BBS software for the PDP 11

allison allisonportable at
Thu May 18 10:16:27 CDT 2017

On 5/18/17 9:45 AM, william degnan via cctalk wrote:
>> There may have been Rainbow BBS programs, but I doubt anything for the
>>> 11/34.  You may have to write this.
>> That reminds me of a bit of obscure trivia...
>> Back in the early days of FidoNet, one or more of the Fido BBS sysops had
>> DEC Rainbows.  The machines could run Fido just fine, but the serial port
>> address/port didn't follow the convention laid down by the IBM PC.  At the
>> time, there were other MS-DOS compatibles that also had a similar issue
>> with the serial port and some of those folks wanted to run Fido.
>> Tom Jennings, Wynn Waggoner III(sp?) and Thom Henderson(sp?) got together
>> to create the FOSSIL standard.
>> FOSSIL is Fido Opus Seadog Serial Interface Layer and provided a mechanism
>> via INT 14 for any MS-DOS compatible computer to run any BBS or mailer
>> software that had FOSSIL support and a FOSSIL driver available for it.
>> FOSSIL continued to be a thing long after the issue of serial port
>> incompatibility was a thing of the past.  In fact there's modern software
>> out there now such as NetFossil that telnet-enables software that can talk
>> to a FOSSIL driver.
>> The two popular FOSSIL drivers that I recall from back in the day were BNU
>> and Ray Gwinn's X00.
>> As an aside, if anyone has or knows where I can find the source code for
>> Opus BBS, I'd be interested in hearing from you!
> That's what I was thinking.  I have some FidoNET files and mail from the
> Rainbow.  My guess the BBS would have been written in Pascal or C if for
> the Rainbow (guess only) so if you wanted to attempt to port, after you
> find a Rainbow BBS?  I'd start with a Rainbow BBS disassembly/decompile and
> see if you can convert to the PDP 11 running the same language/compile it.
Strongest comment on this is that a Rainbow ran DOS (like most PCs of 
the day)
and there was no security context and barely a foreground background as 
of DOS.

All a DOS BBS was  was a user interface that provided security by 
requiring user/password
and limiting the commands usable.  The easy was to do that was a version 
of the CMD module
rewritten to not have things like RMDIR and DEL.

FYI BBSs were running on CP/M z80 boxes before that using BYE.

The closest OS to DOS is RT11, no security and the FB monitor can do 
IF the UI for RT11 was rewritten to disallow some utilities and what not 
it could then
stand as a limited BBS.    Myself I'd consider RSX or RSTS as a better 
platform as you can
easily control user prives and issue accounts based on privs with 
libraries for global
access to software.

The real question is why BBS?  What is it trying to fix or enable?


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