March 29, 1998
Bruce Morse (the new owner of RemoteAccess BBS) is gearing up the new RA beta cycle, which will cure many of the minor bugs in RemoteAccess 2.50. The RA beta team is eagerly awaiting for the first beta to be hatched since the original author Andrew Milner abandoned the RA project nearly 2 years ago. During the past few months since Bruce purchased the code he has been becoming familure with TurboPascal and the RA structures.
Niels Schoot recently started the beta cycle for tcRA32, a 32-bit clone of RemoteAccess designed for Windows 95/98/NT. He is designing tcRA32 to be 100% RA 2.50 compatible, supporting all the *.RA files, Language files, FaileDataBase, Message base structures and more. tcRA32 will also run all RA DOS doors (that are fossil driven) Niels designed the first Windows based UserBase editor and FileBase editor for RemoteAccess and compatibles back in 1996, (known as TotalControl) so designing a complete BBS package complements his previous work.
Maarten Bekers is also developing a 100% RA clone, called EleBBS. The DOS version of EleBBS has been beta tested for several months now. It actually looks/feels so much like RA that it is hard to tell the two of them apart! Maarten is also developing 32-bit versions of EleBBS, but his main focus is to get the DOS version into wide public usage before he concentrates his programming efforts on the GUI versions. Like tcRA32, EleBBS is a drop in replacment for RemoteAccess that uses all the same *.RA files and overall structures.
Philippe Leybeart, the author of ProBoard BBS, is still not letting anyone know what is going on with it's development... or lack of it. ProBoard 3.0 (32-bit Windows version) was originally schedualed to be released during the summer of 1996. Since then Philippe got married, bought a house, and went into seclusion. He has occasionally re-appeared in cyberspace and told his supporters that although he has not had time to continue ProBoard's developement, he is not planning to give up on it. Many angry ProBoard sysops paid the 3.0 upgrade fee in advance back in 1996 and never recieved a refund when development was indefinatly postponed shortly after those funds were collected. Philippe was heard from again this year in January when he said that development should finally resume in "a few weeks".
Flip Maertens, a ProBoard supporter and Windows Programmer, has offered to help out with ProBoard/32's development by writing the new ProCfg/32, which will be a "lite" version of his UserBase/files.bbs editor called "NightTime". Flip and his partner Rick are currently designing the screen layouts for ProCfg, and hope to hear from Philippe soon about getting the structures and other needed information from him. Some samples of how the screens will look can be seen at http://surf.to/nighttime Flip and Rick are not going to charge anything for ProCfg/32 "Lite" but plan to market the full blown version of NiteTime as shareware.
Dewayne Cox, has purchased the rights to RACE (RA Callers Editor) the first third party UserBase Editor for RemoteAccess which was originally written by Mike Janke back in the early 1990's. Using the original DOS source as a reference, he re-designed RACE to be a Windows 32-bit application. It is currently being beta tested and is getting close to it's initial public release. Although RACE is designed for the RA, it can also be run with EleBBS, tcRA32, and even ProBoard.
Ben Schollnick has been working on bringing QuickBBS back from the near-dead during the past couple of years. He has fixed many of the problems, it still lacks many of the modern features that you would expect in a BBS package, including JAM Messagebases, a good menu editor, and a industry standard Userbase and EXITINFO.BBS drop file. But with a bit more work Ben might forseeably add what is needed to put QuickBBS back into the 1990s. Ben has also stated that he plans to develop an OS/2 version, as many of his followers promote anti-microsoft propaganda. Several sysops refuse to run Bens products based on his past upgrade policies for other BBS utilities he has also taken over.
Marco Maccaferri is planning to sell his LORA BBS to another developer. LORA started out as a RA-like BBS with many features added, including a built-in mailer, multiple message bases (Squish, JAM, AdeptXBBS, Hudson and Fido *.MSG), a Bluewave compatable off-line mail reader, Telnet and FTP clients, USENET news reader, and much more. It is available for DOS, OS/2, Windows 95/98/NT and Linux flavors. Lets hope he finds someone to take over it's development soon.
Konstantin Klyagin is still developing Tornado BBS, another RA clone with some added features. Tornado is still FREEWARE, and is available in both DOS and OS/2 versions. The one noticable feature that Tornado still lacks is a configuration program, so the Tornado sysops are forced to use a text editor to edit the ascii config files. Unlike earlier versions that only came with Russian docs, the current packages now include English and German documintation and language files as well.