Скачать BBSkit 2.0 - Communications toolkit for Turbo Pascal

Steve Madsen
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                                             BBSkit version 2.00

                         Communications toolkit for Turbo Pascal

                                                 by Steve Madsen


BBSkit, associated utilities, source code, and documentation are copyright (c) 1991, 1992 by Steven Madsen. All rights reserved.

The purpose of BBSkit

Ever since I became involved with telecommunications in the mid 1980's, I have been very interested in writing applications that work with the serial port. Particularly, I like writing bulletin board systems. The only problem was that I found no communications packages that met my standards, which included being usable under Turbo Pascal 6.0. Thus, BBSkit was born.
My main idea in creating BBSkit was to provide the most seamless environment for a BBS author to create his or her application. BBS applications require certain things that terminal programs do not, such as being able to route input and output, having support to handle all kinds of terminals, from slow terminals requring nulls to keep up with transmission to new ones that have advanced terminal emulation as standard equipment. Users have grown along with the technology. They want power, speed and beauty in the systems that they frequent. But the most important thing was creating a toolkit that would meet my needs, and also meet those of people like me that were having the same difficulty finding toolkits that would do the job for them.
Think of BBSkit as a shell program. Everything you need to use your modem or communicate through your serial port is already there. You can route input and output, send and receive files, emulate over 10 different terminals. Now you can concentrate on writing your application, not on communicating with your serial port.

What's new in version 2.0?

Version 2.0 is a tremendous enhancement to the original package. Version 1.0 was robust when compared to many of the other shareware or freeware packages I still find on systems today, but 2.0 will easily surpass that. With 2.0 I have added more complete VT-100 style terminal emulation directly into the package. This means no more ANSI.SYS! All of the file transfer protocols have been recoded and are now much easier to understand since the source follows the same style as the main units. Ymodem and Ymodem-G have also been added to our list of protocols. To keep things more close to home, I have rewritten my serial support in 100% assembly language. You no longer need a FOSSIL driver to communicate with your system, and that reduces the amount of memory taken up by device drivers and leaves more for your app. Of course, as a registered user, you have all of the source code to BBSkit available on your registration disks.
Perhaps the most important announcement comes in the form of the BBS Session Protocol. Lately everyone has been going crazy over the incredible changes user interfaces are going through. Mouse support is becoming standard, graphics are being found everywhere. And Windows is responsible. Well... wouldn't it be great to have this kind of support over a normal telephone line? BSP gives it to you! Mouse support and graphics, in a form of terminal emulation that can be used in conjunction with any of the provided templates. Now you can add mouse and graphics support to your app, and the remote end will take advantage of it if it can. Otherwise, the user will experience no change from a normal session.

Where's Zmodem?

Some of you who saw or used the first version of BBSkit may be wondering where Zmodem is in the new package. The reason is actually quite simple, although it is a very disappointing one. During the development of BBSkit 2.00 I looked long and hard for the latest Zmodem specifications, to be assured that my users would receive the latest Zmodem implementation, coded according to Omen Technology's most current Zmodem documentation. I became very disappointed when I could not find any recent specifications on local BBSes, or anywhere in the world through Internet ftp access. This led me to actually call Omen's BBS a few times, searching diligently for these specifications. I could not find any later than 1987, and these were done in the typical Omen fashion, which pretty much kept me from doing a good implementation of their protocol. To top things off, when I read through Omen's BBS, I found something called the Zmodem Developer's Kit (which convienently comes with C source code!). Apparently Omen has taken Zmodem out of the public domain with their introduction of MobyTurbo. So, sorry, but Zmodem is not going to be included in this (or probably any future) release of BBSkit. If you don't like this (I don't), please complain directly to Omen Technology, because I cannot do anything about it from where I stand.
As the author of whatever software you write using BBSkit, I would suggest that you do your utmost to promote Ymodem-batch. This protocol is fast, safe (CRC-16 error checking) and probably more efficient than Zmodem. The reason for this is that Zmodem is one of those "do everything" protocols, so it tries to make file transfers safe across all platforms. This includes packet switching networks which gobble up certain characters. Zmodem protects these characters by prefixing them. The problem is that it turns one offending character into two non-offending characters, which slows down the overall speed of the transfer. Ymodem doesn't even try to do this, so it sends all characters as they are, which can speed up transfers. Plus, you still get batching capability. The only thing you lose is transfer recovery, but this could be fixed with a proprietary protocol for all BBSkit applications. If there is any interest in such a thing, please let me know. I would make all specifications public domain and implementations of the protocol royalty free, without the complexity of Zmodem.

Contacting Technical Support

Technical support is available to all registered users free of charge from the time that registration is received. By "free of charge" I mean that I will provide as much help as I can in any way that I can, so long as it does not cost me lots of money. Support is available over the phone (no collect calls will be accepted), through United States Mail, through CompuServe, through the Internet, or through BITNET.
As a college student, my address away at school changes with each year. Since this something that can be a bother to users, I am taking it upon myself to inform registered users of my change of address at the beginning of each school year. The address for that school year and the telephone number will be provided in a mailing sent to all users through U.S. Mail. Additional information may be included with this mailing about technical support.

     Current addresses are as follows:

U.S. Mail (at home): Steve Madsen
                  BBSkit Technical Support
                  1888 Edith Marie Drive
                  Beavercreek, OH  45431-3377
CompuServe:       INTERNET>sjmadsen@miavx1.acs.muohio.edu
Internet:         sjmadsen@miavx1.acs.muohio.edu
BITNET:           sjmadsen@miavx1

          Steven Madsen
          1888 Edith Marie Drive
          Beavercreek, OH  45431-3377