W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > September 2003

More Prior Art - BBS Systems and FrontEnds

From: Hector Santos <winserver.support@winserver.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 05:46:14 -0400
Message-ID: <003601c37392$902291f0$c7342243@FAMILY>
To: "web-plugins" <public-web-plugins@w3.org>

As I said in my postings, this patent should have never been issued.
Microsoft has focused on using the wrong person for its defense.     They
should of used the BBS market and her thousands of add-on products by 3rd
party developers as a prime example of intelligent frontend remote/client
systems with the capabilities of adding "plugins" to the frontends.

These systems date back so many years it is difficult to remember them all
but its all coming back and I'm find many of the systems that have archive
these shareware and commercial applications.   Here are a few that offer the
following three essential ingredients:

            - remote client/server
            - tag activation
            - frontend browsers
            - browser extensions
            - data transformation and embedding

- WINSERVER (Santronics Software, Inc, original authors Mustang Software)
- WorldGroup (Galaticomm)
- PowerBBS (one of the earliest graphical client/server systems.
- Excalibar
- First Class
- DarkStar (??)

Lets stop here, for a moment.    I remember DarkStar was really getting a
lot of marketing attention. I never saw it myself but it was getting much
news on the net.  It was a period during these early days where there was
big rage and push for the next generation BBS systems.  WorldGroup was the
top dog and the WINSERVER system followed.  PowerBBS I recall concentrated
on "ergonomic features" such as making a graphical system usable for the
blind with technically we BBS developers called SFI or "Speech Friendly
Interfacing."    I never saw First Class but they were pretty commercial,
not serving the open community as such.  Excalibar was one the first Windows
based systems.

But this DarkStar was getting big raves.  I started to think about it more
because I knew there was something even better, something I have seen and
worked with,  something that really got the ball rolling in this market.
Then it hit it - 17 year old,  named Seth Hamilton and his incredible
"Roboboard/FX" system.

Microsoft!!!  Your legal team need to GO here.   You need to check out all
the above systems, but with out a doubt,  you need to check out
RoboBoard/FX.   This is 100% prior art with ALL of the ABOVE features and he
wrote it (released to the public) back in 1991/92 time frame!

This kid was incredible!  I remember because he invented these "little
embedded objects" that the BBS can sent to the special Graphical Frontend
client to do all kinds of fancy things!    Then I met him at One BBSCON and
instead of seeing Roboboard/FX,  it saw his latest renamed to MediaHost!
WOW!    This was 100% multi-media embedding from a remote client/server
hosting standpoint.   Here is a URL on RoboBoard:


and here is a statement from one of the paragraphs:

        "When Seth Hamilton introduced the original ROBO-BOARD series, it
sent shock waves
        through the BBS community..........."

no kidding!  Unfortunately, we have this academia "unix oriented" community
that was ignorant of the BBS world.

Microsoft, this your salvation.    Mr. Doyle was more than being
"deceptive", he was ignorant of the market place.  The BBS world pre-dates
the public form of the INTERNET and the WWW and it all certainly pre-dates
January, 1994.

Google "RoboBoard" and of advance search before Jan 1994 and behold!


Hector Santos, CTO
Santronics Software, Inc.
305-431-2846 Cell
305-248-3204 Office
Received on Friday, 5 September 2003 05:46:35 UTC

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