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===========================================================================
                  Review: Reccoon BBS v0.67 (registered)
  Mathias Axelsson                          mathias.axelsson@coders.ct.se
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PRODUCT NAME

  Reccoon BBS v0.67 (registered)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

  A integrated BBS system with support for Fidonet echos, as well as
fileechos.  Good MSGID/REPLY linking, and support for long file desc.

AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

  Name: Henric Andersson (1996-), Niclas Emdelius (1991-95)
  Address: Smedjegatan 10, S-260 60 KVIDINGE, SWEDEN
  Telephone: N/A
  E-mail: edc@klippan.se
  Fidonet: Henric Andersson, 2:200/236 (+46-435-25251) (24h)
  World Wide Web: N/A

LIST PRICE

  700 SEK (~US$ 100) This includes free updates and a keyfile.  You can
send the payment either via PostGiro 5010164316 (Scandinavians only, mark
with "Reccoon / Andersson") or via direct bank transfer to Skandinaviska
Enskilda Banken (SE Banken), Clearingnr 5620, Account 56200005109.

DEMO VERSION

  Demo version is available on Aminet, e.g.  in /pub/aminet/comm/bbs at
ftp.luth.se as Reccoon-Eval.lha or via Fidonet filerequest of "rcn067.lha"
from 2:200/236.

  The demo version can only run with a locale node, but you can get the
feel of the BBS system anyway.  You can still import msgs, upload files
etc.  When you register you'll get a keyfile, and will also be able to
download your personal executables directly online from Henrics BBS.  I've
mailed Henric about getting the updated personal executables via EMail, but
I haven't got any answer yet.  That would make it cheaper for people in
other parts of the world.

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

 HARDWARE

  x 1 MB RAM required, but more is prefered.

  x Installable on disc, but HD is prefered if you want to run the
    registered version.

  x The program runs on any 680x0 processor, but the faster the better.. :)

 SOFTWARE

  x AmigaOS 2.04+ is requiered.

  x Working just fine on AmigaOS 3.1.

  x If you want to run as a Fidonet node you'll need a Fidonet compatible
    mailer like TrapDoor.  A tosser is included, as well as programs to
    handle fileechos.

COPY PROTECTION

  There is no visible copy protection, but you get your personal keyfile
and will also need to download your personal executables before you get the
fully working version.  I guess you could get the executables Email:ed to
you from the author as well.

  It can be installed on a hard drive (prefered).

  No need for any original disk.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

  Amiga 3000 25 MHz
  Workbench 3.1 (40.42), Kickstart 3.1 (40.68)
  One internal 1.76 HD diskdrive and one external DD diskdrive
  2 MB Chip RAM
  12 MB Fast RAM
  Fujutsi 1.05 GB, 100 MB Quantum HD
  NEC 2x CDROM
  SupraFAXmodem 28k8 V.FC/V.34

INSTALLATION

  The product has an easy to use Installer script, but in earlier versions
there's been some trouble with the installation failing.  This is not the
case in the current 0.67 version.  It's easy to update from an earlier
version, since the script does all the necessary changes.  There's also
dozens of doors specially wrote for Rcn, and they are easily installed in
the DOORS: directory.  =20

REVIEW

  The BBS packages comes with all the utils you need, like Front, which is
a frontend if you do not have any real mailer.  A tosser is included to
handle msg import/exporting and there's both a STDIO and a GUI config
program as well as user editor.  It's easy to create your own menus, and
the system supports configurable number of menus (you can have e.g.
ANSI/non-ANSI menus with swedish or english text).  All strings in the BBS
program can also be translated if you want to.  If your a new user and
haven't programmed C before, then there might be some problems to get
started with the FPL programming, but since there's a lot of people to ask
in the Fidonet echos, or the author, that won't be that big a problem.
There's also a lot of examples in the fileechos, and a good online manual
for FPL.  You don't need to know FPL to create your own menus, even though
you can write your menus directly in FPL.

  The configuration is quite easily made.  All you have to do is start the
config program.  If you want to install Fidonet stuff, then some Fidonet
basic will be good to have.  Setting up msg areas and file areas isn't hard
at all, just press the Create area button and fill in what you need.

  I only run my BBS as a one line BBS, but there is some people running
multi-line BBS:s, and they say it works perfectly fine.  There's also some
chat doors to enable chat between two lines, as well as between more than
two people.

  The BBS system can handle DOS doors, the old Paragon style doors as well
as the new Rcn doors.  Most doors I've installed works with some of those
configs, which gives us a lot of doors.  There is currently not as many
doors as Xenolink or AmiExpress have, but work is under way.

  New doors and utils will be uploaded to Aminet in comm/bbs, and will
begin with 'rcn' to make it easier to locate the special doors/utils
(according to the author).

  The BBS system does also support XEM libraries, which means you can get
RIP support by just adding the xemrip.library to your system.  There's also
support for ANSI mouse.

DOCUMENTATION

  The documentation is all in AmigaGuide format, and it includes
documentation for the system, as well as docs about special escape codes,
and a separate doc file for FPL (Frexx Programming Language, which is a C
like language), which is used for writing the menus, as well as other stuff
that you want to change in the BBS system.  The upcoming v14 of FPL will
also include a compiler to speed up the execution of FPL programs.

  The documentation is easy to read, and explains all the functions of the
BBS system, new features, updates etc.  There's also autodocs for the
reccoon.library, and some example templates for writing your own doors.
The include files is only C versions, but there is work on E modules and
asm/E door templates.

  The autodocs could be better, as some functions is missing a description.

  You can still code your own doors without too much hassle, and you can
always mail Henric, or ask a question in any of the Fidonet support echos.


  I've always got fast replies from Henric concerning questions on how to
code certain stuff, and there's also a bunch of other Rcn sysops to ask
questions to, or talk with.

LIKES

  The best thing of this BBS system is that it uses FPL for scripts (ARexx
can be used if you want), which makes it very configurable.  There's also
both STDIO and GUI versions of the Config and UserEd programs (even though
the GUI versions has to be updated to include the new stuff).  The msg part
is also good, as it supports MSGID/REPLY linking.  The filebase has also
been improved to allow long filenames as well as long (more than two rows)
descriptions.  There's also going to be support for File_ID.DIZ in the
future.  I'm also running Enforcer to check all new programs that I
install, and I'm glad to say that Rcn hasn't given me any hits with this
version.

DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

  I would like to see some support for REPLY-ADDR kludges, as well as
To:/From: fields to enable good support for gated Internet EMail/News.

  The tosser is also a little bit slow, and it doesn't come with a GUI
config program, which would be much better, as it makes it easier to config
nodes/echos.  There isn't any good way to delete a msg area or a file area,
so you have to set the access to a high number to exclude it for users.

  I've talked to the author and he said it will be fixed in a later
version.

  One quirk with the system is the special version of FSED that comes with
the system.  This is the full screen editor that is used when writing msgs.
It's a bit old, and has some really annoying features, like when I press
=F6= (a swedish char) and the cursor goes down one line instead of printing
an =F6...  :(

COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

  I've only tested TransAmiga a little before I tested Rcn and registered.
As Rcn is a swedish product, and I live in Sweden, that made me chose Rcn,
as I could get fast support.  In comparision to TA I would say that Rcn is
easier to install and configure.  It has also got better Fidonet support in
the msg base.

BUGS

  There has been some bugs in earlier versions, but they're fixed in this
version.  I've had no problems at all since I installed 0.67.

VENDOR SUPPORT

  You can contact the author via Email at edc@klippan.se or through Fidonet
ar 2:200/236.  For his full address, see the beginning of this review.
There's also a couple of Fidonet msg echos and file echos where the author
and other Rcn sysops can exchange sources, help, suggestions etc.  These
Fidonet echos are exported to the UK as well, so if you want support in the
UK, then please contact Richard Bell at 2:251/31.

  I've written some doors for Rcn and I'm currently working on a new online
editor for Rcn, with support for signatures, headers, ANSI colours and a
lot of other stuff.  This editor is a port from OS/2, where it was
originally written by Bj=F6rn Stenberg (2:201/328 or bjst@sth.frontec.se).
I've added a lot of stuff since the original port, and also removed some
bugs.  The reason I ported it was that there was no support for FSED any
more (there is a special version of FSED for Rcn included in the archive)
so I thought I should fix a better editor.  Beta testing is currently under
way, and a full release will be included in the next release of Rcn.

WARRANTY

  The author doesn't take any responsibility if anything goes wrong.  You
use the program on your own risk.

CONCLUSIONS

  The conclusion will be that this is a great BBS packages, with a few
glitches like no News/Email support and no File_ID.DIZ support (yet!).

  The tosser is a little bit slow, and doesn't have all those fancy things
I wanted, so I run another tosser for the main tossing and only use
ReccProc to import/export msgs to the BBS.  It do contain a msg filter
though, so you can add your own robots, like Areafix/Raid programs.  The
Fidonet msg system is also very good.

  I give it four out of five stars.  The product gives a good first
impression, and the easy installation makes it even more positive in the
first impression.  When you get the feel of the system I'm sure you're
gonna like it even more, at least I did.

  The easy way to create doors and add scripts makes the system very
configurable, and you can add almost anything to your personal setup.  With
both ARexx and FPL supported, you can easily add customized menus, add
extra menus to the GUI, and a lot of other stuff.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

  This review may be freely distributed.

  Copyright 1996 Mathias Axelsson (max@coders.ct.se or 2:204/211)