City Of Night Bulletin Board ---------------------------- Users' Handbook ---------------- By: Robert Swan Last Update: September 1995 (C) Copyright 1995 City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 2 Table Of Contents ----------------- Chapter 1 - Introduction About Bulletin Boards In General............... 4 How Bulletin Boards Work ...................... 4 Our Purpose ................................... 5 Our History ................................... 7 Our Machine Configuration ..................... 8 Chapter 2 - Connecting To City Of Night Connecting Using The Phone..................... 9 Connecting Via Internet ....................... 11 Connecting Via Radio Packet ................... 11 Equipment/Terminals Supported ................. 11 Logging Into City ............................. 12 Logging Off City .............................. 13 Chapter 3 - City Membership Guest Usage Of City ........................... 14 Becoming A Member Of City ..................... 14 Validation .................................... 14 Rules Of Conduct .............................. 15 Chapter 4 - Basic Usage Tips Basics ........................................ 17 The TOP Menu .................................. 18 The SIG Menu (Special Interest Groups) ........ 18 Disturb Flags ................................. 18 Messages ...................................... 19 Chapter 5 - Electronic Mail Local Electronic Mail ......................... 20 Internet Mail ................................. 20 Chapter 6 - Sending Public Messages Public Message Bases .......................... 21 Special Interest Groups ....................... 22 Stories ....................................... 22 Bulletins ..................................... 23 Voting ........................................ 23 Chapter 7 - Teleconference Basic Teleconference Usage .................... 24 The Teleconference Rooms ...................... 25 Teleconference Commands ....................... 26 Actions ....................................... 28 Invitation Lists .............................. 29 City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 3 Chapter 8 - Chat Modes Private Chat .................................. 30 Public Chat ................................... 31 Broadcast Messages ............................ 31 Accept/Reject Lists ........................... 32 Chapter 9 - Account Information Section Y - Private Account Data .............. 33 Section A - Public Query Data ................. 33 Chapter 10 - Games Credits ....................................... 34 The Games Menu ................................ 34 Labyrinth ..................................... 34 Chapter 12 - File Transfers Section F - File Libraries .................... 35 Rules Regarding Files ......................... 36 Xmodem Protocol ............................... 37 Ascii Protocol ................................ 38 Chapter 13 - Intersystem Connections Pipes ......................................... 39 Aux Ports ..................................... 39 Chapter 14 - Internet Access What Is Internet .............................. 40 Signing Up For Internet ....................... 41 Full Shell Access ............................. 41 Mail-Only Access .............................. 41 World-Wide-Web Page ........................... 41 About City's Internet Connection .............. 41 Chapter 15 - Direct Command Mode The BBS's Architecture ........................ 42 Using Direct Commands ......................... 42 Macros ........................................ 43 Creating Your Own Macros ...................... 43 Command Language Reference .................... 44 City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 4 About Bulletin Boards In General City Of Night is an Online Computer Bulletin Board System. Bulletin Boards (often referred to as BBS's), exist throughout the world as electronic meeting places and centers for the exchange of ideas and information between people using computers. The first BBS's came into existence in the late 1970's, but it wasn't until the mid-1980's that cheap modems and computers made them really popular with large numbers of people. Since that time, BBSing (which is the practice of connecting to, and using, BBS's) has become one of the major uses of home modems and computers. There are many types of Bulletin Board Systems: Commercial - Established by companies to distribute information about their products, or advice and program fixes. Educational - Established by schools to enable parents and teachers to exchange class-related information. Special-Purpose - Established by political or social groups for particular kinds of information. Dating - Designed to enable people to meet and start relationships. General-Purpose - Designed to support a wide variety of changing needs. City Of Night fits in this category. How Bulletin Boards Work Most BBS's consist of a computer located at some central place, running specialized software, and having one or more phone lines and modems attached to it. The computer waits for a call from a user, then answers the phone and connects the user to the BBS. Once connected, the user may take part in whatever activities the particular BBS will support or allow. Most BBS's will only communicate with users who have modems. You will therefore need a modem to connect, as well as a computer running communications software. (You may also connect using a modem and a 'dumb terminal', although with the availability of cheap computers, this has become a rarely used mode.) City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 5 If you dial a BBS's number with a regular telephone, you will hear a number of strange tones when the system answers. These tones are the way modems communicate over the phone, and are a sure sign that you should be using a modem to make the call rather than a regular telephone. Some BBS's (not City) have operating hours. This applies mostly to small BBS's which are sharing a phone line with people who want to use the line for regular calls during the day. Most large BBS's (like City) are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Occasionally, you may call City and not get an answer; this is generally due to maintenance operations being performed by the System Operators (Sysops). Files must be backed up at regular intervals in case of disk failure, and the system will be unable to answer calls at these times. At City, we always attempt to schedule these downtimes at the least busy times of the day, typically Thursday or Friday mornings. If City does not answer, just wait a few minutes and try again. Our Purpose There are two main purposes for City Of Night: 1) City exists to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opinions among the young people of the San Francisco Bay Area. This allows people to socialize and make new friends in a semi-supervised atmosphere where people can remain anonymous. To further this goal, a variety of chat modes and conferencing modes are supported. There are public message posting boards for general subjects, and a large number of special subjects. Users can post questions to be put for an immediate vote by the membership, To insure privacy, users are not required to reveal any personal data about themselves to other users at any time. Users are encouraged to be very careful about giving away their personal information. They should NEVER make info such as home phone number, real name, or address, available to the general user community by posting it to a public message board. Giving out another user's personal data is also contrary to the Rules of Conduct on this system. However, the operators have no control over an individual deciding to tell someone else their personal data. Anyone who does this, does so at their own risk. To promote safety, the Sysop requires that all new users DO provide personal data to the operator of the BBS. This discourages any kind of illegal activity, since the system operator can report such activities to the authorities if necessary. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 6 2) City exists to encourage and assist young people in learning how computers operate and are programmed. Computers will play an ever-increasing role in our lives, and being computer-literate is very important. To further this goal, several special-interest discussion groups are dedicated to computer subjects. City also has a unique feature called Direct Command Mode which allows users to actually program the BBS while they are connected. Several of the system operators are computer professionals in real life, and are available to give advice and suggestions about computer subjects and career choices. City's file libraries have a large number of shareware products to further anyone's computer-related interests. City has other minor goals, of course. If the whole thing where not 'fun', then it would not be successful! Running City has helped the system operators in their own careers, by creating an environment of learning about the needs of modern computer users. And the City's Software was developed with the help of users testing its various functions. City also supports a number of specialized goals, by allowing certain users to run their own special interest areas. These include political discussions, schoolwork discussions, and dating services. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 7 Our History City Of Night started out in 1982. The Sysop was impressed with the Compuserve Information System, and decided to create a similar system using a brand-new Commodore VIC-20 computer with 3500 bytes of memory. This first system was called S.I.N. (The Swan Information Network), and consisted of the VIC-20 computer, a modified VicModem, and a single tape drive for message backup and logging. This little system supported only one user at a time (although the user could chat with the sysop), had electronic mail, and public messages. This proved to be totally inadequate of course. The next improvement came about when the Sysop purchased a 16k memory expander module and a 1540 floppy disk drive. The software was totally rewritten to take advantage of the new machine resources, and it was renamed System-20. It supported multiple, relatively large message bases, improved system status and sysop functions, and a sophisticated command interpreter, but still with only one user at a time. This system was in operation for about a year. During this time, the software was cloned for use by other people. The most successful clone was Randall, but it was never placed into permanent operation. In late 1983, the Commodore C-64 was introduced. The Sysop purchased this machine and a second disk drive, and again began a major rewrite. This new system was called Q.I.N. (Quintessential Information Network), and was highly successful. Although it supported only a single user and no file transfers, its console chat and message base facilities were quite sophisticated and it attracted quite a few callers. (One must remember that in 1983, almost all BBS's were still single-user). Q.I.N. could remain in operation for weeks non-stop. In late 1984, a second version of Q.I.N. was written (called QIN-2), which had a far superior command interpreter and a structure that allowed on-the-fly configuration changes. The intention was to make the interpreter the central processing element (like in the current City), but the C-64 lacked the capacity to accomplish this. No further development was done on the Commodore-based City BBS's. QIN-2 ran for another few years, until its 300-baud modem capacity limit became a significant problem. Our BBS operation was temporarily halted in mid 1985. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 8 In 1986, the Sysop obtained a Leading Edge XT-style computer and started up the BBS again using WildCat shareware. WildCat turned out to be totally unacceptable from a configuration point of view, although it did have many nice features and supported speeds greater than 300 baud. Also, for the first time, we had file libraries! Development of a homegrown BBS program for the IBM was started in late 1987. Goals were set very high. In particular, we wanted: - Support for multiple concurrent users - Support for file transfers - Capability of running on the XT (8088), since 386 computers were still in the $4,000 price range. The initial development took about 1 year, and the new homegrown IBM-based BBS went online in late 1988. This system was called Star-Alameda, although the new software continues to bear the name QIN. Although it had fewer features than many boards, it was an immediate success. This was mostly due to its unique 'feel', and its full implementation of a direct command mode that was capable of executing user programs. It was in 1989 time that the name 'City Of Night' was adopted, at first as a special interest group on the system, then later as the name for the overall system. The first City Of Night had three 1200 baud modems, the Leading Edge 8088 computer, and its 20 meg hard drive. The Sysop's console appeared as a fourth port, and all ports could chat. At the time of its initial release, QIN was more capable than any freeware BBS program, and better than most commercial products designed of 8088 computers. The underlying program architecture has not changed since this release. However, City has continued to grow. Program changes to add ports and memory, improve functionality, and provide user visible expansion have been continuous. City now runs on a 386 clone computer with 700 megs of hard drive space, 4 megs of ram, and 12 modems. There are no definite plans, but in the near future we may port City over to a Unix-based machine where better use can be made of memory. Right now, City runs under DOS. Our Machine Configuration - Homemade 386 clone computer with 64k cache - All homegrown software - 4 megs of 70ns RAM memory, used as EMS. - 1 Zoom 14.4 external modem - 4 Hayes Optima 2400 mnp external modems - 7 CPI 2400 modems - 4 Kouwell 4-port serial cards - 2 Kouwell 2-port serial cards - 1 Connor 540 SCSI hard drive - 1 Maxtor 120 SCSI hard drive - 1 Adaptec SCSI host card - 1 Hercules monochrome video card - 1 Original IBM monochrome monitor City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 9 Chapter 2 - Connecting To City Of Night --------------------------------------- Connecting Using The Phone The preferred method of connecting to City is by using normal phone lines to one of our 12 dial-in modems. There are three phone numbers you might need to know, as described below. Note that City uses a single 'hunt group'; if you dial the first number and its busy, the phone company will automatically switch you to the next available number (unless they are ALL busy, in which case you will get a busy signal.) Unless you have special needs as noted below, you should always connect using the FIRST number. (510) 521-7827 - This is City's primary number, and the number you should use unless you have special needs. This number will ring at all 12 of City's lines, giving you the maximum chance of getting a connection. (510) 521-0327 - This number jumps into the middle of the group, on the first error-correcting modem. It will ring at 5 of City's 12 lines. Use this number if: - You have an error-correcting modem, ie. a modem with v.32 or mnp, AND - You have experienced line noise when using the first number. (510) 521-9606 - This number jumps into the end of the group, on the 14.4 modem. It rings only a single line out of City's 12 lines, so you have the least chance of getting in. You should only use this number if: - You have a modem which is faster than 2400 (ie. 9600, 14.4, or 28.8), AND - You have a need for a high speed connection because you want to transfer files or do other intensive operations. Note: Even though you dial the low-speed number, you may be connected to the high-speed line if all the low-speed lines are busy. This is normal. We want everyone to be connected! City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 10 You will generally have to follow this procedure to dial into City: 1) Boot up your computer, and start your communications program. City will work with almost any communications program, including telix, procomm, qmodem, Windows Terminal, etc. 2) If you are given the option, tell your program to perform ANSI-BBS emulation. If this is not available, then select VT100 emulation. If no emulations are available on your program, you will probably still be able to connect; just skip this step. 3) Tell your communications program to dial the number for our BBS. This is done differently in various programs. In procomm, you press alt-d. If your program does not have dialing capability, you might be able to get your modem to dial by typing: ATDT5217827 <-- Put in the correct number If you are using a DUMB MODEM (non-Hayes compatible), you might have to pick up a phone, and dial the number yourself. When City answers with a load tone, merely switch on your DUMB MODEM, and hang up the phone. This type of equipment is now pretty rare. 4) You might have to tell your program to wait up to 60 seconds for a connection. The default wait time is often set to 30 seconds, which is sometimes too short for a busy system like City. 5) You should get a connected message, first from your program, then from City. You might have to press your
key a few times to bring this up, especially if you have an error-correcting modem and you are not calling our error-correcting line. 6) At the prompts, enter your City Of Night User Name and secret password. If you do not yet have an account on City, and if the system offers you the option, use the name guest. Note that upper and lower case are ignored in this login process. However, your backspace key might not be handled correctly. If you mistype, just press your key and try again. You will be given several chances. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 11 Connecting Via Internet City Of Night supports two kinds of connections via the Internet: 1) Guest connections. Telnet to Citynight.com and login as 'guest'. This option is only switched on occasionally. 2) Subscriber connections. Telnet to Citynight.com and login with your Citynight Unix password. When connected to Citynight, type: city or: city2. This option is available at all times to our Internet Service Subscribers, but since there are only two ports available, we encourage users to dial in instead. Connecting Via Radio Packet City sometimes allows connections via radio, using the amateur radio packet switching system. Our address is WA6ZJG-2, and once a packet connection to this address is made, you login using the normal commands. Note that passwords sent over the packet system are not very secure! To make use of this option, you will need a radio license and some specialized equipment. While we welcome such experimental activities, the primary use of this facility is to allow connections from remote sites like our Gatherings, where no phone lines are available. Equipment/Terminals Supported City is designed specifically to be compatible with any terminal or communications program. While it might not exploit the full capabilities of your terminal, you should be able to use City adequately. City uses primarily ANSI-BBS communications, which is a compatible superset of the time-honored VT-100 protocol. You should try to get your communications equipment operating in this mode, in order to take advantage of color output and quick cursor movement. However, City can be switched to 'plain ascii text' output. (It defaults to this mode when you connect as a guest, but remembers the last mode you used.) In non-ANSI, plain text mode, City should be compatible with 100% of ascii terminals. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 12 Logging Onto City Everyone on City Of Night has a unique 'User Name'. This name identifies you to the system, and can be almost any name(s) or word(s) you like. The Sysop reserves the right to limit your choice based on good taste and to avoid confusion. The username is sometimes referred to as a 'handle'. You should NOT use your real name as your Username since this name is visible to all other users on the system. You may tell your friends your Username. In addition to the Username, you will have a Password. You should never tell anyone your password. Choose a password which is hard to guess, and is not associated with you in real life. (See the section on Security for more hints.) A valid combination of your Username and Password are required for you to connect to City. Once you have established a connection to City, you will see prompts from our system for your Username and Password. If you have already been granted an account on City (and have been told your username and password), you should enter them. There are rules against using a username that belongs to another user, although it is sometimes permitted. If you are unable to get past the prompts with your Username, then look for the option to enter the name GUEST. This will allow you to connect using a guest account, where you can e-mail the Sysop for information about your Username. The guest facility is not always turned on; in particular, if the system is very busy with regular users, guests might not be allowed. When you log in as a guest, your access will be very limited. Guest accounts are designed to let you look around the system and decide if you'd like to become a member. If you decide to apply for membership, select option R at the Top Menu. There are two membership-granting modes available: 1) Immediate username allocation - You will be allowed to create a new username immediately for yourself. This account will still be somewhat restricted until you are validated, but it will be far better than a guest account. Anyone caught creating multiple usernames for themselves will be banned from the system. 2) Delayed allocation - You will be allowed to submit your personal data and choice of a username, but not to create it. The Sysop reviews these applications, and contacts the persons by phone to set up the account. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 13 Logging Off City You can disconnect from City at any time simply by hanging up your phone connection. This does not hurt City, the way it hurts some other BBS software products. You may also logoff type selecting option L from the Top Menu. This option will request confirmation, and also give you the chance to connect again using a different Username (without hanging up the phone and risking the lose of your dial-in connection.) This is very useful if several members of the family want to connect, and the system is very busy. Be sure to save or post any messages or files you are working on before logging off; City does not save your work automatically. Also note that there are certain time limits which can cause you to be logged off automatically, as well as line noise detectors to prevent an 'runaway modem' from posting garbage. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 14 Chapter 3 - City Membership --------------------------- Guest Usage Of City City Of Night sometimes allows users to connect using a Guest Account. Guest accounts are designed for three purposes: 1) If you are unable to logon using your regular Username for any reason, you can connect as a guest then contact the Sysop for assistance via electronic mail. This sometimes happens when a user forgets his password. 2) Guest accounts enable first-time users to try out the system without establishing an account, to decide if they want to become members. 3) During times when new members are not being accepted, guest accounts can be used to try out the system anyway. By connecting occasionally as a guest, you can stay in touch and read announcements about when new users might again be accepted. Guest accounts are quite limited. They have a very short time limit per call, and there are many functions that are blocked. Guests are not generally allowed to post any messages or view other users public query data. Becoming A Member Of City If you like City Of Night, and want to become a member, you will have to apply for membership. This is done from the Top Menu by selecting option M. There are no charges or fees associated with City use or membership. You will be asked to select a Username and a Password, and to enter some real data about yourself, including your real name, address, and voice phone number. This information is required; without it, your account will not be opened. The information will be verified, and your account will be closed if the information does not check out. Depending on the new user mode selected by the Sysop, you might be able to create your new account and start using it immediately, or you might have to wait for the Sysop to verify your information. Validation Validation is the process followed by the Sysop of checking your personal data to decide if you should be granted membership in City. Since City Of Night is a privately owned, privately run, no-charge system, the Sysop's are under no obligation to admit anyone, and may close an account at any time. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 15 Validation will generally involve a phone call to the number you gave us in your application. The phone number you give must be a VOICE phone number, not a modem/BBS number, not a pager number, and not an answering machine number. The Sysop's will try a reasonable number of times to reach you at this number, then drop you from the validation list. If you really want membership, leave a number where you can be reached. Rules Of Conduct We all hate rules, but to insure a smooth-running community and to protect the members, some rules are necessary. The Sysop will make all determinations of when rules have been broken. Sanctions from breaking City's rules can range from a letter of warning to permanent banishment from the BBS. Other actions which cause trouble for the Sysop or User community can lead to sanctions, even if not mentioned here. But this is a fairly complete list of the actions which can get you into trouble on City: 1) Giving fake information for validation. You must keep us up-to-date with your real name, address, and phone number. If at any time your data does not check out, your account will be closed. 2) Threats against any user will not be tolerated. The excuse 'well he threatened me first' will not be accepted. If someone threatens you, e-mail the Sysop about it. 3) Excessive profanity, either in chat, messages or anywhere on the BBS. 4) Using someone else's account is not allowed. The only exception is when you have the persons permission, and are doing it because the person is unable to connect themselves. In this case, you must not impersonate the owner of the account to other users or the Sysop. 5) Giving out personal information about other users is not allowed. This is meant to cover such info as their real name, phone number, address, school, workplace, etc. 6) Any illegal activity, or discussion of illegal activity, will get your account closed immediately, and can also lead to your name being reported to police or other authorities. This includes drug dealing, software piracy, or any other illegal activity. This is intended to prevent City from becoming a meeting place for criminals; innocent discussions of any subject ARE allowed, so long as City does not become part of a real or planned crime. 7) Flooding another user with messages or broadcasts, so they cannot use the system effectively, is not allowed and will generally result in your broadcast ability being turned off. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 16 8) Any attempt to hack into City, or to hack into other people's accounts. Exception: if you suspect there is a system bug, you may report the situation to the Sysop then try to exploit it. If you find a security bug in our software, you must report it. Reports of actual bugs will be rewarded with credits or extra privleges. 9) Any kind of harassment of other users, or any action intended to make the system less usable to other people or to damage the system in any way, is not allowed. 10) Users are not allowed to impersonate a system operator. 11) Any activity which the Sysop's do not like will be stopped. There is one overall fact that you should remember when you connected to City Of Night: City is a privately owned system. All data entered into City is the property of the Sysop. The Sysop has the right to deny access to anyone, and does not have to give any reason. By your usage of City, you agree to these terms. The City's computer is in the Sysop's home, so everyone who connects is actually a guest in the Sysop's home. Politeness and consideration for the Sysop and other users must always be exercised. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 17 Chapter 4 - Basic Usage Tips ---------------------------- Basics Most menu options in City Of Night can be selected by simply pressing the single key associated with the option. For example, if the menu reads: S - Send A Message Q - Quit Enter Selection --> Then you need only press the 'S' key on your keyboard to select the Send A Message option. You do not have to shift the S to upper case, since most menus will understand either lower or upper case. You also do not generally have to press the key when selecting options; if the only allowed response is a single letter, the system will respond immediately when that letter is pressed, and not wait for an to be pressed. There are two exceptions: - If the possible responses include values with more than one keystroke, but your choice is a single keystroke, you will have to press after your single keystroke. - When you are entering text (such as in a letter or teleconference), the key signals to our software that your entry is finished. In most cases, the system will insert an keystroke for you when you approach the end of the line. However, in cases like these, your last word might get cut off, so its better to press return yourself. (There is 'wordwrap' in some places, but not in all places.) If at any time you are unsure what to do next, try just pressing the key, or the '?' key. One of these keys will generally bring up a menu of the possible choices you can make. If you make a mistake while typing text, you can use your key to move back and correct it. However, the backspace key on some computers is non-standard. If your backspace key does not appear to work correctly, try going into Section Y and setting the 'Type Of Backspace' option for your account. Cursor keys are not recognized by the City software. There is no full-screen edit facility at the current time. If you press a cursor key, you will likely get some garbage characters like [D. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 18 City does not 'queue up' your keystrokes like some systems. You will have to wait for a prompt before you will be allowed to type anything. Note that excessive keystrokes before a prompt appears may cause the 'run-away modem detector' to be triggered, which will log you off. If requires several hundred keystrokes to fool the detector this way, so don't worry too much. The TOP Menu When you connect to City Of Night, you will receive several pages of system announcement messages and account status messages, then you will be placed in the TOP MENU. The Top Menu is the main central point of control for the BBS; from the Top Menu, options branch out in all directions. The options of the main menu are commonly called 'Sections'. Pressing the '?' key will cause the Top Menu to display the options available. Note that if you are a guest caller, or are not yet validated, then some of the options will be restricted. The Top Menu prompt includes a message reminding you of how many minutes you have left this call before the system logs you off. The SIG Menu By pressing 'J' on the Top Menu, you will be taken to section J, which is the Special Interest Group Menu. This menu contains pointers to areas of the system which are run by appointed users rather than the Sysop. Some options lead to simple message bases; other options lead to entire sub-menu systems. Since City allows users to program their own menus, you will see some strange things, which often change. If you would like to run a SIG, discuss the possibilities with the Sysop. Disturb Flags City Of Night includes facilities for users to interrupt each each other to initiate chats, etc. However, some users do not want to be interrupted. To control interruptions, there are three flags: Your Do-Not-Disturb Flag - If set off, the system will allow users to interrupt you with chat requests and broadcasts. The only users who cannot interrupt you, are users you have placed on your 'reject list'. Once set on, the system will not allow users to interrupt you. The only users who will still be allowed to interrupt you, are users that you have placed on your 'accept list'. You can change the setting of your flag, and update the accept/reject lists, using either section R from the Top Menu, or by using commands in teleconference. Your Inform Flag - If set off, then you will be notified each time a user connects to the system. If set on, you will not be notified. This flag is set in section Y. Your NoInform Flag - If set off, other users will be informed when you connect. If set on, other users will not be informed. This flag is set in section Y. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 19 Messages City Of Night supports the creation and dissemination of information among users via messages. There are several ways that messages can be saved and organized, which will be detailed later. For now, we will discuss some of the characteristics of messages and some ways that you can handle them. A message is a piece of text which can be up to 39 lines long. You can type this text into City using the editing capabilities of the City software. City's editor is designed for really 'dumb' terminals, and allows you to type the information in one line at a time. There is wordwrap, so if you simply keep typing, City will make sure that the last word on each line is not broken. You can pause your data entry at any time by typing /q at the beginning of a line. When so paused, you will be presented with editing options: D - To delete a line L - To list the lines you have typed so far M - To modify a line. The original line will be displayed, and you can type in the replacement underneath it. Q - To quit editing, and abort your message. B - To broadcast a one-line comment directly to another user who is online, without aborting your message. C - To continue your message entry. S - To save your message. Instead of pressing /q then S, you can also save your message immediately by typing /s at the beginning of a line. Each message entered in City is assigned a unique serial number when it is saved. This number will appear whenever the message is displayed, and can be used to identify a message specifically. (This is generally needed only when making some kind of complaint about message content to the Sysop.) City's message editor is primitive, and many users find it easier to create their messages on their own home computers then use 'ascii upload' to put them onto City. This is perfectly acceptable, and works quite well so long as you remember the line and message size limits for City messages. You may also want to save a copy of a message (particularly a mail message) on your own computer. After you have read an interesting message and decided that you want a copy, turn on 'ascii file capture' or 'logging' on your home computer, then press 'A' to read the message again. Note that guidelines against harassment and profanity apply to messages, and your message might be deleted if its offensive. Repeated offensive postings might result in suspension of your ability to post. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 20 Chapter 5 - Electronic Mail --------------------------- Local Electronic Mail City Of Night includes an electronic mail system which allows you to send private messages to other users on City. No one can read your private messages except you, the destination user, and the Sysop. (The Sysop does not pry into users' mail; but in cases of harassment by mail, the Sysop may need to read mail to investigate allegations of harassment. If you feel you are the victim of harassment by mail, don't delete the message you have received. Inform the Sysop, and he will read the message and take appropriate action.) City's mail system is somewhat limited. You should delete your mail as soon as you can (after reading it), to conserve space in the mail database. City should not be used as your permanent file cabinet! Typically, mail will be deleted automatically after a few weeks, even if it has not been read. But do not rely on this process; please delete your read mail as soon as you can. City supports a 'receipt' feature for mail. If your message is important, you can request that you be notified when your destination user has read the message you are sending. City will notify you that new mail has arrived in these three ways: - When you logon, you will get a message saying that you have new mail - If you are logged on when you get new mail, and if your do-not-disturb flag is off, you will receive an automatic broadcast when someone sends you mail. - Each time you go back to the Top Menu prompt, the system checks for and reports on new mail. Internet Mail At various times in the past, City Of Night's mail system has been integrated into the world wide Internet mail system. However, at the current time there is no such connection. City's mail is local only, it only operates between users of the BBS. Internet mail is available to City users, along with other Internet services, but these services must be subscribed-to separately. Please refer to the chapter on Internet Services. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 21 Chapter 6 - Sending Public Messages ----------------------------------- Public Message Bases The City's software supports up to 50 public message bases. Some of these bases are dedicated to topics of general interest, and many others are on loan to special interest groups. The bases dedicated to the general user community are grouped into section P (press P from the Top Menu). Here you will find areas for general announcements, buy-and-sell, gossip, announcements of new privately-run BBS's, and other subjects of interest to everyone. Most of the more specialized message bases are in section J. Wherever they are located, the message bases all function in the same way. Messages are organized into 'strings', where someone has posted a 'subject message', and other users have added their 'comments'. Each base is limited to 50 subjects, and each subject may have 13 comments. Each base is assigned an owner, who has delete authority for all messages in the base. Besides the owner, only the person who posted a message (or the sysop), may delete a message. Co-owners can also be assigned to a message base, and they will also have global delete access. The main owner of the base can change the title of the base at any time. Here is an explanation of the options available in a message base: Press: R - to read all the messages in the base, in chronological order. N - to read all the messages posted since the last time you were in the message base (the NEW messages). The 'new message flag' for each message is not reset until you disconnect from City; therefore is you go into a message base twice in the same logon session, the same messages will be read twice as 'new'. S - Start reading at a specific subject number. Not very useful unless someone tells you the subject number to start at. L - List the message subjects. Useful for quickly getting the feeling for what has been posted. If you see a subject you like, you can note the number of the subject message, then use option S. A - Add a new subject. You will be allowed to edit a message which will then be added as a new subject. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 22 C - Change the message base title. This option will only appear for the owner of the base. Q - Quit the message base. Once you have selected an option to read messages, they will be displayed to you one page at a time. At the end of each message, a list of options will appear. The exact options vary depending on various factors. Here are the possible options: Press Q - To quit reading messages. You will be returned to the message base main options prompt. N - Next Subject. Any other comments associated with the current subject are skipped. R - Read the next comment or subject. D - Delete the message you just read. If you press D after reading a subject message, you will delete not only the subject, but all its comments as well. A - Add a comment to the current subject string. Special Interest Groups Special Interest Groups (or SIG's for short), are created by the Sysop in response to requests by users. They are generally devoted to fairly narrow subjects, although many exist as 'private playgrounds' for small groups of users, rather than them being subject oriented. Most of the SIG's are in the section J menu. Some of the larger SIG's are reached directly from the Top Menu. Most of the SIG's are owned an run by users other than the Sysop. SIG's may consist of simply a message base, or they may have their own menu with many options and be, in effect, like a mini-BBS. Stories Story bases are a special type of message base in which the messages are organized into a single long string. The messages are referred to as 'chapters'. The intention of a story base is to allow the users to actually write a book, by adding chapters to the storyline. The options and usage for story bases are similar to regular message bases. The owner of a story base may enforce a certain etiquette by, for example, deleting any chapter which does not fit in the storyline. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 23 Bulletins Bulletin bases are a special type of message base in which the messages are not organized at all. The have the ability to display their unread messages at logon, or on entry to particular parts of the BBS. Their intended use is to make announcements. Voting Ballot bases are used to submit questions to the user community and gather opinions. Messages take the form of a question which can by up to three lines long (beware - there is not wordwrap when you are entering a ballot question. Please try to hit your enter key prior to reaching the end of the line!) At the time a question is entered, the posting users must also enter three responses. A fourth response of 'none of the above' is always added automatically. Users may then vote on these questions by reading the question and selecting one of the four responses. The answers will be tallied by the system, and are available for display by reading the questions. Here are the options available in a ballot base: Press: D - To display the poll results for all questions. V - To vote on any new questions. You will only be allowed to vote once on each question. A - Add a question to the ballot. R - Remove a question from the ballot. Only the user who added the question, the ballot owner, and the sysop can remove a question. C - Change the title of a ballot. Only the owner of the ballot and the sysop can change the title. Q - Quit the ballot area. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 24 Chapter 7 - Teleconference -------------------------- Basic Teleconference Usage Teleconference (or TCON for short) is a City Of Night facility which enables 2 or more persons to engage in a free-flowing, live conversation using their computers. Each person in tcon may type the comment they wish to make with few interruptions, and with the ability to backspace and change the comment before it is sent to the other users. Each comment is sent out as an entire sentence to the other users in the conference, with the senders handle appended to the front of the sentence. Word-wrap is used to make sure that long comments are readable without having words broken between lines. A single comment may be up to 240 characters long (3 normal screen lines). The teleconference main menu is in section T (press T from the Top Menu). All validated users are invited to take part. The main Tcon menu presents the following options: Press: L - To list the available tcon 'rooms'. See the next section for a discussion of tcon rooms. W - Change the welcome message associated with your personal tcon room. A - Allocate a public or private tcon room (only available to sysop and co-sysops). R - Remove a public or private tcon room (only available to sysop and co-sysops). B - Broadcast a one-line comment to another user. Useful for inviting them to come to a tcon room with you. C - Set up your 'custom action'. See the next section for a discussion of actions. D - Display the global action list. See the next section for a discussion of actions. S - Set the color of your typing. This will affect the display color of your comments while in tcon, both to you and the others reading your comments. I - Display the rooms which are currently being used. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 25 # - Enter teleconference room number #. (Don't press the # key, press the number of the room you want.) Q - Quit the teleconference. To take part in a teleconference discussion, you should first press I to display the rooms in use. If you see a room with other users in it, then enter the number of that room and you will then be placed in the teleconference with those users. The entry and exit of each user to a given room is announced to the other users in the room. To exit from a room, type /q at the start of a line. You should immediately see the comments made by other users in the room. To join in the conversation, merely type your comment and press . The Teleconference Rooms There are three types of teleconference rooms. The options and capabilities are similar in each type, but the access and defaults are different. Your conversation is bounded by the room you are in, people in other rooms do not receive your comments. Public Rooms - Created and owned by the Sysop. Anyone can use these rooms at any time. Everyone is invited. These rooms are permanent. Private Rooms - Created and owned by the Sysop. These rooms are intended for specific groups, and access can be restricted by the Sysop. These rooms are permanent. User Rooms - Each user is allocated a teleconference room that they can use as they see fit. User rooms are private; access is by invitation only. User rooms are not permanent: they are created when the owner logs on, and they disappear when the owner logs off. Any users who are in a user room when the owner logs off will be pushed out to the tcon main menu. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 26 Teleconference Commands There are many commands available inside the teleconference rooms. You may access the list of commands by typing /? at the start of a line. All tcon commands are invoked with a / at the start of a line. Here is a description of the command. Note that some commands might not be applicable to all the types of rooms, and some commands may require special access. The list shows the commands in upper case, but lower case is also accepted. Press: /? - List the available commands. /Q - Quit the teleconference conversation. /W - Display a list of who is connected to the BBS, and what they are doing. /S - Show information about the room you are in, and list the users who are in the room with you. /A msg - Send a one-time action message directed to all users in the room. You must specify the text of the action message after the 'A'. /A,x msg - Send a one-time action message directed to the user on port x. /C msg - Set up your custom action message. /C ? - Display (to you only) your custom action message. /L - List all the users who are invited to the room you are in. /D - Toggle your do-not-disturb flag on and off. /G ? - Display the global action list. /G act - Send global action 'act' directed to all users in the room. /G,x act - Send global action 'act' directed to the user on port x. /B,x msg - Send a private one-line comment to the user on port x. This is known on City as a broadcast, but on some other systems its called a whisper. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 27 /Z,x - Zap. Bump the user on port x off the system completely. The users modem line is hung up, but the account is not closed. /F,x - Display information about the user on port x. This consists of the users 'public query' information. /N handle - Change your teleconference handle. The tcon handle is the name which is displayed in front of your comments to the other users in the conference. This handle defaults to your regular system username, but you may change it to anything you wish. Using tcon handles to impersonate the sysop is not allowed. /CL ? - Display the list of available colors for your tcon display printing. /CL x - Set your tcon printing color to color number x. /SQ,x - Squelch the user on port x. After you use this command, any comments made by that user will not be displayed to you. This is useful if you find a particular user bothersome of offensive. /SQ - Turn off your squelch facility. /I,ALL - Invite all users of the BBS into the current room. /I,x - Invite the user on port x. /I,name - Invite the user named 'name'. /U,ALL - Uninvite all users from the current room. /U,x - Uninvite the user on port x. /U,name - Uninvite the user named 'name'. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 28 /AC f name - Update your accept list. See the chapter on chat modes for a description of your accept list. 'Name' is the username to add or delete from the list. 'F' can be one of: lst - display the list add - add 'name' to list del - delete 'name' from list. /RJ f name - Update your reject list. See the chapter on chat modes for a description of your reject list. 'Name' is the username to add or delete from the list. 'F' can be one of: lst - display the list add - add 'name' to list del - delete 'name' from list. Actions Actions are special sayings that a teleconference user can send out to the other users in the conference. There are three type of actions: One-Time Actions - These are created by the /A command. You must type in the test you want sent, by placing it after the 'A' in the /A command. Your Custom Action - If there is a saying that you like to use often, then instead of using the /A command, you can have it stored in your custom action area using the /C command. Just type the text you want after the 'C' in the /C command. Global Actions - There is a large file of common sayings that people like to make. Some are humorous, some mildly derogatory. These actions are all referred to by names. You can display the names and content of the global actions using /G ? and send one out using either /G name or /G,x name. User suggestions for new global actions are sometimes added to the lists. Actions are differentiated from normal comments in two ways: Handle Display Color - The tcon handle color is normally displayed as magenta for female users, cyan for male users, and green for users who have not set their sex in the query information. Actions are displayed in yellow. Pronoun Substitution - Since the saying can be used in a variety of ways, and referring to many different people, City supports a substitution of special symbols within the action text, with the correct pronoun for the situation. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 29 Within the text of the action message, the special symbols #1 through #8 are replaced as follows: #1 - The sender's tcon handle #2 - The target user's tcon handle. If no specific user was mentioned (the action was directed at all the users in the room), then the value "Everyone" is used. #3 - A second-person pronoun which refers to the sender, "He", "She", or "It". #4 - A possessive pronoun which refers to the sender, "His", "Her", or "It's". #5 - A third-person pronoun which refers to the sender, "Him", "Her", or "It". #6 - A second-person pronoun which refers to the target, "He", "She", "It", or "Everyone". #7 - A possessive pronoun which refers to the sender, "His", "Her", "It's", or "Their". #8 - A third-person pronoun which refers to the sender, "Him", "Her", "It", or "Them". Invitation Lists The non-public teleconference rooms each have associated with them an invitation list. Up to 25 users may be on an invitation list at any time. The list determines which users will be granted access to the non-public rooms. A user will always be granted access to their own User Room, without having to be on the list. The lists are maintained by the room owners from within the teleconference, using the commands: /L - Show who is on the list. Any user may use this command to display the invite list. /U... - Uninvite (remove) a user from the list /I... - Invite (add) a user to the list. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 30 Chapter 8 - Chat Modes ---------------------- Private Chat City Of Night has a live, one-on-one chat mode which is unusual in most BBS systems. This mode connects 2 or more users in a very intimate way; as you type each character, it is immediately displayed on the terminals of any other users in your chatroom. Even mistakes, and your backspacing over them, will be displayed. This results in a very 'live' communication. Only one person can type at a time, so you must be polite with each other, just like in a real conversation. This mode is primarily designed for two people to chat. The system will allow more than two persons into a chatroom, but they must cooperate or the conversation will be unreadable, just like in a large group talking together! You use option C from the Top Menu to select a chat mode. The following options will be available: Press: O - For one-on-one private chat. M - For multi-user public chat. This is described in the next section. The user you want to chat with will be interrupted by the system and asked if they want to chat with you. You will both have to wait until the user replies. However, after 30 seconds, if the user has not replied you will receive a message that the user has not responded. If the user responds 'yes', then you will both be placed into the next available chatroom. You have no choice as to which room you are placed in, but it does not matter since they are all the same. As each person speaks, the system will provide a header indicating the name if the person speaking, but the messages are not broken into lines like in tcon. The flow is natural, with only the addition of wordwrap. There are some commands that you can execute from within chat mode. They are recognized anywhere in they line, but must each be followed immediately with a key: Press: /Q - To exit from chat mode /? - To review the list of commands City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 31 /W - To display the list of users connected to the BBS, and what they are doing /D - To toggle your do-not-disturb flag on and off /B,x msg - To broadcast a private comment to the user on port x. /S,x - To invite the user on port x into your private chat room. This is the only way three or more users can get into a private chat room together. /K,x - To push the user on port x out of a chatroom. /Z,x - Zap (bump user on port x off the system.) Control-C - Quick exit from chat mode. All users who enter and exit a chatroom are announced to any users who remain in the room. To reduce the likelihood of impersonation, certain characters are filtered out in chat mode, including the ">" symbol. Public Chat Public chat mode (option M in the chat menu) is very similar to private chat, except that anyone can enter it at any time. There is only a single public chat room in the system. Broadcast Messages Broadcast (called whisper on some other systems) is a method of sending a one-line private comment to another user on the system. The user must be logged on; if the user disconnects they message will not be delivered. Broadcast messages will pop out on your screen asynchronously, as soon as the sender issues them. They are always accompanied by a header indicating who they are from. You may send broadcast messages from many places in the system, including: - Option B from the Top Menu - Using /B in Teleconference - Using /B in Chat Mode - Using /Q then option B in message edit. Be careful when typing your broadcast messages, particularly in teleconference. If you forget the /, then the system will not recognize your typing as a broadcast, and your private message will be displayed for everyone to see! City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 32 Accept/Reject Lists Each user is allowed to maintain two lists of other users, which can control the level to which they are willing to be disturbed and by whom. They control whether or not you will be interrupted by broadcasts and chat requests: Your Accept List - This list of up to 24 users specifies who you ALWAYS want to hear from, even if your do-not-disturb flag is set on. Put your closest friends on this list. Your Reject List - This list of up to 24 users specifies who you NEVER want to hear from, even if your do-not-disturb flag is set off. Put people on this list if you are not interested in hearing from them. Note: If you are being harassed by another user, report this to the Sysop. These lists can be updated in Section Y, or more easily in teleconference. There are other controls which you can use to prevent interruptions: /SQ - To squelch out a particular user in a teleconference. Inform flag - Used to turn of system messages which would otherwise inform you of who is connecting to the BBS. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 33 Chapter 9 - Account Information ------------------------------- Section Y - Private Account Data Option Y from the Top Menu will take you to a menu of options related to private information about your account. The information you enter here will not be accessible to any other user except the Sysop. The items on this menu change from time to time, however here is a discussion of some of the more important items: Your Password - Use this option to change your password. You should never let anyone know your password. Use a password that is impossible to guess, and not a word or phrase that your friends might know you for. Refer to the section on Security for more information about keeping your account safe. Note: if someone guesses your password, they can access your private files and mail, and you might be blamed for anything bad they do. So please keep your password safe. Your Username - City allows you to change your Username anytime you want. (This is not generally allowed on other systems.) We ask only that you not use any profanity in your Username. Also, the name must be made up only of the letters A through Z, digits 0 through 9, and the dash "-". It must start with a letter. You should NOT use your real name. Be sure you remember any changes you make to your username or password; you cannot log onto City without them! If you forget your username or password, please do not establish another account. Logon as guest and notify the Sysop. Inform Flag - This flag determines if other users will be informed when you connect to City. NoInform Flag - This flag determines if you will be informed by the system when other users connect. Real Info - You must always keep the Sysop informed of your address and phone number. Section A - Public Query Data Option A from the Top Menu takes you to a menu of options related to your Public Query Data. The Sysop does not require that you enter any data here; it is totally optional. The data here includes such items as your location, your sex, your favorite hobby, your profession. These are things that other users ask to get to know you better. You can insert your own data or query the user database about other user's data. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 34 Chapter 10 - Games ------------------ Credits City of Night keeps track of the number of Credits that each user has been awarded or earned. These are, in effect, a form of 'play money' for use on the system. You get credits by: - Being paid a salary. Each time you connect for the first time in a day, you are paid a certain amount. The amount depends on how long you have been a member of City. - By uploading files to the library. The number of credits you are paid depends on the size of the file. - By winning at games. Some of the games allow you to win credits. You lose credits by: - Downloading files, unless file downloads happen to be free. - By playing games. Some of the games have an entrance fee. The Games Menu City has a few games. The collection of games changes from time to time. We are also looking for users to help write new games. Some of the games cost credits to play. A few will also allow you to win credits. Labyrinth The Labyrinth is a complex game that is still under construction by several users here at City. You are welcome to try it out, but please don't report any bugs to the Sysop. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 35 Chapter 12 - File Transfers --------------------------- Section F - File Libraries City of Night maintains file libraries for the exchange of software between users. Most of the libraries are available by selecting option F in the Top Menu. Some of the libraries are also available in the Special Interest Groups. There are about 50 libraries, which allows us to organize our selection of files by many subjects. In the Files Menu, the following options are available: Press: L - To list the libraries which are available. I - To display the latest information about file transfers. N - To search all the libraries for New files, uploaded since you last connected to City. R - Reset the New Files flag in all libraries. Use this option is you have been away from City for a while, and don't want the New Files display to list every file in the system. S - Show the disk space available for uploads. # - Select a library. (Don't type the # key, instead type the number of the library you want). You should first type L to list the available libraries, then enter the number of the library that interests you. Once you enter a library, the following options will be available: Press: L - To list all files in this library. S - To search the library. You can enter any string of characters, like "pk" to search for PKUNZIP. The search facility checks all the filenames and descriptions of files. Do not enter DOS wild-card specifications, like PK*.*; these are not recognized. N - List new files, uploaded since you last connected to City. I - Information about a file, including how big the file is, its description, who uploaded it, and when. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 36 R - Read a file. This can be used to view text files without having to download them. You can optionally have page breaks inserted. If you use this function with a non-text file, you might get surprising results. U - Upload a file to the library using Xmodem protocol. D - Download a file from the library using Xmodem protocol. E - Erase a file from the library. You must be the owner of the library, or the user who uploaded the file. C - Copy a file to another library. You must be the owner of both libraries to perform this function. M - Mark a file. This toggles the downloadable flag on and off. Available only to the Sysop. T - Change the title of the library. Only the owner and the Sysop can perform this function. A - Add an existing file. Only the sysop can perform this function, which can be used to move files around from the system console. Q - Exit from the library. Rules Regarding Files Users must not upload adult picture files to the City Of Night. There is one library available for adult text files; please do not put adult materials into any other library. All files are downloaded at your own risk. The Sysop does not perform virus scans on files, or check them for correct operation. We would like to hear about any trouble you have with a file, so we can correct the problem, delete the file, and/or warn other users, but we will not accept any responsibility for damage done to your computer system. All files uploaded to City must be shareware or freeware. We take copyright laws very seriously, and anyone who uploads pirate software will be banned immediately. If you are in doubt about the status of a file, contact the Sysop. Don't upload any MAC files. This is primarily an IBM system. We certainly support communication with MAC computers for access to most BBS functions, but we are not about to waste any library space on MAC files. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 37 Don't upload any SOUND files (.WAV, .MID, etc.) These files take up way to much space. Please check the various libraries before you upload a new file, to make sure we don't already have it. Sometimes, the name of the file might not be exactly the same, so pay attention to file sizes and descriptions. Do not upload any chain-letter or make-$ files. Use PKZIP or other compression utilities to reduce the size of large binary files, especially .EXE and .BMP files. GIF files are already compressed. You can leave text files uncompressed, since they typically don't take up that much space, and people like to read them online. Xmodem Protocol City of Night supports only Xmodem protocol for file transfers. Please do not ask about other protocols. To use Xmodem, you will need a terminal emulation program (comm program) which supports Xmodem transfers. Almost all programs will work. The success of a file transfer depends on many factors, including having compatible software and a noise-free phone line. Here are the general procedures; they may vary somewhat for your particular comm program. Example keystrokes are for PROCOMM: - Press option F at the Top Menu - Press L to view the list of libraries. Note the number of the library you are interested in. - Enter the number of the library, to get to the library prompt. - Press L to list the available files. Note the name of the file you are interested in. - Press D to download a file. - Press 1, 2, or 3, to select the version of Xmodem you want to use. Checksum mode (1) is the most commonly supported. CRC (2) has much better error checking, but sometimes there are incompatibilities between comm programs and City. 1K (3) is a faster version of (2). You should use the highest number that your comm program will support. If in doubt, use (2). If that fails, try (1). - Enter the filename you want to download. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 38 - If all is well, the system will issue a message to the effect that its ready to transfer the file. This is your signal to go into your own comm program start the transfer on your end. In PROCOMM, you do this by pressing the Page-Down key, then 1, then entering the filename you want. Note that this must be accomplished within about 1 minute, since City will timeout waiting for the transfer to start. - Uploading is performed in a similar fashion; you press U on City to select upload, enter the protocol and filename, then initiate upload in your comm program (the Page-Up key in PROCOMM). Ascii Protocol City allows you to 'read a file' directly from the library. This is, in effect, an ASCII Download. If you turn on ascii capture or 'logging' on your comm program, then initiate a file read without page breaks, you can download a text file quickly. There is no error correction in this mode. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 39 Chapter 13 - Intersystem Connections ------------------------------------ Pipes The City Of Night Software supports 'pipes', which are direct connections between user ports for game playing and other uses. They are available in Section G (press G from the Top Menu). At the current time, only two users at a time are allowed in a pipe. Users who wish to use a pipe should first use chat or broadcast to arrange a time, then they should simply both go into section G and select the same pipe. You exit a pipe by sending a break signal. (Not all comm programs are capable of sending a break signal; PROCOMM does it when you press alt-F7. If you are unable to send a break signal, then there well be no way for you to exit the pipe except to hangup the phone connection. This is perfectly allowable as far as City is concerned.) You will need your own game or other software running on your own computer to make use of a pipe connection. The Sysop is not able to help you in setting this up; you are on your own. Try asking other users, there are many software packages which work effectively with the City's pipe facility. Aux Ports Aux ports are connections going out from the City's computer to other computers or devices. The exact nature of these other devices changes from time to time. Currently, several aux ports are connected to our Internet Server Host, and one is connected to the Packet Radio TNC. You will generally not be concerned with the details of the aux ports; when they are connected to interesting devices, then options for them will appear on the menus, usually in section N (Network Connections). City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 40 Chapter 14 - Internet Access ---------------------------- What Is Internet The Internet is a world-wide network of computer systems, at universities, colleges, government institutions, libraries, and businesses. By connecting to the Internet, you can access information at these various computer sites. This information is so large in scale, and so varied in character, that it is impossible to describe it here. There are many books about the Internet; one good one "Zen and the Internet" is available for online reading in section N. Some of the important features of the Internet are: - Electronic Mail, reaching about 150 million persons all over the world. Internet mail addresses look like: firstname.lastname@example.org - Online access to many books, research papers, government documents including laws and studies. - A huge distributed database of software, which includes virtually every shareware and freeware program available anywhere in the world. - The World-Wide-Web, a comparatively new sub-system, which allows multi-media (pictures, sound, movies, fancy text) to be transmitted quickly. WWW browsers are available for Windows and other systems, and make the entire Internet look like a clickable Windows-style application. You can visit and search computers all over the world just by clicking on their icons. - Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which looks and acts similar to City's Teleconference, but operates world-wide and often has 50,000 users in 2,000 rooms. - Worlds Chat, a virtual reality chat system which allows you to see the people you are talking to (or at least the digital representation they want you to see.) City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 41 Signing Up For Internet City of Night runs an Internet Server, CityNight.COM for the purpose of supplying access to Internet for the users of City. This is a non-profit service, but you must pay for it to help meet our costs. Payment is accepted by CHECK only (no cash or money orders). You much mail in your check along with the filled out application form in section N. Your Internet access will be switched on as soon as your check is received. All ports from City to the Internet are 2400 baud. This is a limitation imposed by the speed of our server machine and its link to the network. This may seem slow to users who have used high-speed links, but its perfectly usable for all Internet functions. Full Shell Access City's 'full shell access' costs $10 a month (or $60 a year if you sign up for a whole year; that's only $5 a month, the cheapest Internet you will find anywhere.) With a shell account, you can do practically anything you want on the Internet including sending and receiving unlimited mail, FTP, web access using Netscape, IRC, Worlds Chat, and Usenet News. In addition, you will have a complete UNIX shell development environment available to you, with all the editors, compilers, and tools you'd expect. There is no per-hour usage charge; once you have subscribed, you may have access as many hours a day as you want. You may build your own Web pages, and run server background processes (so long as they don't impact the system as a whole.) Mail-Only Access For users who need only Internet Mail services, we will supply unlimited mail for $15 a year. This also includes Usenet News. World-Wide-Web Page You can establish your place on the Internet's World Wide Web using City's Web Page service. For $25 a year, we will build your pages (using text and pictures that you supply), and serve those pages on the Web. About City's Internet Connection City runs a separate 386DX40 computer with 20 megs of RAM for access to the Internet. The system runs Linux Slackware, with many enhancements. Our Internet connection is via a dedicated phone line that runs 24 hours at 38,400 baud. This is slower than most commercial providers, but is adequate for the small number of users on City. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 42 Chapter 15 - Direct Command Mode -------------------------------- The BBS's Architecture The City's software is unique among all BBS's in its use of the Macro Language. This language was developed by the writers of the software to facilitate quick and easy changes to our menus, but its abilities have fare outgrown the original intent. The core of the BBS program is written in Borland Turbo C. This includes all serial interrupt handlers, database access routines, and many other important functions. One of the biggest functions is the Macro Interpreter, which accepts text files containing commands in the Macro Language, and performs the specified actions. Most of the menus in City are driven by these macro programs, being interpreted by the core software. This allows users of City to do a little of their own programming if they desire! You can create your own menus, games, almost anything. Using Direct Commands Most of the macro commands can not only be executed in text files, but also one-at-a-time at a command prompt. You may access this prompt in section D (Press D from the Top Menu). At this prompt, there will be no menus, so be prepared to learn a few commands. The City's macro language is a mixture of the following: - DOS commands, like DIR, MD, COPY, SCRATCH - Unix commands, like DF, W, DU - Mainframe Wylbur commands, like: GOTO, COLLECT, MODIFY - BASIC commands, like LET, PRINT, INPUT - Commands you have never heard of, and which are particularly suited for use in a BBS, like MSGBASE, STATUS, GETNAME Its a peculiar, but very powerful mix. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 43 Macros Macros are small programs written in the City's macro language. There are many macros already in existence, which perform the myriad of functions needed by City Of Night. You can look at existing macros in Section D, by: - Type DIR to list all the files, or you can use a DOS-style wildcard to limit the display: DIR PSYS*.* - Press control-c at any time to interrupt the display. - See a filename you'd like to view? type: read filename Reading and studying existing macros is a very good way to learn about the language, so you can begin writing your own macros. Creating Your Own Macros You can easily create your own macros. Regular users are authorized to save as many files as they like in the direct command area, so long as the filenames start with: Uxxxx where the xxxx is your account number. Here is a simple procedure for creating a macro, saving it, then running it: - Go into direct mode by selecting option D from the Top Menu. You will get a prompt that looks like this: Command> - Type: erase This will clear out any data from your macro editing work area. - Type: collect This will put you into the 'collect' mode, which allows you to enter data into the macro editing work area. A prompt like this will appear: 001> indicating that you are about to type line number 1. - Type: print "Hello, World!" Type it completely as shown, with the double quotes in the right places. Hit your key. You will get a prompt like: 002> indicating that the system is now waiting for line number 2. - Don't type any more lines. Just press the key again to exit collect mode. (Blank lines are not allowed in a macro.) You will now be back to the Command> prompt. - If you are not sure what your account number is, type: status and look in the display. The number under Acct# next to your username is your account number. Make a note of it. City Of Night Users' Handbook Page 44 - Type: save Uxxxxyyy where xxxx is your account number and yyy is any three letters you like. Example: save U1234ZZZ The system should inform you that one line was saved. - Type: run Uxxxxyyy using the same filename you just saved. You should receive the response: Hello, World! You have just written, saved, and tested your first City macro language program. Command Language Reference The complete documentation for the macro language is available for download in the text files library. It is also available in Section I (press I in the Top Menu).