Synchronet - News


For up-to-the-minute Synchronet news and developments, read the Announcements or the CVS Commit Log!


May 20, 2010

I'm in the process of upgrading the computers (and operating systems) that host the various Synchronet sites and services (including the BBS), so please be patient while I work out all the kinks and get everything back to 100% functional.


April 18, 2010

There's a new Synchronet Wiki at wiki.synchro.net, where most of this sites contents (mostly, documentation) will be moved over time. News, official downloads, and the like will remain here. Take a look-see!


January 11, 2009

For those that don't already know, there are (and have been for over a year now) daily Win32 builds of the current development code in CVS as sbbs_dev.zip. If you wish to upgrade (e.g. from v3.14a) to the latest and greatest, this is your opportunity.

I finally got around to scanning in the various 1990's era Synchronet / Digital Dynamics ads and other memorabilia I had in stored in boxes in the garage. If you're interested in the commercial history of Synchronet, you can now peruse the museum!


May 14, 2008

I've had to move web host (actually hosting on my DSL connection using Synchronet now), so please forgive any broken links for now.


June 16, 2007

I've released a new program for Synchronet External Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) Support.

The program is named SEXPOTS, with homage to the very successful SEXYZ project. This program adds dial-up modem support to any Windows TCP/Socket/Telnet-based BBS (e.g. Synchronet-Win32). Deuce has a *nix version in the works and has also recently added dial-up modem support to SyncTERM to complete the old-school BBS experience using actual <gasp> modems! Vertrauen can now be dialed directly at 951-549-9994.


December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to me... (I'm 37 today). Funny out history repeats itself.

Anyway, yes, there's a new Synchronet-Win32 release (v3.14a) in 2006 (barely)!

Major new features include:

  • SSH support in the Telnet/RLogin server

  • UART (COM port) emulation (for non-FOSSIL DOS door games)

  • Tons of Web Server improvements

  • Tons of Mail Server improvements

  • A lots, lots more...

For a complete list of changes, see v314_new.html.


December 10, 2005

I'm moving and my DSL service will be transitioning (to new IP addresses) at the new house on December 14th, so expect some disruptions in service (DynDNS, QWKnet, CVS, etc.) for *.synchro.net. Sorry for the temporary inconvenience.


October 14, 2005

Jason Scott sent me this response to my review of the BBS Documentary DVD set.

To clarify, I wrote the review he's quoting in July 2005, before Jason and I had a public discussion on the subject here (also available on USENET), where we hashed out our differences over what the documentary could've/should've been (Jason posted as textfiles, while I posted as digital man).

I still whole-heartedly endorse the DVD set and sincerely appreciate Jason's gift to the BBS community (and those who have never even heard of us). If you still haven't purchased/seen it, you really should!

Thanks again Jason!


September 11, 2005

Synchronet v3.13a-Win32 was released today.  Enjoy!


July 22, 2005

If you haven't you haven't already seen Jason Scott's BBS Documentary DVD set, you absolutely must buy it and see it today! He did an excellent job of capturing the "human element" of BBSing and covered the early history of BBSing very well. The production quality is first rate and with 3 (three!) DVDs over-flowing with interviews of the heroes, r0d3nts, and luminaries of "the day", there's plenty of entertainment and educational value for anyone who has ever been interested in (any combination of) technology, innovation, communities, and industry. It's fabulous!

Now, that being said, I have my critiques as well (of course). :-)

There seems (to me) to be an unbalanced coverage of the eras, scenes, elements and aspects of BBSing.

Examples:

  • FidoNet is covered in great detail (the interviews with Tom Jennings are some of the best), while no other message networks are. Certainly RelayNet (RIME), ILink, and other BBS networks that have survived to this day (even DOVE-Net) deserved some mention. Even a blurb about how FidoNet technology is used to drive dozens (or even hundreds?) of other unrelated networks, would've been a powerful point to make. Discussions of other BBS networking technology (WWIVnet, PostLink, QWK, etc.) would've been cool as well.

  • There is not a single mention of the programs we actually used to access BBSes. Certainly users were as "religious" about their terminal programs as sysops were about their BBS software! Discussions about or interviews with the authors of some of these programs would've been really cool. Without terminal software, users would have had no way to access BBSes.

  • There was some mention of door games, but very little. I think MajorBBS/WorldGroup really had some cool games. MajorMUD is still very popular to this day (one of the sole reasons to run a WorldGroup BBS today) and gets no mention. Door authors had as much to do with the success of BBSes as the BBS authors themselves and should have gotten more recognition. The game-specific terminal programs of the day (e.g. GWTerm and TradeWars) deserved mention as well.

  • Multi-user real-time chat seemed to get no mention at all. Yes, BBSes were doing this years before IRC existed!

BBS Software
I think at the very least having the known BBS packages listed or mentioned or debated by the users or sysops of those packages would've been cool. I feel sorry for those BBS authors that will watch this and feel like their contributions weren't noticed by history.

It's not surprising that the big commercial packages (TBBS, PCBoard, Wildcat, and MajorBBS) were well represented, but there were so many thousands of BBSes running other programs. The "old school" packages (Fido, Opus) got plenty of mentions, but how about their natural successor, Maximus? Or AdeptX? I thought the WWIV->Telegard->Renegade heritage was a particularly interesting story that should've been covered. To get Wayne Bell's thoughts on that would've been cool. And the lineage of the Forum hacks of the day (complete with screen shots) would've been cool. GAP, SpitFire, RBBS, RoboBoard (and Robo/FX), GTPower, PowerBoard, ProBoard, Remote Access, TAG, TurBoard, Falken, TriBBS, etc. Obviously, there are hundreds of BBS packages, and I'm honored that Synchronet had at least some part to play in the documentary (thanks to my brother, Mike), but over-all, I feel the coverage had some tunnel vision and seemed to focus on the BBS software of ancient history, where Synchronet really doesn't have much of a story.

Innovation
Someone watching this documentary would easily get the impression that BBSes stopped progressing in the late 80s or early 90s. There's no coverage of RIPscrip, WIP, MaxGraphics, NAPLPS, or the other attempts at a graphical online BBS experience, predating the web. SearchLight's author got plenty of screen time, but said nothing about his attempts at a better BBS user experience through graphics (RIP, and then HTML). There's no coverage of BBSes that advanced past 16-bit DOS systems, and the advantages those systems offered their users and (especially) their sysops. Nothing about the advancement from single-process/user systems, to networked systems, to DESQview, and later true 32-bit multi-threaded OSes. There was really no mention of the Telnet/RLogin BBSes of today, just vague references to how the "days of dial-up BBSes are over" (which I agree), but BBSes live on under other (unspecified) technologies.

Inaccuracies
Probably the one that "got my goat" the most was the quote "Today, there are a few hundred BBSes in the world". I'll assume that quote was written around 2002, and even then, there were easily 300 Synchronet BBSes alone. If Synchronet runs ten percent of the BBSes, world-wide, that'd still be 3000 BBSes in the world, total. And I'm willing to bet there are still more than that. It's obvious Jason was trying to make a dramatic point about the decline in the number of BBSes over the years, but I find the exaggeration of statistics for dramatic effect slightly offensive.

Post Mortem
I also don't understand the complete lack of coverage of BBS technology and usership today. He refers to the BBS sysops of today as "Holdouts", running some old antiquated system that no one calls (which is accurate in some cases). But he completely failed to document the technological advancements of Synchronet and other modern BBS packages (e.g. EleBBS, Mystic, BBBS, MBSE, even WINServer) that have leapfrogged the BBSes of yesterday by so much and the activity of these systems *today*. Right this moment, there are users using Synchronet (and other) BBSes all over the world. And their sysops are having fun running those BBSes!

Just because BBSes are dead to Jason, does not mean they are dead to everyone.


July 16, 2005

The initial release of SEXYZ (v1.65-Win32) was made in June and has thus far demonstrated excellent performance, reliability, and compatibility. If you haven't switched from your 16-bit file transfer protocol driver (e.g. DSZ, FDSZ, CE-XYZ) yet, you are strongly encouraged do so as soon as possible! The days of Zmodem file transfers dragging down your system and user complaints of CRC errors (especially on uploads) are forever over, finally!

SyncTERM (for Win32 and various *nix flavors) has also been coming along nicely (thanks mostly to Deuce) and includes the Zmodem file transfer module from SEXYZ.

I recently took some time to write-up a list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding Synchronet v3 and TCP/IP. Deuce and I spent a little time updating the table of Synchronet-supported platforms.

As usual, there have been a whole bunch of fixes and improvements to Synchronet since the last release. I still anticipate the next release (for Win32) will be v3.12b and expect it to be the last of the version 3 series (yes, the v4 development will commence soon after). I'm in the process of moving my family (again) to a new house and city over the next few months and hope to get the v3.12b release in during this time-frame (which may prove difficult).

And don't forget, RuneMaster continues to make improvements and fixes to the Web/SSJS interface (see the January 27 notes on upgrading/updating these files).

RuneMaster also sparked some recent discussion and experimentation with different bug tracking systems, so there will likely be an official Synchronet bug database in the near future (likely, GNATS based).

Thank you for your patience and for the early CVS/alpha builders and testers out there!


January 27, 2005

The v3.12a release has gone pretty well, with the exception of some upgrade problems for v3.xx-Win32 systems, some problems with the ListServer module, and the default SSJS (Server-Side JavaScript) Web Interface.

To address these problems:

  • After upgrading to v3.12a-Win32, verify that SBBSCTRL:File->Properties->Advanced->Hostname and Temp Directory are set to either blank (the normal default value) or valid values (i.e. not "(null)"!). If the Hostname is blank, Synchronet will automatically use the value specified in SCFG->Networks->Internet->Address. If the Temp Directory is blank, Synchronet will automatically use your Synchronet data/temp directory by default.

  • After upgrading to v3.12a-Win32, verify that SBBSCTRL:Web->Configure->HTTP->Server-Side JS File Extension is set to ".ssjs" and not "ssjs".

  • To fix the known issues with the ListServer module, download mailproc_util.js and listserver.js into your Synchronet exec directory.

  • To fix the known issues with the SSJS Web Interface, download sbbsdefs.js into your Synchronet exec directory. Then download web.tar.gz and extract, with sub-directories, into your Synchronet directory (e.g. "/sbbs"). Tip: You may need to rename it to web.tgz for WinZip to open/extract it correctly. You will also need to change your "HTML Root" directory from "../html" to "../web/html" in SBBSCTRL->Web->Configure->HTTP, or the [Web] section of your ctrl/sbbs.ini file.

There will be a v3.12b release pretty soon (February time-frame) to address these issues as well as any other critical bugs that are discovered/reported and fixed in the near future (so keep those bug reports coming!).

We're currently holding off on any "new feature" development until v3.12b is out and verified stable for a period of time. In the mean time, I'm working on a new external file transfer driver called SEXYZ (Synchronet External X/Y/Zmodem). This program will replace the 16-bit DOS file transfer drivers that we've been stuck with (e.g. FDSZ, CE-XYZ, etc.) on Win32 BBSes and will hopefully be included in the v3.12b-Win32 release. Stephen (AKA Deuce), meanwhile, has been developing his terminal program, SyncTERM, which supports RLogin and Telnet sessions from Win32 and Unix consoles and will soon be integrating the X/Y/Zmodem file transfer modules developed for SEXYZ.

You're gonna dig BBSing in 2005!


December 31, 2004

Happy Birthday to me... (I'm 35 today).

Well, I got the v3.12a-Win32 release out in time for the new year! It was a lot of work, and while I was working my ass off to get this release out by today, I can't say I appreciated receiving annoying e-mails like this one:

Hey Rob,
I know you got a family and all, but just to bring this to your attention.. You said that you would release the next version of Syncrhonet this December.. Well dude you got until Friday before that time runs out ya know? Maybe because of the holiday and all that you should edit that and change it for a later date? Just a suggestion, is all it is since December is almost over with by Friday.

And there were others. Even after I said, right here, last month "Sorry I can't guess the exact date any better than that (please don't ask)". This is a perfect example of why I don't like to give release dates.

Anyway, enough bitching. The cool new features can be found in v311_new.html and v312_new.html and it can be downloaded here. I've got some celebrating to do...

Happy New Year!


November 20, 2004

It's been a long time since my last update (didn't have FrontPage installed). Emma is now 8 months old, cute as a button, and crawling all over the place. Baseball season is over and the Angels won the west!

But that's not why you're here! You want to know what's up with Synchronet!?! Well.... a lot. Just because I don't update the web-site doesn't mean we're not developing. :-)

Anyway, there's going to be a release (v3.12a) sometime in December. Sorry I can't guess the exact date any better than that (please don't ask). If you want to build v3.12 from source code, you're more than welcome to.

Some of the new features in v3.12 include:

  • Integrated web server with server-side JavaScript (SSJS) - yes, before v3.20
    the server does not yet support embedded SSJS (ala PHP/JSP/ASP), but will in the future

  • Background JavaScript execution with message queues for inter-thread communication
    this feature will be used to enhance the performance of services like IRC and others

  • Optional authentication when relaying outbound mail through an external SMTP server
    some mail servers require authentication before allowing the relaying of mail

  • Much improved external mail processing (over v3.11)
    including a ListServer module to offer your own Internet mailing lists (integrated with sub-boards)

  • Port bind retries (especially useful in Unix versions)

  • Mouse and remote-ANSI support in SCFG, ECHOCFG, and other UIFC-based applications
    basically an entire re-write of UIFC now supporting X consoles on Unix and other cool stuff

  • Better integration between SBBSCTRL (Win32) and Synchronet NT Services (sbbsNTsvcs.exe)

  • Many JavaScript object model improvements and additions (as usual)

  • ... and much more


February 27, 2004

My family is going to have a new addition (baby Emma) very soon. And baseball season is just over a month away (Go Angels!).

So I pushed myself to get Version 3.11b-Win32 beta (311bBeta.zip) "out the door", so you sysops and users can hammer on it while my wife and I get used to having 2 little girls and continue to get moved into our new house (which we love). This beta release is really a release candidate for the final release of v3.11; it contains mostly bug-fixes (see docs/v311_new.html for details) and a few minor enhancements. Thanks so much for the bug reports, keep them coming!

After the final release of v3.11 is out (soon), we will dive into v3.20 development which will include:

  • Full-fledged web server with server-side scripting and CGI support
    (preview here, login: guest, password: guest)
  • New file database format (based on SMB)
    (adds full long-filename support, longer descriptions, and much more)
  • Support for big-endian (non-Intel) Unix systems

  • More JavaScript object model enhancements and additions

  • More multi-node chat/IRC integration and enhancements

  • ... and much more

So stay tuned! BBSing with Synchronet in '04 is going to be awesome!


December 19, 2003

I'm moving to a new house in the next few days. I already have DSL service installed and active at the new house, but there will likely be a gap (of 1-5 days) between when the DSL service will be terminated at the current/old house (sometime today) and when I get everything online at the new house (estimating Tuesday, the 23rd at the latest).

In the mean time, vert/bbs/rob/cvs.synchro.net will be offline, so there will be no DOVE-Net service, CVS source code repository, irc.synchro.net server-linking service, and no yourbbs.synchro.net dynamic DNS (dyndns) update service available. We do have a secondary name server (thanks to Deuce at nix.synchro.net), so any existing entries in the synchro.net DNS zone file will continue to resolve, but no changes to the IP addresses may be made until Vertrauen is back online.

Thanks for your patience!

Oh, and while I'm here I'm going to answer the current #1 most frequently asked question:
Why are the menu files missing for the extra command-shells in v3.10L-Win32?

Answer:
The menu files were accidentally omitted from the v3.10L-Win32 install package and another Win32 install package has not been created and released since. You can download the missing menu files (ftp://ftp.synchro.net/menu.zip) and extract them (with directories) into your Synchronet
text/menu directory. The combination of forward-slashes and back-slashes in the menu file path has nothing to do with the problem (a common, though incorrect, assumption).


December 7, 2003

Version 3.11a-Win32 Beta is now available as an upgrade (311aBeta.zip) from v3.1x (e.g. v3.10L beta or v3.11a alpha).

For a (nearly) complete detailed list of what's changed since v3.10, see v311_new.html.

Some highlights include:

  • New JSexec program to execute Synchronet JavaScript modules externally
    (e.g. as CGI scripts, external services, background timed events, etc.)

  • Support for External Mail Processors written entirely in JavaScript
    (e.g. SPAM filters, content managers, list servers, file requesters, auto-responders etc.)

  • Much improved JavaScript reliability (using thread-safe js32.dll)

  • Numerous improvements and additions to the Synchronet JavaScript Object Model

  • Much improved Telnet/RLogin performance (better utilization of TCP packet sizes)

  • Synchronet NT Services for running Synchronet on Windows NT-based OSes without logging on

  • Numerous Control Panel (GUI) improvements
    (e.g. previewing and editing Baja source, configuration, text and menu files, improved sysop chat and spy features)

  • Mail Server supports SMTP authentication, QWKnet mail routing, additional anti-SPAM measures, and much more

  • Cyan's IRC Daemon Service (100% JavaScript)

Version 3.11a Beta is also available for Linux and *BSD in source format.


October 18, 2003

The next release (v3.11a beta) will be out "soon". If you'd like to track the progress, see the new dynamic CVS commit log. I also have a new dynamic Synchronet to-do list which is much easier for me to edit, update and keep current than the old static HTML list (which is now very stale), but most of the things in this list are slated for the v3.20 release time-frame.

I recently started putting together a what's new list for v3.11a and it's just crazy how much new stuff there is. This list isn't even half done!

Probably the neatest new thing (in my opinion) in Cyan's IRC daemon (server), written completely in JavaScript for Synchronet! You can check it out at irc.synchro.net (using any standard IRC client like mIRC). This is a growing IRC network that will soon have cool Synchronet-only features/enhancements.

I recently spent some time creating some pages outlining how to get technical support, and a list of credits to those who have contributed to Synchronet over the years (knowingly or unknowingly).


June 18, 2003

I am now offering free (experimental) dynamic domain name services (DynDNS) for Synchronet sysops wanting a yourbbs.synchro.net host name for their Synchronet v3.10 BBS. 

To get your own synchro.net host name:

  1. Download the dyndns.js client script into your Synchronet exec directory.

  2. If you haven't already, create a QWK networking account on Vertrauen, using your BBS's QWK-ID for the username (see docs/dove-net.txt for more details). 

    Note: You do not have to actually join DOVE-Net to get a synchro.net host name, if you do not wish.

  3. Setup a timed event (in SCFG->External Programs->Timed Events) to run the command-line "?dyndns yourpass" periodically, where yourpass is the password you used when you created your QWK networking account on Vertrauen.

    Note: You may want to force this timed event to run the first time to get your host name activated. Watch the event log window to make sure the script runs without errors.

  4. Attempt to ping or connect to services at your-id.synchro.net, where your-id is your BBS's QWK-ID. It may take a few minutes for a new host name to become active or for an existing host name to resolve to a newly changed IP address.

Enjoy this free new service, exclusively for Synchronet sysops!


June 2, 2003

Switched to a new web host, Interjuncture, run by an old BBS author even!


March 2, 2003

Version 3.10L Beta is now available for Win32 (sbbs310L.zip) and Unix-x86 (sbbsunix.tgz)! 

This is a beta release, but it does include a full-blown Win32 installer (no prior Synchronet installation is required). The Win32 installer can be used for a full installation or to upgrade an existing installation (of v2.3 or v3.x).

The Unix installer can be used to build Synchronet from the v3.10L source code or the current CVS code snap-shot - thanks Deuce!

Synchronet v3.10L now offers:

  • Numerous JavaScript Object Model improvements and fixes

  • Numerous SMTP Mail Server improvements and fixes
    - Including optional external mail processing (ctrl/mailproc.cfg)

  • Unix versions are of "release quality" with awesome installer

  • Includes IRC client (exec/irc.js) - thanks Deuce!

  • Requested SBBSecho improvements

  • ADDFILES improvements (mainly for adding CD-ROM directories)

  • Improved FTP server reliability and new features

  • New command-line utility (makeuser) to add a user to the user database
    - run makeuser -? for usage instructions

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new since v3.00c (the last "official" release).


November 10, 2002

Version 3.10k BETA for Win32 (310kbeta.zip) is now available! 

Synchronet v3.10k now offers:

  • JavaScript Object Model improvements (and better documentation!)

  • Better FidoNet and Internet Message-ID and Reply-ID support

  • Easier importation of CD-ROM directory listings

  • Better QWK message header kludge (@VIA, @TZ, @MSGID, etc) support

  • Improved NT FOSSIL driver (for 16-bit doors and programs, e.g. FDSZ and LORD)

  • FTP server supports resumed uploads (using REST or APPE commands)

  • FTP server no longer confuses Internet Explorer by accepting invalid CWD paths

  • Improved compatibility with other SMTP mail servers (e.g. Irex)

  • Improved handling of "bounced" messages from the mail server

  • Numerous SBBSecho (FidoNet packet tosser) improvements

  • New UDP-based finger service for fast Instant Messenger user listings

  • Support for new static services -
    services that accept their own TCP/UDP connections and handle their own client sessions

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new since v3.00c (the last "official" release).

Synchronet for Unix now builds and runs on OpenBSD (thanks to Deuce!), so that makes it compatible with Linux-x86, FreeBSD-x86, and OpenBSD-x86!


November 1, 2002

Version 3.10j BETA for Win32 (310jbeta.zip) has been available since July! Sorry for not updating the site sooner, but I was married in September and with the preparations and honeymoon and all that... (http://swindellfamily.com). 

Synchronet v3.10j now offers:

  • Much-improved anti-SPAM support and detected SPAM logging

  • Support for UDP services

  • Improved JavaScript reliability

  • Improvements to NNTP gateway (newslink.js) and server (nntpservice.js) modules

  • and much more...

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new since v3.00c (the last "official" release).

Version 3.10k BETA will be out soon (with once again, many improvements), and hopefully it will not contain any show-stopper bugs and will basically be the release candidate of v3.10 (finally).

Version 3.20 will begin beta shortly after the official release of v3.10. This version will introduce an integrated web server with CGI and server-side JavaScript support. The current console mode build of sbbs (from cvs) already has the beginnings of the web server code in it (and can be enabled by editing the ctrl/sbbs.ini file). 

A new file database format (based on SMB technology) will also be introduced in v3.2. This new database format will eliminate all the short-comings of the antiquated v1 file database format still in use.

I also am planning on writing a small Win32 utility to enable dial-up users to connect to Synchronet v3 (or any Telnet-only BBS software). It's basically a small Modem<->Telnet gateway application. If you already know of something like this (please don't say NetModem or COM/IP), let me know.

You can now buy Synchronet merchandise!


April 30, 2002

Version 3.10i BETA for Win32 (310ibeta.zip) has just been released. Synchronet v3.10 now offers:

  • NewsLink JavaScript module to synchronize message bases with newsgroups

  • Console-mode executable for Win32 (optional)

  • Server "recycling" (automatic upon configuration changes)

  • Many more JavaScript properties and methods

  • Mail server option to allow SMTP relay for authenticated users

  • and much more...

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new since v3.00c (the last "official" release).

Synchronet for Unix (Linux and FreeBSD) is really coming along nicely. Due much to the involvement of supportive Synchronet sysops and code contributors (most especially, Deuce). For build, installation, and configuration details, see sbbsunix.txt. Please do not try to build the v3.00c source code for Linux and then report warnings and errors to me. That code is really old now. Use the current source as instructed in sbbsunix.txt.


February 24, 2002

There has been much progress since the release of Version 3.10F Beta. Here are the highlights (which will appear in the soon-to-be-released Version 3.10G Beta):

  • Synchronet Configuration Utility (SCFG

    • Updated for Version 3 (eliminated v2-specific options, added many more)

    • Full-screen text mode version for Linux and FreeBSD (thanks to Deuce!)

    • Door mode (-d) command-line option for remote configuration

    • Automatically re-runs nodes to re-load configuration changes

  • Synchronet Control Panel (SBBSCTRL) for Win32

    • Password protected tray-icon option

    • Updated Configuration Wizard

  • JavaScript

    • Too many new methods and properties to list here

    • Included services (NNTP, Gopher, Finger, and HTML nodelist) are much improved

  • Telnet Server

    • Long filenames optionally displayed in file listings

    • Improved 32-bit door support (including standard I/O doors/utils)

    • Remote command shell works now on NT-based OSes (cmd.exe)

    • Frequency-based timed events (multiple executions per day)

    • Configurable Global Hot-Key Events (control-key commands)

  • Mail Server

    • MIME-encodes outbound file attachments (thanks to Marc!)

    • Optional "default user" for catch-all e-mail account (e.g. sysop)

    • Improved SPAM-attempt logging

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new in v3.10 Revision G.


November 30, 2001

Happy Holidays!

Version 3.10 is turning out to be a pretty major advancement in BBS technology, if I don't mind saying so. :-) The Win32 build is currently in public beta testing and is now up to Revision F. Thanks to the prodding of Angus McLeod via DOVE-Net, I've added a very extensible "services" feature that allows JavaScript modules or native executables to handle incoming TCP connections on specific ports (ala Unix inetd). This services feature has already given birth to the following new additions (all written in 100% JavaScript):

  • NNTP Service - Now your BBS users can use their favorite News reader to access your message bases

  • Finger Service - finger @vert.synchro.net for a list of who's online or ?stats@vert.synchro.net for current statistics

  • Gopher Service - I know Gopher is old and lame, but I just had to do it :-)

  • HTML Node List - A real HTTP server is still on the horizon, but this little bugger was kind of fun

Utilizing the finger service and the SMTP server, I've introduced a new Inter-BBS "Instant Messaging" technology. You can logon and see it in use at vert.synchro.net (hit 'I' from the [C]hat menu).

See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new in v3.10 Revision F. High-lights include:

  • Additional Spam filtering options (subject and from address)

  • Improved JavaScript Object Model (new classes, objects, properties, and methods)

  • Improved performance and reliability

  • Improved RIPtel detection

  • Improved support for QuickBBS/MSGINF-style external message editors

  • Ability to post to sub-boards via SMTP

  • Additional e-mail address alias/forwarding options

Synchronet for Linux and Synchronet for FreeBSD have also made pretty major strides lately thanks in large part to interest from Deuce, the FreeBSD/Perl dude. There is still no release, but if you're willing to build the source (not a big deal really) and deal with the configuration file headache, you'll find the following new features in the Unix builds:

  • The FreeBSD port actually works! (there was no malloc problem, Kaila)

  • Native external programs (doors, editors, etc) using stdin/stdout now work (use Pico at cvs.synchro.net)

  • You can now run the shell (sh/bash) remotely

  • X/Y/Zmodem file transfers work using sz/rz (batch mode too)


October 6, 2001

Obviously I haven't been updating the site much over the past nine months or so. But I have a good excuse - I had a baby girl! So to reward you for checking the site out again, I've introduced a new, cleaner, more easily readable design (thanks again for the logo, Mike). On to the news...

Version 3.10 for Win32 has been in active development and public beta testing, is currently up to Revision E, and appears to be very near release quality at this time. See v310_new.txt for a complete list of what's new.

The major new features are:

  • Server-side JavaScript for dynamically-loaded BBS modules and dynamic-HTML indexes for the FTP server

  • GUI Configuration Wizard

  • TCP socket and FTP client support in loadable modules

  • Support for embedded file descriptions (FILE_ID.DIZ/DESC.SDI) in FTP server

  • Improved support for multiple SBBSCTRL instances

  • Improved support for external DOS/FOSSIL programs (doors)

  • Additional configurability/programmability options

Synchronet for Linux is mainly awaiting the Linux C++ development tool from Borland before I can make further progress on the configuration program. I plan on writing a new GUI SCFG replacement for both Win32 and Linux platforms. I could be working on external DOS program support and native door support, but without a configuration program, not many people will be using the Linux version anyway. The "Linux version" is built from the same source code base as the Win32 version (excluding the control panel and some other utilities), so it gets most of the same features. I've yet to integrate the JS engine into the Linux build, but probably will do that soon. I continue to run the Linux version 24/7 at cvs.synchro.net and have not lost interest.


January 1, 2001

Version 3.00c for Win32 has been released. You can get it now (as a full install or upgrade) at vert.synchro.net or ftp.synchro.net (mirror). See v300_new.txt for a list of new features and other changes.


November 12, 2000

The Synchronet for Linux port is well under way and actually compiles, links, and runs. You can see it online at cvs.synchro.net (via Telnet or FTP). The current development source code can only be accessed via CVS or CVSweb at cvs.synchro.net. Some of the Synchronet utilities have also been ported to Unix/Linux (e.g. baja, node, chksmb, fixsmb, and smbutil), but there is currently no Unix/Linux flavor of the Synchronet configuration program (SCFG). So, in the mean time, you will need to use dosemu or a DOS box and run SCFG to edit your .cnf files. To use Synchronet for Linux, you will need to check out the following projects from cvs.synchro.net (in addition to the src project): ctrl, text, exec, and node1. Caution: this code is very alpha and is not intended for general public consumption at this time. Only interested hackers/co-developers should be trying to compile/run Synchronet for Linux at this time.

Version 3.00c for Win32 was released in a public beta upgrade (from v3.00b) package and more releases are expected before the official release probably in December.

More Major new features in v3.00c:

  • Local and Remote spying/controlling nodes

  • Inbound RLogin support (ala TWGS)

  • Graphical user database listing/sorting in sbbsctrl


October 25, 2000

Version 3.00c for Win32 is slated for release sometime this fall. This upgrade adds support for pre-OSR2 versions of Windows 95 as well as Windows NT 3.x. 

Major new features in v3.00c include:

  • SMTP relay support (with allowed-relay client list)

  • SMTP server supports multiple recipients (locally, relayed, or forwarded)

  • SendMail DNS MX-record lookups using TCP (optionally instead of UDP)

  • Local split-screen sysop chat

  • Improved IP address and host name filter options

  • Telnet gateway module now supports Unix-Telnet and RLogin servers (e.g. TWGS)

  • Configurable FTP directory aliases (/incoming = bbs://main/uploads)

  • Optional direct-file access to FTP directories (for dynamically generated files)

I've been plugging away at the GNU C/Linux port and have made significant progress in the past week. I'm also seriously considering adding support for MinGW at some point, which along with the Borland C++ Builder Compiler would give us a pair of free Win32 compilers compatible with the Synchronet source (in addition to Microsoft Visual C++). I'm consciously maintaining as much "generic Unix" compatibility as possible in anticipation of ports to other free Unix-like operating systems (e.g. FreeBSD). If you're willing and able to contribute to the porting effort, please take a look at the source code and let me know what you think.

Pistol Grip has made significant contributions to the HTML conversion of the Sysop documentation. You can follow our progress here. More contributors are welcome to join!


October 10, 2000

Synchronet Version 3 has been Copyrighted, but remains free software and is now available as Open Source (under the GNU General Public License).


June 25, 2000

Synchronet v3.0 for Win32 was officially released  to the public and is available for download now. Click here for a list of what's new in v3.0.

While I was over-hauling the source code for v3.0, I found and fixed a few bugs (including some minor Y2K issues) in v2.3. You can download the upgrade to v2.3c beta (for DOS and OS/2) here.

Planned features for the near future include integrated IRC and NNTP servers and GUI sysop utilities.  Click here for the current "to do" list.


January, 2000

If you haven't already heard, I've resumed development of Synchronet. My initial project (v3.0 for Win32) is a Telnet-only multi-user Windows 95/98/NT4/2000 BBS/Internet suite. It includes integrated Telnet, Mail (SMTP/POP3) and FTP Servers. All "nodes" may be run on a single computer in a single window/process (unlike v2.x), or distributed across multiple computers. A Linux version is eminent and an OS/2 port is still a possibility (although SBBS4OS2 v2.3 still runs great and meets the needs of sysops according to reports from the OS/2 community).

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Last edited on April 18, 2010 - Copyright 2009 Rob Swindell