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Stuart's TI-99/4A - Internet Web Browser

TI-99/4A SOFTWARE INTERNET

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#51 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:36 AM

From the network architecture point of view, it seems to me that the UDS device encapsulates the OSI layers 1-4 (physical, data link, network, transport). I guess it only offers a single TCP socket connection, or is there a way to select between different streams?



#52 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:01 AM

From the network architecture point of view, it seems to me that the UDS device encapsulates the OSI layers 1-4 (physical, data link, network, transport). I guess it only offers a single TCP socket connection, or is there a way to select between different streams?

 

I have never tried more than a single connection.  I am pretty certain it would be difficult to differentiate between different connections in a single serial stream.  However, one really cool thing I am going to test out is the DeviceRedirect.  This allows Windows to map a UDS-10 on the network as if it were a local serial device (similar to USB-over-IP devices.)  Doing so, I should be able to run the HDX program without the need for a real or USB serial port attached to my workstation.  I am going to play with this over the Christmas and New Year break and I will definitely report back.



#53 CosmicBoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:46 AM

 

......  This allows Windows to map a UDS-10 on the network as if it were a local serial device (similar to USB-over-IP devices.)  Doing so, I should be able to run the HDX program without the need for a real or USB serial port attached to my workstation.  I am going to play with this over the Christmas and New Year break and I will definitely report back.

 

I tried that with this device http://www.hellodevi...e-series/ls100/ but not get very far. I got a connection to the hdx but failed to show a directory - error 06 on the ti with dm2k. I guess it has to with flowcontrol or the interupt on the ti side. Maybe i can spend some time for another try around christmas.



#54 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:28 AM

I've also got a Netburner SBL2e serial to Ethernet converter (plus ADC and 10 digital I/O pins), which is pretty cheap (~$30 each) but needs an RS-232 level shifter and connector to work. There's a development kit available for this device. Might be worth having a think if specific features can be added to this device that will make it work better with HDx and so on - or even better, features that would benefit the wider 8-bit retro world in connecting those machines to the Internet. The development kit is $300 so there would need to be sufficient prospects to recoup this cost plus produce PCBs for the level shifter and connector, plus possibly a case. Someone would also need to take on the development side of things - that would not be me.

 

Just a thought.



#55 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 1, 2015 2:10 PM

 

To resolve web page URLs, the program first uses the Lantronix to pass the URL to a one-liner PHP script on one of my websites (identified by its numeric IP address, which is pretty stable) which returns the corresponding IP address for the URL, and the program then uses that to download the web page. At the moment, if the IP address of my website changes, I'll have to change it in the program and re-assemble it.

 

 

Could the program be written to look for a simple EXTERNAL DIS/VAR 80 text file that simply contains the IP address?  This way when the IP changes, a person could just come to the first message of this thread to look it up, then re-edit the file instead of re-downloading and installing the whole program.  Just an idea.



#56 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 1, 2015 5:57 PM

 

Could the program be written to look for a simple EXTERNAL DIS/VAR 80 text file that simply contains the IP address?  This way when the IP changes, a person could just come to the first message of this thread to look it up, then re-edit the file instead of re-downloading and installing the whole program.  Just an idea.

It's a possibility, yes. I'll wait though to see how often that IP address changes. It might not be a problem that warrants the effort to resolve.



#57 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 1, 2015 6:04 PM

I've done an update to the web browser and added a couple of new features.

 

I've added details to my website - www.avjd51.dsl.pipex.com/ti/ti.htm#internet_web_browser. The sub-section "Loading and Running the Program" contains a download link, and gives the file name (now "WEB_O") and the program name needed to start the program depending on the serial port you've got the Lantronix connected to.

 

New features are:

 

* Added keyboard control keys "A" (go to top of page), "N" (enter new page URL) and "P" (display page source code).
* Added key auto-repeat to make it easier to move the pointer.
* Pressing any key while retrying a connection will abort and prompt for a new URL.
* Improved handling of HTTP errors returned for a URL.
* Added instruction page displayed when program starts.
* Default character set is automatically reloaded when browsing to a new page.
* Added different entry points (program names) for different RS-232 devices.



#58 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 1, 2015 7:38 PM

Bulging+Eyes+(Gif).gif  AWESOME IMPROVEMENTS!

 

This is so much easier to use and trouble free!  Now we gotta get some webpages going!



#59 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 1, 2015 9:55 PM

Stuart, I hate to do this to you ya man, as this program is the BOMB, but there is one thing it really, really, really needs... a way to save at least a few URL's so one does not have to re-type everything.  Sorry....



#60 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 2, 2015 3:58 AM

Stuart, I hate to do this to you ya man, as this program is the BOMB, but there is one thing it really, really, really needs... a way to save at least a few URL's so one does not have to re-type everything.  Sorry....

Agreed. I'm going to look at storing favourites in a file on the disk.

 

(Done - see post #62)


Edited by Stuart, Sun Jan 4, 2015 5:39 AM.


#61 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 3, 2015 3:09 PM

 

I have never tried more than a single connection.  I am pretty certain it would be difficult to differentiate between different connections in a single serial stream.  However, one really cool thing I am going to test out is the DeviceRedirect.  This allows Windows to map a UDS-10 on the network as if it were a local serial device (similar to USB-over-IP devices.)  Doing so, I should be able to run the HDX program without the need for a real or USB serial port attached to my workstation.  I am going to play with this over the Christmas and New Year break and I will definitely report back.

 

BRILLIANT!  If Stuart's browser ever develops the ability to download files from a TI-Webpage, a small program could be run on the users local network/PC.  This would enable them to download files directly onto their Nano-PEB via a Telnet connection using their UDS-10.

 

Heck, a TI-Browser compatible website could even be put up to directly support the downloading new stuff, no more porting files to the PC first.  :)



#62 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 5:38 AM

Another update to add 'favourites list' functionality. The update can be loaded from the web page details in post #57.

 

Changes are:

 

* When the program is prompting for a URL, pressing the <Back> key aborts the URL input and returns control to the currently rendered page.

* When a page is rendered, pressing the "I" key loads and renders the content from file DSK.BROWSER.FAVS. This is written/edited by the user using (for example) the E/A Editor, and saved in 'Variable 80' format. The file contains text and tags for hyperlinks to the user's favourite pages - it is in effect a web page stored on the disk. As well as hyperlinks, the page can contain any graphics or character definitions desired by the user. Long lines of text/tags can be be split across several lines in the file. A sample file is included on the disk.

 

So to access the favourites list immediately after starting the program, press <Back> to get rid of the URL input prompt then press "I" to load and display the favourites list. There is no functionality as yet (if ever) to save a web page address to the favourites list from within the program - you'll need to edit the favourites file manually.

 

(So it should also be possible, should it be needed at a future date, to store the IP address of the server with the script for resolving web addresses in a file, so it can be edited by the user.)


Edited by Stuart, Sun Jan 4, 2015 5:44 AM.


#63 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 9:24 AM

Nice update, Stuart!



#64 slinkeey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 10:49 AM

 

This would enable them to download files directly onto their Nano-PEB via a Telnet connection using their UDS-10.

 

Heck, a TI-Browser compatible website could even be put up to directly support the downloading new stuff, no more porting files to the PC first.  :)

 

I think option 2 makes more sense for Stuarts browser.. Just running Apache, and hosting stuff via that.

 

I think you can probably do the Telnet option today with a Terminal program on the TI, and BBS software running on your PC.



#65 slinkeey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 10:55 AM

I wonder if anyone has tried this with TCPSER.  I know this is made for the UDS, but it looks like TCPSER also makes use to Hayes commands, and the fact that you use an ip address instead of a phone number.



#66 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 11:20 AM

Well, I don't know if it's on my end or the other, but I'm unable to resolve any addresses at the moment.  Hopefully it's just temporary.  I also tried an earlier version to be sure... same on both.  I'll try again later today before I go to work.



#67 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 11:41 AM

 

I think you can probably do the Telnet option today with a Terminal program on the TI, and BBS software running on your PC.

 

That is a viable option for many, but as far as I know, Stuart's browser is the only communications program known to work with the RS-232 on the Nano-PEB.   There may indeed be a terminal program like Telco that runs on the Nano, but if there is, I don't know about it.  Anyone else know?

 

And yes, I agree, getting the PC out of the equation would be a plus.  So at this point in time, Stuart's browser looks to be the best hope of Nano users, and the rest of us can tag along for the ride.



#68 slinkeey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 12:57 PM

Ahhh... I forgot about the terminal software having trouble with the nanopeb..

 

I wonder what is so different about the NanoPEB.  It uses the TI communication chip.



#69 atrax27407 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 4, 2015 2:07 PM

One of the problems that the TI has is the shared interrupt line. On systems with a v9938, for example, you will get about a page of data before everything comes to a screeching halt. There is a fix in the form of a modified DSR EPROM that cures the problem. There might be something similar with the nanoPEB. Not having one of those "beasties", I have no idea if that is the problem. There seem to be a lot of issues with it expressed right now.



#70 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 10:22 AM

Is anyone else having issues resolving addresses with the browser?  I've tried MULTIPLE times, in the past 24 hours, but it's been a 100% fail.  It was working fine day before yesterday, now nothing.

 

The IP address is supposed to be stable, but if it has changed, nobody should be able to get it to work.  If it's just me, I have no clue what it could be because everything else works.  



#71 slinkeey OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 10:32 AM

Do you know the IP address that hosts the domain resolution script?



#72 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 11:04 AM

No, I'm afraid not.  I went in with a sector editor to find it, but since this program is an E/A 3 not an E/A 5 I was unable to make heads or tales of it.  My plan was to find out if the called URL was numbers or written out, then I was going to it look up manually and then use the sector editor to update it, but as they say, all good plans....

 

If this does turn out to be an IP issue, it's a good reason to make it easily modifiable or possibly even have a dual system as a backup for just this reason, because as it sits now, in the event of an IP issue, we have to rely on the author to come out with a new replacement version. 



#73 Stuart OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 11:05 AM

Is anyone else having issues resolving addresses with the browser?  I've tried MULTIPLE times, in the past 24 hours, but it's been a 100% fail.  It was working fine day before yesterday, now nothing.

 

The IP address is supposed to be stable, but if it has changed, nobody should be able to get it to work.  If it's just me, I have no clue what it could be because everything else works.  

 

I tried it yesterday when you said it couldn't connect, and it worked for me. On the other hand, I've experienced before fairly long periods when it wouldn't connect. Let me sort out some sort of test program you can leave running perhaps that repeatedly retries the connection and reports the results.

 

It's trying to connect to port 80 on 198.136.54.70.


Edited by Stuart, Mon Jan 5, 2015 11:11 AM.


#74 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 11:09 AM

Thanks, I'll try anything at this point.  



#75 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 5, 2015 11:13 AM

KERAAAP!  now that I posted a message... it works!  Argh!
 







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