ProBoard Major Issues

  The views expressed by others  
  below may not   necessarily be  
  the views of either of the hosts! 

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REVISED ProBoard Major Issues

  Revised: under revision  
  Revised: December 29th, 1998  
  Original: December 17th, 1998  

  Hosted by  
Frank Robbins
ProBoard Innovations
Technical Writer
Mike Ehlert
PC Micro
Technical Advisor

  1 - ReOpen an Official ProBoard Registration Site  
  2 - RA file structures impacting use of RA doors in PB  
  3 - Y2K fix for ProBoard  
  4 - Refunding prepaid PB 32-bit registration fees (WIN & OS/2)  

LEGEND - (applies to html version only)
- Red lettering are responses from TeleGrafix below.
- White background with several lines of text indicates CHANGES below.


Present to TeleGrafix, a working list of Major Issues affecting the performance of ProBoard, as seen by its SysOps.

Request resolution of these same Major Issues.


The ProBoard Major Issues have been derived from the concerns of the ProBoard SysOps and Programmers associated with the ProBoard Mailing List and from users of various NewsGroups for over one year of monitoring and collection efforts.

Additional revisons maybe released when another major concern has been identified or when a significant change has occurred.

This effort was formed to universally unite the concerns of the ProBoard SysOps & Programmers worldwide into a simple, yet effective single source document to assist TeleGrafix (Pat Clawson) as the future of ProBoard is charted and to provide a worldwide rapid media to inform all parties of these public facts.

  Major Issues Affecting ProBoard  

These four Major Issues are grouped in the order of the earliest deadline date to insure that a critical date is not exceeded before action is taken by TeleGrafix!

  1 of 4 - ReOpen an Official ProBoard Registration Site  

Status from TeleGrafix
We will be instituting online registrations for ProBoard in about two weeks, once we complete upgrades of our Internet servers and their collocation with a new ISP. At that time, the site will be hosted on TeleGrafix servers, and we will start accepting product registrations.
Timeframe: before the end of December 1998

SysOp Comments
All Official ProBoard Registration Sites are closed.
TeleGrafix should immediately reopen an Official Registration Site to capture waiting registrations before those SysOps go to another BBS software! Don't turn away customers who are ready and willing to pay!

Continue collecting registration fees for ProBoard to help offset the refunds for prepaid 32-bit ProBoard registrations. After refund monies are recouped, registration fees provide additional revenue for TeleGrafix.

Evaluate the number of new registrations after a period of months to see if continuance is still beneficial to TeleGrafix.

If online registrations are delayed at TeleGrafix and not ready by the first week of January 1999, then announce an alternate registration site, such as Shareit! which is still online because registrations have been halted since November 18th, 1998.
Many people are asking where they can register for more than a month!

Shareit! can handle cash, checks and secured credit card transactions and is located both in Germany and the USA to handle registrations for software authors.
ProBoard Registering:  

Replacement Reg Keys
A REPLACEMENT key would be needed if the original is lost or BBS name has been changed and is available at $10.00 USD only if any one of the following applies:

1. User registered with an authorized Registration Site;

2. A valid PB.KEY file is submitted that matches the information provided;

3. A Photocopy of the receipt, cancelled check or credit card statement showing who, amount and when paid is provided for the "proof of purchase" of the original registration from an authorized Registration Site.

Otherwise, a REPLACEMENT key is considered as a "NEW REGISTRATION".

Update PB Operator's manual to support approved changes in ProBoard.

  2 of 4 - RA file structures impacting use of RA doors in PB  

SysOp Comments
As you already know, ProBoard can run RA doors/utilities. Any changes in the file structures of RA will have some impact on ProBoard being able to run new RA doors/utilities based on the new RA v3.0 file structures if certain conditions exist!

Bruce Morse plans to release the file structures publically in early 1999 for RemoteAccess v3.00 which will have 4-digit dates in the userbase records and exitinfo.bbs. These structures will be made available at the Official RA site, to the RA beta team and to the RA support echoes before he releases the first Y2K beta code based on them.

RA v3.0 file structure changes will prevent running new RA doors in ProBoard if the doors/utilities write to the RA userbase or exitinfo.bbs files. If the doors/utilities just read this information, without writing to it, then the doors/utilities should work like normal without any foreseen problems.

This kind of impact cannot go unchallenged by other BBS authors whose software can run RA doors. This shortfall further may cause the pool of existing PEX writers and third party door developers to dissolve and go away leaving the SysOps without the support for existing door programs or without the availability of fresh, new door programs!

It is highly suggested that TeleGraphix contact Bruce Morse immediately, to discuss his proposed changes and the impact it will have on ProBoard:  

Update PB Operator's manual to support approved changes in ProBoard.

  3 of 4 - Y2K fix for ProBoard  

Status from TeleGrafix
A Y2K fix will be at the top of our improvements list.

SysOp Comments
The current version of ProBoard will drop dead on Jan 1st, 2000.
A Y2K fix must be applied to the ProBoard software to keep it operational for year 2000+.

The solution to the Y2K problem would be to do what the other RA-Clone developers have done. They have made their software Y2K compatible without changing to 4-digit years in their userbase structures. This means their software needs to intepret the two-digit years correctly, so it knows that 00 means 2000 and so on.

The limitation to the 2-digit year method is that it will only be usable for xx number of years. For example, ProBoard could assume the following:

Years   20-99   =   1920   -   1999
Years   00-19   =   2000   -   2019

This would allow ProBoard to continue to function properly with the current structures for the next 21 years. Chances are that in 20 years from now very few of us will still be running ProBoard, as technology will have progressed far beyond what we have today.

If SysOps wanted a year 2020 fix, twenty years from now (say in year 2019), you could simply change the boundries like so:

Years   40-99   =   1940   -   1999
Years   00-39   =   2000   -   2039

This method makes more sense than breaking exiting RA doors/utilities and ProBoard PEXes!

Update PB Operator's manual to support approved changes in ProBoard.

  4 of 4 - Refunding prepaid PB 32-bit registration fees (WIN & OS/2)  

Status from TeleGrafix
It's my understanding that some sysops prepaid for a Windows upgrade that they have not yet received. Even though that's not something we are responsible for, in a few days we will offer those sysops a refund or rebates to make things right. I can't change what happened in the past. All I can do is work hard to make things better in the future.

SysOp Comments
Some SysOps had prepaid for the 32-bit versions of ProBoard (WIN & OS/2) in advance, these products never finished their initial development and consequently were never released.

Some individuals may want to tranfer credit from their previous prepaid monies and apply that credit to the registration of the 32-bit Cherokee product or to a possible 32-bit standalone ProBoard product, by surrendering a cash voucher issued by TeleGrafix upon the customer's request to validate proof of previous 32-bit prepayment, in lieu of an actual cash refund.

TeleGrafix is assuming responsibility for refunds even though they had not collected the original fees.

TeleGrafix would have to work out the details on how prepaid customers are to be validated for the record!

TeleGrafix has recognized this issue for WIN.

This is a heads up for prepaid OS/2 registrations also!


It is in the best interests of TeleGrafix and the ProBoard SysOps and PEX Programmers that these Major Issues be resolved at the earliest opportunity!

Whether you are just a newcomer to ProBoard, a ProBoard Programmer or a seasoned ProBoard SysOp, we all await the upcoming news from TeleGrafix for reasonable solutions which will re-enforce the slogan that ProBoard shall now and forever remain The Choice of Professionals!


I would like to thank Pat Clawson and TeleGrafix crew for their willingness to hear these positive concerns/comments/suggestions and the dedicated contributors who have participated in this effort!