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#1 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:26 PM

Any old Atari sysops out there (or anyone else for that matter) who had
FidoNet experience back in the day?

I contacted the FidoNet site, and they said they would love to have Atari
BBSs back with FidoNet...

FidoNet was something I never tried back when I had my BBS in the 90's so
I've got no first-hand experience at all.

Any comments, suggestions, etc, welcome.

Thanks.

#2 krupkaj OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:30 PM

I used Fido back in the days, but just as a point. There were several BBS here in Czech. I think 4 or 5 of them were running on Atari machines. My friend had BBS called JoyBBS running on Atari MEGA STE which was also a Fido node and I used it for sending and receiving mails.
For BBS access we used Connect and for mail combination of Semper and LED. I think you can find both on Atari ftp servers.
It was great time...

Edited by krupkaj, Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:35 PM.


#3 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:07 PM

I used Fido back in the days, but just as a point. There were several BBS here in Czech. I think 4 or 5 of them were running on Atari machines. My friend had BBS called JoyBBS running on Atari MEGA STE which was also a Fido node and I used it for sending and receiving mails.
For BBS access we used Connect and for mail combination of Semper and LED. I think you can find both on Atari ftp servers.
It was great time...


Thanks, I'll have to look that software up, read the docs,
and see what, if anything can be done at this time...

#4 krupkaj OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:27 AM

BTW there were also network called NeST. It was based on the same technology as Fido, but focused to Atari ST family.

#5 Curt Vendel OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:45 AM

Fidonet was a Godsend when it came out, allowing you to locally call into your BBS and read email from all over the place, its a shame that ego's and fifetomes started to be created and only special "rings" would bring emails from priviledged selected BBS' That was the only bad thing that occured with Fidonet. I was actually trying to get fidonet running on my 8bit Atari 800 BBS for a while, but it was just too daunting a task to accomplish with my meger basic programming lanuage skills at the time :-)

I miss BBS'ing, it was a lot of fun :-)



Curt

I used Fido back in the days, but just as a point. There were several BBS here in Czech. I think 4 or 5 of them were running on Atari machines. My friend had BBS called JoyBBS running on Atari MEGA STE which was also a Fido node and I used it for sending and receiving mails.
For BBS access we used Connect and for mail combination of Semper and LED. I think you can find both on Atari ftp servers.
It was great time...



#6 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:01 AM

Fidonet was a Godsend when it came out, allowing you to locally call into your BBS and read email from all over the place, its a shame that ego's and fifetomes started to be created and only special "rings" would bring emails from priviledged selected BBS' That was the only bad thing that occured with Fidonet. I was actually trying to get fidonet running on my 8bit Atari 800 BBS for a while, but it was just too daunting a task to accomplish with my meger basic programming lanuage skills at the time :-)

I miss BBS'ing, it was a lot of fun :-)
Curt


Well, I'll be the first to admit its not the same, but people like me, and a few
others (SniperStorm/Arch Mage, for example) are keeping the Atari BBS scene
alive and kicking.

Try us on for size! :)

Just telnet to:

darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org
stguild-bbs.dyndns.org

These are "true" Atari BBSs, running on real Atari hardware, and using real
Atari software... :)

#7 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:36 AM

"Just telnet to:

darkforce-bbs.dyndns.org
stguild-bbs.dyndns.org"



Hey Darklord,

There was a guy here in Dallas that I still talk to that ran "The Kingdom BBS" and I believe that ST BBS had fido support. I'll try to hit him up about when I get home.

Edited by doctorclu, Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:37 AM.


#8 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:42 PM

Hey Darklord,

There was a guy here in Dallas that I still talk to that ran "The Kingdom BBS" and I believe that ST BBS had fido support. I'll try to hit him up about when I get home.


Hey Doc. Thanks, that would be great! :)

#9 krupkaj OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:35 AM

My friend who had BBS running on Atari has his FIDO net compatible BBS system on his web. You can download it from http://joy.sophics.cz/soft.htm

Edited by krupkaj, Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:17 AM.


#10 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:19 AM

My friend who had BBS running on Atari has his FIDO net compatible BBS system on his web. You can download it from http://joy.sophics.cz/soft.htm


Wow, good stuff on that page. :)

Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it, and will
check it out more thoroughly later.

(wife wants computer "right now" and she
doesn't understand true computing needs
[as in mine])... :D

#11 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:29 PM

Ok... Going to resurrect this one after 7 years... Anyone know if there were any newer versions of Bink after 3.17? Or how long they went updating Semper? I ran a Fido node back in the day and trying to get it up again when I get the BBS back up. So far been focusing on getting the board running with the UDS1100 before I concentrate on that though.

#12 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:06 PM

Wow, old thread. :)

I'm still interested, btw.

Good luck with finding newer stuff!

#13 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:27 AM

It took nearly 20 years.... But I'm back on Fidonet. Hours ago, I got the rescan of the Babylon 5 echo as a test (1000 messages) and now I'm downloading rescans (all old messages) from about 40 echos...........

Still a few minor bugs to figure out... but it's breathing again!

STar Fleet HQ, FidoNet Node 1:2215/1701 ... back in business! On REAL Atari Hardware!

#14 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:41 AM

That's pretty cool stuff there - congrats! :)

#15 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:16 PM

I was looking at my flow report (I was going to post it but it doesn't format right). So far this week there were 2465 postings and 10982 for the month. Certainly not dead yet... Way less than "back in the day" but more than I'd probably read. Not really a bad amount to try to drive traffic and discussion to a bbs...... If you're still interested, let me know.

Edited by Tillek, Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:17 PM.


#16 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:42 PM

You betcha! Keep in mind though, I've never implemented it at DarkForce!, so I'm
a total Fidonet newb. :)

#17 Android8675 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:40 AM

JetMail/JetStat is a Fidonet mail processor for ST, I guess it works with a program called LED for tossing mail (takes the mail, looks at it and either tosses it into an Echo, gives it to 1 user (netmail), or forwards it to another system). Hasn't been updated since 2000, but the website is still up at http://www.jetsys.de/ - I don't know what mailer you'd use, but now a days Fidonet can be done with a simple FTP file processor. What you can do is Toss your outgoing mail into a folder, then have another program simply connect to your "Hub" and send all the files via FTP. Your Hub will send files to your inbound folder the same way and then the Tosser (LED) processes it.

Fido can be a PITA, especially if your platform of choice is lacking and that's mainly due to the fact that Fidonet is ancient and a bit set in it's ways, but that can be good.

I was a FoRem ST node back in the day (#395), I still have my software booklet somewhere, one of these days when I get tired of my 800 I'll find a nice ST and see if I can revive it.

Edit: ugg, just read the documentation and it says it needs Bink to work. If you can figure out how to compile a BinkD build that'd be ideal. BinkD supports BinkP (TCP/IP protocol for Bink) which most Fidonet nodes support these days. What you MAY be able to do is use Jetmail/LED to toss mail into a shared outbound folder then have BinkD running on a networked PC to send the packets to their destination. Bit of work, but probably the simplest solution. Would be curious to see how Tillek setup his system.

#18 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:20 PM

Would be curious to see how Tillek setup his system.


Yeah, me too! :)

#19 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:16 PM

Yeah, me too! :)


Ask and ye shall receive.....

JetMail/JetStat is a Fidonet mail processor for ST, I guess it works with a program called LED for tossing mail (takes the mail, looks at it and either tosses it into an Echo, gives it to 1 user (netmail), or forwards it to another system). Hasn't been updated since 2000, but the website is still up at http://www.jetsys.de/ - I don't know what mailer you'd use, but now a days Fidonet can be done with a simple FTP file processor. What you can do is Toss your outgoing mail into a folder, then have another program simply connect to your "Hub" and send all the files via FTP. Your Hub will send files to your inbound folder the same way and then the Tosser (LED) processes it.

Fido can be a PITA, especially if your platform of choice is lacking and that's mainly due to the fact that Fidonet is ancient and a bit set in it's ways, but that can be good.

I was a FoRem ST node back in the day (#395), I still have my software booklet somewhere, one of these days when I get tired of my 800 I'll find a nice ST and see if I can revive it.

Edit: ugg, just read the documentation and it says it needs Bink to work. If you can figure out how to compile a BinkD build that'd be ideal. BinkD supports BinkP (TCP/IP protocol for Bink) which most Fidonet nodes support these days. What you MAY be able to do is use Jetmail/LED to toss mail into a shared outbound folder then have BinkD running on a networked PC to send the packets to their destination. Bit of work, but probably the simplest solution. Would be curious to see how Tillek setup his system.


Ok... Just to set a few things straight at first... LED is a mail reader, not a tosser. Think of it as a QWK reader or such except that it reads the QBBS message format files directly. It really has no use on a BBS setup except to be a raw mail reader (as I use mine) or if you're a FIDO "point" system (which is basically a one man Fido system).

Jetmail is the mail processor/tosser. IOSmail is another such program (but older and probably not Y2K compatible). This is the program that takes the mail packets and "tosses" the contents to the right message areas. It also takes the messages written on the system and prepares them as packets to the mailer to be sent out. (Jetmail also processes files).

BinkleyTerm ST is the mailer. It is the program that gets the packets to and from "point A" and "point B". Other programs out there is "The Box" (outdated) and "Semper" which is GEM based, but it requires a Key.... If you can find one, let me know... I'd love to experiment.

You also need a nodelist compiler... BTNC is the one you'd need for Jetmail and BinkleyTerm.

There are a lot of other programs that do this and that, but most of that is optional.

Now as mentioned, you can get packets through FTP. I'm not really sure how Fidonet views this, but other "Fido Technology Networks" (other nets using the same technology) use it. If you used this method, you'd lose some of Fidonet's functionality, but you could totally do without the mailer (Binkley/Semper/The Box). However, you'd be in violation of Fidonet's Zone Mail Hour provision (having a mailer available during Zone mail hour - Currently 9am-10am UTC for North America <5am-6am EDT>).

Technically, all Fido mailers are supposed to be compatible with the baseline Fido Standard. Alas, some have issues with that. That's why I'm currently getting my feed from the Regional coordinator instead of the Net Coordinator. When I have more free time later in the summer my NC and I will be working to figure out if we can get the settings right, but my feed from the RC is working for now. (Actually, Bink can do better than the baseline, but for some reason my NC's software just can't connect... the only problem I have with my RC is that sometimes, packets don't want to transfer if I'm running under RatSoft's CLI... I think it's a timing issue since I have my serial on the Lantronix set to 56k with the Falcon/MegaSTE serial port. No big deal... If I have a stubborn packet, I just quit RatSoft, run Bink from the desktop and all is well).

Once the packets are sorted by Jetmail, RatSoft (the BBS software) handles the rest since it can handle the QBBS message format. BBS's that don't have a Fido module or don't natively support QBBS, can run FidoDoor (a door program that will handle your Fido echos). I do use LED sometimes if I just want to look at areas (like the TRASH or DUPEAREA) or if I want to check things without logging in to the BBS.

Now as to how I run Binkley in the TelNet world..... I either manually edit the nodelist to "cut and paste" the "internet address" from the node listing to the "phone number" field (of the nodes I need to call, doing the whole list would take forever) and process it with BTNC, or if they have a phone number other than zeros or -unpbuplished- I just use the binkley.cfg dial translation options (in the old days, the dial translations would be what would convert a local number, like 1-216-665-5983 to 665-5983 or to add a LD code or something). Since I have a Lantronix MSS100 on the BBS computer, it can dial out domain names. While having a BinkD/BinkP would truly be ideal, are there even enough people interested in Atari ST/Fido to make it worth the trouble? Even with a UDS10 or something, as long as you had a feed with a static IP, you really only have to have THAT node translated in the nodelist unless you want to be able to direct mail all of Fidonet. It's not really necessary.

And yes, Fido is a PITA... however.... I have noticed (three times now, one as a point, two as a node)... once you set it up successfully, it stays set. I don't think I really had a "ok, it was working fine yesterday, now it's all fubared... wtf?" moment.

I'm currently looking into some other FTN's out there. I found that FamilyNet has some classic computing echos (Atari for certain) that I'm hoping are more active than FidoNet's and AdventureNet to hopefully fill some of my gaming needs.....

Android... You mentioned being a FNET node? I don't suppose you were in to galactic SEE? I am desperately trying to find a galaxy.dat file so that I can rev-engineer it and hopefully bring back some of the multi-node Atari BBS games once I get DarkLord Fido-capable!

#20 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:30 PM

Just a quick rundown on the process.... This is my process, but there are probably a million other ways to do it......

Ratsoft waits for the calls. When a "RING" comes in, I run a batch file that calls BinkleyTermST in "batch mode".

Binkley sends out the mailer "code" and also the message to press "ESC" for the BBS. If it receives a response code, it processes an incoming mail. If it gets an ESC or a long wait, it returns to RatSoft and assumes a human caller. (If carrier gets dropped, RatSoft figures this out and just goes back to waiting for another call).

If it gets a mail call and receives mail, the batch file then runs Jetmail, which opens the packets and "tosses" the messages to the right areas. If it is just outbound mail, it goes back to RatSoft for the next call.
If Jetmail processes mail, it runs FIDOCOMP which is RatSoft's Fido Maintenance module. It deletes messages over the "limit" and resets the pointers. Important to the BBS software, but "Fidonet" couldn't care less.

Whenever a user logs off, Jetmail runs to see if a message was posted. If it was, Jetmail prepares it as a packet. If it was a mail message, and it was set to CRASH (immediate and direct) and that system is in my config as CRASHABLE, then it prepares a packet directly to that node. Otherwise, it just prepares a packet to my uplink. I don't choose to run BinkleyTerm to deliver it immediately, since my feed contacts me many times a day. I just hold it till he calls. But I could have it call out immediately. If private messages aren't "CRASHED" they go through your uplink, to his uplink, to his uplink, to the destinations uplink, etc. etc. etc.).

I also have an event in RatSoft that runs Binkley during Zone Mail Hour. If you try to call the BBS, you get a message that the BBS is down until then.


Anyway, that's the basics of it... if anyone has any questions..... Here I am.

Edited by Tillek, Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:31 PM.


#21 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:47 AM

Yep, its as complicated as I remember it from years ago. :)

To even start, I'll have to find archives of all those utilites. If you have the latest
versions or links to them, I could use them.

Another problem is that BBS Express ST doesn't have the builit in support for
some of that stuff like RatSoft apparently does.

I do remember though, that BBS Express ST BBS's were doing FidoNet, so it
can be done.

Don't know where, but I really need to find some examples, scripts, etc,...

Thanks.

#22 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:35 AM

Well, at the very least, we should be able to use FidoDoor. But I'll try to grab the latest copy of BBS Express ST and see what it has going on. It really shouldn't be all that hard to set up.

#23 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:49 AM

I got the last public release from Rich (free key):

Attached File  BBX198A.ZIP   1.67MB   175 downloads

HTHs.

#24 Tillek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:33 PM

Ok. Ill download that when I get home and start messing around. I assume that includes full docs?

#25 Android8675 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:08 PM

Ask and ye shall receive.....



Ok... Just to set a few things straight at first... LED is a mail reader, not a tosser. Think of it as a QWK reader or such except that it reads the QBBS message format files directly. It really has no use on a BBS setup except to be a raw mail reader (as I use mine) or if you're a FIDO "point" system (which is basically a one man Fido system).

Jetmail is the mail processor/tosser. IOSmail is another such program (but older and probably not Y2K compatible). This is the program that takes the mail packets and "tosses" the contents to the right message areas. It also takes the messages written on the system and prepares them as packets to the mailer to be sent out. (Jetmail also processes files).

BinkleyTerm ST is the mailer. It is the program that gets the packets to and from "point A" and "point B". Other programs out there is "The Box" (outdated) and "Semper" which is GEM based, but it requires a Key.... If you can find one, let me know... I'd love to experiment.

You also need a nodelist compiler... BTNC is the one you'd need for Jetmail and BinkleyTerm.

There are a lot of other programs that do this and that, but most of that is optional.

Now as mentioned, you can get packets through FTP. I'm not really sure how Fidonet views this, but other "Fido Technology Networks" (other nets using the same technology) use it. If you used this method, you'd lose some of Fidonet's functionality, but you could totally do without the mailer (Binkley/Semper/The Box). However, you'd be in violation of Fidonet's Zone Mail Hour provision (having a mailer available during Zone mail hour - Currently 9am-10am UTC for North America <5am-6am EDT>).

Technically, all Fido mailers are supposed to be compatible with the baseline Fido Standard. Alas, some have issues with that. That's why I'm currently getting my feed from the Regional coordinator instead of the Net Coordinator. When I have more free time later in the summer my NC and I will be working to figure out if we can get the settings right, but my feed from the RC is working for now. (Actually, Bink can do better than the baseline, but for some reason my NC's software just can't connect... the only problem I have with my RC is that sometimes, packets don't want to transfer if I'm running under RatSoft's CLI... I think it's a timing issue since I have my serial on the Lantronix set to 56k with the Falcon/MegaSTE serial port. No big deal... If I have a stubborn packet, I just quit RatSoft, run Bink from the desktop and all is well).

Once the packets are sorted by Jetmail, RatSoft (the BBS software) handles the rest since it can handle the QBBS message format. BBS's that don't have a Fido module or don't natively support QBBS, can run FidoDoor (a door program that will handle your Fido echos). I do use LED sometimes if I just want to look at areas (like the TRASH or DUPEAREA) or if I want to check things without logging in to the BBS.

Now as to how I run Binkley in the TelNet world..... I either manually edit the nodelist to "cut and paste" the "internet address" from the node listing to the "phone number" field (of the nodes I need to call, doing the whole list would take forever) and process it with BTNC, or if they have a phone number other than zeros or -unpbuplished- I just use the binkley.cfg dial translation options (in the old days, the dial translations would be what would convert a local number, like 1-216-665-5983 to 665-5983 or to add a LD code or something). Since I have a Lantronix MSS100 on the BBS computer, it can dial out domain names. While having a BinkD/BinkP would truly be ideal, are there even enough people interested in Atari ST/Fido to make it worth the trouble? Even with a UDS10 or something, as long as you had a feed with a static IP, you really only have to have THAT node translated in the nodelist unless you want to be able to direct mail all of Fidonet. It's not really necessary.

And yes, Fido is a PITA... however.... I have noticed (three times now, one as a point, two as a node)... once you set it up successfully, it stays set. I don't think I really had a "ok, it was working fine yesterday, now it's all fubared... wtf?" moment.

I'm currently looking into some other FTN's out there. I found that FamilyNet has some classic computing echos (Atari for certain) that I'm hoping are more active than FidoNet's and AdventureNet to hopefully fill some of my gaming needs.....

Android... You mentioned being a FNET node? I don't suppose you were in to galactic SEE? I am desperately trying to find a galaxy.dat file so that I can rev-engineer it and hopefully bring back some of the multi-node Atari BBS games once I get DarkLord Fido-capable!


Ah, thanks for the corrections, It has been a while since I looked at FidoST software, and yes, I was a Friend of Rick E. Moose Network member board. #395. (Board was called CodeName: SpitFire ST back then)

Ya know now that I think about it I have a couple old ST floppy's labeled with my BBS name. As I recall I used a floppy to autostart the board, I popped it out when I felt like playing a game or something. I can see if there's anything worth while on them and send them too you. Probably a long shot.

My board is running as Fidonet 1:143/600 at the moment, if you startup any killer Atari Echo's or Nets, please let me know.

Android8675@shodan.synchro.net
Android8675@z1.h143.n600.fidonet.org (I think)
telnet://shodan.synchro.net

Still a work in progress, and running VPC, so ya know not "real" Atari hardware, I'm trying to make a backdoor into my 800, but I'm re-learning to code so I can do something unique.




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