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InsaneMultitasker

Heatwave BBS Online

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I got busy and missed Heatwave's DNS entry renewal notice :skull: . I took care of it this evening but it may take a little time to update 'everywhere'.

 

During my testing I snagged this from the callers log.

 

 

 

 

post-25764-0-61858900-1550116401_thumb.jpg

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I swapped out the Geneve that has been running the BBS nonstop since last year so that I could complete the updates/repair work.

 

The repaired clock-challenged Geneve is now in operation and has been online for 5+ hours. I'll keep an eye on it through the weekend but if the BBS seems to be down for 12 or more hours, drop a note in the forum or PM me. I find the BBS to be a good acid test as it exercises VDP memory and CPU ram, since both are needed to run in an XB/Assembly hybrid environment, and it also flips between TI and 9640 mode to use the master dsr xops for IO magic.

 

Longer term I will install switching regulators and rebuild this Geneve from the 'ground up' to mirror my trusty development card. :)

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Sometime earlier today Heatwave locked up while creating a new user. I was able to reproduce the problem with certain files and the cause seems to be the hard drive fractured-file bug that I haven't been able to pin down in the OS.

 

Unfortunately, the problem does not manifest immediately so I need to inspect all system files and check for integrity. I'm then going to experiment with changing how the BBS system log functions to minimize the chances of the files fracturing. (Instead of one file that grows for all eternity, I'll try leveraging the month to create a monthly log. )

 

I hope to bring HW back online later today. I might create a simple 'gone fishing' program to throw online in the meantime.

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Well, it wasn't the log file that took the hit this time. The user database file fractured beyond one FDR sector and that's all she wrote (quite literally).

 

Digging into the file structure I found three BBS files fracturing at different rates, all racing toward destruction. Earlier this year I had copied the log file to its own folder to minimize the chances of corruption, not thinking through the situation nor recognizing my "solution" was only temporary. Duh.

 

So far I have manually reconstructed the file descriptor record by walking through the drive sector by sector. I'm in the process of copying files to a new platter and from there I'll inspect the user data. When the new user was added, it didn't finish the operation which may or may not require additional repair.

 

The silver lining is that I wanted to create a new platter/image for the BBS anyway. Hah.

 

Update: the user database required a lot more work than anticipated. All users with exception of the last new user have been recovered. I've taken the liberty of writing extra blank records in the critical files to stave off any fracturing for the foreseeable future. I decided to disable the file transfers for the time being so that I can more easily monitor what is happening with the system. I reworked a number of system folders to better segregate programs, menus, and essential files.

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While looking through boxes for the back side of a Myarc case I know I have (but still haven't found) I came across an old disk that I had sent to Harold Mayo, the first person to use and as he always put it, "beta test and crash" the BBS software.  It is a copy of what then was known then as "S&T MXT BBS" dated February 1991. 

 

I popped the disk into DSK1. and Extended BASIC autoloaded the BBS startup screen. Wow, talk about a blast from the past.  The BBS was limited to 2400 baud back then so it was a bit slow and I had just finished adding a number of assembly routines for displaying files, hotkeys, and ibm graphics.   I made the mistake of looking at the XB code... it looked so simple.  All of the basic features are there but that's where the similarities end -- the code certainly evolved a lot since then.  ;)   Maybe I'll put it online for a nostalgia night some day...

 

 

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13 hours ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

While looking through boxes for the back side of a Myarc case I know I have (but still haven't found) I came across an old disk that I had sent to Harold Mayo, the first person to use and as he always put it, "beta test and crash" the BBS software.  It is a copy of what then was known then as "S&T MXT BBS" dated February 1991. 

 

I popped the disk into DSK1. and Extended BASIC autoloaded the BBS startup screen. Wow, talk about a blast from the past.  The BBS was limited to 2400 baud back then so it was a bit slow and I had just finished adding a number of assembly routines for displaying files, hotkeys, and ibm graphics.   I made the mistake of looking at the XB code... it looked so simple.  All of the basic features are there but that's where the similarities end -- the code certainly evolved a lot since then.  ;)   Maybe I'll put it online for a nostalgia night some day...

 

 

I remember those days, would sometimes catch you or Mike online and message back and forth about the SCSI card and PORT and so forth. A lot of money in phone bills, but a lot of fun too.

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Man, Heatwave BBS has been BUSY!  It's amazing and gratifying to log in the next day and see that your last call has already rotated off the recent callers list!

 

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On 5/22/2020 at 12:34 PM, InsaneMultitasker said:

Every time I have turned on the monitor with the intent of doing some quick maintenance, there has been a caller logged in! 

The joys of being SYSOP. :)

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I completed the maintenance. Whew.

 

I've also been playing with Beery's Mass Transfer 4.e (TIPI 40 column) to better understand some TIPI routines.  To do so I have been testing Heatwave in 40 columns.  I noticed that on login, there were still a few ANSI escape sequences being displayed so I fixed that.  I also noticed that everyone, whether ansi was turned on or not, was being shown the ansi welcome message after login.  I had a typo in the code - variable S instead of ST.   Ooops.

 

On the plus side, I modified the terminal slightly:  added IBM graphics, changed from scrolling to top-down display, added the ctrl-shift pause from TIMXT, and increased the buffering/display speed.  If I make more headway, I'll post in the Mass Tranfer topic.

 

 

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It's been a few months since I have taken a quick snapshot of the last 20 callers' log.  We're supposed to reach a toasty 100F degrees (38C) this coming week, so Heatwave will see its first heat wave of the year. 

 

image.thumb.png.2290dee8ab1a7118731161450cf0f043.png

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Yeah, I noticed it's busy right now.  I have about 10 minutes to spare, so I thought I'd try out MXT, but all I got was a blue screen, so I thought I did something wrong.  So I switched to the TELNET program that comes with TIPI and it said it could not connect, so I'll try again later this evening if I get a moment.

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11 minutes ago, Omega-TI said:

Yeah, I noticed it's busy right now.  I have about 10 minutes to spare, so I thought I'd try out MXT, but all I got was a blue screen, so I thought I did something wrong.  So I switched to the TELNET program that comes with TIPI and it said it could not connect, so I'll try again later this evening if I get a moment.

I'm guessing there is no trapping of a failed connection?  That's something I want to learn about anyway, so I'll poke at the code while my Geneve is copying files...

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4 minutes ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

I'm guessing there is no trapping of a failed connection?  That's something I want to learn about anyway, so I'll poke at the code while my Geneve is copying files...

there seems to be, when i try to connect with my BBS dialout it just doesn't connect when it's busy.. 

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31 minutes ago, arcadeshopper said:

there seems to be, when i try to connect with my BBS dialout it just doesn't connect when it's busy.. 

If I use the TELNET app and type a non-existent URL or port, it takes a good minute or more for the TELNET app to respond with a connection error. Is this expected behavior?

I think I fixed the busy connection error trapping. I connected to HW with my PC then tried to use MXT, and immediately returned.  I will add some text.

The blue screen for a valid, busy URL is because the old code was returning to the menu without redisplaying it.  

 

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I have shut down Heatwave BBS for the foreseeable future. 

 

The local utility's intentional power outages have now affected most of the county I reside in, and have crept to within a mile of our neighborhood.  There is very little information forthcoming and no ETA on restoring the power grid damage caused by hurricane Laura.  Whether this is short-term, long-term, or rolling outages is anyone's guess at this time.

 

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1 hour ago, OLD CS1 said:

@InsaneMultitasker  I have two APC SM1400RM2Us available.

ty.  I have two APC1500s charged up and am keeping them offline for emergency use.  The county has asked to limit power use, so we shut down what we could.  Some tower repairs might be done tonight which could improve the situation in the region.

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A major transmission line has been repaired and power restored for most of the affected TX region.  I fired Heatwave back up and it is once again operational.  We'll see how the grid fares today as the heat rises and usage spikes.

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39 minutes ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

A major transmission line has been repaired and power restored for most of the affected TX region.  I fired Heatwave back up and it is once again operational.  We'll see how the grid fares today as the heat rises and usage spikes.


Glad the downtime was short.  Just called in and paged for a chat, but I forgot the SysOp is the cool guy who’s never around. LOL

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3 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:


Glad the downtime was short.  Just called in and paged for a chat, but I forgot the SysOp is the cool guy who’s never around. LOL

lol.  Yea... the monitor - my faithful 8cm515 Magnavox RGB -  is usually turned off these days as it is on its last legs. I had to adjust the screen size to the smallest horizontal height just to make it readable.  I probably head upstairs every week or so to check the hardware otherwise, I'm usually busy working and letting it do its thing.

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Don’t blame ya for keeping it off, 8CM515 is what I have too.  The power button is shot, and requires that I wedge a piece of folded paper into the small gap in order to keep it on.  The screen occasionally flickers, and the speaker crackles.  Guess that’s to be expected for a 30+ year old monitor.  

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