What is TBBS
TBBS (The Bread Board System) is a multiline DOS based software package
authored by Phil Becker, former CEO of US based company eSoft®.
TBBS started out as a single line Bulletin Board System (BBS) originally
running on early TRS-80 computers. It's advantage was that it could be fully
customised by the system operator, so that no two TBBS systems looked the
same - other BBS packages at the time had their menu structures hard coded.
As time progress, Phil completely re-wrote the TBBS program to operate
on IBM PC's running under DOS, and then proceeded to write a machine language
multitasker that allowed multiple callers to access the TBBS system at
the same time. Other BBS software packages could only achieve this by
either running their software on LAN systems, dedicating one complete
machine per modem, or under DOS multitasking software such as Quarterdeck's
Desqview. TBBS achieved multiple lines all on the one machine. For those
only wishing to run two lines, no additional hardware was needed - you
only used COM1 and COM2. For those wishing to run more lines, special
serial boards called Digiboards were used to allow up to 64 modems to
be hooked into the one machine. At it's height, TBBS could allow 64 users
at once (though it is rumoured that eSoft® did provide customised 96 line
version of their software to large companies like Microsoft®).
Add-On "Option Modules" were then released.
TDBS, a dBase3 emulator allowed multiline applications and games without
having to exit the TBBS environment via batchfiles (or dropfiles) making
it more stable than its competitors. TIMS was released to allow interaction
with Fidonet technology. QSO was released to allow users to use the popular
QWK message format for offline mail reading. SYSOM was released to give
the sysop real time control over user levels and menu flags without bringing
the TBBS system down. Interchange was released to allow the TBBS system
to grab outgoing modem lines to dial other services, networking multiple
BBS systems together. TIGER was released to allow users access to internet
email and newsgroups. All in all, TBBS and it's option modules were far
beyond the realms of what other BBS authors could dream of.
eSoft's next big step was the IPAD - The "Internet
Protocol Adapter" - a seperate hardware/software solution that, tied
to the TBBS machine allowed incoming telnet access to the TBBS system.
It also provided outgoing access for those TBBS callers on dial in lines
of the system to access the internet using the IPAD machine as a gateway.
Eventually, many IPAD owners became Internet Service Providers (ISP's)
as BBS usage on the whole began to wane, caused by the growing popularity
of the Internet.
The IPAD was extremely popular. It had one major drawback
- it was very expensive, and beyond the reach of most TBBS sysops who
had already spent thousands on their particular TBBS line count versions.
Eventually, and understandably, eSoft®
and TBBS went their separate ways as eSoft®
pursued the Internet market. Eventually all technical support for TBBS
and associated products were dropped and TBBS ended up in a "no-mans-land".
Text by Puggs and SkyWalker
TBBS.org was created by a small group of ex-TBBS
sysop who wanted to get their old systems back up and running. But without
support from eSoft® and no where else
to turn to they created TBBS.org.
Initially with forums only TBBS.org started small, but
word spread and as more people joined in adding their expertise in web
design and programming TBBS.org started to take off.
TBBS.org now has a File Area with most files you need
to run a TBBS system, a very informative Forum Area that mirrors the newsgroups
comp.bbs.tbbs and comp.bbs.misc as well as FAQ, News and more to come.
Here at TBBS.org we hope to be informative and helpful
to those of you who wish to get their old systems up and running or those
that want to start their first TBBS system.
TBBS.org Supporting the TBBS Community.
Text by Puggs and SkyWalker
Phil Becker is the author of The Bread Board System (TBBS),
one of the most successful PC bulletin board systems ever developed.
He previously founded Becker Systems, a communications consulting firm,
in 1983 and founded eSoft®, Inc., a communications software company, in
Prior to 1983 Mr. Becker won awards for his work as a computer systems engineer at Martin Marietta
where he worked on the Apollo moon program and the Viking Mars Lander program.
He is the inventor of the
IPAD and is widely acknowledged as a preeminent authority on the Internet. He is the author of Introduction
to PC Communications, published by Que Corporation and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from
Mr. Becker has lectured to hundreds of thousands of individuals and has trained
over 10% of North America's ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
Text courtesy of the IPAD Owners Association Inc.