"Paul Swanson's BBS with RAM disk. Paul Swanson was a programmer from
the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, area. I'm not sure whether his BBS for the
Atari 8-bit has been placed into the public domain or not. This BBS was
the first to support a RAMdisk, which Paul Swanson called a "V:" device
for "virtual disk". This BBS was written in Atari BASIC and required a
joystick hardware "dongle" device. This was notable as being one of the
first Atari 8-BIT BBSes that could actually go for a week without having
to be rebooted. Pointers to the message base were kept in an Atari "very
long string" (for which Atari BASIC is famous). The BBS would only have
problems (for the most part) if this string became corrupted." - Atari FAQ
Steve Richardson writes "I wanted to provide some
additional info for your big BBS list about an Atari 8-bit BBS called
"Nitelite," which I ran (sporatically) and modified (extensively) from
"Paul Swanson was indeed the author. He was located in Billerica, MA."
"The software was not RAMdisk-centric, as the description seems to
indicate. Later versions may have supported RAMdisks natively, but I
don't recall any version that I ran inherently doing them. I recall
hacking RAMdisk support into the BBS myself somewhere along the way."
"The software was indeed written in Atari BASIC. The "dongle" which
the description mentions was actually not meant for security, but it
was a "ring detector." The mid-life Atari 300bps modems (1030, and
later XM301) did not have the capability to detect the phone ringing.
When you ran a BBS using one of these modems, you needed to plug the
dongle (which Paul included when you bought the software) from the
phone line to the joystick port. This allowed the computer to detect
when the phone was ringing, which would cause it to instruct the modem
to pick up and offer a carrier tone."
"I was later (1987-1988ish) the (un-)lucky owner of an early Atari 1200
baud modem, which was their first offering that supported normal Hayes
modem commands and did ring detection. I recall that the BBS author
had no interest in offering support for this modem, so I hacked
support for that as well. This finally allowed me to get rid of that
silly dongle device."
"I shared a version of Nitelite with the above and several other
modifications with the only other Worcester-area licensed Nitelite
SysOp I knew. We re-branded it "NL/PRO BBS" (Nitelite Pro) and ran it
on several of our own short-lived BBSes."