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Terminal Emulator 2 BBS's


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7 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

Back around 1985, I called into a BBS I believe that was in Florida.  The BBS was the one and only BBS I saw that made heavy use of the TE2 interface to music and video displaying graphics and playing music.

Did that software survive?




http://ftp.whtech.com/emulators/pc99/pc99 dsk collection/TISoftwareLibrary/BBS Software/Scott Darling/


has some assembly code for TE2 checking, but limited to changing screen color only.


You will also find CARDET code in there as well. Since pin 8 of modems was DCD output and the TI RS232 pin 8 was output. He used TI RS232 pin19 wired to Pin 8 of the modem..... it worked as I ran that software back then.

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  • 4 years later...

I only once dialed into a BBS that used TE2's graphics ability--a few "CALL CHAR"  patterns.

Borrowing  a copy of the programmer's guide convinced me it was too complicated.  And we never used  TE2 for dialup anyway. 

Instead, I went for ASCII terminal effects, like using backspaces to get a spinning cursor.  

My software, TI-NET BBS interpreted ^ in the STRINGOUT function, so you could embed code control chars in strings:



(repeat for spinning cursor)


My 15-year old self wasn't aware  that ^[ could make the ESC code, 27, so I limited ^ to just A-Z. 


ONLY NOW, I had an idea that could have made TE2 graphics so much easier back in the day:


The Extended BASIC to TE2 compiler!


So this hypothetical compiler would have you save your XB program in MERGE format*.    It would find any CALLs that TE2 could support, then translate those to the right codes. Output to a text file for your BBS to read.  Skip any other BASIC statements. 

You  might  have one big sequence, or  subroutines to call by line number. 

For ease of use, the output could  have the original BASIC line numbers.  Then the BBS or whatever could refer to the file by BASIC line number.

Improving on that idea: 

 it would be optimal  to require line numbers 1,2,3 to be the entry points.  Easiest for a BBS to fetch one line from a RELATIVE file. 

TINET referred to file-based strings by number--the MESSAGES file was a DF80 file read in at startup. It might have about 70 common strings (prompts, menus, etc) which were sent by CALL M(number).  

Something like that. 

I'm not suggesting it ought to tackle more than CALL CHAR, CALL COLOR, CALL HCHAR, PRINT, maybe CALL SOUND. 

But perhaps it could follow   GOSUB and RETURN to  compile subroutines. Probably into one big final string. 

Or, follow a convention that lines 100-199 were String 1, 200-299 were another. They could share GOSUBs from lines 1-99 or 1000+.

OK enough imagining for now.

Extra challenge: Write a new terminal emulator to emulate Terminal Emulator 2.




* We knew about the XB MERGE format from the manual.  If the XB manual was too confusing, there was a good 99er article about it. Still hard though. 




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