Replace the Message Read Prompt in SBBS – Updated and Fixed***

I had to change one line in the prompt below. Where it says @SMB_LAST_MSG@ that should read @SMB_TOTAL_MSGS@. The last message @-Code gives a total number of messages in the sub including deleted, dupes, etc…which may not match what the system actually shows. I found that out in some of the message bases that have a lot of posts, such as new file listings.

A while back I explained how to replace the message header (two ways, easy and hard) but now my prompt doesn’t match so I replaced my message reading prompt before work this morning. Here are the directions along with a couple of pics:

  1. Create your ansi prompt. Here’s mine along with an explanation of the @-codes I used.


The @SMB_GROUP@ tells SBBS to list the current message group (Local, Fidonet, etc…) @SMB_SUB@ is the current sub, or message area, within that group. @SMB_CURMSG@ is the current message number in that group and last of all @SMB_LAST_MSG@ is the last message number available. You’ll see what they do a little later on.

  1. Ok, so edit your ansi in your favorite text editor. Make sure to remove the ESC[255D if your ansi editor adds it in (The Draw does, Pablo does not). You’ll need to add a few things in as I’ll show you below.

This first one is what it looks like upon opening.


If I were to insert it like that into my text.dat it would royally fuck things up so we have a little editing to do. We need to turn it into a one line deal and use the @CRLF@ @-code to let SBBS know when to hit a carriage return. In addition to putting it at the end of the first two lines I also added one in at the very beginning so there would be a space between the message and the prompt. Here’s what it looks like when I finished. All three lines won’t fit here due to word rap so just imagine all of this is on one line.


  1. Open the text.dat and go down to line 71, that’s the one you want to replace. It’s actually a two line deal. The prompt is going to go on the first line. For the second line delete everything in between the quotation marks so that all you have left is “”. It’s important to leave this here otherwise everything else in the text.dat will be screwed up and you’ll have problems. Make sure that the entire prompt itself is inside quotation marks as well. Last but not least there’s a trailing backslash at the end. I’m not sure why (perhaps that tells SBBS that the prompt continues to the next line) since I have experimented more than I’ve read the f’ing docs but I do know from experience it needs to stay there. Here’s what the two lines should look like when you are finished. Again, bear in mind that the first three lines are actually on one line in my text.dat I just word-wrapped it here so that all would be visible.


You’ll notice the trailing at the end just before the prompt and also the “” on the line following it. Anyway, here’s what it looks like on my system now that I have a proper header and footer when reading messages (click the picture to embiggen).


Nice, huh? I only wish I could do more than edit other people’s ansi work. These were both ripped from old BBS ansi’s and edited by me.

Anyway, I hope this made a little bit of sense and helps someone out.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.