Author: John Moon, later work by Thomas S. Warrick
Additional Notes:
Also called "WAPABBS".

Tom Warrick writes:

"'ABBS' was the name of a program written not by me, but by an IBM employee named John Moon of Potomac, Maryland. In the early 1980's, before the IBM PC, John programmed large systems, and had one of the first Apple II's, one of which he used to run the bulletin board system for Washington Apple Pi (WAP), the local Apple computer user group in the Washington, D.C. area. IBM let him do this on the side, as it did not interfere with his, or IBM's, real line of business -- in those days. ABBS was written in Applesoft Basic and for the Hayes Micromodem II, which ran at 300 bps. John eventually had to move, and I volunteered to WAP President David Morganstern that I would take this on, provided, WAP paid for the second phone line into my townhouse in Chevy Chase, MD, which they were happy to do.

"At first, I made only minor tweaks to John's code, but the demands of users for more features (like lower case!) and a desire to speed up certain functions led me to totally rewrite the code, writing most of it in Applesoft Basic and key modules in 6502 assembler. When the demand for Apple II BBS's increased, several people asked me to release this into the public domain. Washington Apple Pi put it on a diskette (5 1/4" in those days). I think that's the version you have.

"Further demand for the program and the then-new Apple Computer, Inc. User Group program, then led by marketing expert Ellen Leanse, had me develop a fully documented version of the program. This was released under the title "WAPABBS" as a multi-disk set (still 5 1/4"). You can Google the word and it will return some hits, even today.

"The end of WAPABBS came when the Apple II world moved towards the Apple Super Serial Card and the then-lightning speed of 1200 bps. Users were also demanding the ability to have error-correcting downloads. No one had at that time written an XMODEM protocol handler for the Apple II, which would have to have been written in 6502 assembler. These two tasks quickly became too time-consuming for me. One user, Paul Heller, challenged me to switch the Washington Apple Pi BBS to an IBM PC clone, for which commercial BBS software existed that supported both 1200 bps and XMODEM. For our user group, however, this was too close to heresy in 1985, and Heller went on to establish his own BBS, the Twilight Clone, and later became an extremely successful computer consultant and regional Internet Service Provider. I switched to the Macintosh in 1984 (and still have one). Washington Apple Pi developed the TeleCommunications System (TCS) as a multi-line, multi-computer network system in the late 1980's -- but this was the work of a dedicated team of about ten programmers and systems people. The days of a single-line, single-computer BBS were already lost in the mists of computer history."

abbs.inst () Information on ABBS Software
sysop.txt () Sysop notes for ABBS