The Dog House BBS - HOWTO : Using GameSrv and NetFoss With A BBS


The Dog House BBS presents:

Using GameSrv and NetFoss With A BBS

Introduction

This guide will whisk you past all the documentation and show you how to get GameSrv, a freeware telnet server, to work with the freeware fossil driver NetFoss and your BBS.This is a great way to get your BBS up on the Internet for free. GameSrv is used to listen for incomming TCP connections and to accept them. It then executes a batch file which initializes NetFoss and calls up your BBS. On this webpage I'll be setting up Maximus BBS but the same configuration can be used for any DOS based BBS software that can use a fossil driver.

Your BBS must support fossil communication. There is no modem or virtual modem involved here.If you plan on using door games, they also must work using a fossil driver. The latest versionof NetFoss supports binary file transfers (such as ZModem and XModem). NetFoss is a great program and has worked flawlessly with my BBS and all of it's doors. It runs much faster than NetModem/16 did, and I it is very stable.

Step 1 : Downloading the software

NOTE: this howto was created quite some time ago. Gamesrv has been updated quite a bit sense this howto's release. Please test with the newest version of gamesrv as well as the more dated version below.

GameSrv http://www.gamesrv.ca/
NetFoss http://pcmicro.com/NetFoss/
GameSrv comes with a version of NetFoss, but the latest version can be found here.

Step 2 : Installing the software

Installing GameSrv
Simply extract GameSrv to a folder somewhere. For example, d:\gamesrv\ All you need is the executable.If you want you can delete everything else.

Installing NetFoss
The NetFoss archive comes with lots of files. You only need 3 of them. (Netfoss.dll, Netfoss.com and Netcom.exe)

  • Extract Netfoss.dll to your WINNT\SYSTEM32\ folder for NT4/2000/XP or your WINDOWS\SYSTEM\ folder for Win 9x/ME.
  • Extract Netfoss.com and Netcom.exe to the same folder you put GameSrv

Step 3 : Configuring GameSrv

There isn't very much to configure. Go to the Config tab:
Telnet The TCP port GameSrv should listen to for incoming telnet connections
RLogin The TCP port GameSrv should listen to for incoming rlogin connections. RLogin only allows connections from a "secure" host. By default this host is 127.0.0.1, if you want to change it there is currently no way through the GameSrv GUI. You will have to manually edit SETUP.INI and add an entry to the [config] section that looks like rloginhost=127.0.0.1 where 127.0.0.1 is the address to accept connections from
Nodes The maximum number of nodes GameSrv will handle concurrently
Mode Internal uses the internal game server
External uses a 3rd party BBS
Visibility Hidden does not show the external programs at all
Minimized shows the external programs in the taskbar
Normal shows the external programs on top of others
LBY Acronym for Loops Before Yield (* Only used by mSyncFos) A higher value gives better game performance at the cost of higher CPU usage
A lower value uses less CPU but slows game output

Settings

  • Telnet - 23
  • RLogin - 0 (to disable, unless you want to use it)
  • Nodes - Set to maximum number of nodes you want to run.
  • Mode - External. Selecting this option will make extra options visible.
  • Visibility - Minized. This will cause your BBS to load minimized. You'll be able to watch your BBS users while online. The window will dissapear after the user logs off.
  • LBY - 50. Just leave it at the default setting, I don't think it's used because we're using NetFoss.
  • Command line - "D:\GAMESRV\NF.BAT *N *H" Change D:\GAMESRV\ to the correct path to your GameSrv installation. Also, do not put quotation marks around it. We'll make the NF.BAT in a later step. *N passes in the node number to the batch file as a parameter. The *H passes in the socket handle in as a parameter.
  • Fossil - None. Why not select the NetFoss option? For some odd reason it just does not work when the NetFoss option is selected. Instead we deal with the fossil on our own from NF.BAT

Step 4 - Creating NF.BAT and EXEBBS.BAT

NF.BAT

Create a file called NF.BAT and put it in the same folder GameSrv is installed. NF.BAT will load the NetFoss fossil driverfor the correct node, load your BBS, and when the BBS returns it will unload the fossil driver. Change D:\GAMESRV\ to the correct path to your GameSrv installation.

D:\gamesrv\NETFOSS.COM /n%1
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
D:\gamesrv\NETCOM.EXE /n%1 /h%2 D:\GAMESRV\EXEBBS.BAT %1
D:\gamesrv\NETFOSS.COM /U
:END

EXEBBS.BAT

Create a file called EXEBBS.BAT and put it in the same folder GameSrv is installed. EXEBBS.BAT will load your BBS and run any programs after the user disconnected. The following batch file is written for Maximus BBS. Yourswill most likely look different. The %1 parameter contains the node number.

d:
cd\max
max -n%1 -b38400 -ld:\max\node%1\max.log
rem if errorlevel 12 goto EchoMail
rem if errorlevel 11 goto NetMail
goto Aftercall

: EchoMail
cd\squish
squish out squash
GOTO Aftercall

: NetMail
cd\squish
squish squash

:Aftercall
cd\max\node%1
call maxall.bat

Step 4 - You're done!

Hopefully everything works well and your BBS is now accessible using telnet. That wasn't too bad right?



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