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Remember the days... Calling the BBS


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Heatwave BBS is a retro BBS system that has been up continuously for the the last 11+ years running on "retro hardware", a modified TI system.  It's not dialup, but anyone with a terminal program can "call it" via the Internet.

 

The address is:  heatwave.ddns.net

The port number is: 9640

 

Give it a shot!

 

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My first "online" experience was with my first used XEGS I found in consignment for $40.  Came with an XL modem, x2 551 disk drives, an Okidata color printer, and a program recorder but I don't remember if it was the XL or XE designed model.  Included was some game and utility disks, some books and pamplets (how I discovered V61).  It was 1998.  

I tested out the modem one night with BobTerm.  Went through the list of numbers on the disk.  The second number I dialed went to somewhere in Florida and it answered.  I was surprised.  I chatted with someone there and they shared some games for me to play.  So I essentially downloaded some games and chatted at the same time.  I have no clue who was on the other now but that was my first experience.  It was expensive too.  I ran my phone bill up from $25 to over $100.  And I might had been on for an hour...maybe.  But it was fun.

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I'm not saying that modern internet is bad.  While it did open up doors for bad things to happen easily to the unsuspecting it is a long ways from those early days.  What would be nice is if there was a way to get these older systems online using the services being paid for. Imagine an A8, TI, or any other pre 286/386 computer getting broadband abilities.  That would be cool!  Does such a thing exist?

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8 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I'm not saying that modern internet is bad.  While it did open up doors for bad things to happen easily to the unsuspecting it is a long ways from those early days.  What would be nice is if there was a way to get these older systems online using the services being paid for. Imagine an A8, TI, or any other pre 286/386 computer getting broadband abilities.  That would be cool!  Does such a thing exist?

A few of years ago most of us TI'ers switched away from the old Lantronix UDS-10 devices we used to get on the Internet to a new device called a TIPI.  A TIPI is basically an interface between the TI-99/4A and a Raspberry Pi.  It gives the TI'er mega hard drive like storage space with RAM drive like speed, but also Internet access.

There are multiple versions of the TIPI, one is really small for users that do not want huge expanded systems.  (see below)

 

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3 hours ago, - Ω - said:

A few of years ago most of us TI'ers switched away from the old Lantronix UDS-10 devices we used to get on the Internet to a new device called a TIPI.  A TIPI is basically an interface between the TI-99/4A and a Raspberry Pi.  It gives the TI'er mega hard drive like storage space with RAM drive like speed, but also Internet access.

There are multiple versions of the TIPI, one is really small for users that do not want huge expanded systems.  (see below)

 

I wonder why those that made the SIO2whatever devices did not take advantage of that port and allow a similar internet connection or piggyback from a modern PC?  Let the modern stuff do the hardwork and let a local computer handle signals to/from an Atari.  Would have made sense.

 

11 hours ago, RickR said:

Yes. There are several Wi-Fi enabled modems for almost every classic computer. I think one for Atari is called FujiNet. 

I found it and everything to make one is open source.  I'm checking it out now.  Thanks for the info!

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But wait...there's more!

I was looking into these a long time ago and realized that many of the emulation software programs (like Altirra for Atari) can emulate telnet over the internet.  It's a good way to play around with it before spending time and money on real hardware.  There are emulators for Commodore and TI the support this as well.

I played around with the Atari emulator back then.  It was fun, but also very limiting.  For me personally, I didn't have a reason to do anymore than just look around a bit.

 

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6 hours ago, RickR said:

But wait...there's more!

I was looking into these a long time ago and realized that many of the emulation software programs (like Altirra for Atari) can emulate telnet over the internet.  It's a good way to play around with it before spending time and money on real hardware.  There are emulators for Commodore and TI the support this as well.

I played around with the Atari emulator back then.  It was fun, but also very limiting.  For me personally, I didn't have a reason to do anymore than just look around a bit.

 

I'd have one good enough reason...MIDI Maze.  I think it would be neat to play that game, online, on real hardware, with friends elsewhere.  I could then say, "Yep!  I still get online with my Atari computer.". See how many heads I turn or funny looks I get.

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10 hours ago, RickR said:

This is cool.  I like lots of flashy red lights.  But my XEGS lacks a R232 port.  I'd need one for SIO.

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8 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

This is cool.  I like lots of flashy red lights.  But my XEGS lacks a R232 port.  I'd need one for SIO.

True...I was thinking about how everyone had the SIO -> parallel printer port cable, but that wasn't RS232.  I guess you'd need the 850 interface. 

In my mind, if I had to choose one of these that works only with one computer, I'd go Atari.  For two reasons:  I'm most familiar with the Atari modem software (Zmodem, bobterm), and also I'd love to see those old animated ATASCII art files again. 

 

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19 minutes ago, RickR said:

True...I was thinking about how everyone had the SIO -> parallel printer port cable, but that wasn't RS232.  I guess you'd need the 850 interface. 

In my mind, if I had to choose one of these that works only with one computer, I'd go Atari.  For two reasons:  I'm most familiar with the Atari modem software (Zmodem, bobterm), and also I'd love to see those old animated ATASCII art files again. 

 

That is something I never got to experience and I really want to.  Enjoy computers when things were simple and/or basic.  There was no Siri or Alexa or Cortana to help find things...you had to physically interact with the machine you were using.  Some of our technology I feel is really good but has taken away a lot of the purpose to owning a computer regardless of how old or modern they are.  

Modern technology is great don't get me wrong.  It gave us Atari IO among other places to wreck havoc but I personally would love to sit in front of one of my Atari machines, be it the XE or ST, and just explore what was available.  I used Bob term one time.  I never got to experience it again.  It would also be nice if an Atari owner could communicate with say a TI owner.  Enjoy conversations between retro owners on those machines.  Maybe I'm weird for thinking that way but I think it would be cool.  I mean...they computers, too, after all.

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Oh yeah, and it will totally work.  For example, with an Atari, you could easily connect to the TI BBS that Omega has listed above.  That was never an issue.  It was all just text based stuff with file downloads available.  Of course, some of the TIPI specific games wouldn't work, but that's ok.  Chatting and messaging would. 

 

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