Creating Custom Message Headers for SBBS
Updated – I found an easier way to do this (knew I would…) and it’s at the bottom of the post
One of things I used in my Proboard and RG setups in the ’90s was custom message headers…i.e. OBV/2 style. I’m trying to get away from the stock setup and this is one of the things that bothered me most.
Here’s what I ended up with:
First off you need to find or create the header. Unfortunately even though I can come up with some decent stuff I completely SUCK at anything art related so I dug through several Ansi packs and BBS setups and found a few I wanted. This is the original I came up with:
Open your ansi in TheDraw or whatever program you’re using to edit them. Make sure to select your foreground and background colors so that they match what you want the end result to be. You can find the current list of @-codes over at the Synchronet Wiki. Here’s about what the file should look like when you’re finished editing it in TheDraw.
This is the part that had me stumped for more than an hour this afternoon trying to get to work correctly. The -L at the end of the code tells SBBS to align left and the #’s are how much padding you want. Otherwise you end up pushing the stuff to the right onto the next line and it looks like crap.
Once you’ve got your file saved in TheDraw you need to exit out and navigate the DOS prompt to your menu directory, usually sbbstextmenu. That’s where you need to copy your file. By default Synchronet loads .asc files so I named mine msghdr.asc
Type edit msghdr.asc so that you’ve got the ansi open in your DOS text editor.
You see that line that ends with 255D? If you leave it there you’ll have several line feeds and you’ll never see your header or maybe just the bottom two lines. So what we need to do is move it up several lines as so…
Do an alt-f s and save your file now. That should be all you need to do here. Now it’s on to the text.dat which is located in sbbsctrl
Here’s what it looks like before making changes.
The top few lines are the only ones we are concerned with. At first I thought I needed to replace all of the first 9 or so but once I started editing and playing around I realized I could just replace prompt #1.
Here’s what I have after editing:
The line that say TYPE tells SBBS to display a text file for that prompt. Save your text.dat and reload your configuration and you should be ready to go.
There’s bound to be an easier method to do this but it’s working on my system. If you have any questions or better ideas please let me know.
Updated. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, there IS an easier way to do this (duh). You can find it at http://wiki.synchro.net/custom:messageheader If you are using a custom you’ll still probably need to pad some of the strings as I mentioned above.