My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

General discussions related to the Altair 8800 Clone

My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby Synoptic » February 28th, 2014, 3:24 pm

Hi everyone,
I have setup my clone with a mini-itx PC inside. You can see some pictures of it here : https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/altaircomputerclub/photos/albums/1496851001

My clone can be reached via telnet already at www.micronick.com/altair (live camera works with FireFox, Crome and Safari, no IE for now).

I want to run a bbs on it, since I already got all the TCP to serial stuff figured out.

I found a copy of QBBS, but it needs BYE5 to work. I cannot find much information about BYE5. I downloaded a LBR archive containing some BY5 files, but no .COM inside.

I already managed to figure out how to extract .LBR, .DZC and .CZM files. I am running SIMH to get it working before porting it into my clone.

Now, if anyone is willing to help me setup that BBS, I would be super excited !
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby Synoptic » February 28th, 2014, 6:04 pm

Ok, I managed to copile bye520, but it searches for dispatch.com.
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby virtualaltair » February 28th, 2014, 6:26 pm

Hi everyone,

I set up my clone and my MITS Attache with an external serial to Ethernet Server.

http://www.neteon.net/gw312.html

The ATOP GW312 server from Neteon comes with Windows Virtual COM Port Redirector Software from Tactical Software:

http://www.tacticalsoftware.com/

The GW312 works great with an original Altair or Altair Clone using a 3-wire RS-232 connection.

My goal is a RCPM with minimal BBS function. My plan is to start with an old PMMI version of BYE until newer version code is found. My BBS plan is to use MINI-RBBS.

IPCOMServer running on Windows can provide Telnet access, however I suspect that Telnet may not be appropriate for Bye and Xmodem file transfer. Implementing BYE requires using RS-232 handshaking signals to replace the PMMI modem. I will need help with this part. The solution must work with the Clone and Altair M6850 ports.

My current development machine is an MITS Attache with a Vector Graphic CP/M configuration and a Altair 88-2SIO. Using the emulators is a great idea for development. Using emulated hard-disk CP/M should be useful, but emulator serial IO support might be lacking.

So now we have two parallel projects that are complementary. A Linux based approach and a Windows based approach. A Telnet approach and a Virtual COM Port approach. A TCP solution may be another option.
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby Synoptic » February 28th, 2014, 9:02 pm

Heres is the BYE5 asm file that I am trying to configure : https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/894769/BYE520.ASM
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby virtualaltair » March 1st, 2014, 4:56 pm

BYE5 is much newer than anything I have used. I brings back good memories to see Wayne masters and Irv Hoff's name. I've used their code before. I will still try to get to my BYE 3 code, but that will take time.

DrobBox worked great. Do you have these files?

; BYE5.DOC For general installation and extended BDOS functions
; BYE5.HIS BYE5 update history (read this to see latest features)
; BYE5-INS.INF Computer-specific inserts currently available (CP/M 2 & 3)
; BYE5nnC.AQM Condensed version of BYE5 for small floppy based systems

Computer-specific inserts currently available - I'm looking for Motorola 6850 for Altair and Intel 8251A for Vector Graphic. Beyond that instructions for hard wired or dumb modem not any S-100 or "AT" Smartmodem.

The file BYE5nnC.AQM, Condensed version of BYE5 for small floppy based systems, looks interesting. The reason I still consider BYE3 is simplicity.

This text sounds good: Otherwise leave them set to 'NO' and BYE
; assumes you have a "dumb" auto-answer modem, (such as a Bell 212A).
; This readily adapts the program to a wide variety of modems and I/O
; serial types.

RS-232 handshaking is something I will need to learn about. How do I configure an 88-2SIO? How do I configure an internal 88-2SIO cable. How is handshaking done on the clone? Is the cassette port the same as the first two ports? How do I configure my GW312 Serial to Ethernet server and the cable to an Altair? Does the handshaking needed work well with Telnet? What about a TCP connection without Telnet or Virtual COM drivers?

BYE5 looks good!

Tom
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby Synoptic » March 4th, 2014, 11:23 am

virtualaltair wrote:Do you have these files?

; BYE5.DOC For general installation and extended BDOS functions
; BYE5.HIS BYE5 update history (read this to see latest features)
; BYE5-INS.INF Computer-specific inserts currently available (CP/M 2 & 3)
; BYE5nnC.AQM Condensed version of BYE5 for small floppy based systems


I do not have those files
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby virtualaltair » March 5th, 2014, 2:38 pm

Part of of the RCPM experience has always been finding all the files and determining which version to use. In the past, that involved calling multiple RCPMs and paying long distance phone charges.

In the past, the easiest way to set up an RCPM was to buy a 600 Baud PMMI Modem. The PMMI was smart and cut phone bills in half compared to 300 Baud rubber cup modems. PMMI support became very common in RCPM programs. There were 1200 BPS modems, but they were not smart. Later faster modems used the Hayes "AT" command set.

Changes in Technology and modems caused BYE source code to grow to multiple files. Hardware specific code grew to many choices. Update History got so long that the comments moved to a separate file. The collective knowledge of users combined to produce documentation. Each newer versions had more options and feature. Some features are not needed, so an older version may still be a good starting place.

BYE5 has lots of features, but we are still missing files for the project. The comments in BYE5 code are useful for learning. I found BYE 7.2 April 83 and we can learn from comparing comments. The older code may be less complicated and a better starting place. I found more BYE and XMODEM versions that will have to wait until the files can be copied from diskette.

Keep looking for BYE, MBYE, XMODEM, and MDM*.* source code to learn more until we find the best starting place. The hardware specific code does not involve modems. RS-232 Handshaking Signals will likely be needed so we need more Altair Clone research to do to see if the signals can be added to the back RS-232 connector. We may have some Telnet issues too.
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby virtualaltair » December 1st, 2016, 11:00 am

It took a few years, but I found BYE v7.4 source code. Mike Douglas ported the code to use 2SIO port 2 with CTS Enabled. BYE is running on an Altair Clone and an original Altair mainframe to provide a simple Remote CP/m (RCP/m).
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Re: My Clone setup for future BBS - Need help

Postby SpinneretSystems » February 14th, 2017, 6:44 pm

Nice, do you have the code to share?
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