IBM and Compatibles: DOS: XBBS
Author: Mark Kimes
Additional Notes:
XBBS for DOS was written by one Mark Kimes, who hailed from Louisiana (Shreveport?). It is completely unrelated to the XBBS software available for UNIX/XENIX. Kimes gives the date on the 1.17 documentation as 1989/1990.

XBBS is extremely configurable, using menus that are a meta-language embedded in ANSI screens. The entire look and feel has to be built by the SysOp. I think this probably led to its lack of popularity -- the learning curve to get it running nicely was extremely steep. I don't recall any systems in my area (Pittsburgh) using it, though there were a few Shreveport-area systems running it.

XBBS 1.17 uses only the XBBS-format message base. Wayne Michaels wrote a FidoNet tosser/scanner for this format, it was called XST. The only two versions I ever remember seeing of this are 2.6a and 2.6b, and one of them had a nasty bug. Also, XST is 2D-only, it never did zones right at all, nor did it understand compression formats (thus requiring some external gizmo to unpack the arcmail bundles -- e.g. polyxarc)

Kimes himself wrote an echomail tosser/scanner called XGroup that bounced around SDS for awhile. I want to say the last version was 0.13 (???). It also did groupmail (hence the name). This guy was 5D aware and generally much better than XST even in its alphaness.

There was also a SysOp editor/reader for the XBBS message format called HeadEdit. Don't remember much about this except that it crashed alot.

- Greg Nesbitt

Mark Kimes (aka Hector Plasmic) originally wrote XBBS in Cfor his own use on the Commodore 128 in the early to mid-80s and operated a popular BBS called The Pit. His software was one of the most innovative of that time as he had also written a door program (more appropriately a plug-in than a door) called The Maze. The Maze was user configurable and although it was text based, it utilized colour! and, in retrospect, was actually one of the first incarnations of a MUD.

Sometime around 1986/87/88, Mark ported his XBBS software to the PC and made some refinements and additions to it. He was always tweaking and adding functionality. By 1991/92, Mark had moved on to the OS/2 operating system and once again ported his software. At one time Mark gave us a copy of his source code for The Maze but it has long been lost to us.

During this time, Wayne Michaels (a pseudonym for a man by the real name of Mike Berry) ran a NoChange BBS in Shreveport. I don't know, or remember, at what point he and Mark began working together on XBBS but I believe it was around 1990/91 when they created XST and not long afterwards I think Mike began running XBBS/2.

xsrc_117.zip (240K)
xdoc_117.zip (106K)
xdev_117.zip (150K)
xexe_117.zip (464K)