said:
     "I was watching mouth agape, not beleiving what I seeing!"
     "Wow!!!!!!!!!!! This thing is light-years ahead of anything out
there!!!!!!!!!"



        Here's how you would get online to the software. Dial the bbs
hosts number. Once you get the connect message, make sure your in
ATASCII/ATARI translation mode and press return. If your not in ATASCII
it will drop carrer. Also, make sure word wrap is turned off.

     After you enter your username and password, you are presented with
the main menu. You can set user preferences to title screen on/off. (More
programability will be added in the future). So, you can avoid those
annoying long entry screens(I hated them with a passion!)  On entry, you
get a 4 lines total of printed stuff with title screen off. NO MORE
EXCESS GARBAGE!

Main menus other sub-menus look like this.

....
prompt: ?abcdefgh

cursor on "?".
   up arrow: left across letters
   down arrow: right across letters
   return    : select command
   A to Z    : hot key commands
....

     I'v tried to make the placement of commands within the main&sub
menus make sense. Removed all junk commands no one ever uses. Here are
the menu screens (They were in ATASCII, so all the graphics have been
removed for this message). The  menu will be off on borders, but
readable.

     /---------------------------------------\
     |ATARI HEAVEN  MAIN MENU|
     /-+----------+-+---------------------+
   |M|mail room |N|news paper|
   |R|bbs rules |P|page sysop|
   |O|more stuff|C|caller log|
   |?|help menu |X|exit bbs  |
   \-+----------+-------+----------/

Mail room: goto sub-menu MAIL>
           (e-mail functions)
Newspaper: goto NEWSPAPER> sub-menu
           (public message forums)
bbs Rules: print bbs rules

Caller log: print log of callers
  This is a junk feature, it's for my
  refererence. It most likely will not
  be in the next version, depending on
  if users want it

Page sysop: need to chat!
  This just turns the border of my
  screen red. I can help out or goto
  my chat room. I think i'll play with
  the chat format.

eXit bbs: logoff
  It says Logout(Y/N)? If you say Yes,
  then it says "thanks for calling
  ATARI HEAVEN BBS!" and it drops
  carrer. NO MORE ANNOYING LONG
  BULL%%%% ENDING MESSAGES! Another
  item, I hated with a passion on
  BBS's over the years.

Print help menu(?):
  The menus is are very clear and easy
  to understand.
  No more dinosaur menus with 99% junk
    functions you'll never use.
  No more 80 column unreadable menus!
  You get a clean very short menu for
  speed and readablity.

....
Other stuff: online programs menu
  This selection method is as simple.
  A desciption list is printed of
  online programs. Currently, two are
  avalable: edit user preferences and
  live action horse race. I'll talk
  about them later on.

up arrow:
  arrow up to previous line
down arrow:
  arrow down to next line
return:
  load external module
space:
  abort
....

      /----------------------\
      |ATARI HEAVEN MAIL ROOM|
   /-++----------+-+---------+--\
   |S|send e-mail|R|read e-mail |
   |L|list users |U|user profile|
   |?|help menu  |X|exit to main|
   \-+-----------+-+------------/

....
Send e-mail: send private email
  First it prints "mask?". if you enter
  return it will look at the whole user
  list. The mask is used to narrow down
  your selections for who to email. You
  now see "select:" return "sysop".

  up arrow: previous name
down arrow: next name
    return: select name

     If you press either up/down arrow. the name displayed is deleted and
the new one is displayed. Once you select who to email. Enter subject,
then it goes to the EDIT>(message editor). It Presses the A key. So you
go directly to add lines.
....

Read email: read your incomming mail.
  The computer checks for e-mail at
  login. Each message will print up,
  then print "return,A,X:".

return: next message
     A: print message again
     X: exit message read

     Once you are at the last message. It asks "delete mail(y/n)". If you
say yes, it will delete all your mail. In version 2.0, this design for
read email will change. Haven't made up my mind for the final designs
yet.

List users: on the system
  This just prints up user names of
  everyone on the bbs. This design
  most likely will change.

User profile: print user text file
  Each user on the system gets a text
  file that they can make into anything
  they want, including fancy ATASCII
  graphics demos(required info like
  real name, adress, phone, etc. goes
  into a private file for the use of a
  sysop).

Exit to main menu:
  This is what I hated about most
  bbs's, inconsistant methods of
  exiting to higher levels. I was
  allways going, "Uh, which key is exit
  again??" Programs offen used 4
  different keys to exit various
  sections. UGH! NO MORE! One key to
  exit any part of the program "X".
  No guessing here!


NOTE:
   Offline message reading will be supported, designs are in the works.

    /--------------\
     | ATARI HEAVEN |
     |  News Paper  |
     +-+------------+
     |R|read message|
     |P|post message|
     |A|change area |
     |N|new messages|
     |X|exit to main|
     \-+------------+

....
Read public message(current area):
  Enter the message you wish to start
  reading at "[1..Max]?". After the
  message displays, you see this.

[displayed message/number of messages remaining to read] RETURN A,X:

     Same comands as read private email. Version 2.00 will include reply
to message and quoting previous message. The use of messages remaining,
is a display I'd allways wanted. Since, the standard method was
confusing. [current/last].
....

Post message: in current public forum
  It will ask for to and subject. Then
  it will goto message editor EDIT>

New messages: new message scan
  Scans all selected message forums
  (set in user prefences editor) for
  new messages. Uses same format as
  read messages.

....
Area Change: change message area
  Changes public message forum your on.
  It print the list of current area
  with the cursor on the first.

  up arrow: standard
down arrow: standard
return    : standard
....

ATARI HEAVEN BBS
(C)1991-2050   Greg Koby
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

  /------------------------------\
  | ATARI HEAVEN  MESSAGE EDITOR |
  +-+------------+-+-------------+
  |A|add lines   |E|edit line(s) |
  |I|insert line |D|delete line  |
  |L|list lines  |P|print message|
  |C|edit subject|H|line editor  |
  |T|line toggle |M|edit macro   |
  |S|save message|X|abort editor |
  |?|exit editor |-|-------------|
  \-+------------+-+-------------/

Add lines to message:
  Goto to line input mode, X return will exit back to EDIT> prompt. All
lines are added to the end of message. Line input on the bbs uses
TURBO-ATASCII(enhanced ATASCII). See next section TURBO-ATASCII features.
It supports 39 characters per line at 250 lines. v2.00 will support
editing of 400 lines. Messages created externally  can be up to 65k, this
feature may or may not stay in v2.00

Edit line(s):
  For editing one line at a time, enter the line you want to edit at the
"?line" prompt and it prints. Do any editing needed and press return on
the edited line. It can be 39 characters long, excess is cut off. Display
mode is on for printing(All graphics print up as characters, cursor up
prints as up arrow). A text only input mode with word wrap will be added
in v2.00  This setup will allow easy mixing of text and graphics. Also
for sending pre-made text files. I'm currently working on the designs.

  The includes support for edit muliple lines. Up to 22 lines at a time
can edited at once. At the "line?" prompt enter "X,Y" X=from  Y=to. The
screen clears the lines are printed with display mode on. Then one more
with "^" on a blank line. DON'T DELETE OR MOVE THIS ITEM!! Go edit the
lines, pressing return when needed. Now move the cursor to the carrot and
press return. Now list lines and wow, there are your changes! :]
....

Insert line(s):
  It asks for "line?". Enter the line where you want the text inserted
at. It will clear the screen and go into line input mode. When your done
enter "X" return on a blank line.

Delete line(s):
  Enter X(,Y), To delete one line just enter the line you want to delete.
To delete muli-lines enter from,to on "line?".

List lines:
  Press return for all lines in message. press "S" for list specific
lines. At "[start..end]  line?" enter from,to line numbers. Display mode
is on for ATASCII graphics.

Change subject:
  It prints the current subject. When your finished editing the line
press return on the new subject.

line Toggle on/off:
  This a special mode for ATASCII graphics. Normally the returns at the
end of each line need to be taken into account when creating them. With
line toggle on, those EOL's are turned off for Print message and Save
message, making fancy ATASCII graphics is now that much easier. It's
missing the current status after toggling("line toggle now on/off"), this
oversight will be corrected in v2.00.

Edit Macro:
  Edit repeatable line. It prints the current macro line(up to 39
characters). Edit the line, then press return on it. For sending this
line using this function press "_" in any line input(see line editor
functions). In v2.00, this will be expanded to include muli-line macros
and muliple macros.

Print message:
  This prints the message in the normal formating you would see a public
or private message. Display mode is off for printing, so all ATASCII
graphics appear as normal.

eXit message editor:
  This aborts current message, it asks for yes/no to be sure. Then exits
one level up.

Save message:
  saves current message to disk.

.......................................
FYI, Yes, all the functions do work! :]
.......................................

   TURBO-ATASCII LINE EDITOR COMMANDS

   Letters alone mean esc command sequence. Press esc(release) and then
next key needed.


TOGGLE ON/OFF MODES
-------------------
SHIFT-CLEAR: Clear all mode settings

CTRL-INSERT: Insert/Delete
   Insert/delete mode like on word
   proccessors

TAB: Display chars
   ATASCII functions display as chars

C: Cursor block movement
   Direction you want to go(arrow keys
   w/o control). Then number keys for
   how many to go

X: Diagonal movement
   Changes cursor movement to diagonal


KEYBOARD COMMANDS
-----------------
SHIFT-TAB: Set xy tab
  Position the cursor where you
  want your tab to go. Then press
  shift-tab. then press 0 to 9 for a
  xy tab to set

CONTROL-TAB: Goto xy tab
  Press tab then the xy tab you want
  to goto(0 to 9)

SHIFT-"[]": Word left/right
SHIFT-"\" : Erase word
SHIFT-"_" : Send macro

ESC FUNCTIONS
-------------
R,L: Shift text on screen Right/Left

  E: Delete characters to end of line

  V: Vertical input mode
     Enter text. Press backspace to
     erase text. Return to exit

  B: CREATE BOX
     Move the cursor to the upper-left
     corner of your box. Then do esc-b.
     Move the cursor to the lower-right
     corner then press return

  T: Center text on line

  N: Print your handle

  Q: Clear screen


PAUSE FUNCTIONS
---------------
Press contol-s to pause. Press space
bar to get one char at time(this is for debuging ATASCII graphics).  Use
"*" to
get one word at a time. Press control-s
again to unpause.


     That's it! Even through I wrote and designed it, I still look at it
and go "awesome!!"  :]

Design flaws:
     To achieve most of the ATASCII line editor and menus, you have to
have screen sync. That means your screen must match mine. In noisy lines
you'll have to clear screen frequently or call back again with hopefully
a clear line. In ATARI 8-BIT emulators, as long as the program matches
screen processing,  you should have no problems.
.......................................
     This is trade off I had to make, this flaw can't be removed.
However, I will add functions in the future to better manage it.

     The data base design(message storage and structure) in v1.41 has
serious design flaws, which make it inefficent and create problems for me
in updating the code. They include message cycling, deleting, storage,
and max limits. I'm working on correcting the flaws now. Originally, I
rushed into coding before I through I thought through general layout and
design.
.......................................
Data base design's golden rule, never ever write code until you worked
out all designs and problems first.
.......................................
So, i'v been sitting on it for some time now, working through the designs
carefully. Hence, the ACTION! code has two lines, the title and author.
*smile*


Known bugs:
     I'v been unable to get baud detection to work since I started this
project. So, your interface must support flow control, such as the black
box(baud rate is 19.2k plus flow control, this allows me to accept all
incomming baud rates).

     The sysop's menu has a bug in the "Clear base" command I just found.
The rest of sysop commands work, but i'v found they are inadquit for a
sysop to manage the a bbs. For v2.00, I will add a complete list of
functions. Also, security aspects will be upgraded.

Module add on support:
     The bbs supports add on ACTION! programs(assembly requires you know
how to work with the ACTION! interface). The MLIB.ACT file make a number
of screen i/o functions available. Currently their two programs linked
into the bbs:
  Gambler's horse race(live action)
  Edit user preferences.

     NOTE: The files section is not included, I don't have the tech
knowhow to write the transfer protocals. Depending on memory space, it
should be part of the main program. Until I get the tech knowhow, someone
else will have to write it as a module.

     I'm going to be a tease here... both will blow you away!! And that's
all you'll get! :]   (ok one more, i'v seen many users get addicted to
horse race really fast!)

hardware requirement:
   version 1.41    XL or XE with ramdisk and hard drive.
   version 2.00   256k will be required additionally


     This is going to be a commerial product, i'v worked on it for too
long and hard to not make a profit. The final price considering all
things, including how few i'll sell. Not to mention how badly this
developer needs money. IT AIN't GONNA BE CHEAP! $100++  You'll of course
get a ton for that price: tech support, limited mods to the program to
suit your specific needs, free upgrades, new add on modules as I make
them, tech info for making modules, etc. For now, I can't provide that
kind of support, my life is just too hectic at the moment. So, sometime
soon when things settle down for me.

If you think i'm crazy for asking that much, are we all for still using
them?   *grin*

Hard core ATARI 8-BIT user since jan. 20, 1983.  software developer

v2.00: The ultmate bbs, comming soon!

ATARI 8-BIT RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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