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Alias: Nickname that a user is known as. The use of aliases is common on BBSes. Synchronet allows the sysop to disallow the use of them, forcing all users to be known by their real names only, if desired. ANSI: American National Standards Institute. References made to ANSI are actually referring to the ANSI X3.64 terminal definition and the related escape sequences used to change cursor positioning and text attributes. Archive: A file that contains multiple (possibly compressed) files, that can be expanded. Archived files usually have a specific extension that specifies what type of archive utility was used to create it. The most popular archive utilities are PKZIP (.ZIP files), LHARC (.LZH), and ARJ (.ARJ files). ASCII: American Standard Code of Information Interchange. A 7 bit binary code used to represent letters, numbers, symbols, and control codes. Supported by almost every computer and terminal manufacturer. See Extended ASCII. Baja: Baja (pronounced bä'hä) is a tool used to create command shells and modules (exec/*.bin files) for the Telnet/RLogin experience of Synchronet BBS software. Baja source files have a .src filename suffix.
Baja is also the name of the programming language used to create or modify the contents of Baja source (.src) files. See baja.html for more details. Baud: An obsolete term defining the number of signal-level changes per second. The CCITT now prefers to use "symbols per second". For example a V.22bis connection transfers only 600 symbols per second, but in this protocol each symbol can represent up to four values; thus, you have an effective transmission rate of 2,400 bps. V.32 is a 2,400 symbol-per-second (9,600-bps) modulation protocol. BBS: Bulletin Board System. A system configured to accept user logins via modem or network to access public and private messages. Many BBSes also incorporate file transfers (the uploading and downloading of program and data files), information services, online entertainment, and more. On a multinode BBS, all nodes must use the same live database for users, messages, and file transfers. Plural: BBSes. BinkD: BinkD (Binkley Daemon) is a FLO-style FidoNet mailer that uses the BinkP protocol (FSP-1011) to transfer files over the Internet.
BinkP: BinkP (BinkD Protocol) is a TCP/IP protocol (described in FSP-1018) for transferring files between FidoNet mailers over the Internet (on TCP port port 24554). This protocol was created for BinkD and is also supported by such mailers as Argus, Radius, Taurus, BForce, Internet Rex, and BeeMail. BPS: Bits Per Second or Bit Rate. The rate of data transmitted between modems. For every byte of data (8 bits), a start and stop bit are added for a total of ten bits per data byte. Chat: Online real-time communication between users either in line by line (multinode chat) or key by key (private chat). Also IRC. COM Port: RS-232 communications port on an IBM PC compatible computer through which digital signals are exchanged between it and the modem (or other peripheral). The interface is either a 25 or 9 pin male connector. Command Line: The complete syntax used for the execution of a program. This includes the program path and name to execute and any parameters that may be required by the program for proper execution. Command lines configured in SCFG can use special command line specifiers for variable parameter replacement. See Appendix A for more information. Compression: See Archive. Conference Mail: See EchoMail. Co-sysop: BBS user with additional privileges to enable partial system maintenance. Co-sysops on a Synchronet system would usually have a security level in the range 80-89 and have an exemption flag for each sysop function he is given rights to. CR: Carriage Return. This character represents the end of a line of text and is usually initiated with the ENTER key on most keyboards. CrashMail: Referring to FidoNet NetMail being sent immediately and directly (not routed) to the BBS or network address of the destination person. A more accurate term would be Crash NetMail, or NetMail with Crash status. Decompression: See Extraction. Directory: A section within a file library that contains files for uploading or downloading. Also known as a file area. Download: Transferring a file from a BBS or other host system to a remote (client) system. Doors: See External Programs. DCE: Data Communications Equipment. Dial-up modems that establish and control the data link via the telephone network. DCE Rate: The data transfer rate between two modems. DTE: Data Terminal Equipment. The device that generates or is the final destination of data - the computer. DTE Rate: The data transfer rate between the computer and the modem. Echo: The term "Echo" or "Echo Conference" is often used to refer to a sub-board where messages are distributed across a message network. The term actually comes from FidoNet EchoMail - the technology used to distribute sub-board messages across FidoNet. EchoMail (Conference Mail): Sub-board messages echoed across FidoNet in compressed packets. EchoMail Program ("Tosser"): EchoMail programs packetize FidoNet EchoMail (and sometimes NetMail) messages and archive the packets into bundles which are transferred with a FidoNet mailer. SBBSecho, TosScan, Squish, GEcho, and FreeMail are examples of EchoMail programs. E-mail or Electronic Mail: Private multiple line messages between users that are stored on a BBS until the receiver deletes them. Network E-mail (NetMail) is e-mail that is sent between systems on a network. Internet E-mail is a form of NetMail that is sent to the recipient's Internet Mail Server using the SMTP protocol. Escape Sequence: A sequence of characters usually preceded by a control code to perform attribute changes and cursor positioning on a terminal. See ANSI. Exemptions: Extended privileges given to users to circumvent access limitations or provide access to certain sysop functions. See User Edit for more information. External Programs: Programs (binary executables or scripts) that the BBS executes for added functionality. External programs are used for archive manipulation, file transfers, games, databases, text editors, virus scanning, backups, and more. Often referred to as "doors" or "chains". Extraction: The splitting (and possible decompression) of an archived file into the original set of multiple files. See Archive. FidoNet: Long-standing global message network for BBS operators (sysops) and users.
File Transfer Protocol: See Transfer Protocol. Finger: Internet service that provides information about the users on a particular computer (on TCP port 79). Flag: Security Flag: one of 26 possible switches labeled A through Z. Flags are used to represent specific sysop-defined security access (privileges or restrictions) for a user. See User Edit for more information. FOSSIL: Fido/Opus/Seadog Serial Interface Layer. A specification for x86-compatible computers to use an x86 interrupt (14h) interface for serial communications. A FOSSIL driver is a device driver that provides an int14h interface for applications (typically, 16-bit DOS doors) to use to communicate with the remote user. Synchronet for Windows includes FOSSIL drivers for Win9x and NT-based operating systems (no extra configuration required). Traditional DOS FOSSIL drivers (e.g. BNU, ADF) are not needed when using Synchronet for Windows. Front-end Mailer: An EMSI-compatible FidoNet message front-end. FrontDoor, SEAdog, Binkley, and D'bridge are examples of front-end mailers.
Modern TCP/IP FidoNet mailers (e.g. BinkD, Argus, Internet Rex) run concurrently with the BBS, so they are not ront-end mailers. FTP: A TCP/IP protocol for accessing and transferring files between systems (on TCP port 21). Gopher: An Internet server document browsing and searching system, a precursor to HTTP, that lets you search and retrieve texts on the Internet (on TCP port 70). Group or Message Group: A group of message sub-boards with a similar subject matter. Hardware Flow Control: The modem's use of the CTS (Clear to Send) line to control the flow of data to from the computer to the modem. HTTP: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the actual TCP-based protocol that enables Web browsing (on TCP port 80). Internet: A network of computer networks which operates world-wide using a common set of communications protocols. IP: Internet Protocol. The lowest-level protocol in the Internet TCP/IP protocol suite.
IP Address: Internet Protocol Address. An IP Address is a 32-bit (4 byte) number, represented in dotted-decimal notation (e.g. 188.8.131.52).
IRC: Internet Relay Chat. A TCP/IP protocol used for distributed, multi-server, multi-channel communication ("chat") between Internet clients. LAN or Local Area Network: A group of personal computers connected in a local environment for the purpose of sharing data, applications, and peripherals. Level or Security Level: A decimal value in the range of 0 to 99 that determines a user's security level on Synchronet BBS. A user's level determines how long he can stay online per call, total time per day, total logons a day, maximum number of lines per message, which Message Groups, Sub-boards, External Programs, General Text File Sections, Transfer Libraries, and Directories the user can access. Library or Lib: A group of transfer directories with a similar subject matter. Login: The act of connecting to a service and exchanging user credentials (e.g. user name and password) to obtain access. Logon: The act of entering a BBS system through a valid user account. In Synchronet, a logon follows a login (the initial connection and exchange of user credentials). Message: File stored on the system created by a user that may contain ASCII text, color/attribute codes (e.g. Ctrl-A codes), and ANSI escape sequences. Messages are either public (posted on a sub-board) or private (E-mail sent to a single user). Message Network: Two or more BBSes sharing public message sub-boards (Aka Echoes or conferences) where messages posted on one BBS get distributed to the other BBSes on the network. There are many different network technologies used for the distribution of networked messages. Synchronet supports the most popular technologies; QWK, FidoNet, and PostLink. Multinode: System that operates with multiple simultaneous access paths to the same database of messages and other resources. Multitask: The act of performing multiple tasks seemingly simultaneously. Modem: A device that transmits/receives computer data through a communications channel such as radio or telephone lines. Modems modulate, or transform, digital signals from a computer into an analog form that can be carried successfully on a phone line. Modems also demodulate signals received from the phone link back to digital signals before passing them to the receiving computer. NetMail: A personal message sent to a specific person on a specific BBS or at a specific network address through a message network. Most commonly used in reference to FidoNet NetMail. QWK Netmail and Internet E-mail are other forms of NetMail. Network: Connection of two or more computers to facilitate the sharing of resources. See LAN and Message Network. NNTP: The protocol used by client and server software to carry USENET postings back and forth over a TCP/IP network (e.g. the Internet). NUP or New User Password: A password that the sysop has determined as a requirement before a new user can apply for access. Online: The state of a user when he is currently using a BBS. Offline: The state of a BBS or BBS Node when it is not able to receive users and the state of a user when he is not currently using the BBS.
POP3: Post Office Protocol version 3. A TCP/IP protocol used by Internet e-mail clients to check and download mail from a TCP/IP mail server (on TCP port 110). Post: The act of a user writing and saving a message in a sub-board. Protocol: A system of rules and procedures governing communications between two or more devices. Protocols vary, but communicating devices must follow the same protocol in order to exchange data. The format of the data, readiness to receive or send, error detection and error correction are some of the operations that may be defined in protocols. See Transfer Protocol. QWK Packet: A single compressed file, usually in PKZIP format, that contains new messages, E-mail, sysop bulletins, and a list of new files that can be downloaded by a user for use with an offline message reader. The filename is the BBS ID followed by a .QWK extension (regardless of the compression method). The developer of this packet format was Mark Herring (Sparky) of Sparkware, for use with his Qmail Door (external program). There are many popular offline message readers that support the QWK format. QWK packets may also be used for message networking (i.e. QWK Networking). REP Packet: A QWK reply packet. Also, a single compressed file, usually in PKZIP format, that contains e-mail or posts from the user that he/she created with an offline message reader. The filename is the BBS ID followed by a .REP extension. The packet must be uploaded by the user before the messages and e-mail can be sent to the destination users or posted. Restrictions: Flags that a sysop can place on a user to restrict the user from certain features of a BBS. RS-232: Interface standard developed by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) to define the signals and voltages used when data is exchanged between a computer or terminal and a modem or serial printer. Data is usually transmitted via a cable with a 9 or 25 pin connector. SCFG: Synchronet configuration program. See system_config.html for details. Serial Port: See COM Port. SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a TCP-based protocol used to send and receive email (on TCP port 25). Sub-board: A section within a message group that contains multiple messages posted by users on a specific topic. Also referred to as a conference, forum, or special interest group (SIG). Sysop: System Operator. A person who participates in the maintenance or management of a BBS. In Synchronet, sysops are defined as users with a security level of 90 or hihger. TCP: Transmission Control Protocol. TCP works with IP to ensure that packets travel reliably on the Internet. This is the method by which most Internet activity takes place. Text File Sections: Areas for the storage of text files that the sysop wants users to have the ability to read. Often referred to as general text file sections. Common text files would be information about the BBS, ANSI artwork, and documents on debatable subjects. Text files placed in text file sections do not get purged as public messages do and are not part of the transfer section, so credits and transfer access are not required. Transfer Protocol: A protocol designed to govern the transmission of files between two computer systems. BBS transfer protocols are usually specific to modem transmissions. The most common of which are Xmodem, Ymodem, and Zmodem. Most communications programs contain built-in protocol support and stand-alone transfer protocol programs (e.g SexyZ) are also available. Throughput: The effective rate of data flow for a file transfer, measured in bits per second. Throughput depends on the connect rate and the error-control and data-compression protocols, if any. UART: Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter. The IC (Integrated Circuit) that controls the serial port I/O. You must have a UART for each COM port in your computer. The most common UARTs for IBM PCs are NS8250s and NS16450s. If you are using a high-speed (9600bps or higher) modem with your COM port and having communication problems, quite often the only solution is to replace your UART for that COM port with a buffered UART, usually an NS16550AFN. More modern UARTs are being integrated with other peripheral controller ICs into a single chip (or chip-set). This design does not allow for the replacement of the actual UART. Internal modems have their own built-in UART. UDP: User Datagram Protocol. A communications protocol for the Internet network layer, transport layer, and session layer, which makes it possible to send a datagram message from one computer to an application running in another computer. Like TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), UDP is used with IP (the Internet Protocol). Unlike TCP, UDP is connectionless and does not guarantee reliable communication; the application itself must process any errors and check for reliable delivery. Upload: Transferring a file from a remote computer to a BBS or other host system. User to User Transfer: An upload that is sent to a particular user or set of users. These transfers are only allowed if the sysop creates a sub-board with a short name of "User". The sysop should set the access level to 90 and the upload level to something in the user range to allow users to upload to the directory, but not be able to list the contents of the directory. A user performs a user to user upload with the '/U' command from the transfer menu, and the destination user(s) can download the file with the '/D' command.
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Copyright © 2006 by Rob Swindell
Synchronet BBS Software (Synchronet) Version 3 is comprised of several documentation,
library, executable, and source code files, all of which are covered by the
GNU General Public License with the exception of the following portions covered by
the GNU Lesser General Public License: SMBLIB and XSDK.
Synchronet Version 2 (for DOS and OS/2) and its source code was released to the
Public Domain by Digital Dynamics in 1997 and remains Public Domain software today.
Synchronet Version 3 is not Public Domain software.
For the complete Copyright Information please read the Copyright Document .