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NiKom - Basic usage

NiKom is a command driven BBS system, as opposed to many other systems who are driven by selecting options in menus. It also follows the style of so called KOM systems, or KOMpatible systems, that were fairly popular in Sweden in the pre-internet days.

When you log in to NiKom you are presented with a comand prompt where you can give commands to do the things you want to do. NiKom is also very much centered around the discussion forums, ("möten" in Swedish). In every command prompt there is a suggested, or default, command that will be executed by only pressing return. This way NiKom will guide you through all the posts in the discussion forums that you haven't read yet. At any time you can choose not to execute the default command but something else instead. NiKom will still remember where you were in the messages and keep the current suggestion until you are ready to continue.

Let's take a tour of a typical login session in a NiKom BBS that you log in to now and then.

Name: John Doe Password: ******** You are in the mailbox. You have no unread mail. (See) time -->

Here you have just entered the user name and password and logged in. When you log in you always start out in your personal mailbox. In NiKom you are always "in" either a discussion forum or the mailbox. Since you don't have any unread personal mail and you haven't joined any discussion forums yet there is nothing for you to read right now. So the default command becomes to see what the time is right now. This is what the default command will be when there is nothing else to do.

(For the purpose of this tutorial you are not a member of any forums, even though you have already been using this BBS before. In real life this is usually not the case :-) )

The actual command to see the current time is "Time". You can type this command at any time you want to see the time. Not only when it's suggested. The part in brackets in the prompt is just there to make it read better.

Now let's join some discussion forums.

(See) time --> li fo *Amiga general *Miscellaneous discussions *Internet (See) time --> mem am ge You are now a member of Amiga general (Go to) next forum --> mem int You are now a member of Internet (Go to) next forum --> li fo 3 Amiga general *Miscellaneous discussions 16 Internet (Go to) next forum -->
You start out by giving the command "li fo". This is short for "List Forums" ("Lista Möten" in Swedish) which will list all the availbe discussion forums. (Or at least the ones that are visible to you.) Any command can be abbreviated as long as it's not ambigous with other commands.

Apparently there are three forums in this BBS. (Real BBSes usually have many more.) One for general discussions about the Amiga. One for general discussion about pretty much anything. Finally there is a forum about the Internet. The star in front of the forum name means that you are not a member of this forum.

You decide to join the "Amiga general" forum so you give the command "mem am ge" which is short for "Member Amiga general" ("Medlem Amiga general" in Swedish). "Member" is the command for becoming a member of a forum. As an argument the command takes the name of the forum you want to join, which can be abbreviated just like commands can be.

After getting a confirmation that you have indeed joined the Amiga general forum you notice that the default command in the prompt now has changed. It is "(Go to) next forum". Apparently there are some texts in this forum to read and NiKom is now suggesting that you should go there to read them.

First you decide to join the Internet forum as well. Then when listing the available forums again you can see that the star in front of the forums you have just joined is now replaced with a number. The number is the number of texts in that forum that you have not read yet. NiKom will remember for each text if you have read it or not. Even if you log out and come back later it will still keep track of what you have read and not read.

Now let's start reading some texts!

(Go to) next forum --> You are in Amiga general You have 3 unread texts. (Read) next text -->

You press return at the prompt and NiKom executes the command "Next Forum", which takes you to the next forum with unread texts. Now you can see that the default command in the prompt has changed again. Since you have entered a forum where you have unread texts it now suggest that you should read the next unread text.

(Read) next text --> Text 653 Forum: Amiga general 20151025 19:29 Written by Ronald McDonald #65 Subject: Amiga 700 ----------------- The Amiga 700 is bla bla bla. And also yada yada yada (End of text 653 by Ronald McDonald #65) (Comment in text 675 by Jane Janitor #4) (Read) next comment -->
Again you press return to execute the default command and the first unread text in the forum "Amiga general" is displayed. Apparently the user "Ronald McDonald" is sharing some opinions about the mythical A700. At the end of the there is a line saying that there is a comment to this text in text 675. In NiKom a discussion thread is not a list of posts. It's a tree where every comment is the start of a new branch.

Once again the default command has changed and NiKom is now suggesting that you read the comment to this text, even if there are other unread texts in this forum that should come before the comment if you read them in sequence. If the comment in turn has comments ofit's own NiKom will guide you through the entire branch of comments before continuing to the next text in the sequence.

So let's read the comment.

(Read) next comment --> Text 675 Forum: Amiga general 20151025 21:46 Written by Jane Janitor #4 Comment to text 653 by Ronald McDonald #65 Subject: Amiga 700 ----------------- I totally agree. Although, hubba hubba. (End of text 653 by Jane Janitor #4) (Read) next text --> Text 669 Forum: Amiga general 20151025 20:59 Written by Stephen Solid #33 Comment to text 630 by Ronald McDonald #65 Subject: Keyboard ---------------- Yeah, but you don't need to use all of them. (End of text 669 by Stephen Solid #33) (Go to) next forum -->
You press return and the comment is displayed. Since this was the last comment in this branch the default command now changes back to suggest that you read the next text in this forum. So you press return to do that. (Note that this text is older than the text you read just before.) This is apparently a comment to a text that you have already read sometimes before, text 630. If you don't remember what was in that text, it's easy to look up.
(Go to) next forum --> r c Text 630 Forum: Amiga general 20151024 10:52 Written by Ronald McDonald #65 Subject: Keyboard ---------------- Isn't there a bit too many keys on a keyboard? It's confusing. (End of text 630 by Ronald McDonald #65) (Comment in text 669 by Stephen Solid #33) (Go to) next forum -->
Whenever you have just read a text that is a comment to some other text you can read that commented text with "Read Commented" ("Återse Kommenterad" in Swedish).

Now, you have something to say about Stephen's text so lets's write a comment of our own.

(Go to) next forum --> c 669 Forum: Amiga general 20151026 09:23 Written by John Doe #42 Comment to text 669 by Stephen Solid #33 Subject: Keyboard ---------------- True, I only use the left half of the keyboard. Saving! The text got number 683 (Go to) next forum -->
You give the command "Comment" ("Kommentera" in Swedish) to write a comment. As an argument you give the text number that you want to comment. If you don't enter any argument NiKom will assume you want to comment the last text that you have read. In this case though you needed to refresh yourself about what the original text was so the last read text is not the one you wanted to comment.

Let's move on to the next forum.

(Go to) next forum --> You are in Internet. You have 16 unread texts (Read) next text --> o 10 You are in Internet. You have 10 unread texts (Read) next text -->
You press return to go to the next forum with unread texts in it. Since you don't feel like reading all of the 16 new texts in this forum you give the command "Only" ("Endast" in Swedish) to tell how many texts you want to read. This doesn't have to be a number that is less than the current number of unread texts. If you e.g. are in a forum where you are completely caught up you could do "Only 20" to mark the 20 newest texts as being unread so you can read them again.
(Read) next text --> Text 634 Forum: Internet 20151024 12:27 Written by Donald Dude #74 Subject: Rulez ------------- My website rulez! (End of text 634 by Donald Dude #74) (Comment in text 639 by Frank Flakes #27) (Comment in text 641 by Jane Janitor #4) (Read) next comment --> sk You skipped 5 texts. (Read) next text --> where You are in Internet. You have 4 unread texts (Read) next text -->
You press return to read the first unread text. But you immediately decide that you are not interested in this discussion thread. So you give the command "Skip" ("Hoppa Över" in Swedish) to mark all the comments to this text (and all comments to the comments) as read. By doing this you skipped 5 texts. So you give the command "Where" ("Var" in Swedish) to check how many unread texts you have now.

You decide to read the remaining 4 texts later and now want to make a new post of your own.

(Read) next text --> wr Forum: Internet 20151026 09:25 Written by John Doe #42 Subject: Email ---------------- What's this email thing that I hear so much about? Saving! The text got number 684 (Read) next text -->
The command "Write" ("Skriv" in Swedish) lets you write a new post in the forum that you are currently in. You can use the command "Go" ("Gå" in Swedish) to go to a different forum that you want to post a text in. (Or read the unread texts in that forum.)

That's it for this time. Let's logout by entering the command "Logout" or "Exit" ("Sluta" or "Logout" in Swedish).

(Read) next text --> log Welcome back to the BBS! Connection closed by foreign host.


Now why not trying it out for yourself? Log in to NiKom BBS!