C-Net DS2

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C-Net DS2 (Developers System, Second Generation) was a full featured, single-line, Bulletin board system (BBS) software system released in 1986 for the Commodore 64 microcomputer. The DS2 system was notable in that its authors proved that it was possible to perform significant and useful serious computing tasks on a hardware platform with such severely limited resources that even the manufacturer called it only a "game machine".

The Commodore-64 was a simple computer, based on a MOS Technology 6502 8-bit microprocessor, with 64 kilobytes of RAM, only 38k of which was available for program text and variables that could be used by the built-in BASIC programming language interpreter. Nevertheless, several different BBS programs were developed (including DS2) by various different independent programmers (mostly hobbyists not affiliated with any large software publisher) that enabled a System Operator (SysOp) run a single-user at a time, multiple member online community supporting: Threaded topical discussions; on-line gaming; information reference library; live chat mode with the console operator; file-sharing library; and the ability to create customized user experiences in BASIC, thus the Developers System title.

From an engineering standpoint, C-Net DS2 was remarkable in its use of Machine language modules, early multitasking technology, relocatable code, and modular program overlays. Although the user experience was entirely text-based and non-graphical, fast...
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