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Would you run a BBS?  

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  1. 1. Would you run a BBS with a TI-99/4A or Geneve and minimal TIPI system?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      11


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I am looking at modifying an existing assembly language BBS program that runs on a TI-99/4A to use the TIPI.  Would anyone have a desire to run a BBS of their own?  Equipment can be as minimal as a TI-99/4A with a sidecar 32K and TIPI/PI and internet connectivity.  This is now possible with Matt's release of server side functionality to the DSR of the TIPI.  I am trying to judge interest to see if others have an interest to know whether to work on Geneve specific software or TI-99/4A software as I have two different software packages I could easily make the required changes.

 

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Honestly, I don't think I have what it takes to leave my old gear (P-Box & Console) running 24/7 for such little activity.  Now on the other hand, if the entire BBS was contained on a microSD card plugged into a spare RPi that might be different.  Small, very little power drain, no noise, yeah, that might be something I'd consider.

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28 minutes ago, --- Ω --- said:

Honestly, I don't think I have what it takes to leave my old gear (P-Box & Console) running 24/7 for such little activity.  Now on the other hand, if the entire BBS was contained on a microSD card plugged into a spare RPi that might be different.  Small, very little power drain, no noise, yeah, that might be something I'd consider.

Yeah, as the software could run either on a TIPI PEBox unit, or on a sidecar setup, I figured those that would be interested would more likely run the sidecar unit as they would also likely have spare consoles and would not have to commit to a PEBox setup.

 

If there isn't interest, then there isn't interest.  One of the two existing votes is mine.  Not sure who the second person is.  For those that vote yes, please take the time and identify yourself.

 

There are some unique possibilities here with the TIPI server functionality now present that software tweaks can open new software ideas and integration.

 

Beery

 

Edited by BeeryMiller
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1 hour ago, arcadeshopper said:

I would like to see all the TI BBS/comm software modified to work with TIPI ;)   

 

Greg

 

I'm planning to work on modifying the AfterHours BBS source code V2.1 to work on the TIPI.  That will allow a TI-99/4A to serve as a BBS Server platform.  AfterHours BBS is all assembly.  As I have now documented for myself the necessary code to interface with the TIPI, I should be able to replace the RS232 code with the TIPI interface similar to what I did with Mass Transfer.  Previously, I had the AfterHours BBS source code I had tweaked to be in 80 columns for the Geneve for RS232 access.  That was released within 9640News back in the 90's.  I came across that code in the past few weeks, but didn't have the balance of the remaining message base and accessory file architecture.  With some info from Greg, I discovered on Whtech buried deep within the PC99 set of zip files, what I needed.

 

I have looked at several other TI-99/4A BBS flavors out there, but AfterHours seems like it will be the easiest choice to modify.  I don't know if Ed Schaum, the original author of AfterHours from 36 years ago is still around or active.  I would presume he would have no problem with modifications.  If he is here or has a problem, please advise.

 

I also have SmallTalk BBS that was written for the Geneve to be run in MDOS mode.  The downside here is that within MDOS mode, I would only be able to utilize the TCP client/server interface and not be able to use the storage capacity unless one used a SCSI or HFDC.  That is what is driving my interest for the TI-99/4A side of things with AfterHours since I already know XMODEM file transfers can be done both directions on a TIPI.  That essentially opens up almost unlimited file and storage capacity.  Even though I have tweaked the code in the past for 80 columns, I will be using the 40 column software as it would be useable by everyone.

 

As I understand it, the TIPI file storage system also has pretty much an unlimited number of files.  That will open some possibilities with increased message base capacity without rolling over messages.  While there may be a limit on message file size for a new individual post, any "older" messages if they are read line by line, should be readable.  I'm thinking this may allow setting up BBS systems with preloaded message archives such as things from comp.sys.ti, YahooGroups, etc. similar to what I have already done with 9640News BBS.

 

With a common core piece of software, it may even be possible a user posting on one system may be able to have that message exchanged across multiple BBS's.  Everything though will need to fit within the confines of the original TI-99/4A with 32K ram/TIPI as the base case scenario. 

 

As far as other BBS software, anything without assembly source code I would not even consider touching as there is too much work involved in the disassembly process.  Even mixed assembly and extended basic might be a bit of a challenge.  My primary desire is to get something like AfterHours up and working, and seeing what else can be built into it to increase its versatility.

 

Beery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cool,

 

I have some source for one of the later versions of tinet here I'll dig up plus the author is around.. it's hybrid assy/basic.. should be fun.

 

Oh and how are you accessing TIPI storage from MDOS?

 

Greg

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55 minutes ago, arcadeshopper said:

Cool,

 

Oh and how are you accessing TIPI storage from MDOS?

 

Greg

I'm not.  Under MDOS, the only thing I have written and used for the TIPI has been socket access.  It's beyond me at this point in time to implement TIPI into the master DSR of the Geneve.  There has been some discussion of it as "what if it we could do this", but again, it is beyond me.  Any TIPI storage for the Geneve for now would be GPL/Rompage mode.

 

Beery

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3 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

 

If there isn't interest, then there isn't interest.  One of the two existing votes is mine.  Not sure who the second person is.  For those that vote yes, please take the time and identify yourself.

Hi there,

I answered yes to the poll. My second console has a tipi sidecar, which I would use for a BBS system.

I would not let my two PEB systems run 7/24 hours.

Regards, Wolfgang

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I remember the days when I would setup afterhours and other BBS software and couldn't wait for that line to answer..

Good ole days

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4 hours ago, wolhess said:

I would not let my two PEB systems run 7/24 hours.

Same here, except if the home heat pump stopped working in the middle of winter.

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15 minutes ago, --- Ω --- said:

Same here, except if the home heat pump stopped working in the middle of winter.

You don't have to run a BBS to get them to heat the room. LOL

 

[email protected]

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I'd say go for it if it is of interest to you.  Assembly brings with it speed and flexibility, though it may take longer for you to add features or make changes.  Hybrid assembly/XB can make development easier when you leverage their respective strengths, however, some of the limitations can lead to frustration.  There are always some trade-offs.

 

(My Geneve PEB/case has been running 24x7 since the 90s with exception of travel to TI events like Lima and Chicago, moving, vacations, hardware refreshes, and storms.  The last 3+ years it's been running Heatwave and the last time I checked its reading, the KillaWatt was hovering at about 85 watts. )

 

 

 

 

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Well I'll be darned... The Raspberry Pi apparently already has BBS software (I should have known).

<< CLICK HERE >>

 

Step 5 takes you to a 404 page though...

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36 minutes ago, --- Ω --- said:

Well I'll be darned... The Raspberry Pi apparently already has BBS software (I should have known).

<< CLICK HERE >>

 

Step 5 takes you to a 404 page though...

 

Choose the 'Install Script' for Linux based system which includes Raspberry Pi.  I did it with Enigma 1/2 to test it out.

 

 

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I'm not looking for BBS software for the Raspberry PI.  I am wanting to modify code to run on the TI-99/4A to use the client/server socket interface of the TIPI.

 

I should be able to that with AfterHours BBS.

 

Beery

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2 minutes ago, BeeryMiller said:

I'm not looking for BBS software for the Raspberry PI.  I am wanting to modify code to run on the TI-99/4A to use the client/server socket interface of the TIPI.

 

I should be able to that with AfterHours BBS.

 

Beery

i know, i was just pointing Omega to how to do what he was referencing.

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Just an update............

 

This past weekend, I got the bulk of the routines for managing the TIPI from a MDOS XOP library for a Geneve converted to callable function calls stored in ram in the cartridge space of a TI-99/4A.  I've got considerable time debugging things to where I have identified the CRU address of the TIPI, RESET the TIPI, BIND the TIPI to a port, and ACCEPT a single connection.  I've also got the READ command working, and the WRITE command working with the AfterHours BBS code.

 

I spent the latter part of yesterday trying to understand where in the AfterHours source code I am getting a linefeed being added while displaying a text file after each character.  Still chasing that issue down.  Part of the issue was the BBS was written back in the day when everything was still 40 columns and there are extra CR/LF's and specific prompting.   I am trying to remove as much unnecessary code as possible to free up memory for additional things in the future.

 

As the modifications are being made to use a sidecar TIPI on a stock TI-99/4A, the sysop side of things I think need to stay 40 column unless I can get feedback on how to establish a 64 column display.  Which, that begs the question whether individuals users would want to be strictly in 40 column mode, or would they want to use 64 column mode with Matt's Telnet client?  I will post a note in a new topic to get feedback on that question for the client side of things.  Feedback from the server side (those running AfterHours) would be appreciated here in this topic if you have a preference between 40 or 64 column.

 

As far as memory, right now I am using the cartridge memory space at >6000 to >7FFFF.  The TIPI block of code is somewhere around 1800 bytes right now with a fair amount debug routines I can remove once things are tidy.  I am hoping there will be enough free space in the >2000 to >3FFF range to tuck that code after I decipher all the workspaces and PAB buffering.

 

I will also release all my source code updates as well, especially the TIPI section of code should someone want to roll the code into something else and not reinvent the wheel.

 

Beery

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 11:49 AM, BeeryMiller said:

With a common core piece of software, it may even be possible a user posting on one system may be able to have that message exchanged across multiple BBS's.  Everything though will need to fit within the confines of the original TI-99/4A with 32K ram/TIPI as the base case scenario. 

Sort of a revived TI-ECHO? Now with the TIPI, we could all run POINT systems.  😁👍

The TIPI could take care of all the point operations behind the scenes, the TI could be the user interface to read and post/reply to messages.

I suppose even FORCE COMMAND could be written to post an asterisk on the command line as an indicator that the personal mailbox was not empty.

 

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The Fidonet TI-ECHO is long gone, and thus far, I have not seen or been able to get the archives.  There are a few places with some limited date ranges, but nothing complete or near complete.

 

Rather than Fidonet, there is a TI-99/4A & Geneve equivalent group that is being distributed on the Retronet network similar to the Fidonet network.  As that group was created in the last year or so at my request, content is a bit limited.  Right now, I think only Chris and I are carrying it on our BBS's.  It's also being carried on other BBS's, but by Sysop's that are non-TI users and only because they are carrying the other 8 or so "retro" computers.

 

I think my Windows Mystic BBS software would allow "exporting" messages as individual files for each message, that could then be dropped to a TIPI path.  From there, one could exchange messages with other TI-99/4A point software should something be written and imported into the receiver's general message base.

 

So yes, it should be possible to interface.  In a sense, it could be considered a 'listserv' type application/interface.

 

Beery

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6 minutes ago, arcadeshopper said:

ti-net was supposed to do fidonet at one point..but Eric gave up I think :)   with tipi and sams we could fix that

 

Greg

Was Eric approaching the issue of using the file/message exchange protocol all the BBS's use on things like Fidonet, or was he looking at feeding off a local computer as a go-between?

 

My post above was more or less one PC on the network, and downstream of that, various TI BBS's could be "points" feeding the other system.


Beery

 

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One system would have to operate as the star, feeding it to the various points when polled.  It would essentially be like an automated login/logoff from the BBS like in the old days.  Due to low volume, I doubt there would be a great need to ZIP the message traffic.  However since all traffic would be fed to the individuals, simply loading up the message interface to read, write and delete old messages would be a snap.  TIPI's are usually left on 24/7 so this is a perfect application.

 

I can see the front end (on the TI) would need an additional "configuration screen" so the users could enter IP address and login information, but that should not be an issue.  Like the TELNET program that comes with the TIPI package, I'd like to see this (if/when completed) included in all future packages as well, but then that is strictly up to [email protected] as he is the creator.

 

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Was Eric approaching the issue of using the file/message exchange protocol all the BBS's use on things like Fidonet, or was he looking at feeding off a local computer as a go-between?
 
My post above was more or less one PC on the network, and downstream of that, various TI BBS's could be "points" feeding the other system.

Beery
 
Pretty sure zmodem stopped it

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, arcadeshopper said:

Pretty sure zmodem stopped it

That was what stopped me when I was getting into Fidonet... my point was willing to use XMODEM (he had his own custom software) but we never got it working. We didn't get much beyond basic tests.

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