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#FujiNet - a WIP SIO Network Adapter for the Atari 8-bit

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1 hour ago, Amis said:

I have to say with all the Things You Can Do with a FujiNet, seem Connecting to a BBS is not used by most of the FujiNet Community. Currently running, and while highly active, given the number of FujiNet devices now in active use, this part of the functionality is either overlooked, not interesting, or more information on how to connect is needed. A short and simple How-To guide is available on southernamis.com (How to connect) as well as the ATR downloads for BobTerm and Amodem. Maybe to the surprise of some FujiNet users, 13 Active BBS's are online, AMIS, FoRem, BBS Express, BBS Express Pro, RatSoft, BBS Express ST, Oasis, etc. have been restored and in active status for years.

 

Would like to understand if this is not of interest, needs more support, or other..

 

IMG_1724.jpg

Great topic!  I've been thinking about connecting to BBSes again lately with my 800..  I actually have two Fujis.. 

 

I haven't "jumped right in" because I was thinking I'd go back to my Atari 850 + Wifi232 (forget exact name) device and use the 850 Express terminal which I used as a kid on the 8bit.  I know BobTerm is a little more advanced and would be interested in trying that.

 

I see the guide and appreciate that.  I will try tonight!   I guess two questions - 1. Can I use 850 Express with Fujinet?  and 2.  Not that it super matters - but what baud rates does Fujinet support?

 

(And Bonus question - are there any 80 column BBS softwares working on VBXE yet?  have been looking for excuses to buy one) 

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1 hour ago, Amis said:

Would like to understand if this is not of interest, needs more support, or other..

Sadly for me, it is purely lack of time.  I have been a registered user of APE for close to 20 years now.  I only mention this because it means I have had full modem access for the past 20 years.  I'm lucky if I can call a single BBS once a month with any regularity these days - and that is with my machine constantly hooked up and ready to go at the literal flick of a power switch.

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2 hours ago, Xebec said:

Great topic!  I've been thinking about connecting to BBSes again lately with my 800..  I actually have two Fujis.. 

 

I haven't "jumped right in" because I was thinking I'd go back to my Atari 850 + Wifi232 (forget exact name) device and use the 850 Express terminal which I used as a kid on the 8bit.  I know BobTerm is a little more advanced and would be interested in trying that.

 

I see the guide and appreciate that.  I will try tonight!   I guess two questions - 1. Can I use 850 Express with Fujinet?  and 2.  Not that it super matters - but what baud rates does Fujinet support?

 

(And Bonus question - are there any 80 column BBS softwares working on VBXE yet?  have been looking for excuses to buy one) 

You can use any terminal program to connect with FujiNet or the Wimodem. Set up as you did back in the day, Atascii, 2400,4800 baud and use the ATDT command but instead of a phone number, use the address and port: southernamis.ddns.net:23 from there, everything is as it was when you last used your modem to dial out..

 

Baud Rates for FujiNet - 300-4800 does goto 9600 but with some character loss.

80 Column - MouseNet is an A8 80 Column BBS - You can find the full BBS listings at http://sfhqbbs.org/ataribbslist.php

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6 hours ago, Amis said:

I have to say with all the Things You Can Do with a FujiNet, seem Connecting to a BBS is not used by most of the FujiNet Community. Currently running, and while highly active, given the number of FujiNet devices now in active use, this part of the functionality is either overlooked, not interesting, or more information on how to connect is needed. A short and simple How-To guide is available on southernamis.com (How to connect) as well as the ATR downloads for BobTerm and Amodem. Maybe to the surprise of some FujiNet users, 13 Active BBS's are online, AMIS, FoRem, BBS Express, BBS Express Pro, RatSoft, BBS Express ST, Oasis, etc. have been restored and in active status for years.

 

Would like to understand if this is not of interest, needs more support, or other..

 

 

The Fujinet is great for BBSing, especially if you have limited space like me.  I just need an A8 plugged into a TV/monitor and a Fujinet; no other wires or devices!  It's a great small footprint setup for getting onto BBSs!  You can get a term program off the many public TNFS servers or add one to your local SD card. It also works great with the Express Cart! if you have one.  That's my preferred term program lately.  ;-)

 

-JP
 

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6 hours ago, Amis said:

I have to say with all the Things You Can Do with a FujiNet, seem Connecting to a BBS is not used by most of the FujiNet Community. Currently running, and while highly active, given the number of FujiNet devices now in active use, this part of the functionality is either overlooked, not interesting, or more information on how to connect is needed.

For me it was interesting for maybe an hour or two when I was connecting to various active BBS's, but quickly the novelty wore off, and then all the reasons why I stopped using my A8 to go online focused into realty once more. Personally I think instead of going back into the past with this next generation tech, instead we should be focused on something more modern now that this tech allows for bridging the gap.

 

As to what that would be... well I for one would find being able to log into one (or all) of my existing email accounts in either POP or maybe even IMAP, and then send and receive text messages, a very useful app on my A8. This is something that is bridging old with new in a practical and useful way.

 

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2 hours ago, mytek said:

For me it was interesting for maybe an hour or two when I was connecting to various active BBS's, but quickly the novelty wore off, and then all the reasons why I stopped using my A8 to go online focused into realty once more. Personally I think instead of going back into the past with this next generation tech, instead we should be focused on something more modern now that this tech allows for bridging the gap.

 

As to what that would be... well I for one would find being able to log into one (or all) of my existing email accounts in either POP or maybe even IMAP, and then send and receive text messages, a very useful app on my A8. This is something that is bridging old with new in a practical and useful way.

 

Personally I see the topic in the same objective with the addition of software preservation. BBS's today are part past and new innovation bridging continuous, evolving/emerging tech which happens to be delivered by legacy computing. The foundation is the A8, or other, and examples such as using the AWS cloud as BBS connectivity to network, FujiNet, Wimodem232, the development of hardware, software, applications, and the expanding community of users, programers, who provide continuous enhancement.

 

The generation engaging with BBS's has shifted and the growth of BBS's continues surprisingly. IPTIA (http://www.ipingthereforeiam.com) shows continuous growth in the number of boards being deployed monthly agnostic of platform. The convergence of retro and modern has a place for BBS's but not interesting for all.

 

Appreciate the perspective as an enthusiast, I would like to understand FujiNets impact in this area as it has been mentioned over 2000 units have sold but it appears very few use the full functionality of the device. The answer may simply be to your point, for some or most, connecting to a bbs is not all that interesting. Others it's time, and a population of users who are unaware of the existence, value, or how to connect to a BBS.

 

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Personally, I'm with Amis.

 

No offence, but my retro machines are hobbyist machines, they're my release from email and SMS. I can't see the point in reading emails and sending text's from my A8, when my PC is without a doubt the far more productive environment for such a task. On the flip side, regarding the resurgence of BBS communities, where one can communicate free from any forms of tracking, data collection and forced advertising; with a community that's connecting to such a system because they remember a time when life was better before the internet and therefore share common interests on a platform that's still evolving but is without a doubt a big part of computing history and should be as preserved with the same passion and priorities as retro software and hardware in general - I'm quite stunned that more FN users aren't actually using the device to be a part of something I consider more enjoyable than a port of yet another game that I'll play for a bit and then it'll just take up space on my CF card. There are sellable benefits to the BBS scene over something like Facebook.

 

Unlike a game, this is a living, breathing and enthusiastic community. The first thing I did when I set up FN was connect to a number of ATASCII BBS's, ATASCII BBS's I still connect to every evening.

 

Then again, I guess people prefer Discord over IRC. I guess they see Discord as the evolution of IRC. Personally, for me, this is the problem with Discord - It's full of kiddies posting silly memes, no matter what channel you join. So from my perspective, the fact these kiddies aren't interested in IRC is the reason I like IRC - And the BBS scene is exactly the same, the kiddies can stick to Facebook.

 

The last thing I want is for my release from everyday life to be a less productive productivity machine. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, that's just mine.

 

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It can be used for both. Having used the Atari for most things in Raw mode and telnet (though often in door or login form) to do such things in the past... it's gratifying, spartan,  a benefit of the simplicity. A quick item texted or mailed here and there is fun, fine even... you of course aren't going to be using it to handle your corporate spam and noise infuser (aka inbox with no end)... It's nice and very relaxing for low volume friendly interaction. It's good to know you can do so on your favorite machine.

 

Most door (telnet or otherwise) are gone or closed these days, so having the Atari do this for itself would be both nostalgic and fun.

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I’m with @mytek on this one. The novelty quickly dissipated once I started using BBS’s again. I was stuck in the backwoods of NC with only dialup until about 2010 so this is a recent memory for me. I’ve been able to access them on my C64 for several years but hardly do. 
 

I find useful apps much more enjoyably. I fire up the weather app most every morning and leave it on the display all day when I’m not using my 8-bit. I would use a mail client and am looking forward to playing with the EXP80-II and word processing. 

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My usage patterns of BBS's aren't the same now as they were. I used to spend hours calling round all the local BBS's or dialing into CiX, I was a Fido point and had people relying in me for messages. I had great friendships with some of the people I talked to on there and in general the community was inclusive, welcoming, and like minded. I didn't spend a lot of time playing door games and wasn't into warez at all, but others did/were. 

 

Now if I BBS I'm calling in to look at the BBS, marvel at the ascii art, check out the features and the setup and leave a message for the sysop. 

 

I'd love for there to still be BBS's with the same small group of like minded people sharing info and helping each other but I find I don't have much in common with the people leaving messages on the BBS's I've visited recently, it's hard to contribute something new and nothing you find there is exclusive; I've usually read it all in multiple places already.

 

Modems were always an exclusive and nerdy part of computer ownership and most users didn't have them/weren't interested. Every Christmas a bunch of new users would come online, busy out all the phone lines and fill the message boards with dumb questions for a few weeks until they got bored of it. A couple of quality new people would remain and be added to the group and the rest would fade away and life would continue. Putting a fujinet into the hands of every vintage computer user is just giving everyone a new modem for Christmas. We have to wait now for the masses to fade away and the few quality people to remain.

 

It's also no longer the way we, as a community, keep in contact.  I have email, forums, twitter, facebook, zoom meetings, discord, irc and youtube as ways of communicating with the atari and wider retro/vintage community now, but much less time than I used to have, I can't spend the entire evening just messaging people any more, I have other things to do.

 

We have much less patience too, if you want to know the answer to a question and you ask it on twitter or facebook, you are expecting to see a reply in a few minutes, maybe an hour. The idea of waiting for a few days for the message to spread and the replies to come in is unthinkable now.

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4 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I'd love for there to still be BBS's with the same small group of like minded people sharing info and helping each other but I find I don't have much in common with the people leaving messages on the BBS's I've visited recently, it's hard to contribute something new and nothing you find there is exclusive; I've usually read it all in multiple places already.

 

 

Which BBSs have you visited recently?  I actually find the Atari BBSs listed on   http://sfhqbbs.org/ataribbslist.php to be like minded, friendly, informative, and willing to help eachother out.  We are always welcoming newcomers. Just say "Hi" in a message and you'll get a warm welcome from everyone.

 

But if BBSing isn't for you anymore, that's totally understandable.  BBSing isn't for everyone. It does take some dedication to call regularly if you want to keep up on the messages.  We are a chatty bunch on the Atari BBSs, so, if you don't call for a week or more, you can be several messages behind.  ;-) 

 

-JP
 

Edited by JohnPolka
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5 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

Modems were always an exclusive and nerdy part of computer ownership and most users didn't have them/weren't interested. Every Christmas a bunch of new users would come online, busy out all the phone lines and fill the message boards with dumb questions for a few weeks until they got bored of it. A couple of quality new people would remain and be added to the group and the rest would fade away and life would continue. Putting a fujinet into the hands of every vintage computer user is just giving everyone a new modem for Christmas. We have to wait now for the masses to fade away and the few quality people to remain.

Great post overall btw.

 

While I agree with you on this specific piece (when BBSes became too popular, quality conversation degraded in many cases), I think the people that are left and interested in Fujinet are generally pretty hardcore enthusiasts at this point. This isn't like a mass market deal like when the internet first founded or everyone had to have a BBS in the early 1990s as modems and phone lines became much cheaper.  I suspect we're much further along that curve than you're thinking.

 

(I do wish I had spent more time on Fidonet as a kid.. would have learned a lot more :) ).  

Edited by Xebec
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We are getting to the core of the thread and here is my view - Use the FujiNet to its fullest capability. Experiment with the active BBS's and see if this fits with value of time and the user experience. If it's not for you or not valuable, the feedback would be welcomed. A lot has changed in the Atari community and the BBS's have evolved with the tech. Maybe your experience with other BBS's was not useful but Atari only bbs's or Atari run BBS's have a much different culture over other platform BBS's.

 

I further suggest the "Things to do with a FujiNet" should provide information for the Atari BBS community. Currently in review of the document new users to the device are provided with Level 29 (ascii) as the example BBS. Glad to support updating the document to enable how to connect, settings, term programs as well as choices to maximize the use of FujiNet to include the BBS listing for the Atari (Atascii) Boards.

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Level 29, ugh!

 

Anyone connecting will be met with thousands of messages about Apple Macintosh's, hardly ideal motivation for A8 users adopting the BBS scene and conversing with like minded users.

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1 hour ago, Xebec said:

While I agree with you on this specific piece (when BBSes became too popular, quality conversation degraded in many cases), I think the people that are left and interested in Fujinet are generally pretty hardcore enthusiasts at this point. This isn't like a mass market deal like when the internet first founded or everyone had to have a BBS in the early 1990s as modems and phone lines became much cheaper.  I suspect we're much further along that curve than you're thinking.

Which is exactly what's happening on the internet now, quality conversation has degraded as a result of mass adoption making the BBS scene very inviting.

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3 hours ago, Mazzspeed said:

quality conversation has degraded as a result of mass adoption

What happened was that we made it so cheap to communicate that communication itself became worthless.

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2 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

What happened was that we made it so cheap to communicate that communication itself became worthless.

I like this, very well said my Friend.

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4 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

What happened was that we made it so cheap to communicate that communication itself became worthless.

This is the most accurate assessment I've heard of the social media landscape yet.  Well done sir!

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I tend to agree with Mazz, Amis, 8bitguy1 and JP here...

 

Until 1999 or so , I used my Atari Falcon for e-mail. But...it got to the

point where e-mails evolved into HTML and with links leading to sites

that the Falcon couldn't handle...well, I eventually switched over to

Linux.

 

So...I can't imagine trying to do e-mail with an 8bit machine. Now,

that's absolutely not knocking the 8bits. Let's be totally clear on

that point. I just can't imagine it.

 

BBS's on the other hand, have regained some of their prior popularity

in the last few years. We've seen a resurgence in callers and number

of active BBS's. More 8bit than 16 bit, from where I'm standing.

 

Each tries to differentiate itself from the others so callers aren't left

with the impression that they just repeated all their actions over and

over. My BBS, the DarkForce BBS "feels" much different then Southern

Amis, or The Basement, or the Alcatraz BBS, or Star Fleet Headquarters,

(and more) and each of them "feel" different than the others.

 

The link posted to SFHQ's BBS listing is a great place to start. Lots of

great places to visit there.

 

Give it a shot - you might be surprised by what you find...or what you

had forgotten.  :)

 

Edited by DarkLord
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On 10/20/2021 at 2:22 PM, JohnPolka said:

"BBSing isn't for everyone."

It never was... :)

 

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For me, it's all good. My only function in this whole mess is to provide the platform on which the rest of you build what you wish.

-Thom

 

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I hope to get my BBS running again soon. I have strong WiFi connection now.  I have RHND850 and RLISTEN 10001 in the startup file, still no luck yet.

 

I just found the error. It's a 146 Function not implemented, thrown by RLISTEN.

 

Any Ideas?

 

Edited by Kyle22
more info.

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I have tried loading RHND850 before and after RLISTEN. I have tried four and five digit ports (6502 and 10001). Still error 146. Function not implemented in handler.

Do I need NDEV or anything?

If so, why.

Thanks.

 

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Why do you guys insist on hijacking threads? sigh.

 

RLISTEN talks over SIO, so it can be run before or after RHND850. Error 146 means not implemented, so this means the handler is loaded, but you're trying to send a command the handler does not understand. 

 

Now can you please break this off into another thread?

 

-Thom

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18 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

Why do you guys insist on hijacking threads? sigh.

 

RLISTEN talks over SIO, so it can be run before or after RHND850. Error 146 means not implemented, so this means the handler is loaded, but you're trying to send a command the handler does not understand. 

 

Now can you please break this off into another thread?

 

-Thom

Sorry. last post in here. I had an old version of RLISTEN. Doc was helping me. We almost got it.

 

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