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Birth of a new BBS - the origin story


Lastic

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16 minutes ago, Tillek said:

Now I'm intrigued. :)

Going to have to call after work and check out the Karateka ASCII.

If you can try logging on with an Atari also , haven't tried that yet.
And please note . I did not make the ASCII . it was made as part of an art pack 78 by Impure (https://16colo.rs/)

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A side note since I switch between diffent machines a lot, and didn't find/used a decent Telnet ANSI/BBS enhanced client on Linux before.
I'm installing Etherterm and Netrunner, anybody used these before ?

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Never used them with Linux, but you can get SyncTerm for Linux and it works great.

 

I have used Netrunner with Windows in the past.  Its good, but for me Syncterm won the day.

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11 hours ago, Lastic said:

A side note since I switch between diffent machines a lot, and didn't find/used a decent Telnet ANSI/BBS enhanced client on Linux before.
I'm installing Etherterm and Netrunner, anybody used these before ?

 

SyncTerm works great on my Kubuntu Linux laptop.

 

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At the moment it's just private testing.
There is only one File Area currently.
There is no structure in the File or Message Areas yet, the concept in my head has a structure but the BBS not yet :)

As we only recently thanks to Techman (Tim the author of Michtron) got a bit of a grasp on the state and possibilities of Michtron 3.0 , I've been expanding on the Michtron Demo BBS
that was included somewhere with ST Format so the menu is constantly changing.

So currently the only people who are aware , are those who were present during the Zoom call.
Also I need to swap the current Wimodem with a Wimodem Pro so .. still a lot of changes but once it is in a decent state, I will open it to the public.


 

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Posted (edited)

As such private testers :) , I have made a few changes

FileArea menu will now show an overview on top of the menu so instead of having to enter each FileArea to lookup which one you are interested in , there is an overview.
Same thing for the Message/Mail area, it will now show a mailchart() (the actual name of the function in MCL) .

There is a new menu item to display a WORKING ROY(SAC) ANSI he made for TRSI , converted using the new ANSI2MCL.TTP mentioned in the Michtron post then compiled with
MCL.TTP to an MCL file
and also the use of the pause() MCL function and the
print("\0x0c") which acts as a clearscreen.

 

And last but not absolutely the least, my custom MCL script mentioned before, you will know what I'm talking about once you logon.

Edited by Lastic
changes needed
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Just tested viewing the ANSI in TAZ, using the IBM charset, it is viewable but since the ANSI was made for PC ... it's not a beauty when viewed in TAZ.
Syncterm on the other hand has no issue displaying the ANSI in it's natural glory.

Also had a go with an Atari ST and TAZ to download files from the DVD but it is really erroring out each time.
Again Syncterm has no issue with it.

Might be either the Wimodem setup on the BBS , WiFi in general or Wimodem-cheap-clone that is connected to this 520ST.

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Successful logon this evening. Thanks for verifying/updating me.

 

Couple of quick questions - I went to Edit Profile and Options, but

couldn't find a way to change my graphics settings - is that not

currently available? I did the ANSI test and it worked fine with

SyncTerm here.

 

I downloaded a file. It seemed...a little slow using Ymodem. Also,

the file, counting the Zip archive, was like 5 folders deep in the

archive?  :)

 

Otherwise, it's looking pretty good and seems to have a lot of

potential.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Correct regarding the graphics settings, last Zoom call Techman wasn't sure if ANSI was implemented or VT52.
So in this past week he scanned the manual , found and updated that ansi2mcl tool and I found by digging into
the VAN_NEST demo on the Michtron ST format demo-disk how to print the escape sequences for VT52.
Also with the new found info gathered from the manual, I now have a way to store these user-settings which aren't in the default user-profile set.
(the discussion on userflags user_var in the other topic)

Which Terminal program were you using for the downloads , Syncterm or an Atari client ?
Was your baud-setting fixed at 9600 ?
I also noted from doing test downloads with Syncterm 9600 baud that a 400 Kb file using Ymodem-G takes about 14 minutes.
Win10 laptop connected to Wifi I telnet to the external public IP.

 

But since I have no baseline or knowing if that is really too slow on 9600 baud ,I must look further into it.
Also the Extendos direct mapped USB-DVD-writer might be a factor also.

I plan to populate a File Area on the BlueSCSI to check if there's a huge difference between the DVD-drive or the harddisk.

And last but not least, yeah the ZIP's contain the entire directory structure , the DVD file area was setup to have something to test and the general function of a direct mapped Filesig to the DVD d: drive.
I noticed it also afterwards regarding the ZIPs, so once I start rebuilding the file areas into a more permanent state , I'll check the ZIP option to exclude that.

Thanks for your feedback and keep it coming, I might overlook things and since you guys have been thru the paces it's valuable input for a newcomer like myself.

Edited by Lastic
typos/grammar
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So I looked into optimising my transfer speeds and possible bottlenecks.

Wimodem PRO set at 9600 baud, connected to a 2.4Ghz Wifi network.

I checked my Wifi channels and the one I'm using is only used by me , channel 6, SNR is 73% but yeah the modem sits behind a closed door from my living room.
Changed my channel width from static 20 to 20-40.

A 120Kb download via Ymodem in Syncterm directly from the BlueSCSI HDD ,starts at 500 cps , stabilizes at 512 cps (which seems to be the cap at the moment) and takes a whopping 4 minutes.
In that same amount of time 4 minutes , using Syncterm 9600 baud I am downloading a file from Starfleet with an avg of 1890 cps using Ymodem-G of 400KB in size.

I also had a look at the downloads from my BBS which are stored on the DVD writer, downloads at 9600 BAUD,cps starts at 309 , very slowly increments and reaches a stable 500-512 cps around the 70% download mark. So I do guess NetUSBee , Extendos, USB-DVD writer at 8xspeed does bring a bit of a bottleneck.

I was thinking, are there any TOS 2.05 tweaks I could do on the MegaSTe ?
I currently have in my AUTO folder , except for NetUSBee,Extendos,MouseAccelerator/a system clock , only FOLDR100.PRG

Things like
POOLFIX or CACHExxx ?

Only other causes I can think of is Wimodem cap, ISP cap , ...

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One difference I notice is Ymodem-G downloads at Starfleet show me Streaming 16bit CRC whereas mine falls back to 16 bit CRC ?
So a theory, could it be that I am sending blocks instead of a constant stream ?

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5 hours ago, Lastic said:

So I looked into optimising my transfer speeds and possible bottlenecks.

Wimodem PRO set at 9600 baud, connected to a 2.4Ghz Wifi network.

I checked my Wifi channels and the one I'm using is only used by me , channel 6, SNR is 73% but yeah the modem sits behind a closed door from my living room.
Changed my channel width from static 20 to 20-40.

A 120Kb download via Ymodem in Syncterm directly from the BlueSCSI HDD ,starts at 500 cps , stabilizes at 512 cps (which seems to be the cap at the moment) and takes a whopping 4 minutes.
In that same amount of time 4 minutes , using Syncterm 9600 baud I am downloading a file from Starfleet with an avg of 1890 cps using Ymodem-G of 400KB in size.

I also had a look at the downloads from my BBS which are stored on the DVD writer, downloads at 9600 BAUD,cps starts at 309 , very slowly increments and reaches a stable 500-512 cps around the 70% download mark. So I do guess NetUSBee , Extendos, USB-DVD writer at 8xspeed does bring a bit of a bottleneck.

I was thinking, are there any TOS 2.05 tweaks I could do on the MegaSTe ?
I currently have in my AUTO folder , except for NetUSBee,Extendos,MouseAccelerator/a system clock , only FOLDR100.PRG

Things like
POOLFIX or CACHExxx ?

Only other causes I can think of is Wimodem cap, ISP cap , ...

 

Hmm, your Mega STe actually has TOS v2.05 and not v2.06? I think most people upgrade that to v2.06. My memory is fuzzy but I

seem to recall some issues (various) with TOS v2.05  vs v2.06. Some research on that might be warranted.

 

As for the AUTO folder. What hard disk driver software are you using? If it's HDDriver, there's an option in it to increase your folder

limit and avoid the "folder 40 bug", so there would be no need for FOLDR100.PRG. That will depend on what you're using though.

 

Now the big thing - pretty much everyone I know that does anything involving the ST's serial port uses HSModem. It's the gold

standard for dealing with all the bugs and flaws with the ST's serial port. You'll want the English version.

 

As for POOLFIX and CACHExxx, you don't need those with TOS v2.06 and modern hard disk driver software. v2.05 might be something

else - I've never used it.

 

Here's a link with some TOS guidelines:

 

https://atari.st/content.php?type=t&file=toslist

 

Hope this helps...  :)

 

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I am using the ICD driver.

I totally forgot about HSMODEM, the drivers have now been installed, only feasible tuning it seems with the current Michtron 9600 BAUD limit was increasing the buffers from 256 to 512.
Apart from that I pretty much left the MFP.PRG and SCC.PRG settings default.

I also set the Wimodem PRO to AT*T0 (which I think was the default) so it should be in RAW mode.
I uploaded a MOD file to File Signature 16 which is hosted on C drive not on the DVD-writer.
I granted all current users access to this File Sig , could anybody test from their side and report the average CPS or total transfer time when using Syncterm ?

Just to rule out any issues with my network on my side.

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 I tried to connect just now with SyncTerm and could not. It gave a couple of odd character symbols

at the onset, with a black screen, but then didn't progress.

 

PS You've got the English docs to HSMODEM, right?

 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, DarkLord said:

 I tried to connect just now with SyncTerm and could not. It gave a couple of odd character symbols

at the onset, with a black screen, but then didn't progress.

 

PS You've got the English docs to HSMODEM, right?

 

My bad , I should really take your advice and set an "Maintenance" message, i've been fighting the past half hour in getting a decent Information page onto the BBS hence it was down.
Finally figured it out and it's up and running again.
Not going to tinker with it for the next hours, preparing dinner as I type.

I got the English docs , yes. (and I'm half-German so I can read German too 🙂)

Edited by Lastic
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5 hours ago, Lastic said:

My bad , I should really take your advice and set an "Maintenance" message, i've been fighting the past half hour in getting a decent Information page onto the BBS hence it was down.
Finally figured it out and it's up and running again.
Not going to tinker with it for the next hours, preparing dinner as I type.

I got the English docs , yes. (and I'm half-German so I can read German too 🙂)

 

Half-German? Why, that's cheating...! (you don't know how many times I've wished I knew German

so I could read all the docs/manuals with the amazing German hardware/software!).   :)

 

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Okay, I downloaded with Ymodem and got just under 500 CPS. Remember, my connectivity sucks.  :)

 

I also tried just plain Xmodem and got a very steady 308 CPS. I was going to try Xmodem-1k but

after the 2nd download, instead of displaying "Press <space>", it simply disconnected me.

 

All of this was with SyncTerm under Windows 10.

 

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For my messages I started out with an identifier:

 

"The DarkForce! BBS Is Currently..."

 

and then finished it with what's going on:

 

"Is Currently Busy - Please Try Again Later..."

 

Or

 

something similar about "Maintenance".  :)

 

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6 hours ago, DarkLord said:

Okay, I downloaded with Ymodem and got just under 500 CPS. Remember, my connectivity sucks.  :)

 

I also tried just plain Xmodem and got a very steady 308 CPS. I was going to try Xmodem-1k but

after the 2nd download, instead of displaying "Press <space>", it simply disconnected me.

 

All of this was with SyncTerm under Windows 10.

 

Regarding the disconnect, might be the timers , I do need to look further into that.

Xmodem-1K also caps at 512 cps on my end.
Xmodem-CRC goes al the way up to 707 cps on my end? That's more than Xmodem-1K and Ymodem.

Even doing a 400K file download using Xmodem-CRC from the DVD-ROM it immediately goes up to 700 cps and fluctuates there between 706-707 cps.
And I had the same thing happening to me, it was almost at the end of the download or it was at the end of the download and instead of showing
press SPACE , which indicates the transfer completed, it disconnected me and I heard the DVD-writer spinning down.

I found the command to set the idle-timer in the VAN_NEST demo so I will tweak that also, it couldn't have been my remaining time since I had 8 hours left.

Thanks for testing the transfer speeds, something I will have to figure out further down the line but I'm going to refocus on enhancing the look and setting up

the Message and File areas this week.

I'm going to unlink the domain-name from the public IP so it will not be reachable via the Internet.
Probably until next week, that should give me enough time to get some work done onto it.




 

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Posted (edited)

Bit the bullet and bought an UDS-100 fairly cheap on eBAY Germany, it should arrive today.
*CORRECTION* it just arrived, but first continue work for another 4 hours.
This might give me a clearer picture on wether my transfer speed issues are related to using Wireless versus Wired network.

But main focus is look, file and message areas currently.

Edited by Lastic
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Tiny update while still running the BBS on my LAN only.

The Wall now looks a bit neater, aligned and now I understand why Darklord was leaving empty messages ( good testing ), because you could just press ENTER
and it would record a colon and your username.
That has now been caught :)

I also had a further troubleshooting session  but even using the UDS , same results as the WimodemPRO 512 cps up to 800 cps (when using plain Xmodem) but nowhere up to stellar transfer speeds

I was expecting. Will have to wait for later on .

Continuing on the look,layout of the BBS first.

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