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AtariLink 2.0 Prototype (BBS Software)

BBS AtariLink AtariLink 2.0

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#26 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:43 PM

There are many references on Google to versions of AtariLink that seemed to be out in the wild.  I don't know for sure if it was free or commercial, or if this 2.0 prototype version ever made it to a release.

 

I did stumble across this podcast interview with Pab that I have to listen to now!  Maybe it will answer some questions...  http://ataripodcast....genis-developer

 

 

there was a 2.0 release :)



#27 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:00 PM

Thanx Doc.



#28 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:54 PM

Here's the Fixed Program Disk for Atari Link 2.0 BBS Prototype

Attached File  Atari Link 2.0 BBS Prototype Program Disk (Fixed).atr   90.02KB   80 downloads



#29 Atari Nut OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:18 PM

When it gets to the point "Waiting for call...", how do you simulate an incoming call?



#30 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:50 PM

It's one of the 'extra' keys (Start/Select/Option)... Forgot which one.



#31 Atari Nut OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:58 PM

Yep, it's F3 (Select).



#32 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:10 PM

Found more AtariLink 2.0 ATR's,  includes the Configurator,  BBSFONT ATASCII Screen Editor,  Docs and more  :)

 

Attached File  ATLink-Main.atr   359.64KB   73 downloads

Attached File  ATLink-Utils.atr   359.64KB   73 downloads

Attached File  ATLink-ExtCmd.atr   359.64KB   76 downloads

Attached File  ATLink-Manual.atr   359.64KB   80 downloads

 



#33 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:02 PM

Some amusing stuff on the work disk... 

 

amusing.png

 

Don't use the disk; surely it has a virus!!

 



#34 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:04 PM

And for Archival,  Here's AtariLink BBS 1.4  that was on one of my ATR-8000 disks :)  NO DOS though

 

Attached File  AtariLink BBS 1.4 Program.atr   105.64KB   60 downloads

Attached File  AtariLink BBS 1.4 WorkDisk.atr   27.02KB   59 downloads

Attached File  AtariLink BBS 1.4 Docs.atr   70.39KB   63 downloads


Edited by AtariGeezer, Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:05 PM.


#35 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:12 PM

Found more AtariLink 2.0 ATR's,  includes the Configurator,  BBSFONT ATASCII Screen Editor,  Docs and more  :)

 

attachicon.gifATLink-Main.atr

attachicon.gifATLink-Utils.atr

attachicon.gifATLink-ExtCmd.atr

attachicon.gifATLink-Manual.atr

 

 

Very nice!  I would guess these must be the released version.  Would be an interesting project for someone with more time than I have to do some comparisons of code between the prototype and the release.



#36 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:09 PM

I've been listening to the ANTIC Podcast with Pab, it's definitely worth a listen!   http://ataripodcast....genis-developer

 

He remembers a lot of really good details if you were familiar with the Atari modems of the day (1030, XMM301, SX212, etc.). 



#37 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:30 PM

I've been listening to the ANTIC Podcast with Pab, it's definitely worth a listen!   http://ataripodcast....genis-developer

 

He remembers a lot of really good details if you were familiar with the Atari modems of the day (1030, XMM301, SX212, etc.). 

Cool,  will have to listen to this tonight :)



#38 TangentAudio OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:58 PM

I emailed Pab through his web site and received confirmation that those disk labels are indeed his handwriting!



#39 jmccorm OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 6, 2018 1:11 PM

I've had some luck getting a fresh copy of the work disk after a number of tries. 

  • Check out the crazy stuff going on between 1:24 and 1:30 in the video ... Looks like some self-modifying code, maybe deleting some lines no longer needed and doing some other stuff.

 

This is an old thread, but I had to jump in here to say that's almost certainly what is going on.

 

If an Atari 8-bit BBS in BASIC was running tight on memory (which one of the screenshots said it was), they'd resort to a number of tricks to gain some of it back. One of the things done early on would be to replace the most commonly used numbers (like 0-10, 20, 50, 100, etc) with variables C0, C1, C2 ... C100. After some initial overhead, even if the variables were used just a few times, it ended up saving space. (And more so with each subsequent use.) Another method (seen here) was to clear out any initialization code that wouldn't need to run a second time. But if you had to restart the BBS, you'd just load the initial BASIC program once again.

 

Usually clearing out lines of code is done with an ENTER command with a locally stored file. What is unusual about the method that they used was that they seemed to read in and display a text file, reposition the cursor at the top of the screen, break to immediate mode, and then force carriage returns to step through the modified lines. This was repeated a for a second screenful with a new set of commands, finally ending in the code which store the new number of bytes free, and then likely jumping into their main routine which waits for a call.

 

Not unrelated is why the deleted lines were 0, then in the 32000+ range. Line 0 would have been a jump to 32000, which is where most of the initialization could would have been located. Why? Because the way the interpreter worked, the initial lines of code in Atari BASIC ran the fastest, and the last lines of code ran the slowest. (The more lines of code that you had, the more true this was.) Someone else will probably chime in with the details, but if memory serves me, Atari BASIC would do a linear search for a line number. The first lines ran faster because it literally could find them faster. So the low numbered lines are where you'd find the simple input/output and string handling routines in BBS software.

 

This is some of the trivia that you learn but never forget after modifying a number of different pieces of BBS software (and then taking those lessons and coding your own). I'm going to enjoy looking at the software. Thanks for the disks!



#40 TimeLord000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:22 PM

I know this is an (even older now) old thread, but found it fascinating. I was/am friends with Pab and contributed and/or tested code way back when this was developed. Some nice memories of good, friendly people in our area back in the 80s/90s. He asked me a short time ago to see if I had any media left from those days. Sadly, I could not find anything. Most of my Atari life was lost between high school and college. I reached out to him today to let him know this thread is here. I know he's active on the forum from time to time, so he might be aware.

 

@TangentAudio: your work here and on your wifi project is fascinating and makes me want to pull the old 800XL out and start tinkering again. The wife thanks you.  :-D







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