BBS Wiki

GBBS-Pro was a commercial BBS system written in the ACOS language, a compiled language, while its predecessor, GBBS, was written in Applesoft, an interpreted language. "All purpose communications operating system" or ACOS was a compiled basic written for the Apple ][ PRODOS operating system by Greg Schaefer, Boulder, CO. in assembly language.

The ACOS Compiler was written by Greg to support GBBS Pro. It is not a true compiled language, but a tokenized language. (a kludge if you will)

During the late 80s, Greg began to lose interest in freely supporting ACOS/GBBS Pro, and sold it to Lance Taylor-Warren of L&L Productions. L&L are the initials of Lance and Lori (his wife). Kevin Smallwood was a co-owner of this company and provided support out of Dallas, TX.

While ACOS/GBBS Pro were sold to L&L Productions, the compiler's assembly language source code for the currently installed base at the time was not provided. An older and rather incomplete version was provided instead. Speculation is that Greg Schaffer lost the latest version so provided what he could find.

During the later period of time prior to acqusition by L&L Productions, Andrew Wells was providing patches to fix bugs in ACOS. This was accomplished due to reverse engineering the compiler's source code (disassembling) and finding problems reported by the current BBS system operators.

After acquisition by L&L Productions, Andrew Wells was hired by Lance Taylor-Warren to maintain ACOS and to write a completely revamped version which was called LLUCE (L&L Universal Communication Environment).

  • The Copyrights to GBBS Pro were later sold to Kevin Smallwood. Kevin is considering releasing the project as freeware with help from other Apple enthusiasts.

Paul Oggman had created a means of networking GBBS Pro and the OggNET was setup. Email, Public Discussion Messages, GAMES and more were available thru the NetWorked Apple // computers as early as 1988-89.

Many custom and modified Bulletin Boards were setup. Many included heavily modified source code written by John with tricks he'd learned from now good friend Greg. (since they had collaborated together in Designing and Developing ProTERM // and ProTERM Mac).

The ProBOARD II GBBS John ran for GBBS Support became legendary contributing support for troops in the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia. The ProBOARD was the SysOPs BBS where they would go for Mods and support. (System Operator was shortened to SysOP in those days, much like a SysAdmin nowdays) Many wrote thir own code and or had experts like John doing it for or helping them.

These were the early communities that formed online through the old style BBS.

The ProBOARD ][e John setup and programmed can be seen today at the Boston Computer Musuem in Boston MASS. It was the same machine Bob Hardy used to write such Apple // hits as Zork Zero and others..