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Connecting to a BBS Without a Phone Line?


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#101 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:58 PM

While I was able to connect to a BBS, it was an 80 column wide ANSI graphics BBS that wanted way too much personal information for me to get past the new user login process ... but successful all the same.

 

Next up, I'm going to fire up an 850 with a Hayes modem to see if that is working too.

 

Bill

And a note on the personal information.  Some BBS's were just written that way... Like my RatSoft ST BBS... I can't really control what it asks you for as a new user.  I can change the prompt to tell you that I don't care if you lie, for example.  I can display a text file before you apply (that most people won't read) explaining that I don't care if you post incorrect info... but still, people drop carrier... usually at the birthday prompt (which caused so many issues since there was a Y2K bug that took me awhile to "fix the fix").  I can't stop RatSoft from asking for your phone number, but I can tell you in the prompt to just put 000-000-0000 in there.

 

For my Carina BBS, I was able to change the "address" question to "email address" since that's in Basic.  (I'm letting you have access to my computer resources free of charge, if you can't even give me an email address so I can reach you if there is a problem, I don't want you as a user).  I think I disabled the phone number field too (if I didn't, I will soon.... I'm never going to call any of you guys).

 

I think for the most part, SysOps don't care or check... the software was written to ask (Because back then, we gave that info out without caring... and why not, much of it is public records information or it was in the phone book) but today, with identity theft being an issue, I don't think any of them would really care (or know) if you lied.  They'll just be shocked at how many users have (800) 867-5309 as their phone number.

 

As to the 80 column issue... Like I said earlier.... Try ICE-T.



#102 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:02 PM

Thanks! I've ordered all the tech I'm missing and, with luck, will be BBSing on my A8 soon. It'll be a hoot!

#103 Bill Lange OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:09 PM

Have you tried this with a XEP80 (if you have one)? 

 

 

No, I don't have one ... yet.  Looks like time for another order with Best Electronics.


Actually, ICE-T will do 80 col (and ANSI) without an XEP80.  Can't say for 100% certain it will work with an XM301
 

 

 

I'll work on it and let you know.

 

how many users have (800) 867-5309 as their phone number

 

 

:) I guess a lot of us grew up in the 80's!

 

 



#104 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:17 PM

 

:) I guess a lot of us grew up in the 80's!

 

<sarcasm>

     Funny you say that... because in my experience millennials are totally taking over the BBS scene....

</sarcasm>


Edited by Tillek, Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:18 PM.


#105 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:40 PM

I just want to post this though, to others who are reading this.  (I speak only for myself and no other SysOps in the community).

 

Consider what you're doing here before you do it.  I tend to post on Facebook BBS groups and also on FidoNet since my main BBS is a Fido node.

 

When that happens, you get a few people who like to "try" it out.  Sometimes, they go no further than the login screen... Cool... An Atari MegaSTE picked up a telnet connection and showed me a screen.  One guy actually did that... He telnetted in, took a screenshot of the login/new screen and posted it to prove to another guy that it actually worked.

 

He never logged in... never created an account.

 

I see a lot of people who create an account, hit ? for the menu a few times... maybe hit quickscan (where it mentions something like 12,000 messages) and log off... and never call back.  Or like Bill pointed out.... They see it asks for your Birthday (which I can't really fix since I have no RatSoft source code) and drop carrier, even though I mention that it's ok to lie.  (You have to enter in a valid date, because it checks for that... but it doesn't have to be your REAL birthdate!  How would it know?)

 

In fact, the past few weeks, I've had a few new users since I posted on Facebook about the BBS website having a web-telnet client built in so now all you have to know how to do is go to a website to experience and old school BBS.

 

One actually called back twice.... I was shocked.

 

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer... I hope beyond all hope that all of you become productive users (by productive, I don't even care if you post messages... PLAY THE GAMES!  I spent a ton of time getting some of them to work right... I don't care if you tie up my BBS for two hours just playing games!)

 

It's just that what I've seen, not just on mine, but on many others... people call.. once or twice... maybe get discouraged because there is a ton of history to go through (no, most BBS's have a way to get around that if you check or ask) and maybe never call back.

 

So ... the TLDR; version... Get SyncTerm... Try BBS's that have a web page or web client.  Do that first before you go out and buy hardware to get your old retro rig able to call BBS's.

 

I'm not saying DON'T use the retro rig.  I'm just saying that before you do that... before you spend money... check in on the BBS scene first.

 

You may find that it isn't as active as you'd hope it to be.  The stark reality is that especially with Atari BBS's activity is few and far between.  I call Particles!, which is a Commodore BBS.  Sometimes you can get 50 messages a day or more... that's an anomaly.   I was going through an activity spurt earlier in the year.... It still wasn't more than a few dozen messages.

 

Now if everyone following this were to call the Atari BBS's just ONCE a week, and just posted ONE message (or replied to one, even if it was a necro bump), it would literally put a shot in the arm of some seriously needed vitality into the community.

 

But before you go to the trouble of ordering hardware and all that... Just use SyncTerm on your PC. (http://syncterm.bbsdev.net/) Like I said earlier, the ATASCII is amazing if you like A8's, and ST BBS's are just as good in ANSI, which it handles amazingly too.  Try it first, and if you still want to go "old school" knowing full well what you're getting into, then bless you all.

 

For the telnetters....... Here is a good list.  http://www.vintagecomputerbbslist.com/

 

(Consider trying Particles! and the Apple II BBS's... they've been good to this Atari SysOp).



#106 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:48 PM

Actually, ICE-T will do 80 col (and ANSI) without an XEP80.  Can't say for 100% certain it will work with an XM301, but it works with Lantronix (through an MIO for suer) and solutions like APE.

 

Could you connect to a non-Atari BBS with something like that?  Like a PC Door BBS?  I think someone on the Commodore side got that mostly working.

 

Please don't make me sorry I sold my XEP-80...



#107 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:51 PM

 

Could you connect to a non-Atari BBS with something like that?  Like a PC Door BBS?  I think someone on the Commodore side got that mostly working.

 

Please don't make me sorry I sold my XEP-80...

Yes... I've used ICE-T to call my own Atari ST BBS in 80 column ANSI (which is the best way to call my BBS) from my Atari 8-bit and you can use it to call PC ANSI or ASCII based BBS's as well.  I think it also does other translations but I don't have it in front of me right now to confirm that.

 

 

Now I won't lie to you.. the ANSI isn't nearly half as good as if you used SyncTerm on the PC or ANSITerm on the ST (or even TAZ on the ST)... but...... It's spectacular for an Atari 8-bit 80 column (sans XEP80) ANSI implementation.


Edited by Tillek, Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:54 PM.


#108 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:52 PM

And while I own an XEP-80, I've never actually used it, so I can't speak to how well things work with it.

 

Though I am planning to hook it up to the 800xl running the Carina BBS to see how that works out.


Edited by Tillek, Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:56 PM.


#109 Kyle22 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:11 PM

I plan on doing more BBSing when I get my 800 keyboard fixed... Gonna try painting the mylar traces with the special pen (and a big magnifying glass). :)

 

BTW, does anyone have the docs on how to properly install Pro?  It's driving me nuts asking all those questions, then aborting with an error such ad d1:>pro>somefile.dat path not found (or some such).  Create the path, start over.  It's some overlay something I can't figure out now... Very frustrating.  So much has been forgotten.

 

If I can't figure out Pro, I'll use Carina. It should work once I get the clock figured out.



#110 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:24 PM

I plan on doing more BBSing when I get my 800 keyboard fixed... Gonna try painting the mylar traces with the special pen (and a big magnifying glass). :)

 

BTW, does anyone have the docs on how to properly install Pro?  It's driving me nuts asking all those questions, then aborting with an error such ad d1:>pro>somefile.dat path not found (or some such).  Create the path, start over.  It's some overlay something I can't figure out now... Very frustrating.  So much has been forgotten.

 

If I can't figure out Pro, I'll use Carina. It should work once I get the clock figured out.

Abandoning Carina?  Shaka... when the walls fell!!!!!!!!!!!

 

But in the meantime... life is short... use SyncTerm till the keyboard gets fixed! :thumbsup:


Edited by Tillek, Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:26 PM.


#111 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:29 PM

Shaka... when the walls fell!!!!!!!!!!!


That made my night. :)

#112 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:32 PM

That made my night. :)

Ok, THAT made your night... What made >MY< night was that Shakka (which I originally typed) was given the red squiggly of death by the spell checker, but Shaka wasn't.... Yeah, the spell checker speaks Star Trek Geek.



#113 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:45 PM

It's not a dumb thought.  In fact, we've been talking about this on Particles! BBS.  Not MIDIMaze specifically, but old modem capable games in general.
 
Wrote a starship combat game for the ST back shortly after the earth cooled that I found again... Was modem/midi/null capable at the time.  Was planning on testing it soon with the Lantronix though there really isn't any reason why it wouldn't work.

Okay, I'm glad I wasn't totally out in left field there. I actually think MIDIMaze would be a great start -- doesn't the original software already allow A8 and ST matchups directly as long as each system is running its own version of the game? I seem to recall reading something about that.

I also liked your later, thoughtful, post on telnet (over) enthusiasm. Two points, though: first, I had no idea that Atari BBSes still exist! There's a real lack of awareness out there, I think (or perhaps I alone was unaware). Second, this is my only option for BBSing, as I haven't had a PC for years, and use an iPod for all internet connectivity at home. Am I the only one who does this?

#114 Kyle22 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:00 AM

It's no big deal, Carina is running now.

#115 w1k OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:38 AM

what about Lantronix MSS-100, can i use it to connecting?



#116 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:42 AM

what about Lantronix MSS-100, can i use it to connecting?

 

lol yes you can....



#117 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:10 AM

I also liked your later, thoughtful, post on telnet (over) enthusiasm. Two points, though: first, I had no idea that Atari BBSes still exist! There's a real lack of awareness out there, I think (or perhaps I alone was unaware). Second, this is my only option for BBSing, as I haven't had a PC for years, and use an iPod for all internet connectivity at home. Am I the only one who does this?

I've called my BBS from my iPad sometimes to check on it (also my android tablet and my android phone).  Pretty much any Telnet client will work on any system.

 

And I'm not so much worried about over enthusiasm... In fact, I'd love it.  I just want to make sure people have realistic expectations before putting tons of time and money trying to get their retro machines able to call BBS's when there is a way you can "check it out" right now without going to much effort. (Or in the case of BBS's who have a terminal client right on the webpage, no more effort than it takes to be reading this right now).

 

(And just a quick note... if you really didn't know about the Atari BBS's before this, you might have missed the sticky Atari BBS post on this forum.... Been going on a long time and has some good information in there... It's also where Atari SysOps tend to post news and other information about their systems... which I'm about to do right now).


Edited by Tillek, Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:12 AM.


#118 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:31 AM

Well I'll be darned.

#119 w1k OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:33 PM

which UDS-10 from ebay you can recommend? its many UDS-10.. from 10 to 150 $



#120 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:59 PM

The cheapest one that has a power adapter and us tested/working.

#121 Android8675 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:35 PM

So ... the TLDR; version... Get SyncTerm... Try BBS's that have a web page or web client.  Do that first before you go out and buy hardware to get your old retro rig able to call BBS's.

 

But before you go to the trouble of ordering hardware and all that... Just use SyncTerm on your PC. (http://syncterm.bbsdev.net/) Like I said earlier, the ATASCII is amazing if you like A8's, and ST BBS's are just as good in ANSI, which it handles amazingly too.  Try it first, and if you still want to go "old school" knowing full well what you're getting into, then bless you all.

 

After you get SyncTerm running go find riptel.msi and use it to connect to Black ACiD BBS. You can thank me later.



#122 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:48 PM

please take heed and buy a lantronix that resolves names.... going by ip address is a pain especially because people ip's always change but the domain names usually don't... uds 10 does not resolve names without serious hacking to the firmware... some early models will brick if you try..... best to get and mss100  or the later UDS models that add name resolution back in....



#123 Kyle22 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:05 PM

As I probably should have said here (but saw the other thread first):

 

Doc, do you which mss, uds, eds models use similar hardware to the UDS-10?  That will be a starting point for selecting firmware to flash.  Yes, there is the possibility of a brick.  When I get an extra one, I'll feel safer attempting to flash it because I know I have one that works 'just in case'.



#124 w1k OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 6, 2017 8:23 AM

hmmm






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