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BBS Commodore ANSI

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#1 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:16 AM

I am so happy to announce the public availability of WorldBankBBS.

What makes WorldBankBBS special? The BBS Gateway! Once you're registered on WBBBS, you can use the system to connect to another BBS that is marked as Active on the Commodore BBS Outpost website. It makes life a lot more convenient than simply dialing blindly from an overstuffed phone book. All of the available systems are listed in alphabetical order for your perusal.

WorldBankBBS is truly multi-platform. It has equal support for PETSCII and ANSI graphics, including a common Full Screen Editor.

The message boards are fast and powerful!

Call today and see for yourself:

PETSCII - bbs.paytonbyrd.com : 6400
ANSI - bbs.paytonbyrd.com : 6401
ASCII - bbs.paytonbyrd.com : 23

I look forward to seeing you soon!

#2 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:03 PM

I KNEW IT!  It's actually true that plbyrd is part of the secret conspiracy of the Bliderberg group and the Illuminati, working with the Freemasons against the Scientologists to establish a one-world government New World Order using the World Bank and vintage Commodore and PC computers!

 

But fear not, my fellow compatriots!  We can still resist the evil oppression!  We have Apple //, and WorldBank does not yet have MouseText support!

 

:D :D :D



#3 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:40 PM

The idea sounds great.  I tried the Ansi and Petscii links but was not able to connect tonight.



#4 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:45 PM

The idea sounds great.  I tried the Ansi and Petscii links but was not able to connect tonight.


Something went bump in the night. I have the BBS up and running. BTW, please don't use a Mac or GNU/Linux telnet client as I've gotten reports of very bad behavior with those.

#5 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:44 PM

Sounds like your ANSI isn't real VT100/102/220/whatever compatible.



#6 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:04 AM

So I guess it won't be an option for me :/

 

My only winbox uses the MinGW telnet app over MinTTY, a cutdown version of PuTTY.  It most certainly won't work any better than on Linux since I'm pretty sure it's mostly the same code.



#7 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:41 PM

Can I get a guinea pig with Linux to test for me? I've made some changes, but I have no way to test.

#8 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:27 AM

tjcarter@miho:~$ telnet bbs.paytonbyrd.com 6401
-bash: telnet: command not found
tjcarter@miho:~$ # [CENSORED]
tjcarter@miho:~$ sudo apt-get -y install telnet
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  telnet
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 16 not upgraded.
Need to get 65.8 kB of archives.
After this operation, 143 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://mirrordirector.raspbian.org/raspbian/ jessie/main telnet armhf 0.17-36 [65.8 kB]
Fetched 65.8 kB in 1s (37.0 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package telnet.
(Reading database ... 214961 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../telnet_0.17-36_armhf.deb ...
Unpacking telnet (0.17-36) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.7.0.2-5) ...
Setting up telnet (0.17-36) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/telnet.netkit to provide /usr/bin/telnet (telnet) in auto mode

 

I see some charset differences.  ANSI clearly is set up for CP437.

 

Going in ASCII mode, I see that input is echoed both as I type it and echoed back to me.  That's not something a terminal program normally does, but it also can't really be so easily just disabled.

 

I wish I could easily just redirect minicom to a telnet port.  Oddly, that's about as complicated as setting it up on my retro computers.  :)



#9 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:13 AM

OK, found out what's going on with all of this:

1) GNU/Linux telnet is borked with the BS/DEL keys being backwards. There are some hacks to fix it, google for it. But, there's nothing I can do from the service to make it magically work.

2) I have figured out how to make GNU/Linux telnet not echo.

3) GNU/Linux telnet doesn't honor the terminal type's character set. It just uses whatever the charset is for your command line.

So, I've fixed what I can and accommodated where I can. If anyone has any ideas on a programmatic way to fix the GNU/Linux BS/DEL problem, please let me know.

Reference on BS/DEL problem:
http://unix.stackexc...h-for-backspace

Edited by plbyrd, Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:16 AM.


#10 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:46 AM

Prolly safe enough to assume telnet under a modern distro is UTF-8.



#11 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:41 AM

The backspace and charset are things I think telnet supposedly informs the host about.  If not, when telnetting into a remote system, you're supposed to be able to use stty to tell it what your erase key is, along with other key mappings.  You can blame emacs for ^? for backspace on UNIX systems nowadays.  I think it uses ctrl-h for help because screw standards!  :P :P :P

 

As for character set, that's always a problem.  Telnet doesn't convert, you're right.  It kinda predates converting being something people did.  Probably this is when and why I ought to bust out syncterm, which is available for most things I guess.

 

What I'd ideally like to do is figure out how to get minicom to work.  I think there's two ways to do it.  First, teach it to use a virtual modem driver built in that to sites on the Internet.  It'd literally just ignore most commands and respond OK, save for things like ATD{,T,P} bbs.paytonbyrd.com:6401 which would respond like a modem would.  This is probably the cleanest solution.

 

Solution #2 would be to set up a fifo and run a Stuart's python Lantronix UDS-10 emulator set to listen to the fifo.  Fiddly, but it works and requires no hardware and no modification of minicom.

 

Solution #3 would be to use a real serial port with minicom and connect to an actual UDS-10.  I've got one, but haven't powered it up yet and haven't got a cable for it.

 

Solution #4 is to run Telix under dosbox or some other kind of emulator.  But if you're gonna do all of that, you might as well just run syncterm.  It's designed for it.



#12 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:32 AM

Prolly safe enough to assume telnet under a modern distro is UTF-8.


Modern as in non-standards-compliant?

#13 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:33 AM

Prolly safe enough to assume telnet under a modern distro is UTF-8.


Modern as in non-standards-compliant?

#14 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:42 AM

o.o?



#15 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:11 PM

Actually, telnet communicates several environment variables to the server: LANG and TERM are among them.  What's non-standard is the silly assumption that anything that recognizes an enhanced subset of the VT102 terminal codes implemented by MS-DOS ANSI.SYS will invariably use the US-only IBM codepage 437 character set.

 

Far more common actually even on those systems was IBM codepage 850, which is nearly identical to Windows-1252 and to the classical iso-8859-1 UNIX character set.  This character set is so widespread that it represents the first "page" of Unicode.  And all of this is documented in numerous Internet standards, many of which trace their origins to the 80s before many of the IBM PC conventions that have become ad hoc standards ever took hold.

 

Sure the standards have evolved (multibyte character sets were the exception in those days, not the rule, and UTF-8 as a character encoding was not yet a thing, but the means for conveying these details is almost as old as the telnet protocol itself, out of necessity.  Before the DEC-based control codes were standard, there were dozens of terminals each with their own character sets and capabilities.  Only ASCII was actually guaranteed.  Anything else varied by terminal maker and by region!  UNIX had to be nimble, and so did telnet.  Fortunately, telnet was successful at this because it was based around UNIX.

 

The thing is that a lot of "telnet-based" things aren't actually telnet.  We talk about "telnet BBSes", but they're actually just socet-based character streams over TCP.  That's why you can "telnet to" a web server or a mail server or anything and speak the raw text-based protocols they speak.  They don't understand keyboard keys or terminal commands because they're not designed to.  And you can use the telnet program to connect to them because if the telnet client connects and doesn't get a telnet protocol at the other end, it can just go into a raw mode that's useful for debugging and testing those other tools.

 

Given the conventions of the average late 80s and early 90s BBS, telnet is actually the wrong tool for the job.  Something like syncterm is the proper thing to use actually.  Possibly along with a SSL/TLS tunnel because the Internet is a much more hostile place than a direct dile through a modem.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  :)



#16 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:22 AM

 

Given the conventions of the average late 80s and early 90s BBS, telnet is actually the wrong tool for the job.  Something like syncterm is the proper thing to use actually.  Possibly along with a SSL/TLS tunnel because the Internet is a much more hostile place than a direct dile through a modem.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.   :)

 

This is actually why I'm so frustrated with the whole thing.  I don't understand why people expect it to work with GNU/Linux telnet.  But they do, so I tried to accommodate that, which was a mistake on my part.  If someone doesn't want to call because it's not a telnet server, then that's their prerogative.  I've spent way to much time on this and didn't get any work done on adding features to the BBS over the weekend.



#17 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:56 AM

Hmm, the simplest thing I think might be an intermediate layer of some sort.  I keep coming back to the fact that minicom does exactly what you want, but it does it for a serial port.  And talk of telnet and minicom invariably directs to Cisco router stuff.

 

Qodem may be an alternative to SyncTerm, but I'm having some trouble with it I think related to CR/LF.



#18 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:00 AM

No, maybe not.  Your paused animation, if you press enter there it shows the new user application and then aborts immediately.  If you press space, you can fill it out.  But then when you press enter, it skips two lines and it messes up the thing pretty quickly.  I dunno what's going on there.  This was connected ti port 6401 using Qodem's ANSI terminal emulation.



#19 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:29 AM

At least every glyph in cp437 can be found in utf-8.



#20 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:40 AM

Qodem is working perfectly on Windows using SOCKET as the connect type and ANSI as the emulation.  It defaults to the correct codepage when you select ANSI.



#21 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:49 PM

Aaaaand the problem was the selection of TELNET instead of SOCKET.  BTW, when adding the entry to Qodem, edit the toggles.  Turning on toggle 2 let me set backspace to send ^H instead of DEL.

 

A Raspberry Pi could make the telnet using proper telnet protocol work just great.  You'd create a restricted access user whose shell was /bin/false, homedir was not writable, qodem files not writable, etc.  So basically owned by root and read-only for the user.  That way nothing the user does can be changed permanently if they start twiddling qodem's settings.  There'd be only one phonebook entry, basically for the ANSI form of the BBS.  You'd set up telnetd to run "qodem -d 1 -x" instead of the usual logind.  So the user would connect and immediately find themselves in a terminal program connecting to the BBS.  When they quit from the BBS, qodem exits, ending their connection.

 

Of course you're presently using port 23 for ASCII.

 

You could also set it up a little differently so that ssh to bbs-user@bbs.paytonbyrd.com would not ask for a password, but instead would connect you with crypto so you can be reasonably certain your BBS password isn't sniffed.  Not that I'm imagining a lot of effort to steal BBS passwords, but I'm basically paranoid.  :D



#22 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:51 PM

I'm glad we got this all sorted out!

#23 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:18 PM

SyncTerm is also an option, and perhaps may be a more complete solution (Qodem's emphasis seems to be on cloning Qmodem first, even if it doesn't necessarily make sense to do so) and the UNIX version feels like it's missing a few features.  SyncTerm probably will probably feel like a more complete and polished program, but the ability to make something written for ANSI work with any random modern terminal using just telnet or ssh makes qodem very attractive because it's totally complete enough to do that.



#24 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 3, 2016 9:08 AM

I've purchased a domain for the bbs.  You can now reach it as follows:

 

worldbankbbs.com : 23 <-- ASCII

worldbankbbs.com : 6400 <-- PETSCII

worldbankbbs.com : 6400 <-- ANSI

 

Don't forget while you're there you can log on to IRC servers and over 40 bbs's listed on the BBS Outpost's feed.



#25 plbyrd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 4, 2016 4:48 PM

I've purchased a domain for the bbs.  You can now reach it as follows:

 

worldbankbbs.com : 23 <-- ASCII

worldbankbbs.com : 6400 <-- PETSCII

worldbankbbs.com : 6400 <-- ANSI

 

Don't forget while you're there you can log on to IRC servers and over 40 bbs's listed on the BBS Outpost's feed.

 

Also, I have added a web front end to the BBS at http://worldbankbbs.com!  See you there!







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