Photo of me and S.H.E.C.
(Photo of the flagship system, Second Home Electronic Cottage, circa 1988)

While the BBS files are available for downloading from this site, I am not actively supporting the software anymore. If you have problems running the BBS, I may be able to help you, but due to lack of free time, I am no longer improving the program. The information that follows is to give you an idea of the capabilities of the software.

(For you “real” computer users, this program is only 48k bytes, and runs in 64k (0.0625Mb) of RAM on an 8-bit 1Mhz computer. Try doing that on a PC!)


Testimonials! What sysops had to say about the software.
dtj950307.arc Main program disk files. 177.5k. Un-ARCs to 778 blocks.
doc950307.arc Main documentation disk files. 105.4k. Un-ARCs to 516 blocks
(or view the uncompressed ASCII version).
dtjprog.arc DTJ-BBS programmer’s guide. 79.2k. Un-ARCs to 811 blocks
(or view the uncompressed ASCII version).
DTJ-BBS Article about the program on wikipedia.

(The C64 ARC program is available here.)


The DTJ Bulletin Board System for the Commodore 64 is a professional quality shareware discussion-orientated BBS program that offers big system features. It is written in BASIC (compiled by Blitz!) and machine language. This software will run under a variety of hardware configurations and has many customizable features.

The DTJ-BBS operates similar to the popular Citadel BBS program. This type of software is called a general discussion system because it places more emphasis on good discussion areas than on things like file transfers or on-line games.

The DTJ-BBS is a non-Commodore specific BBS program. It doesn’t feature Commodore color graphics or other Commodore-type features. Instead, the DTJ-BBS was written with all computer users in mind. The software doesn’t act like most Commodore systems do. In fact, many users think the software runs on a PC!

While many of the commands are similar, the DTJ-BBS is not a clone of Citadel. It is more user-friendly, especially for new users. Unless you are familiar with the DTJ-BBS or Citadel programs, you may find “getting around” DTJ a bit unusual at first compared to other bulletin board programs, but in a short time you will find the DTJ-BBS to be much easier, faster, and more powerful than other BBS programs.

The DTJ-BBS is easy to set up. Just run the separate support program (included), answer some questions about your hardware, and insert blank disks when the computer tells you to. Once the BBS is configured, you can customize the setup to suit your taste.

The DTJ-BBS practically maintains itself. This frees up your time to do more important things like validate new users and participate in the various discussions. And when a problem does occur, there’s a troubleshooting section in the documentation to help you out.

DTJ-BBS loading screen



  • C64, SX64, or C128 (in the 64 mode).
  • Foreign 50hz AC power is also supported.


  • 1 to 24 DOS 2.6 compatible serial port drives. The 1541, 1571, 1581 floppy drives, CMD hard drives and RAMlink are fully supported.
  • The BBS sees these drives as up to 26 “logical” drives. Each logical drive is assigned a device number and an editable command channel string, allowing you to partition 1571s, 1581s, and CMD hard drives, and use other drives not directly supported such as the ICT hard drives. The DTJ-BBS can directly handle up to 430Mb in 26 partitions on a CMD-HD.
  • You can assign certain types of files (i.e. messages, downloads, etc) to any one or more drives that you wish. Once the BBS is up and running, it doesn’t care what kind of drive you are using for a particular type of file.


  • 1650, 1660, 1670 (old and new), Hayes, or compatible modems supported. The 6470/6480 modems and modems that do not support carrier detect are not supported.
  • Supports up to 2400bps. With an optional Swiftlink-232, speeds up to 38400 bps are supported.
  • Baud rate is fine tunable via the support program included with the BBS. Receiver and transmitter full bit timing can also be adjusted independantly of each other.
  • Carrier and/or DTR lines can be configured as normal or inverted.
  • Editable 1670 and Hayes modem command strings.


  • Optional CBM or ASCII printer may be connected to the serial port.


  • Will also work with hardware clock/calendar devices such as The Right Time (TM) and the CMD HD’s internal clock. This frees you from having to set the date and time when you load the BBS.
  • Can autoboot itself after a power outage if you have a C128, an autoboot cartridge or RAMlink for your 64.
  • Works with JiffyDOS (TM). May not work with other hardware devices, especially those that replace the kernal ROM.

DTJ-BBS offline screen



  • Up to 999 users.
  • Access is based on SIGs (groups of message bases). There are 5 possible access levels that you can assign for each of 15 SIGs. This provides 5^15 or 30 billion possible access combinations per user!
  • System may be made totally open (logon optional), totally private (no new users), or anything in between.
  • Sysop commands include editing accounts and scanning accounts by status, name, password, date, and access.
  • BBS can optionally check for duplicate names when a new user requests and account.


  • 15 SIGs (sub-boards), each with their own message bases, file transfers, and SIG bulletins (announcements).
  • SIG manager (SIGop) functions give selected users limited sysop-like powers within certain SIGs.
  • Sysop commands include listing, renaming, deleting SIGs, and creating, editing, and deleting SIG bulletins.


  • Up to 50 rooms (message bases). Users can create rooms if their access is high enough.
  • Each room is assignable to any one of the 15 SIGs.
  • Circular message base system optionally deletes rooms that have no messages in them automatically.
  • Users can tell the system to ignore rooms they aren’t interested in.
  • Sysop commands include renaming and deleting rooms, changing room status and privacy levels, and more.


  • Up to 3500 messages online system-wide.
  • Number of messages in each room is dependant on the posting activity in the room. The more active the room is, the more messages will be in that room.
  • Indexed circular message base structure used for speed and self-maintainability. The index is located in memory so the only disk access needed to read a message is for the message itself.
  • Messages are written using a “freeform” machine language editor. What this means is you don’t have to worry about line numbers or having to press RETURN at the end of each line. You write your message in the same way as when you use a word-processor, pressing RETURN only at the end of paragraphs. The backspace key will work up to the beginning of the current paragraph. The editor will hold messages of up to 4096 characters, about three times as many characters as a normal BBS.
  • System tracks “new” messages and the user can also adjust the number of new messages he/she has.
  • Users can also choose if they want messages they save considered as “new” or “old”.
  • Users can unsave or append to the last message that they saved during their current session.

DTJ-BBS command prompt menu


  • Circular email system helps prevent disk full conditions. If necessary, the oldest piece of email will be deleted to make room for new mail.
  • Certified email option notifies the sender when mail has been received.
  • Autoreply feature.
  • Deletion of mail is a user option after reading. Mail is not automatically deleted after reading it.
  • Messages may be sent to the sysop at logoff. These messages may be appended to a logoff message file, or saved to a predesignated room.
  • Users can have their mail automatically forwarded to a different account.
  • Mail may be loaded into the editor for forwarding after reading.
  • Mailbox may be opened and closed by the user.
  • Sysops can read, reply to, and delete any user’s email.


  • File transfer protocol machine language stored in separate files for easy addition of future protocols.
  • Protocols included with the current version of the BBS include ASCII (XON/XOFF), Punter, Xmodem, XmodemCRC, and 1k-Xmodem.
  • The Xmodem protocols include a built-in padding stripper and special routines for preventing and correcting syncronization problems such as a NAK purger. The protocols are optimized for speed and are the fastest versions of the protocol available for the C64. For example, in tests at 19200bps, over 106kb of data was sent in 99 seconds using checksum-only xmodem.
  • Users may select which protocol they want and BBS will remember that protocol for future sessions.
  • Textfiles may be read online or downloaded.
  • File directories may be automatically read from the disk directory or you may use a description file. The automatic directory includes the approximate number of kilobytes, the name of the file, and the number of bytes available on disk.
  • Each SIG can be assigned it’s own download and upload drives.
  • Machine language file server that supports ASCII and CBM character sets, ANSI graphics codes, BASIC expression evaluation and variable/memory modification, conditional branching to other files, variable width word-wrapping, automatic pausing, imbedded pause codes, real-time profanity checker (with editable vocabulary), paragraph centering and indenting.
  • Validation of uploaded files is accomplished by a single SIGop command which renames the file and copies the file to the appropriate SIG file drive.


  • Optional printer dump of all or any part of your online session.
  • Printed log of users.
  • Optional audit trails for monitoring problem users.


  • Carrier detect, 3-minute (adjustable) no-entry timeout, and individually adjustable on-line daily time limits implemented.
  • Powerful sysop-definable “twit” detector checks for hackers and other undesirables by analyzing commands entered and/or checking for profanity. The twit detector is completely adjustable.
  • Disk space is checked before every save (optional).
  • Amount of free RAM displayed in sysop’s statistics.


  • Full sysop control from the console or remote including the ability to enable or disable the system, edit files, send DOS commands (except format), copy files, etc. Everything can be done from remote that can be done from the BBS console.
  • Machine language modules can be written for the BBS. A generic database module is included.
  • Menued topic-orientated help system.
  • Sysop-creatable new-user questionnaire.
  • All file output is word-wrapped to the user’s video width. Video widths up to 140 columns supported.
  • Built-in terminal mode (with same protocol(s) available as are available in the on-line BBS). Terminal mode can handle the highest Swiftlink-232 speed (38400bps) without needing flow control.
  • Accurate 12 hour AM/PM clock/calendar (with day of the week).
  • Works with autoboot cartridges. An autoboot sector is written to disk for C128 users that allows automatic rebooting of the BBS program from any drive in the event of a power outage. The BBS reprotects this sector after disk validations.
  • Automatic detection of 50hz AC power frequency. If 50hz is detected, the software will set the hardware clocks to operate at that frequency. Default baudrate values are also adjusted to operate correctly based on NTSC or PAL video frequencies.
  • Built-in screen blanker protects your monitor.

DTJ-BBS support program menu

Due to some direct ROM calls, the software may not work with parallel (IEEE) interfaces, fast-load cartridges, or other devices that replace the kernal ROM. The software does not work with the LtKernal hard drive. However, the software does work with JiffyDOS.

The DTJ-BBS is available on a freeware basis. The 130+ page documentation must be printed out with a supplied printing program.


DTJ-BBS Homepage — 10 Comments

  1. Here’s a blast from your past… have you heard from Joe J lately? Pray that you continue to grow in Christ. Billy Sysop Totec Castle (circa 1988)

  2. You need the old C64 arc program. If you can’t find it online, I can probably make a copy available here if I can find it.

  3. Hi! I’m the SysOp of Cottonwood BBS. I’m printing the HUGE documentation file for DTJ BBS as I type this. It’ll take some time to read through it, but if I can get this to work under emulation with WinVICE, I’m considering putting up a BBS running your software… yup, a brand new BBS running on DTJ software in 2014! ;)

    Just gotta think of a name for it… Any suggestions?

    • Hi Andrew! If you can get it work under emulation, great! I tried some time ago using Jim Brain’s serial-TCP server, but ran into a problem. The BBS needs to be able to control modem on-hook/off-hook using the DTR line. Unless the serial supports that, it won’t work. But let me know if you do get it to work and the details on how.

  4. Will do! In my own personal experience, I’ve had more success with Leif Bloomquist’s BBS Server than with Jim Brain’s TCPSer, but I’ll have to do some more testing to see what configuration works best. I’ll let you know what I come up with. :)

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