Networks II

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Networks II is an Apple II-based single-tasking BBS package, written by Nick Naimo. It is one of the earlier BBS software programs to be written for the Apple II, which was at the time dominated by mini and mainframe-based BBS', including CBBS. The exact year of its birth is undocumented, but BBSs running Networks II were seen as early as 1981.

Written entirely in Applesoft BASIC and 6502 assembly language, earlier versions of Networks II was compatible with only the Hayes Micromodem II family of modems and compatibles. Later versions were written to take advantage of the Novation Apple-CAT II and the Hayes Smartmodem lines with an Apple Super Serial or compatible card.

Throughout its lifespan, Networks II runs only under DOS 3.x. It also supports up to four Disk II or compatible disk drives.

Original features[edit]

The original, un-hacked features of Networks II include:

  • Text-based, teletype-like display.
  • Individual user name and passwords.
  • Message board, called forums. The original code can handle only one forum.
  • Support for the Thunderware ThunderClock and compatible cards.
  • Chat mode between the sysop and user.
  • Administrative tools. Must take the BBS down in order to run any administrative tasks.
  • ASCII-based Applesoft and Integer BASIC, and binary file downloading. Program source code need to be converted to ASCII before it can be downloadable. The download system only worked if the user dialed-in from BASIC using the Hayes MMII's CTRL key sequences. Once downloading is invoked, Networks II sends the user's Apple II into the language of choice (FP, INT, or CALL -151), the ASCII code is uploaded as if entered by keyboard, and then a SAVE or BSAVE is sent to save the program to disk.

Hacks[edit]

  • Hosting of multiple forums.
  • Threading of forums
  • Binary searching the user entries (instead of sequential database access)
  • Loading pointers into memory instead of the slow sequential text file methology
  • Support for extended and lower case characters.
  • Interactive games and surveys.
  • Switching from Networks II to ASCII Express Professional without disconnecting the user. This allowed Networks II to indirectly support XMODEM, Ward Christensen protocol, ZMODEM, and other advanced file transfer protocols. The only problem with this hack is that ASCII Express Pro cannot re-connect to Networks II.
  • Support for more than two disk drives, i.e. support for multiple volumes when used with a hard disk drive.
  • Support for ProDOS 8.

See also[edit]