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General Category => Applications => Topic started by: Octoate on 21:00, 23 March 10

Title: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Octoate 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 (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 (http://jledger.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=talk) 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 (http://home.ica.net/~leifb/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" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkHwT6o6Jvw)

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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Alcofribas on 21:33, 23 March 10
http://www.bbsdocumentary.com (http://www.bbsdocumentary.com)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A85RJMhB8_s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A85RJMhB8_s)

http://www.scoutshonour.com/digital
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: redbox 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 (http://cpcoxygen.fxwebdevelopment.com/aa.html)  archives for CPC-specific information because they used to talk about  BBS and Comms sometimes in the magazine.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Alcofribas on 22:07, 23 March 10
(http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/4737/howtobeabbssysopiacu911.th.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/4737/howtobeabbssysopiacu911.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/2273/howtobeabbssysopiacu911y.th.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/2273/howtobeabbssysopiacu911y.jpg)
(http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5927/howtobeabbssysopiiacu91.th.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/5927/howtobeabbssysopiiacu91.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1659/howtobeabbssysopiiacu91x.th.jpg) (http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1659/howtobeabbssysopiiacu91x.jpg)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: arnoldemu 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 (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

Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: nurgle 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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Octoate 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/ (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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: arnoldemu 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 ;)

Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: archcosmo 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!
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: khisanth 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.



Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM 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 ;-)
 
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: khisanth 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!
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM 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 ;-)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: redbox 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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM on 20:40, 12 May 10
Thanks RedBox!!! (... and it even worked with typing errors ;-)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ChaRleyTroniC 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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM 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.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor 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
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Munchausen on 15:32, 30 November 15
Lots of people want to use a cool retro computer as a terminal?
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Bryce on 15:36, 30 November 15
Does BBS possibly stand for something else completely non computer related?

Bryce.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor 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 :)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM on 20:01, 30 November 15
Does BBS possibly stand for something else completely non computer related?

Bryce.


Big Beer Service
Bossy Bimbo Sale
Bavarian Banking System
Beowulf Barking Sound
Busty Brunette Single
Better Beer than Sprite


or just Bulletin Board Services - a very interesting topic imho.  :)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: deepfb 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 (https://twitter.com/raquelmeyers) 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?
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor 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 :)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: deepfb 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
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Bryce on 16:46, 18 January 16
That's not controversial. Those poor C64 users have been looking at washed out browns for so long, that seeing proper vivid colours could have adverse effects on their eyes. It's like forcing a nocturnal creature to stare at the sun.

Bryce.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor on 12:36, 19 January 16
Yeah, that was all in good jest I guess, though of course Bryce is spot on.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: TFM on 20:20, 20 January 16
Haha! That vid could easily done in CPC Basic.  :)  Nice idea.  :)
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 09:29, 31 October 17
Hi,


Just noticed this old thread. Back in the nineties I tried out most of the comm's software available for the CPC. The various CPM programs available were OK but but far the best program was Ansiterm which worked on the 6128 and 6128 Plus - if you are interested have a look at this: http://ewen.mcneill.gen.nz/programs/cpc/ansiterm/


Cheers,


Peter
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor on 09:40, 31 October 17
Is there any video or even images of it running?
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 10:07, 31 October 17

Unfortunately no video appears to be available :( .
I had a look at it recently but without an RS232 (long gone) attached the single flashing cursor on the CPC screen is not the most exciting thing I have ever seen.
One thing that I used it for was Email, I could log onto CIX, read my mails and reply. Email and the CPC seems never to get a mention but it was possible with the right software.


Cheers,


Peter

Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor on 10:22, 31 October 17
Yeah, that's what I thought, that's why I didn't just download the dsk and load it myself :) But it'd be fun to see it in action...
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 19:04, 31 October 17
Yes that would make for an interesting Vid.


I knew other CPC owners who used the Cage Comms Rom for viewdata systems and CPM software for Bulletin Boards but I'd like to know if anyone else was using a CPC for email?


Cheers,


Peter
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: arnoldemu on 21:37, 26 February 18
I am resurrecting this thread to mention BBS Terminal which is now on the cpcwiki.

If this hasn't been mentioned already, I think MESS emulator may emulate serial devices, so it may be possible with two instances of MESS to simulate a BBS and a CPC using a terminal program.

EDIT: I have also attempted to setup some categories on the cpcwiki to link BBS, Communication software and hardware together.
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: SevenT on 06:13, 29 October 18

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.

My God I remember CRR... it was the best proggy around at the time for saving the old BT bill at 500/500 or 12/75. You could dial up and download your Fidonet packet from your local node (mine was Moonmoth at Chiswick  (I was at Twickenham's SCHLOSS WACCI TOWERS at the time) and unpack it, read the messages from your selected areas, read and reply to your own personal messages.

Paul Martin was a CP/M+ computer genius but lacked any single neuron that was attached to a sense of humour... I got in to many a spat with him when he misunderstood my drunken ramblings of admiration (damn that red wine - listen up kids just DON'T DRINK AND CRRive!)

P.S. Since I now live in Canada I can legally get high and CRR instead!  :-]

PPS. Are Fidonet, CRR, Paul Martin or CP/M+ still around???


This has been a slightly drunken diatribe from the keyboard of....  YOURS TRULY....   Royal Air Force Flight Officer (Retired) Steve Williams R.N.  R.G.N.  S.R.N.  S.E.N.  R.M.N.      (Bahhhh....  that's enough bullcrap for now!).......     the former editor and still the sole owner of    WACCI .....     He is also known as    SevenT  or occasionally   he is somewhat   "affectionally"    referred to as     OMG      (Old Misery Guts)  by Joolz........ By The Way does anyone bother to read these signature lines until they get to repeat themselves?.... I'm curious.... How long would you continue to read this?  What if I revealed to you the fact that Auntie John Kennedy was actually a Welsh herbivore who convinced Sinead O'Conner to become a Buddhist Ninja and that Peter Ceresole (the famed WACCI Deputy Editor and ACU writer) was actually Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev  the greatest male ballet dancer of his generation.  Uncle Clive Bellaby was actually a very small mole upon the face of Sir Clive Sinclair... still reading this nonsense?      Oh how I wish we had the INTERNUT back in the day when we used to publish WACCI... we could have had so much more fun!    Good Lord you are still reading this... well here we go again...   “These violent delights have violent ends And in their trump die, like fire and powder. Which, as they kiss, consume”  “Let me not to the marriage of true minds, Admit impediments. Love is not love, Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no, it is an ever-fixed mark. That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring barque, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks. Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”  Really? Still reading it? In case you are wondering... it was one of William Shakespeare's great sonnets.... and now we will get back to the signature rollout. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING!     SevenT

 
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: Gryzor on 13:22, 29 October 18
Wow, didn't know it was even possible on the CPC... I remember getting my Fido package on my ST ca.93 or 94, and it already seemed like sci-fi, but on a CPC?!?
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 14:19, 31 October 18
Hi Steve,

These two images come from Display3 which I think was written by Clive Bellaby. The program displays up to 40 screen files from a D20 disk and dates from the mid nineties. It might have been in the WACCI library but I'm not 100% on that. Unfortunately the disk is partially corrupted and this is why one of the screens has horizontal lines thru it.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: BBS software / terminal software
Post by: ChaRleyTroniC on 20:12, 14 December 18

----ing hell Steve, you should have been a demo coder... that's the most in-your-face scrolling message I've seen since the heyday of Logon System.  :D

PPS. Are Fidonet, CRR, Paul Martin or CP/M+ still around???

Yep - Paul posts to SABRE (the UK roadgeek forums) as 'nowster'. I think he still lives in North Manchester.