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
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
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.