PBBS16 Documentation

Terminal Applications

This second of the online documentation is dedicated to different terminal programs, ranging from the DOS apps that require you to run a DOS emulator or 32bit versions of Windows and a Virtual Modem, all the way to Web Browser clients that talk to Web Socket to Telnet proxy solutions.

Over the decades, Terminals evolved from Black and White text displaying interfaces, to ANSI and AVATAR color displaying interfaces... and right as BBS popularity was fading VGA graphics were being introduced with NAPLPS, WIP, SVG, and RIPScript. Everything lost out to the reinvention of HyperText, as it allowed for a more visual esthetic. Instead of being limited to an old 80x25 DOS window, you had full VGA and above rendering - which ultimately could be built using simple HTML codes in a text editor.

Unfortunately, BBS Software Authors did not come to embrace HTML as they should have - as BBS Software has features far superior to that of WordPress, PHPBB, simple FTP, even the likes of NAPSTER, GNUTella, etc. So the challenge exists today, how can I connect to this antiquated display requirement?

SOLUTION 1: DOSBox, DOSEmu, or Boxxer

A DOS Emulator is probably the easiest solution for many who want the full power of the old terminal programs. The Terminal Software Authors also faded away, leaving a huge gap in innovation for the BBS scene. By installing a DOS Emulator, I was able to truly test PCBoard v16 performance, backward compatibility, along with developing new code to implement XModem, YModem and ZModem protocols (to name a few).

PROCOMM 2.4.3 $50.00 TO REGISTER
DATASTORM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM4, 300BPS to 19200BPS. ProComm supports ANSI-BBS, ADDS VP, WYSE 100, IBM 3101, VT-100, TVI 920, TVI 950, VT-52, LS ADM5, HEATH 19 terminal emulation. ProComm defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). ProComm also includes support for XModem, KERMIT, Telink, Modem7, YModem, YModem Batch, Compuserve B, WXModem, YModem G and YModem G Batch file transfer protocols. In my testing, everything worked smooth - this ANSI rendering was sluggish.

TERMINATE 5.00
STRATHRORY SYSTEMS LTD.

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM8, 1200BPS to 57600BPS. Terminate supports ANSI-BBS, ANSI, Avatar/ANSI, VT-52, VT-100, VT-102, and VT-220 terminal emulation. Terminate defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). Terminate also includes support for XModem, XModem-1k, XModem-1k G, YModem Batch, YModem G, ZModem, ZedZap, KERMIT, CIS Quick B+, HydraCom, HSlink, BiModem, DSZ External ZModem, PD ZModem 8k, Zmodem GIFLINK, IceZModem, Super Zmodem, Puma/Mpt, vFAST, Jmodem and Smodem file transfer protocols. In my testing, the video rendering is extremely fast, however, the ANSI rendering always messes up.

TELEMATE 4.20 $49.00 TO REGISTER
WHITE RIVER SOFTWARE.

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM8, 300BPS to 115200BPS. Telemate supports ANSI, Avatar, Prism, TTY, VT52 and VT102 terminal emulation. Telemate defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). Telemate also includes support for XModem, XModem Relaxed, XModem 1k, Telink, Sealink, Modem7, KERMIT, YModem, YModem-G, YModem Batch, CIS Quick B, GIFLink, HSlink, BiModem, and ZModem file transfer protocols. In my testing, the video rendering is real fast and smooth, no buffering or pausing during parsing. However, it did not always render the correct color.

TELIX 3.51
DELTACOMM DEVELOPMENT, INC. & ELSA GMBH

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM8, 300BPS to 115200BPS.Telix supports TTY, ANSI-BBS, VT102, VT52, AVATAR, and ANSI terminal emulation. Telix defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). Telix also includes support for XModem, XModem-1k, Xmodem-1k-G, YModem Batch, YModem-G, CIS Quick B, KERMIT, Modem7, SEAlink, Telink, and ZModem file transfer protocols. In my testing, the video rendering is real smooth, no buffering, etc. However, it did not render all of the colors PCBoard v16 supports.

TERMINATOR 2
GEORGE COLLINS

Goes graphical, plays Terminator "I'll be back", then locked up DOSBOX.

QMODEM 4.6
MUSTANG SOFTWARE, INC.

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM8, 110BPS to 115200BPS. QModem supports TTY, ANSI, VT100, TVI925, AVATAR, and DEBUG ASCII or HEX terminal emulation. QModem defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). QModem also includes support for XModem, XModem-CRC, XModem Relaxed, XModem-1k, YModem and ZModem file transfer protocols. In my testing, the video rendering is real smooth, no buffering, etc. However, it did not render all of the colors PCBoard v16 supports.

PCPLUS 2.01
DATASTORM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

The shareware (trial) version supports COM1 to COM8, 300BPS to 115200BPS. PCPlus supports TTY, ANSI, VT-100, VT-52, VT-101, VT-220, VT-230, IBM PC, IBM 3101, IBM 3161, IBM 3270/950, DG D100, DG D200, DG D210, ADDS 60 ADDS 90, ADM 3A, ADM 5, ADM 31, TVI 910, TVI 912, TVI 920, TVI 922, TVI 925, TVI 950, TVI 955, WYSE 50, WYSE 75, WYSE 100, ATT 605,  ATT 4410, HEATH 19, and ESPIRIT 3 terminal emulation. ProComm defaults to a destructive backspace (for PCBoard this meant I had to change how it places a cursor inside the ( ) fields). ProComm also includes support for XModem, KERMIT, Telink, Modem7, Sealink, XModem-1k, XModem-1k G, YModem Batch, Compuserve B+, WXModem, IModem, and ZModem file transfer protocols. In my testing, everything worked smooth and fast - this ANSI rendering was smart enough to filter out codes it did not understand (like 24bit ANSI color). I think this was actually the fastest at rending the ANSI intro for my complex web site.

GT POWER 19.0
P&M SOFTWARE CO.

Shows splash screen, then terminates.

COMMO 7.7
FRED P. BRUCKER

Probably one of the least intuitive terminal applications I have ever seen. It works, but, didn't want to spend time to learn it. Should be straight forward like everyone else - it isn't.

SOLUTION 2: Native Terminals

SyncTERM

Unfortunately is an Open Source project, with little professionalism. You want a build for a specific environment, your choices are maybe someone has built it, or you have to build it yourself. Now the product itself is very nice, extremely fast ANSI parsing and rendering. It uses SDL for video rendering, supports a nice set of different communication interfaces. SyncTerm also includes support for XModem, YModem and ZModem file transfer protocols.

SOLUTION 3: Web Terminals

fTelnet

This is a great piece of code, however, not as proactively developed as VTX (mentioned below). fTelnet uses a bitmap image for the fonts, so they are extremely crisp and easy on the eyes. The ANSI engine is pretty robust in the sequences that it understands, however, appears you have to code the source using a variation of JavaScript (trueScript I think), then you can publish. However, I had no interest in following that path. It does support a dynamic Keyboard and a variation of the YModem protocol. The author had started implementing RIPScript support, however, it appears life is getting in the way.

VTX Client
This is a constantly envolving product, the author himself is actively developing door games to push the envelop of what a terminal should be expected to handle. VTX client also includes support for a variation of the YModem file transfer protocol. We plan to contribute code back for XModem-CRC, XModem-1k and possibly some elements of ZModem. Of course, file resume cannot be implemented in a web browser currently.