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1. Introduction

I have been using FBB amateur radio software since early nineties. It was the time of DOS operating system, so most of us, system administrators (or, so called system operators - sysop's), used various packet radio server software for DOS. Versions of FBB packet radio BBS server software for DOS, today are known as "DosFBB".

I still administer one DosFBB database in the SRV (Amateur Radio Union of Vojvodina, a part of SRJ). It is DosFBB v7.00g23 that runs on a 486DX computer with 16 MB of RAM and Hercules b/w graphics. Since December 1999, it runs without any re-boot (excepting some power failures). Before that, it was a bit tricky to set up all memory management properly, in order to avoid "frozen" system. Although this server runs under DOS, its "radio clients" don't depend on that. In fact, users of that DosFBB might run their client software under DOS, Windows, Linux or any other operating system that offer amateur packet radio abilities.

I have also used DosFBB v5.15c on a 286/12 box at home. Five years ago, when I got better box, Pentium I at 166 MHz with 32 MB of RAM and VGA color graphics, I switched to a Windows version of FBB ("WinFBB"). Author of the software, a radio amateur from France, Jean-Paul F6FBB, has made many versions of WinFBB, including 16 bit variant for Windows 3.x and Windows 9x as well as 32 bit variant for Windows NT. I have run both variants until now (at the moment it is 16 bit WinFBB v7.00g25 that runs great under Windows NT 4.0).

Update: In late 1999, I upgraded my system to Celeron 400 MHz, added more 64 MB of RAM and switched to bigger hard disk that will have enough room to install Linux and try LinFBB ...

Update: Since Spring 2001, I run WinFBB v7.00i (17 March 2001) under Windows 2000 Professional.

The main difference between DosFBB and WinFBB is that the second one offers you to do other jobs with your computer, while FBB is running as just any other application. Besides that, it is always nice to copy some text from another application (for example, from an Internet email) and to paste it into a packet radio message, or vice versa.

Update: In July 2001, I added more 128 MB of RAM so my home system is very confortable now.

Finally, you should be aware what I want to have here:

      1. WinFBB when I run Windows.

      2. LinFBB when I run Linux. It should be an
         Xwindow application that may be
         started/stopped similarly to WinFBB.
         That's why X11 LinFBB package is used.

      3. LinFBB when I run Linux, but as a daemon
         that runs in the background. In addition,
         an interface for a local user (myself)
         is needed, as well as an interface to
         monitor the radio channel.

      4. All three versions must be capable to
         share the same configuration files, i.e.
         to be able, for example, to begin a new
         session from the exact position where the
         other version has finished its own last
         session.

      5. I am not an expert in Linux, so I am
         only able to install "factory-made"
         packages for Linux (just like to install
         self executing software packages under
         Windows). I mean of RPM packages. So, there
         are no source (re)compilations here at the
         moment, but in the future we will see  :-)
         


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