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tschak909

Call for help: #FUJINET for Coleco Adam

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Hello Adam users. This will be a very long post, but the abstract is: I would like to bring #FujiNet to the Adam, via AdamNet, to provide network streaming of disk, virtual printing to PDF, a WiFi MODEM, and a Network Interface Card with tons of protocol offloading, and to do so in a very cost effective way using the ESP32 platform, something that has been proven out in the Atari community, with a device selling for $65 assembled, with a completely free software stack, and available from multiple vendors, without asking for any licensing.

 

Still with me? Good.

 

If you want to see FujiNet, go to http://fujinet.online and we have a 15 minute YouTube video here:

So what are we dealing with, here?

 

FujiNet is a firmware for WROVER based ESP32. It consists of a whole bunch of modules that turn the ESP32 into a bunch of virtual peripherals, and the firmware is being worked on in a way to be able to provide these peripherals to a wide variety of systems. We’ve done the most amount of work on the Atari peripherals, but the Commodore 64 peripherals are coming online, and we’re looking at ways to bring this to the Apple ][.

 

The most popular of these virtual peripherals is the disk drive, which can load disk images from either a local SD card, or from the network using a protocol that we’ve adopted from the Spectranet network adapter for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum called TNFS (Trivial Network File System). This gives an out-of-the-box functionality to all Adam users that everybody would want, the ability to stream software directly to your Adam.

 

We’ve embedded a PDF generator that was written from scratch into the Adam. It emulates a variety of printers, converting the native printer codes output from the application, rendering pages in PDF format, which are picked up in FujiNet’s web interface. It was a wonderful thing to be able to fire up Print Shop, and do banners, again. :)

 

A WiFi modem is provided. Depending on the target system, it looks like a Hayes compatible MODEM attached to a serial port. It allows existing communications programs to connect to BBSes and to interact with them. Not much else to add here, but it is there, it works, and is useful to those who love to connect to BBSes.

But perhaps, the most interesting peripheral in FujiNet’s arsenal, is one that is slowly starting to be discovered by its users, the network adapter. Because the ESP32 microcontroller is very powerful, provides a network interface, and can have all sorts of firmware running on it, it is possible to not only run a complete TCP/IP stack, but also to offload the application protocol complexities (such as HTTP/S, FTP, SSH, TNFS, SMB, NFS, IMAP, etc.) away from the computer, and provide a nice clean I/O channel that the computer can read at its leisure in a form that is most conducive to the system. This means, that for example, FujiNet integrates into the operating systems of the Atari and C64, and you use the same I/O methods to send data to and from the network, as you do to local devices.

 

Because the ESP32 has the muscle to handle these protocols, and to handle things like encryption for TLS (aka SSL), it means that FujiNet devices can become first class Internet citizens, and programs can be written using whatever language you wish. It makes building network connected games and applications something you can do on a weekend.

 

Still interested? Awesome.

 

What we need is motivated people to help do:

 

* Design the hardware coupling to AdamNet (connect the adamnet to the serial pins on the ESP32)

* Help write the ESP32 to make it talk like an AdamNet peripheral.

 

If you want to see the firmware, you can get a copy at: https://github.com/FujiNetWIFI/fujinet-platformio/

 

I hope we can generate some interest to make this happen. :)

 

-Thom

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