Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

173 Excellent

About JohnPolka

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Portland, Oregon USA
  • Interests
    Currently my focus is on Atari 8 bit computers, old school BBSs, emulators, and the Lynx hand held. However, I also enjoy Atari ST computers, Jaguar, and 2600.

    My non-Atari interests include TI-994A and Coleco Adam computers.

    I am originally from the Cleveland Ohio area. So, I am always interested in reconnecting with other Cleveland Atarians -- especially those from the old Atari BBS scene in the 80s and 90s.

    I run the Basement BBS. The BBS is running a customized version of BBS Express Pro! Telnet: basementbbs.ddns.net. Port: 9000. This BBS originally ran from 1986 - 1998, so it is truly an Atari time capsule on the Internet! :)

    Another BBS to check out is Part-Time. It was run by my step dad from 1985-early 2000. It was the longest running Atari 8 bit BBS in the Cleveland 216 Area Code. To connect, telnet to ptbbs.ddns.net Port: 8000.

Recent Profile Visitors

3,374 profile views
  1. Those weird characters are probably part of a telnet handshake. Since you're seeing them, your Atari's Internet device is probably operating in raw mode. If your Internet device were in telnet mode, you wouldn't have seen those characters (and I suspect the connection would have worked since the Atari side would have responded to the handshake). Raw mode is the preferred mode for the Atari 8 bit since ATASCII doesn't always display correctly under telnet mode. I usually use a raw connection when I connect to BBSs. When I connect to a BBS that's using telnet mode, I'll see weird characters like that when I first connect. -JP
  2. I believe there are no longer any Atari dial-up BBSs. However, you can still find some dial-up BBSs running on different computers. https://www.telnetbbsguide.com/ has some dial-up BBS listings (as well as several that are connected through Internet). You can find a list of Atari BBSs that are accessible through the Internet at http://sfhqbbs.org/ataribbslist.php You can log on to these using a term program, such as Syncterm, that supports telnet (although when accessing Atari 8 bit BBSs in ATASCII mode, setting the term program to "raw mode" works best). Some of these BBSs have web browser gateways, although ATASCII is not supported through the web gateways. There are a number of methods for connecting an Atari computer to the Internet. The link below provides some information: http://atariprojects.org/2018/09/30/connect-your-atari-computer-to-the-internet/ Some of us use Lantronix boxes connected to an Atari 850/P:R: Connection/MIO/etc. Others use a Wifi modem. There are a few different WiFi modems available. The ones that are currently available connect to a serial device, so again, you will need an Atari 850/P:R: Connection/MIO/etc. There are a couple devices in development that will provide Internet connectivity through the SIO port. These are #FujiNet and the Atari WiFi modem project. You can find separate message threads on these projects. You can also find some information in the "Atari BBS Gurus" club (located in https://atariage.com/forums/clubs/). -JP
  3. Thanks...I found version 1.21 and saw the same results as version 1.20. What is the difference between version 1.22 and 1.23?
  4. The call logs for BBS Express Pro! when it's connected to the Internet, show the baud rate on the BBS side. So, if the BBS' Internet device is locked at 9600, the call log will show every caller connecting at 9600. Incidentally, Alcatraz BBS is locked at 4800 baud. So, it appears everyone who connects to Alcatraz are connecting at 4800 baud. As for the BobTerm test... I just tried it again....So, I used version 1.20 of BobTerm (I think the last version was 1.21 -- but I could only find 1.20 for this test). I connected to Part-Time BBS and first tried the 'W'hos called list. I also tried the "Jazz (Basement Cat)" ATASCII slide show. The Express Cart gets buffer overflows on both of these two BBS features. With BobTerm, I get a perfect display when I use a P:R: Connection connected to the Lantronx or when I use an MIO connected to the Lantronix. When I use an 850, I experience some buffer overflowing on the ATASCII slide show. However, it was pretty minor compared to the Express Cart. When I ran the ATASCII slide show, I could still make most of it out. With the Express Cart, you could not make out big portions of the ATASCII slide show. I did not get any buffer overflows on the 'W'hos called list with the 850 and BobTerm. In summary, it looks like BobTerm works best with a P:R: Connection or with an MIO. Despite the Express Cart's shortcomings, I still like its ease of use and convenience of being on a cartridge. It still does a great job for most BBS sessions. -JP
  5. I actually found that the latest version of BobTerm performs the best of the bunch at 9600 baud. When I used the Express Cart! to connect to Part-Time BBS and the Basement BBS, I noticed some buffer overloads with some of the ATASCII screens/movies. Another good test is the 'W'ho's called command (which dumps the last 50 callers to the BBS). -JP
  6. When you tested this, did you connect to the BBS using a term program in "telnet" mode or "raw" mode?
  7. Around this time in 1989 the BB/ST Bulletin Board Software by Steve Grimm for the Atari ST was released. The software was published by Quantum Microsystems Incorporated and retailed for $49.95. A review of the software is available here.
  8. Yes, the "Connect Mode 56" setting in those instructions permit incoming and outgoing connections. See also "Connect Mode" in the Lantronix manual at the link below. The settings are listed in binary, so you need to convert the bits to hexadecimal when you enter them. Bit 6 controls whether to accept incoming connections. https://www.lantronix.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/UDS10-UDS100_UG.pdf The Disconnect Mode (a.k.a. Disconn Mode) setting controls whether you use telnet mode or raw mode. Right now, you have it set to telnet mode. If you change it to 80 (or 81 if you also want to turn off the state LED during a connection), you'll use raw mode. -JP Edit: Added information on the Disconnect Mode.
  9. Telnet is a communication protocol that includes some rules such as an end of line sequence must be either a carriage return (ASCII 13) followed by a linefeed (ASCII 10) or a carriage return followed by a NUL character (ASCII 0). There are also escape sequences that begin with ASCII 255. You can read all about them in the telnet specification (https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc854). Raw mode does not use any protocol. It's unfiltered communication, very much like a traditional dial-up modem connection. Sometimes the telnet protocol can get in the way of file transfers, especially if one end is configured for telnet and the other end is in raw mode. Telnet mode can really affect ATASCII mode on the Atari 8 bit. For example, a carriage return is typically used as a graphics character (A raised straight line) and an end-of-line character is a different mapping (ASCII 155). If one is viewing an ATASCII graphics file under telnet mode, they might see the raised straight line (ASCII 13) followed by a heart character (ASCII 0) since telnet dictates that a carriage return must be followed with a linefeed or a NUL. Sometimes ATASCII can really mess up a telnet connection if it includes cursor controls (which is common in an ATASCII movie). That's because the insert character is ASCII 255 (which precedes escape sequences in telnet). With regard to your BBS' file transfers...I wonder if file transfers would work for everyone if your BBS' Lantronix device were configured for raw mode. Which Lantronix device do you use? I wrote up a configuration for the Lantronix UDS-10 which includes raw mode. You can access it at the following link: https://atariage.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=644789 -JP
  10. FYI: The Resistance BBS returned online a few days ago... -JP
  11. I was one of the users who said it wasn't working. It's now working for me with Syncterm. Today, I noticed that it will not work if one does not login using telnet mode. The other day when I tried it, it did not work in telnet mode nor raw mode. So, I wonder if something else may have been the culprit the other day. At any rate, it's good to know that your BBS requires telnet mode for file transfers. -JP
  12. What's going on with The Resistance BBS? Looks like it's been down for a few days. -JP
  13. On this day in 2019, Randy Suess, co-inventor of the Computer Bulletin Board System passes away at age 74. Randy created the BBS with his friend, Ward Christensen, in January 1978 during a blizard in Chicago, Illinois.
  14. Attached is an early article on Atari Pirate BBSs in the Cleveland, Ohio area (article is split between two pdf files). I remember opening up our Sunday paper and seeing this article back in the day (August 4, 1985 to be exact). I knew some of these guys from school and from the BBS scene. I remember they got busted by the Feds a few days after the story ran. I believe the Feds were able to read a phone number off the telephone in the photo and trace it back to the individual in the photo. I also remember those who weren't with Atari had no idea what a "happy disk" is (recall that this refers to the "Happy Drive" disk drive enhancement that allows you to copy just about anything). I remember one non-Atari user asking me "what the hell's a happy disk?" As you can imagine that caused all kinds of heckling on rival Commodore 64 boards. api-page1.pdf api-page2.pdf
  • Create New...