Andrew Bernhardt's DTJ-BBS Homepage

“DTJ-BBS: The only BBS program endorsed by the author’s mother.(Usenet tagline)

These are all unsolicited testimonials (originals on file). Emphasis is in the originals.

“You obviously have talent for programming since the BBS pgm is so logically designed, powerful, and easy to use. Being able to exit the editor and come back to finish up the text later is great!” W.L.B. (June 1988) (letter)

“I like your software, it’s AWESOME!!!” P.L. (letter)

“Many of my users have commented on how much they like the board…. I STILL say DTJ is the BEST bbs for the 64!” M.M. (August 1989) (BBS message)

“This is without a doubt the best program for the Commodore 64 computer. The only problem is that it will probably only appeal to the mature Commodore users…” “A.” (September 1989) (BBS message)

“Yes, this is a very good BBS program… It is definitely worth the download if you are serious about running a BBS. … I have been running this software for quite a while and it runs great!” “Z.K.” (September 1989) (BBS message)

“This is a VERY GOOD bbs. … [Andy] is VERY helpful with any problem you may have!” “U.S.” (October 1989) (BBS message)

“IT IS GREAT! DL IT NOW! I LOVE THIS BBS.. Nice Job Andrew!!!!!” C.H. (December 1989) (BBS message)

“One of the BEST bbs programs for the C-64. It works great for my club oriented message bbs. Many are surprised it is not an IBM system. Took me 2 years of bbs experimenting to find this out.” J.H. (December 1989) (BBS message)

“With these new improvements you have made to the BBS I cannot see why now how anyone cannot say that this is truly the best BBS program ever for the 64/128. Everyone around my way agrees that it is. Every year in ____ (where I live) and the communities around us, who have BBSs all get together for a yearly BBS BBQ. … Last year with this software I got nominated and seconded for Best BBS and Best System. … This year I was again nominated for both categories and because of the changes you made to the software and the hardware I added, I won both categories! 15 votes for Best BBS and 14 votes for Best Sysop blowing away my competition.” G.N. (1990) (letter)

“DTJBBS is well designed and if you are looking for a serious message base system… then this is a good choice.” “L.F.” (April 1990) (Q-Link)

“I… was quite impressed with it’s 2400 baud performance! When you consider that I am in Florida and he is in Nevada and that I only saw two errors during a 454 block file transfer, I’d have to say something was done right. … I was VERY impressed at how smoothly it ran!” “TelecomMan” (April 1990) (Q-Link)

“I could not believe the docs… Very very good…” “Ninja11” (April 1990) (Q-Link)

“Currently i am the only DTJ BBS in Aust., ITS A HIT, they love it…” A.S. (April 1990) (BBS message)

“If your program gets much better, us sysops will be out of a job. Keep up the good work!” M.M. (April 1990) (BBS message)

“it’s a wonder that you have any time for anything with all the improvements to DTJ (not that DTJ needs them) for keeping us ingrates (we never seem to be satisfied) happy. I must say that I am VERY HAPPY with DTJ…. THANKS A MILLION!!!” “Z.K.” (May 1990) (BBS message)

“Of all the bbs’s I’ve seen, DTJ is the most crash proof one that I have seen! Good work Andy! I’ve never had it crash, ever.” M.M. (June 1990) (BBS message)

“I can’t stop bragging about how good this BBS program is. … Keep up the good work.” P.G. (July 1990) (letter)

“I want to thank you personally for writing this software. it’s a **** good system, and I’m proud to own a copy.” “C.” (August 1990) (BBS email)

“I have used and tested many different BBSes for C64/128 and I have never even heard of a bbs that sounds better (or is better) than DTJ for both the user and the sysop. As always, many thanks to Andy for all the work! Especially for Andy’s willingness to listen to our suggestions, and his honest answers when we suggest something that just won’t or can’t fit in, or wouldn’t actually improve DTJ. The support is incredible, and I appreciate it very much!” M.M. (September 1990) (BBS message)

“Ah, well, you see the kind of dreamers you attract when you come out with such an extraordinarily powerful program as DTJ-BBS!” K.S. (September 1990) (BBS message)

“I’m impressed with the professionalism of your work.” R.C. (November 1990) (BBS message)

“I had my system running since about Oct 10, 24 hours a day without any problems. You are right, everyone that calls comments on how unique it is and are surprised that a C64 is running the system. I enjoy running the BBS.” F.O. (November 1990). (letter)

“Your BBS is worth it, and I cant beleve how easy it is to keep it up. And I will pass on my user comments to me on to you ”Its a great BBS”” “B.C.” (January 1991) (BBS email)

“And still I am astonished… this is, if you don’t mind me saying, a **** good board… better than the ones here anyway… lots better…” “Rat” (February 1991) (BBS message)

“I’m very impressed with this BBS and just thought you would like to hear.” “B.R.” (March 1991) (BBS email)

“I have to say that it is the best bbs prog. I’ve seen that appeals to users of all computer types. … Outstanding docs, by the way.” “B.S.” (April 1991) (BBS email)

“Thanks for the great BBS program, and all the support you have been providing. … I have been running the DTJ BBS for about a month now and LOVE it.” D.L.B. (May 1991) (letter)

“Why are you limiting the “DONATION” to $35? Seems to me to be worth more than that just for the available support! My check is finally in the mail, and I hope it helps in the developement of more good shareware programs. I try to support the ones I think are worth it. This is DEFINITELY one of the best.” D. (May 1991) (BBS email)

“I think that the 64 vers of DTJ is some of the finest code ever written for a Commodore machine. I showed it to a few IBeaMers and it knocked their socks off! … DTJ is awesome and freaked out my IBM friends.” “B.S.” (June 1991) (BBS message and email)

“I agree with both R___ and Z___ R___ that this is clearly the fastest BBS on the 8-bit.”” Doctor” (September 1991) (BBS message)

“Your board is the closest to a “perfect” system I have ran across.” “D.” (October 1991) (BBS message)

“You are right, this does look like a PC BBS.” “D.W.” (October 1991) (BBS message)

“I sure won’t be trading DTJ away anytime soon!” R.C. (October 1991) (BBS message)

“I’m very pleased.” D.W. (October 1991) (BBS message)

“I’ll have you know that the DTJ BBS I am running down here (Biloxi Mississippi area) is PERFERRED over that horrendous ____ BBS system, and the people calling on the IBMs and clones love it for the speed they have not found on any other commodore system. I would also like to personally thank Andrew for developing a crash-proof bbs, since the only time mine has ever crashed has been with the help of my kitten pulling the cord out of the wall.” “Aggegor” (October 1991) (BBS message)

“Many of my users (IBMers) SWEAR I’m running on a IBM PC, in spite of my assertions that we are operating on a 64.” “H.M.” (November 1991) (BBS message)

“My users and myself are very satisfied with the software..keep up the great work Andrew!” G.N. (December 1991) (BBS message)

“I will stay with DTJ, in all the BBS wandering around I have done I have not seen a BBS that met MY needs as well!” “M.” (February 1992) (BBS message)

“I Downloaded your DTJ BBS from Qlink a long time ago and just recently begin setting it up on my C128. I am really impressed.” J.P. (March 1992) (BBS message)

“One of the best I’ve seen.” L.J. (April 1992) (BBS message)

“I have set up many BBS’s on a variety of machines (Apple II’s, Macs, IBM)… I can’t believe the quality of your efforts compared to others… By any standards your BBS Software is one of the best! Bravo! and thank you!” R.F. (April 1992) (BBS email)

“I wanted to thank you for writing a great BBS!” B.E. (September 1992) (BBS message)

“I have always loved the support for this software, it is one of the main reasons I am sticking with it.” G.N. (April 1993) (BBS message)

“I am always impressed with how well the software is put together.” G.S. (June 1993) (letter)

“This program is pure gold (99.99% anyway).” B.Y. (November 1993) (BBS message)

“I have been looking at and running BBS’s for over 10 years and this is by far the easyest to create, maintain and run!” “M.” (December 1993) (BBS message)

“I wish to thank you for writting a very fine piece of software.” “B.C.” (December 1993) (BBS message)

“DTJ is a major improvement over it [i.e. Citadel]” G.N. (December 1993) (BBS message)

“I currently write the SYSOPs CORNER in Commodore World magazine. I can write about Does The Job all day long…” M.C. (April 1994) ( comp.sys.cbm)

“Thanks for the great BBS Andrew” B.Y. (January 1994) (BBS message)

“Very impressive BBS!” E.C.R. (February 1994) (BBS message)

“I have yet to see a BBS for the C64 which has the power and abilities of the DTJ message base – the main reason I got it for.” G.N. (April 1994) (comp.cbm.sys)

“Thank you for writing such a great BBS program. I have been using it for about 9 months now, and it is great!” B.Y. (May 1994) (letter)

“Very impressive. If I wasn’t a Commie 8-bit user, you would have a hard time convincing me that this system is running on one. It is everything your info sheet said it is.” F.M. (June 1994) (BBS message)

“Your support has really meant a lot to me even tho I would love your program without any support.” B.Y. (June 1994) (BBS message)

“I’m very impressed with the way this BBS looks and feels.” “T.C.O.” (September 1994) (BBS message)

“Just wanted to say that I’ve downloaded every Commodore bbs program I could find and none of ’em interested me. Until DTJ. *This* thing is one fantastic piece of work!” S.S. (October 1996) (BBS email)

“I used AABBS 6.9 and C-Net 11.1 before I got a copy of DTJ from Q-Link. They were okay, but not nearly as powerful as DTJ. … I have some other BBS programs (FRPBBS, Hal BBS, Kermit BBS, Ribit BBS, SCBBS, and Googie-Net) but they’re either way too small, or too clumsy. Which is why I was and am so pleased with DTJ.” J.E. (letter)

“After begging, asking and pleading with the writers of the other BBS programs for the Commodore platform for almost a year, I stayed with DTJ-BBS because you can actually get help and support, and honest to God, the program. … Andrew Bernhardt was the only one who replied to my email or questions. If you want a REAL BBS program, get DTJ. … The result? Front page newspaper coverage, radio interviews, and tons of users to my system. Yes indeed, the real Commodore BBS program is DTJ. … Does The Job does indeed do the job.” M.C. (April 1996) ( comp.sys.cbm)(comp.sys.cbm)

“DTJ really works great” B.Y. (October 1996) (BBS message)

“Very good and fast!” T.L. (March 1997) ( fido.ger.kontakt)

“I would recommend a BBS program called Does The Job BBS ( DTJ BBS) for the 128, it’s screen formating for “ibm” callers is transparent, and they will never know that you are running on a C=ommodore…… and of course it treats C=ommodore callers in their “native tongue” too.” R.Y. (December 2001) ( comp.sys.cbm)

“DTJBBS: Does The Job BBS (really!) — that which makes a Commodore worth owning, almost. The only BBS program endorsed by and used by the author’s mother.” – from A Cynic’s Guide to Computer Terms

Author’s Note

I began BBS-ing with a Radio Shack PC2 pocket computer. I was hooked, even though it was somewhat difficult to read the text as it scrolled by on the single line display! I eventually bought a shiny, new SX-64 for $1000 (which I still have, and another one to keep it company). The SX was much easier on the eyes.

Joe Jucha invited me to co-sysop a C64 board with him called ‘Paranoia Central’. It went online the night of December 31, 1984 in his barracks room at McGuire Air Force Base. We ran ‘Commline 64’, written by Vince Quaresima. Vince gave me a free copy because I wrote some machine language to make it run better, so I put up ‘Second Home Electronic Cottage’ in 1985 in my own barracks room down the hall. By that time, though, I was already in the process of writing DTJ, which went online in December. Here’s one of my original announcements posted on another BBS:

   Number 183
   By: RODNEY THE ROACH     12/12/85
For those of you who want to see something different, try calling (609) 723-____. This is the number to the old Second Home but I’ve changed the software. I am now running a new (and test version) of a BBS for the Commodore 64.
Features of the BBS include up to 26 user-createable message bases (or ‘rooms’), XMODEM up and downloading (currently disabled), word-processing type message editting, and, if I can get my modem to do what it’s supposed to do, 1200 baud. If you call, you’ll find the system very different from a ‘standard’ type of BBS and you may find it a little akward at first but once you get the hang of it (in about 1 to 2 calls) you’ll find it easier and faster than most other BBSs. The name of the BBS is the DTJ-BBS (at least until I find a good name for it) and the number again is (609) 723-____.
Rodney The Roach
PS. I will be on my Christmas vacation starting this weekend until the 29th and I may not have the system up during that time.

The BBS was written in BASIC (compiled with version of Blitz! that I customized for the purpose) and my own home-brew assembler.

At first I sold the BBS commercially and had about 40 customers (only one of which ever asked for a refund). It was advertised in Run magazine for three months – the only advertising I ever did.


Even though I sold the BBS software for a few years, it was never more than a hobby. I put more time and money into it than I got out of it, but that was o.k. with me.

In June of 1989, the BBS went shareware, and that was when it started taking off. The BBS became more popular and powerful, and I had many requests to port the program over to other operating systems such as Unix, MS-DOS, Amiga, and MAC.

For all these testimonies (and I do have more), the DTJ-BBS was never perfect. It was never meant to satisfy every sysop and user (an impossible task). There were always bugs to fix and ideas to implement, so programming kept me pretty busy. There was also the limited amount of memory and primative (including home-brew) development tools I had to work with. However, I definitely enjoyed the time I had writing and ‘tweeking’ this thing, and implementing your suggestions. I still miss working on it, and there’s a lot more I would have liked to do with it (including networking), but my life is too busy.

I want to thank all of you who ran a DTJ-BBS for being such loyal sysops! Without your criticisms and encouragements, this would not have been possible.

– Andrew Bernhardt
To God be all the glory!


DTJ-BBS Testimonials — 12 Comments

  1. Aw comeon, you beta’d that puppy as we ate pizza! :) I have to admit, I am a bit scared. I moved out here to nowhere and I might have lost the SX. About 5 yrs ago I left Indianapolis and moved to the country. In the move I had to toss a lot of really great computer stuff. I am pretty sure I tossed the TRS80, but kept the 5meg hard drive, a boatload of C64s, but I can’t imagine throwing the SX out, not just because of DTJ, but because of it’s Central American history ! We sat in a tent and played Blue Maxx on it. :) Is Stephanie still there, I enjoyed my first call looking for you, she was perfectly defensive, I spoke of MY Andy and she spoke of HER Andy, and the two quickly melded. Anyway, I wish I had done more for you. 765-528-2298

  2. I still have my C64 equipment, including the SX (which works), 200Mb hard drive, modem, etc. I even still have my Commline 64 disk! I transfered my HD files to my PC so I can view and run things with the emulator. Haven’t been able to get the BBS running on Telnet yet (if ever… no time to work on it). Jim Brain was trying to Telnet it a while ago.

  3. OMIGOD! I don’t believe I found this stuff, and you two guys at the end of it!! I’m in California now – retired from teaching in June 2001 – and to think all this BBS “stuff” was 25 years ago! And folks around here look at me with puzzled stares when I tell them about “back East” and the days when folks like you guys (and a bit of me, and many other sysop-types) CREATED the world of online which evolved to that which we have today. And as I said in a NetK2NE newsletter a couple years back – thinking back to those “dayes of yore” I am not entirely convinced that it wasn’t BETTER back then! God bless all of you!

  4. Ok, now I am truly frightened. Vince AND Andy? The circle is complete. :) Alive and well in Indiana. No work, but that’s just the way it is.

  5. Ok, this is pure nostalgia. I have not heard the names Joe Jucha, Andy *Rodney the Roach* Bernhardt, Vince *Jersey Devil* “Q” Quaresima, Commline 64 BBS, TOD (Time of Day), sound familiar Andy?, in nearly 26 years. Many a night in the dorms at McGuire were spent TRYING to check messages on The Jersey Devil, but with so many people trying the same thing it became more of a challenge, thankfully I had the 2 computers and 2 lines so my bbs was able to stay online while I tried…lol. Vince, just out of curiosity how many dorm rats bought the commline64? I vaguely recall 7?, my….where did the time actually go.

    Bruce *Avalanche Express* (and the only sysop to ever have an operational commline64 in Alaska

  6. Hi Bruce! A *long* time, no hear from you! I still have the original SX64 my BBS ran on in my closet, and it still works. I even have my Commline64 disk from before DTJ-BBS, which also still runs! (I ran it several years ago just to re-view the old messages that were on it.)

  7. Andy, I dug out my old SX couple hours ago and fired up all 4 1571’s (still have the same emerson 13″ color tv i used back then…and I always wondered why I never got rid of that tv…shoot I bought it at the BX in 1983 *dang that things 30*) low and behold…darn thing still works. Vince gave me 2 copies of my bbs, the original for when I lived in the dorms, and a unencoded copy in the event I had trouble with it when I pcs’d to alaska (elmendorf)and was not able to get in touch with him. Sad to say, I have no messages from the McGoo days, all my archived posts are from anchorage, but everything including the both the hayes 1200 and 2400 baud modems worked fine. A comment Joe made brought back far too many memories (pizza), I work with a guy who’s father was stationed at McGoo the same timeframe as us, and dang if he didnt remember “Bill and Irv’s Pizza” (far too much heartburn not to forget that place). Remember Bob Brynes my co-sysop and roommate? He’s doing well back home upstate NY, talked to him about 14 months back. Joe…remember the fun we had trying to raise Vince’s new aerial during that thunderstorm???? Geeezzzzzz those were stop fun times back then.

  8. I also have the source for Commline somewhere. Actually I transferred all my C64 files over to my PC some years ago. I was looking into making DTJ Telnet-able, using Vice and Jim Brain’s TCPSER4J, but I didn’t and still don’t have the time.

  9. I was talking today with a friend of mine about the BBS days, and I remembered DTJ, so I decided to see what I could find on the internet … and here I am. I didn’t know Andy or Vince, but I was regular caller to Joe’s Paranoia Central and the BBS that Andy’s Mom ran (can’t recall the name of it thanks to middle-age), but I do remember Saturday night Staph meetings at Joe J’s, Gary L’s, Naz R’s, and Al G’s. Let’s see if I can remember some other names… Mmmm, how about Willi K, or Linus B? I’m sure there are others, but I just can’t recall. You guys were my introduction to the Amiga. I remember Joe moving to Indiana quite awhile ago, but haven’t had contact with anyone other than Gary, who still lives in NJ afaik. Anyway, thanks for the memories… hope all’s well with everyone.

    • Hi Ray, Mom’s BBS was Schloss Der Mama, and Joe still lives in Indiana, although it’s been some years since I talked to him. I think Gary still lives at the same place in Williamstown.

  10. Goodness! I remember DTJ well. Wasn’t it also what the old Bear Mountain Railroad was run on?

    I was one of those people who used his own real-life name for BBSs. For better or for worse.

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