Author Topic: BBS software / terminal software  (Read 563561 times)

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Offline Octoate

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BBS software / terminal software
« on: 21:00, 23 March 10 »
Hi,
during the last months I tried to find more informations about how many BBS systems are still existing and which software exists to run a modern BBS. E.g. there is a mailbox software called Synchronet (http://www.synchro.net) which allows you to setup a BBS system, that also supports modern internet protocols like http, ftp, news, mail, irc, etc.
I also found old BBS systems which are running on the Commodore 64 or Amiga and are available via telnet. The connection between the old hardware and the internet is done with a modem emulator program, which runs on a PC. An example is the Jamming Signal BBS. Here is an example where somebody connects to the Jamming Signal BBS with a Commodre 64 emulator:

300 Baud connect to a Commodore 64 BBS (Jamming Signal) using Winvice + C64 term soft "Turbo Term"
300 Baud connect to a Commodore 64 BBS (Jamming Signal) using Winvice + C64 term soft "Turbo Term"

Well, I completly missed the BBS area and my online career started with BTX (an online service of the Deutsche Bundespost) and later internet.
So how did you connect to a BBS at that time? Which software did you use? Amsdos or CP/M? Did a BBS exist, which ran on a CPC?

Btw, I already tried to connect to a telnet BBS with a modem emulator (tcpser) with the CPC Booster and the terminal program of the CPC Booster, but it seems that the terminal emulation isn't very good.
« Last Edit: 21:03, 23 March 10 by Octoate »
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Offline Alcofribas

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« Last Edit: 21:38, 23 March 10 by Alcofribas »
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Offline redbox

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #2 on: 21:50, 23 March 10 »
So how did you connect to a BBS at that time? Which software did you use? Amsdos or CP/M? Did a BBS exist, which ran on a CPC?
 
  I remember connecting to some BBSs on the CPC, but I can't remember  what all the applications were called.  You could use a terminal editor  such as one called Ansiterm (I think) which rendered the BBS ANSI  graphics properly, but it you wanted to download something, sometimes  you had to boot into CP/M to use the Zmodem protocol etc.  It was all  quite hit and miss and nothing ever really worked that well.
 
  At the time I believe people were running BBSs on the CPC too and am  pretty sure they used CP/M software, but again my memory is hazy and  I'm not sure how good or reliable those services were.  Maybe some user groups like WACCI in the UK had BBS systems?
 
  I would try the  Amstrad Action  archives for CPC-specific information because they used to talk about  BBS and Comms sometimes in the magazine.

Offline Alcofribas

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #3 on: 22:07, 23 March 10 »


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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #4 on: 12:02, 24 March 10 »
Well, I completly missed the BBS area and my online career started with BTX (an online service of the Deutsche Bundespost) and later internet.
So how did you connect to a BBS at that time? Which software did you use? Amsdos or CP/M? Did a BBS exist, which ran on a CPC?

Btw, I already tried to connect to a telnet BBS with a modem emulator (tcpser) with the CPC Booster and the terminal program of the CPC Booster, but it seems that the terminal emulation isn't very good.
I started with Prestel the viewdata service run in the UK. It had a section called "Amster's Cage" which was dedicated to the Amstrad.. and you could download programs from it.

I used the Amstrad Pace RS232 that had Commstar and another rom in it for connection to prestel.
This worked ok.. but at the time I was using a friends phone line and his 33K modem.

I remember downloading one program which was for cleaning your computer.. it just made the sound of a vacuum cleaner... Made me and my friend laugh for a while.

We also experimented with transfering data between Atari ST and Amstrad, but the amstrad could not keep up and kept dropping data.... in the end I just wrote an Atari ST disc reader and copied the files that way.

My friend used BBSs a bit, but mostly through his Atari ST.

I believe there were BBSs that ran on CPCs, and mostly CP/M based software for connecting.

CharleyTronic wrote, but didn't finish, a comms rom which was meant to make the transfer more reliable... I am sure he knows a lot more about this and BBSs on the CPC. Isn't there some software in the Robot PD library for this too?

EDIT: http://ftp://ftp.barnyard.co.uk/robot-pd/index.txt
Yes some comms stuff here, but not actually looked into the details. QTerm is mentioned here as well.
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~jacobn/cpm/cpmfiles.html

« Last Edit: 12:06, 24 March 10 by arnoldemu »
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Offline nurgle

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #5 on: 13:20, 24 March 10 »
I tried an Accousticoupler connected to the Joystick port of my CPC during the 80s, but it did not work. I came to the BBS scene a few years later using my Amiga and a Supra 2400 Modem. I dialed into BBSes running on Amigas and PCs, one running on an Atari ST and one a C64 (your messages will be saved. Please waiiiiiit... ;-)). Although I searched for it, I could not locate a BBS running on a CPC in Berlin and long-distance-calls where out of question at that time.

Last year I tried to use my CPC with the Booster and its excellent terminal software to dial into a BBS via Modem (yes, even BBSes connected to the telephone network still exists today!). Unfortunately the CPC terminalemulation is only monochrome, because the CPC can not do more in mode 2. This would be OK to dial into some retro CP/M BBS, but the BBSes I remember best from the late 80s and early 90s all had 16 colour ANSI graphics. They all can fall back to monochrome, but that misses much of the beauty of that eara.

I stil use my Amiga to dial into the Berlin based "Crazy Paradise" BBS via telnet.device and Term (best Amiga application EVER) on occasions (last time is a few month ago). As much as I love my CPC, I would suggest using a more modern platform to get a glimpse of the high-time of BBSes.

Here is a list of telnet clients suggested for accessing BBSes:

http://www.bbscorner.com/usersinfo/accessbbs.htm

Here is the homepage of the Crazy Paradise BBS:

http://www.crazy-paradise.de/

Berlin based BBS running AMMS (Amiga Multiuser Mailbox System) on an Amiga 4000. A very sophisticated BBS system programmed by two berlin TFH students in 68k assembly language (they said they would NEVER again undertake such a big project using assembly languag ;-). The BBS is configured with colourful custom ANSI menus, statistics, Fullscreen-Chat, Doorgames, etc.

Offline Octoate

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #6 on: 18:46, 24 March 10 »
Thanks for all of your information. I had a quick look at some of the things, you already mentioned here. I also found CP/M software for running a BBS: http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/software/.
Well, the idea behind that was that I wanted to play a bit with RS232 to internet connection. If you see so many Commodore boxes which are now online and waiting to be accessed via telnet then you ask yourself if this could be done with the CPC, too ;D.

@arnoldemu: That disc looks very good. Disk 1 contains the source code of a terminal emulation program and disk 2 contains different terminal programs.
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #7 on: 18:52, 24 March 10 »
Well, the idea behind that was that I wanted to play a bit with RS232 to internet connection. If you see so many Commodore boxes which are now online and waiting to be accessed via telnet then you ask yourself if this could be done with the CPC, too.

My original plan was similar to yours.
But I was planning to compile Contiki for the CPC and use it's tcp/ip stack.
The CPC would be connected to a PC using a CPC booster.
The PC would be running linux and would forward requests to the cpc if a specific port address was accessed.
My internet connection would also be setup to accept incomming connections.

I got as far as building Contiki and found that I didn't have enough ram left - at the time - to run tcp/ip or it's webserver or anything :( But then I was running an old Contiki, compiled with an old SDCC, and running within the 64k base ram limit.

I hope you make more progress than I did ;)

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Offline archcosmo

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #8 on: 13:31, 01 April 10 »

So how did you connect to a BBS at that time? Which software did you use? Amsdos or CP/M? Did a BBS exist, which ran on a CPC?


Hi there,

back in the day, I used one of the Robot PD disks (#13100 Comms Terminal disk) to dial into local PC based BBSs. I used ANSITERM from that disk (mode 2 BASIC program) as it was the only one I found that could display the ANSI graphics common on BBSs. I also used a CP/M based terminal program (qtermcpc.com) because it had xmodem and ymodem capability. I tried others which included zmodem support (ZMP?), but no luck :(

as mentioned already, it's available from barnyard FTP mirror, just need to know what to get!

Offline khisanth

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #9 on: 23:40, 25 April 10 »
I always wanted to, but was never allowed a modem by my parents so never did it back in the day.


Since i discovered telnet at uni back in 93 I stumbled onto a BBS which I log into every day since!
telnet proton.mono.org (Monochrome). Has about 50 users on usually, membership of about 400 or so. Think my account was created in 1995, logged on time 43 weeks and 2 days, times logged in 8155.
So many people on there know something about everything, so always a good place to get information.


Q-link was a commodore 64 one, which was the forerunner to AOL and they recreated it few years back and you could connect to it through an emulator usually VICE and that really IS retro.




Offline TFM

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #10 on: 05:01, 26 April 10 »
About 20 years ago, one of us in the SCUG had a CPC with 20 MB harddisc (Dobbertin). It was running for years as a mailbox. But phoning was expensive these days... It worked well and reliable. Don't remember the software, have to ask Helmut Jungkunz.
 
However, it would be no fun for me IMHO to connect a CPC to the PC, which is connected to phone / net. In this case I can use the PC directly. So better use the CPC Booster or another RS232 and go online with a modem, phoning is not sooo expensive today.
 
Hehe, I remember when a girl was visiting me once and I accessed the compute of our bank with my CPC (already 2400 Baud!!!), she was quite impressed ;-)
 
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Offline khisanth

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #11 on: 11:17, 26 April 10 »
The americans had all the fun as I am sure local calls for them were free and you just paid for long distance. So they could get online without huge phone bills. Then FIDONet comes along linking BBSs together so you could access BBSs further away for the price of a local call.

I only know one person out of all my friends geeky or otherwise who actually had a modem for their 8-bit machine.

I always wanted an email address as a child, but it never struck me that nobody else I would know would have one!

Offline TFM

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #12 on: 23:54, 26 April 10 »
.... Then FIDONet comes along linking BBSs together so you could access BBSs further away for the price of a local call.

Yes, Fidonet was absolutely great, as long as you are fine to wait for an answer about some months ;-) Sooooo..... it was the perfect network for wifes and girl-friends, in cast you don't want them to talk toooooooo much ;-)
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Offline redbox

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #13 on: 11:19, 27 April 10 »
Hehe, I remember when a girl was visiting me once and I accessed the compute of our bank with my CPC (already 2400 Baud!!!), she was quite impressed ;-)

This is officially the best CPC related post ever.

Offline TFM

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #14 on: 20:40, 12 May 10 »
Thanks RedBox!!! (... and it even worked with typing errors ;-)
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Offline ChaRleyTroniC

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #15 on: 00:35, 25 May 10 »
I believe there were BBSs that ran on CPCs, and mostly CP/M based software for connecting.


AFAIK the only boards actually run on CPCs were using CP/M software. Preston ROS run by Tony Walker was one, WACCI BBS run by Chris Smith another. I can't remember whether Aspects BBS in North Manchester was run on a CPC or not - certainly it was the best 8-bit board. And Phil 'Microstyle/Avatar' Craven ran a board called Supe's Motel once.


Most of these were using a CP/M program called ROS. There was another one called PICS which looked interesting but I don't think was ever used for a CPC board.


Ansiterm was far and away the best terminal emulator for the CPC - you could run it at 2400 baud without dropping characters. Most terminal emulators had problems with this: the CPC's firmware just couldn't keep up with displaying characters that fast. Charley's Comms ROM could do 4800 ;) if you had the right type of interface - KDS interfaces were no chuffing good whatsoever because they were chock full of design flaws. The Amstrad/Pace RS232 was easily the best of the various interfaces available.


CP/M was the best for file transfer, though. You could even do ZMODEM under CP/M whereas the AMSDOS programs were limited to XMODEM. I think Charley's Comms ROM supported one of the intermediate protocols (YMODEM or YMODEM-1k or something), can't remember which.


There was also a program called CRR (CP/M Read and Reply) by Paul Martin which was a clever offline reader, so you could download your mail, read it offline, reply and then reconnect to send it. Intended for FidoNET boards, I think.

The source for Charley's Comms ROM is on the ChaRleyTronic Source Code Collection which is somewhere in the Robot PD catalogue.

Offline TFM

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #16 on: 01:38, 15 June 10 »
Yes, the CRR offline reader is great. What a pity that phoning in germany was always (and is still) insane expensive.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #17 on: 12:42, 30 November 15 »
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, guys,  I was just wondering: how come this has double the views (290k) than the second (eBay thread - 142k views) most popular thread? What on earth has happened here? :D

Offline Munchausen

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #18 on: 15:32, 30 November 15 »
Lots of people want to use a cool retro computer as a terminal?

Offline Bryce

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #19 on: 15:36, 30 November 15 »
Does BBS possibly stand for something else completely non computer related?

Bryce.

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #20 on: 16:02, 30 November 15 »
Funny thing is I didn't manage to find anything in Google Analytics, so maybe it's a bug with the forum, who knows... or some search engine spider refreshing. I was just asking in case someone knew something else :)

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #21 on: 20:01, 30 November 15 »
Does BBS possibly stand for something else completely non computer related?

Bryce.


Big Beer Service
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Better Beer than Sprite


or just Bulletin Board Services - a very interesting topic imho.  :)
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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #22 on: 13:52, 18 January 16 »
Quote
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, guys,  I was just wondering: how come this has double the views (290k) than the second (eBay thread - 142k views) most popular thread? What on earth has happened here?

I may add some more views to this, if you agree :-D

Yesterday we had a meeting at cpcmaniaco's, and some C64 users joint us. One of them is Raquel Meyers, a PETSCII artist behind this:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCP-DbkbiLA[/youtube]

She uses old Commodore BBS software to produce those graphics, and asked if there is anything similar for the Amstrad CPC. She was amazed by the CPC's set of characters and how easy was to create patterns using the COPY key. Since she posted some pics last night, there was even some controversy on her being unfaithful to the Commodore on twitter and the spanish Commodore forums!

So the question is, do you know any utility to produce graphics using the standard set of characters, for the Amstrad CPC?

Offline Gryzor

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #23 on: 16:02, 18 January 16 »
I didn't see any 'controversy' on her feed... but I really love the video above. Along with the progression technique it feels really dynamic :)

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Re: BBS software / terminal software
« Reply #24 on: 16:33, 18 January 16 »
Quote
I didn't see any 'controversy' on her feed...

Actually, they only wrote on twitter that she was being unfaithful to Commodore for sending a picture of a CPC screen. But I have read some other assertions this morning via whatsapp (roughly translated from Spanish):
"CPC will mess the artist up"
"[CPC's] Superbright colours will blind her"
"Take her out from that meeting!"
"Trying other computers is a disease with no cure"

Of course they said so jokingly... or half-jokingly xDD