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Since BBS's are hot right now, what could the future look like?


Omega-TI
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Lately we've seen all sorts of hardware configurations for calling the BBS's, but what about EASILY running a BBS on Real Iron? Over the past year I've been excited about the TIPI and what it will be able to do for us. One of those things could be an easy to use BBS system. What would a BBS running on a TiPi based system resemble though?

 

The first thing that comes to mind is an 'auto-restart capability' in the event of a power failure. How would that be accomplished? How about using an UberGROM cartridge? As the late great Gazoo showed us with the XB2.7S, it's possible to bypass the TI startup screen, so having the main BBS software burned into an UberGROM could accomplish this.

 

The second thing would be the TIPI's RPi Zero as the storage medium for the message and program databases.

 

The third, the native WiFi capability that would make it fairly easy to set up... requiring no additional cables or hassle.

 

Physically a BBS like this would be small, quiet and require very little power compared to a full fledged P-Box based system. Storage space should not be a worry either as an inexpensive 32GB SD card should offer up enough space for most legacy style TI BBS's.

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I have wondered some of the same things as yourself.

 

After some issues with my Geneve MFM hard drive, I have been questioning the wisdom of running a BBS from a TI or Geneve system with MFM hard drives. I discovered an inaccessible sector in the front end of the drive mapping I am not sure when/if it will cause me addtional problems on my Geneve on Saturday. I had struggled with the occasional "Media Failure" MDOS was giving me. Hopefully, that is behind me and marked bad but now I also have a bad directory as well. Fortunately, no lost files.

 

I am hoping TIPI on a TI system may be a solution. If it does, I think I have the necessary hardware and software pieces where one could eventually link the message TI system to the Fidonet/Retronet/etc message and file networks. To do that, it would take a TI talking to TIPI. TIPI is in turn talking to a local sub node of a network pretty much only responsible for sending/receiving messages on a scheduled basis.

 

One thing I have seen as I watch the group that developed the software for my BBS software, is lifespan of the SD card on a Raspberry PI with networked BBS's. Several reports of failure of the SD card believed to be to the volume of writes to the device. That is less likely on a configuration setup for the TI as these other BBS's see high volume traffic for what they are doing. I think there has also been suggestions of using a higher end quality SD card to overcome this issue.

 

Of course, if you want to run just a "local" BBS with no additional networked access, then yes, a TI with TIPI could very well be an option.

 

Beery

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The message database on the SD cards eventually causing an issue makes me wonder if a USB disk drive from a PC will work on a RPi. It would be around 1.44 meg_ not large but functional on a smaller system not supporting a Fidonet like network.

 

I'll try plugging in my drive later today and see if it works.

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The message database on the SD cards eventually causing an issue makes me wonder if a USB disk drive from a PC will work on a RPi. It would be around 1.44 meg_ not large but functional on a smaller system not supporting a Fidonet like network.

 

I'll try plugging in my drive later today and see if it works.

 

Does the USB drive have a separate power supply? You may not have enough Raspberry PI power supply to drive it depending upon your setup.

 

Beery

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Does the USB drive have a separate power supply? You may not have enough Raspberry PI power supply to drive it depending upon your setup.

 

 

No, but it worked! :-D I'm running the << RPi 3 Canakit >> that was recommended by Shift838. The power supply that comes with this kit appears to be skookum enough to get the job done at 2.5A. The drive I used for the test is a DELL FDDM-101.

 

IIRC Matt said something about configuring the release software for the RPi Zero. I'm unsure of that models suitability as a BBS platform. At the very least the RPi zero requires a separate WiFi module and this Rpi Zero Canakit only comes with a 1A power supply, so there would need to be additional purchases for a BBS configuration. The zero appears to come with only one USB port, so an extra connector would be necessary for expanding this as well.

 

Either way, a BBS setup like this would require more programming skills than I admit to having.

 

UPDATE: << This Canakit option >> comes with a 2.5A power supply.

post-35324-0-33336000-1516724747.jpg

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