You can use CD ROMs with your TeleFinder BBS to provide your users with a wide variety of public domain and shareware programs. When choosing a CD ROM, look for these key features:
- Get a CD that has good organization and uses folders to organize files well.
- Make sure that the collection of files is up-to-date.
- The files should be in a common compression format.
- The files sould have a file description compatible with TeleFinder.
The Arizona Macintosh Users Group offers "BBS in a Box," which meets all of these criteria. BBS in a Box is an excellent way to provide your BBS users with an ample supply of shareware.
Even the best collection, however, may contain programs that you do not want to make available to all of your users. You can use two of TeleFinder's capabilities to customize the parts of the CD you make available to your users.You can make paths to individual folders on the CD. This is a good strategy when you want to make just a few folders from the CD available.
You can create System 7 aliases of individual files on the CD, then copy the aliases into an existing files folder. This is a good way to make a small number of files from a CD available to users.
When using an alias, you need to add a path to the user's access group with the "Internal Path" setting on. The only exception to this occurs when the target of the alias is already in an area that is accessible to the user. The "Internal Path" setting creates the privilege to access an area for the user without displaying its icon on the BBS Desktop at logon time.
File transfer speeds may slow down when you use a CD. CD ROM players are extremely slow in transferring data and accessing files. CD caching software is a good way to speed up access to CD ROMs. This kind of software puts frequently-used parts of the CD on your hard disk.