01-Mar-1985 Uncategorized

touring the boards


One of the great joys of my life is to
visit as often as I can with some very
special friends. These nice people let
me use their equipment, borrow
their programs, use their files, and
tie up their phone lines. Must really
be lifelong friends, you must be
thinking. Well friends they are but
not lifelong. Further, I’ve never met
a single one of these dear friends.

Well, if you haven’t figured out
what these ravings are leading to,
I’ll tell you: these friends are your
friends, too. They are the Systems
Operators ("Sysops," for short) of
the various TI-related bulletin
boards across the country. This
article will hopefully entice more of
you to visit with these "friends of the
TI" and enjoy their handiwork. It is
a brief guided tour of the various
systems and a few tips on their use.

Believe it or not, I know of five
completely different bulletin board
systems that run on TI computers.
They are as follows:

  1. TIBBS (tm Ralph Fowler)
  2. TI-BBS (written and sold through
    the Chicago Users Group)

  3. CALTEX (copyrighted and sold
    by CALTEX SOFTWARE, San Jose,

  4. TI-COMM (written, predominantly, by John Clulow, public-domain)
  5. Various one-of-a-kind systems.
    I’m aware of two unique systems.
    One, written by Mark Hagedorn and
    run by Sysop Gary Blydenburgh
    called the 99BBS SYSTEM (617-6645988) has a download section which
    requires the user to run a special
    download program from Extended
    BASIC to obtain programs (the program listing is free and online for
    downloading as a text file). Another
    entirely different system is run in
    Houston, Texas, by a Sysop named
    "Captain Kirk." The BBS is called
    (what else?) the USS Enterprise
    (713-466-0701). To say the least, an
    unusual system!

I would like to touch on each system briefly and perhaps give you an
idea of some of the ins-and-outs of
these systems.

First, and most prevalent, are the
TIBBS systems. This system was
written by Ralph Fowler of Kennesaw, Georgia. It is the most well-known of all the boards for the TI. It
most recently has been released in a
new version which now sports true
TEII program transfers (portions of
this written by Randy Jones of
Raleigh, North Carolina). I have
seen these transfers available on the
Raleigh TIBBS (Sysop Amnon Nissan, 919-851-8460. Wichita TIBBS
(Sysop Jerry McCluskey, 316-6813167, and, of course, the TIBBS
"flagship" station in Atlanta (Sysop
Ralph Fowler, 404-425-5254. The
transfers work fine but are just as
slow as they were on The SOURCE –
20 seconds per sector (i.e. 10 minutes
for a 30-sector program). Also, I
have a unique problem with the TEII
downloads. I have a multi-user phone
system. It seems that these
transfers are very sensitive to being
"errored out" by any clicks, beeps
or rings on a phone line. I suspect
that "call waiting&quo; will do the same.
Raleigh has the largest download
selection and is regularly updated;
Wichita has some Pascal programs
among others; the Atlanta TIBBS