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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More on RAD BBS and C-64 chiptunes

I received some happy responses to Monday's post about C-64 intros and the music (chiptunes) which tended to show up in other parts of the "scene". I'm glad it was received so well, and have some potentially interesting updates to share.

I went back to my original floppy images and found a release note which said it was in fact version 4.5 of the "RAD BBS" software, and the documentation (!) said it was released July 30, 1989. It was rather colorful and did quite a few things you didn't see in other systems.

RAD 4.5 config editor

For instance, after you plugged in your user ID and password, it would print part of your phone number and would prompt you to finish it. Looking at it now, it's a little scary, since it means anyone who had those two parts of your login would then have the "408-555" part of your phone number. It's also kind of interesting since you couldn't get in without knowing or brute-forcing the last 4 digits.

This software also had something called "oneliners". Users could type in a short pithy comment somewhere, and it would be displayed any time the BBS put up a prompt. In this way, the whole system took on the flavor of its user base. Basically, if one of your regular callers really liked Zippy comics, you might see a whole bunch of "YOW!" lines while navigating the menus.

Regarding the music, it turns out that also has a known source, too. It's already been indexed at the CSDb (C-64 Scene Database), and it's called Ski Dance.

Oh, but wait, it gets better. Apparently that music came from an obscure movie from 1986! It's pretty crazy stuff, and of course, there's a clip online so you can compare the two.

Thanks to "tq" for figuring this out.