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So, let's hear it! How is this done? I've heard of people writing a BBS in XB and it's quite intriguing. :) I started writing a transfer program for fun a few months ago and got bogged down. I think it would be pretty fun to make a group project out of this idea--- I haven't seen any BBS code anywhere so I'm interested in seeing it and learning the "basics"... No pun intended.

 

Of course the Hidden Reef is the big daddy, but could we make a working BBS in XB? I don't know if anyone's interested in this, but I would sure love to see it happen. :)

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So, let's hear it! How is this done? I've heard of people writing a BBS in XB and it's quite intriguing. :) I started writing a transfer program for fun a few months ago and got bogged down. I think it would be pretty fun to make a group project out of this idea--- I haven't seen any BBS code anywhere so I'm interested in seeing it and learning the "basics"... No pun intended.

 

Of course the Hidden Reef is the big daddy, but could we make a working BBS in XB? I don't know if anyone's interested in this, but I would sure love to see it happen. :)

 

I wrote one long time ago. -- 90% was all done in XB, but two major chunks of it were done in assembly code, when XMODEM transfers were added for files, that took assembly for it to work, and then to handle faster speeds once 2400baud came along, the auto-answer, waiting, and receive and transmit of strings were done in assembly. -- It ran for years under the name "TI-TOWER BBS"

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Very cool, Gary! Do you, per chance, happen to have your code to share?

 

I guess what I'm primarily wanting to do is have an operational demo cache in BBS form for the SSGC games---- sign in, play the games, leave a message, sign out. Simple, stripped down.... The question is, how many 99ers have a modem hooked up to their TI? SSGC is just the start--- we could have many many XB games and demos... Given that they stay in the proper size range...

Edited by Opry99er

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TIBBS was the name of the popular Extended BASIC BBS package, IIRC. It ran on a lot of boards because it was easy to run and maintain, and very reliable software. It used assembly for the modem interface, though I don't know how much else may have been assembly.

 

However, personally, I did not like calling BBSs that ran it, because they were very slow, loading each line of bulletins and the like from disk caused a noticable delay, even at 1200 baud, and my phone bills were already very high. RAMdisks helped but what would have helped more would be the whole text file dump routine being in assembly. ;)

 

My own BBS package, FlipSide, was written in c99, and the source code that I have is available for download here: http://www.harmlesslion.com/software/bbs (also on WHTech in communications/bbs/FlipTermBBS.zip)... speed was no problem here at all, even from floppy, but the software was not customizable at all, and took a long time to compile. Still, it was fun to run.

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Very good info, Tursi. Assuming one ran TIBBS on a RAMDisk with a modern modem (56k running 19200baud) would the lag be minimalized enough to be a good option for the simple purposes I'm talking about?

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The problem is that the TI's RS-232 port has a hard time beyond 2400bps. With my USR 56k I can get high speed connections, however there is significant character loss, and downloads/uploads are not possible. Fortunately for the TI a 2400bps connection is usually fast enough (due to the small size files). All you need to get an external modem to work with the TI is a null modem adapter... works fine, even though I've heard some others say you NEED to make your own cable. I'd love to put up a BBS again for old times sake but I don't think there would be much demand especially since Richard's board really is all anyone needs for the TI.

 

Very good info, Tursi. Assuming one ran TIBBS on a RAMDisk with a modern modem (56k running 19200baud) would the lag be minimalized enough to be a good option for the simple purposes I'm talking about?

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Well, that was my question--- how many users still have a modem on their TI? I'd love to have a BBS operating on my HRD, but I'd have to install a land line. Not that it's an issue, but we are currently looking to move into a nicer/bigger place and when that happens, I'll have my TI set up and ready to operate 24/7 in a room of it's own. :) Well, technically it will share space with guitars and amplifiers and such, but it WILL be up and running. :)

 

Of course, the question then becomes "What can I offer that Richard's BBS doesn't?"

 

The answer? Don't know. :) But I'd like to do it if there are at least 10-12 people who sign into the Reef regularly on their real TI... Perhaps Greg McGill could put a portal to it from his "Keep" BBS. Kind of a little old dream of mine... Anyone remember USVideoTel? My first BBS experience. I was HOOKED, man....

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It was not the baud rate that was the problem on TIBBS, Extended BASIC is just very slow, and the way it is written, there's no way to interleave the even slower disk access with the modem access. The effect is that, in many cases, the disk spins down between lines of text, which makes it even worse.

 

With a RAMDisk this effect is minimized, but you still have the slow XB file interface, and it's still pretty noticable.

 

All that said, of course, you could probably set up a survey for the modems on TI question. I don't on mine, unfortunately.

 

I thought many times of ressurecting FlipSide and running it through the emulator over the internet. But... didn't seem like it'd see enough traffic to be worth it. :)

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Well, that was my question--- how many users still have a modem on their TI? I'd love to have a BBS operating on my HRD, but I'd have to install a land line. Not that it's an issue, but we are currently looking to move into a nicer/bigger place and when that happens, I'll have my TI set up and ready to operate 24/7 in a room of it's own. :) Well, technically it will share space with guitars and amplifiers and such, but it WILL be up and running. :)

 

Of course, the question then becomes "What can I offer that Richard's BBS doesn't?"

 

The answer? Don't know. :) But I'd like to do it if there are at least 10-12 people who sign into the Reef regularly on their real TI... Perhaps Greg McGill could put a portal to it from his "Keep" BBS. Kind of a little old dream of mine... Anyone remember USVideoTel? My first BBS experience. I was HOOKED, man....

I still have a modem and actually use it occasionally :) However, with my land line bill hovering around $80 a month with very little use, I am considering ditching it in favor of just using cell phones and skype. I have been pestering Richard Bell about adding internet access to the BBS using a modem emulator, and he has promised to look into it. This can also be applied to any BBS outthere, and is likely going to be necessary if any BBS is going to survive in the coming years.

If you ever decide to setup a BBS, maybe it can have a specialized focus to differentiate it from The Keep, such as programming.

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It will be a BASIC/XB game and demo BBS only with a board to leave messages and suggestions. Basically just a place to post and try small games and demos. IF it ever happens, that is. :)

 

So, yea.... Basically a programmer's BBS---- code, upload, test, comment, code, upload... Etc. I suppose assembly programs that are XB executable would be just fine too. :)

Edited by Opry99er

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Well I would definitely call! I doubt there are that many out there who still have a modem hooked up to their TI (or PC for that matter), but there are still some. You'd also have to do a cost benefit analysis of what it costs you to operate the BBS (cost of extra phone line, additional electricity to leave you consle, PEB, external hard drive(s) etc running 24/7, wear-and-tear etc). When I was running my PC BBS back in the 90's that all equated to about an extra $70-80 a month(I had two nodes though). But for me the satisfaction of operating my own board was worth the extra money I spent to do so. If you decide to go through with this project and need test callers at some point let me know. I get 10 hours of free land-line long distance a month.

 

It will be a BASIC/XB game and demo BBS only with a board to leave messages and suggestions. Basically just a place to post and try small games and demos. IF it ever happens, that is. :)

 

So, yea.... Basically a programmer's BBS---- code, upload, test, comment, code, upload... Etc. I suppose assembly programs that are XB executable would be just fine too. :)

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I have not tried this for about 5 years, but about 5 years ago I found that my cell phone, which had free calling within Canada and the US, would function as a modem if I tethered it to my PC over serial. I actually called BBSs and even an internet dial-up with it.

 

Might be worth investigating whether any modern cell phones are capable, since many plans offer discounted or free long distance nowadays.

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Honestly, if I get this going--- it'll be set up for a few months as a tester just to see what kind of traffic there is.

 

The more I think about it-- Atariage is a prime template for what I would want to accomplish... A developer's hotspot. But we have that here.... And the awesome nostalgia of a BBS might not be enough for some people to want to buy a modem and sign in. :) The Reef has an established reputation-- but what if I gave away modems? I have 7 or 8 modems... You think that would get folks to sign in?

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Honestly, if I get this going--- it'll be set up for a few months as a tester just to see what kind of traffic there is.

 

The more I think about it-- Atariage is a prime template for what I would want to accomplish... A developer's hotspot. But we have that here.... And the awesome nostalgia of a BBS might not be enough for some people to want to buy a modem and sign in. :) The Reef has an established reputation-- but what if I gave away modems? I have 7 or 8 modems... You think that would get folks to sign in?

 

Owen, if you look online, there is free software out there for modem emulators. The emulator runs on a PC and accepts direct connections from the internet, then in turn converts these connections to a serial connection and sends it via the serial port to your favorite computer running a standard BBS. As far as the BBS is concerned, connections are happening through a modem as it cannot tell the difference and the experience for the callers is similar to the one from 1983 :) I strongly suggest you go that route in order to maximize the number of potential "callers".

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That sounds fantastic... I would still need a phone line for the callers to "call" right? Or would it require that the end user also have their TI hooked up to a PC and it is all done via Internet connections?

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That sounds fantastic... I would still need a phone line for the callers to "call" right? Or would it require that the end user also have their TI hooked up to a PC and it is all done via Internet connections?

 

 

How about magic jack, a ip phone connection for 39.99 first yr and 19.95 the 2nd year and you get a land line number with it. $3 a month is reasonable to try something like this.

Edited by jchase1970

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I tried Magic Jack--- it wouldn't connect when I attempted to access the Reef via my TI. I haven't tried recently, but Tursi can speak more to VOIP than I can. The signal gets compressed and the transmission can get garbled.... Tursi, you reading this? You know a helluvalot more than I do, buddy.

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Honestly, if I get this going--- it'll be set up for a few months as a tester just to see what kind of traffic there is.

 

The more I think about it-- Atariage is a prime template for what I would want to accomplish... A developer's hotspot. But we have that here.... And the awesome nostalgia of a BBS might not be enough for some people to want to buy a modem and sign in. :) The Reef has an established reputation-- but what if I gave away modems? I have 7 or 8 modems... You think that would get folks to sign in?

 

Owen, if you look online, there is free software out there for modem emulators. The emulator runs on a PC and accepts direct connections from the internet, then in turn converts these connections to a serial connection and sends it via the serial port to your favorite computer running a standard BBS. As far as the BBS is concerned, connections are happening through a modem as it cannot tell the difference and the experience for the callers is similar to the one from 1983 :) I strongly suggest you go that route in order to maximize the number of potential "callers".

I've used both the hardware device (UDS100) and the modem emulator (BBS Server for C64, TCPSER) and the both work fairly well. There are some issues with file transfers which seem to be related to telnet and escape sequences that I didn't dig into far enough to resolve. However, I did find that with the UDS100 device and a few settings downloads (to the user) would function most times. -Tim

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Of course the Hidden Reef is the big daddy, but could we make a working BBS in XB? I don't know if anyone's interested in this, but I would sure love to see it happen. :)

The Hidden Reef software is XB and assembly. Difference between it and most hybrids is nearly all file IO is handled in assembly. Where needed, VDP is swapped to disk, ie, during file transfers. ;)

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That sounds fantastic... I would still need a phone line for the callers to "call" right? Or would it require that the end user also have their TI hooked up to a PC and it is all done via Internet connections?

 

No need for a phone line if most callers will be "calling" from a PC or Mac via internet. The TI will however need to be connected via serial cable to the PC. Any old PC that can connect to the internet should do. If you also however want people to connect using their actual TI, then yes, you do need a phone line and modem, at least until someone decides to write a TCP/IP stack for the TI...

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With the advancement of the GCC, we may see a TCP/IP stack similar to the C64 one. Matthew has some ideas about that--- he is much more "with-it" than I am. :)

 

Would it not be possible to hook your TI up to the PC via serial cable and use a modem emulator to sign in to the TI? Basically...

 

TI-->PC-->modem emulator-->modem emulator-->PC-->TI

 

Basically the same thing as the host setup.... Just a thought. :)

 

Maybe Greg could open a portal to this BBS (if it happens) on thekeep.net too for dial-up callers.

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I tried Magic Jack--- it wouldn't connect when I attempted to access the Reef via my TI. I haven't tried recently, but Tursi can speak more to VOIP than I can. The signal gets compressed and the transmission can get garbled.... Tursi, you reading this? You know a helluvalot more than I do, buddy.

 

MagicJack conversations make me eyetwitch thanks to the OLUG. ;)

 

I don't know what protocol they use... if it's not G.711 then the odds are modem calls can not work through it. Voice compression codecs lose too much information for modems to work, and modem relay is protected by so many patents that most cheap devices can't implement it.

 

Best way is to check whether the device supports faxes (as this is more commonly reported than modem compatibility). If it does, then modems up to at least 9600 baud should work.

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For what it's worth, the modem simulation software is a far better idea. You just run a serial cable from your PC to your TI, and let the PC run a little service that receives the telnet connection and fakes a modem call to the TI. We could probably whip up a quick and dirty one customized to our needs if none of the existing ones work (for instance, the telnet escape sequence is an easy one to add support for).

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