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What is PCBoard?

PCBoard Bulletin Board Software allows your computer to operate as a communications host, known as a Bulletin Board System or BBS. With your BBS you can transfer information between two computers which may be connected via modem or Local Area Network (LAN) connection.

In the beginning, bulletin board systems primarily exchanged messages.
As bulletin board systems become more and more popular, the demand for more features increased. Today, users logged into a BBS may read and write messages, transfer files, chat with other users online and more.
PCBoard meets these and other user demands with several key features.

PCBoard's Key Features

PCBoard has many powerful features. The features listed below are but just a few of the features that PCBoard has. You will discover the other features as you read through the remainder of the manual and configure your BBS.

Quick Installation. The installation program will provide you with a basic setup in just minutes. Then from that base installation you can customize your system.

Powerful security features to restrict the information that you allow your users to see/transfer.

Customizable display files to make it easy for your users to find information and for you to give your BBS a unique look and feel.

Up to 65,535 conference areas. You can use conferences to focus on a particular subject or to isolate information or a group of users from the rest of the BBS.

Extensive support for third party add-in software. You can draw upon the huge third party support that PCBoard has, to add door games, or run any DOS text mode application such as an informational database.

Multilingual support allows callers to choose which language the BBS prompts and display files will be displayed in.

Bulletins may be used to display ASCII documents or text files online.

Powerful boolean text searching capabilities. You can search messages, file descriptions, bulletins and more for simple or complex search strings using boolean operands such as AND, OR, and NOT.

Multiasker aware. This allows the computer to be running other tasks when PCBoard does not immediately need the computers resources, or to run several nodes of PCBoard software on a single machine.

Works with any network which uses standard MS-DOS file/record locking procedures.

Grows to fit your needs. PCBoard can expand up to 32,768 nodes (concurrent users online) if you need additional nodes you simply purchase the appropriate software upgrade.

Optional command stacking. PCBoard allows you to stack commands on a single command line so expert users can quickly get to where they wish to go. Novice users are not ignored either. They may enter one command at a time and get the extra guidence to help them do what they wish to do.

Powerful serial port routines written in C and assembly language for speed. Supports up to 8 standard COM ports and all 15 IRQ settings.
There is also the option which allows you to use popular intelligent serial port boards or fossil drivers.

System Requirements

Below is a list of hardware and software that is necessary for a base configuration of PCBoard with one node.


  • IBM (R) or compatible computer (8088, 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486, etc.)
  • Properly connected AT command-set modem for each dial-in node
  • 384K of RAM


  • MS-DOS or PC-DOS v3.1 or later
  • PCBoard Software

NOTE: If you plan on running multiple nodes please see the Multiple Nodes chapter of this manual. This section has a list of required hardware and software for various system configurations.

Technical Support

With a program as powerful as PCBoard you may run into a situation where you cannot find an answer to one of your questions. In such a case , you should first access online help (if possible) by pressing 1.

If that fails to answer your question you should then search your manual to see if you can find the answer there. If neither of these approaches brings you closer to a solution, you may want to consider contacting Clark Development for your support needs.

Clark Development Offers a trained technical support staff to answer your questions no matter how seemingly unimportant or complex.

Our technical support staff will be more than happy to help you with any problem related to the PCBoard program itself. Unfortunately, our technical support staff cannot help you with third-party add-ins or other programs not written by Clark Development. If you have a question about another program your best solution would be to contact the author of that program or to leave a message addressed to ALL on Salt Air where other, more experienced users may be able to assist you .

When Calling For Technical Support Via Phone

Have your serial number ready

If possible, be at the computer you are experiencing the problem with.

Be prepared to describe, in detail, the problem or question that you have, including the exact text of any error messages you may be getting.

If you have made attempts to correct the problem, be prepared to describe the actions taken to the technician.

When Requesting Technical Support Via BBS Message

Describe the problem or question that you have in detail.

When necessary, try to use screen captures to enhance the readability of your message.

You receive one year of technical support with any new PCBoard purchase or product level-upgrade. After the first year, you may renew your support at any time by calling our toll free order line at 800-356-1686.

Benefits Of Keeping Your Support Current

There are several benefits that you will enjoy if you keep your support current. As you can see from the list below we do more than just answer your questions!

Technical support by phone Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mountain Time (MT).

Technical support via Salt Air BBS 24 hours a day. You may enter a message on Salt Air and will always receive a prompt reply.

Technical support via numerous “EchoMail” networks such as RIME, ILink, Intelec, etc.

FREE program updates available on Salt Air. This includes minor updates and major version upgrades.

Our comprehensive newsletter will be mailed to you free of charge as each issue is released.

Access to several hundred third party add-ins and utility programs via Salt Air BBS that may be used with your PCBoard BBS.

Direct access to many of the more popular third-party authors via special conferences on Salt Air BBS.

How To Obtain Technical Support

As mentioned before, there are three ways you can get technical support:
phone, support BBS, and EchoMail networks.


Voice technical support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time at 801-261-1686.

Support BBS (Salt Air)

Our support BBS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just leave a message and you will receive a reply as soon as possible. Our support BBS has three main phone numbers; all modems are capable of V.32 and V.32bis connections.

801-261-8976 - USRobotics HST Dual Standards
801-261-8979 - Hayes Ultras
801-261-8977 - USRobotics HST Dual Standards - Extended support
                     purchasers only

EchoMail networks

Several mail networks carry our support conference (e.g. RIME, ILink, etc.). You may leave a message in our support conference and get a reply from any of our trained technicians. If you do decide to use the mail networks for support questions, it is important to use an account with the same logon name that you use for your established Salt Air BBS account, and that your support is current on Salt Air.

Getting Started

Your first experience with PCBoard will be to install or upgrade your current version. For this information, refer to the Installation chapter of this manual. Once PCBoard is installed, refer to the rest of the chapters in this book for additional information. The following sections summarize the rest of the chapters in this manual.

Chapter 2: Install

Whether you are installing PCBoard for the first time or upgrading a previous version, this chapter provides both quick and detailed instructions for installing this version of PCBoard.

Chapter 3: PCBoard

This chapter discusses how to load PCBoard including any command line or environment switches that you may want to use.
In addition, any error messages that can occur while PCBoard loads are described in detail.

Chapter 4: PCBoard Commands

When logged into PCBoard, all tasks are accomplished by entering commands at a command prompt.
This chapter details the user and SysOp commands that are available and how to use them.

Chapter 5: PCBSetup

The PCBSetup utility is used to alter the configuration files that make-up your bulletin board system.
With the exception of conference configurations, all options and switches are discussed in great detail.

Refer to this chapter when you are making changes to your system and you need additional information about the screens and options that are presented to you.

Chapter 6: Conference Setup

There are several options, switches, and files that make up each conference's configuration.
This chapter details the components that make up a conference in explicit detail.
For information on creating or registering users in a conference, refer to the Sysop's Guide chapter instead.

Chapter 7: Multiple Nodes

It is quite common for a bulletin board system to have several nodes.
Each node can accommodate one caller at a time.
If you have three nodes, three users can be accessing your system at the same time.
This chapter discusses how to setup multiple nodes using a network or multitasker.

Chapter 8: Sysop's Guide

This chapter of the manual ties together key concepts of your configuration to help you understand how to do certain things on your BBS.
In this chapter you will find that the following topics are discussed:

  • file transfers
  • messages
  • conferences
  • events
  • system security
  • maintenance tasks
  • new users
  • user subscriptions
  • semi-techinical information about modems

Chapter 9: Customizing Your BBS

If all bulletin board systems looked the same, it would make for a pretty dull environment.
This chapter details some changes that you can make to your system to help give it a unique look and feel.

Chapter 10: System Manager

System Manager is a utility that is used in conjunction with PCBoard to modify user records.
You can adjust the security levels of users, individual records, and many other tasks.
This chapter describes all of the options and screens in System Manager.

Chapter 11: PCBFiler

Use PCBFiler to help you maintain your file directories.
Using PCBFiler you can move files from the directory where they were uploaded to a new location.
This chapter discusses how to use PCBFiler.

Chapter 12: Utilities

Several utilities are included with your PCBoard package.
For example, you would use PCBPack to help keep the size of your message bases down.
This chapter describes each of the utilities that are included with your package.

Chapter 13: Batch Files

There are several features of PCBoard that require the use of a batch file.
For example, when testing uploads, PCBoard is executing a batch file, allowing you to use any program you desire to do the actual testing.
This chapter discusses the various batch files that you will create when setting up PCBoard.

introduction.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/16 15:42
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