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Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards
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Author:  lodger [ Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Okay, so here is some update on the development status:

The bbs-setup binary is now twice as big (104 blocks) but is now a contiki os process and creates seq files for all data. I'm thinking of pimping the whole gui using ctk but this is not on the list this time.

Regarding the new (seq) file i/o routines, I eventually had to go with low-level cbm_open() and its friends to accomplish the task since contiki's cfs/pfs doesn't know a thing about the ",s,a" (seq file append) mode of the 1541 disk drive. I'll try to get in touch with Oliver to (hopefully) get some more info on that topic. Would be very nifty if contiki-bbs could make use of cfs/pfs so it would be a bit more portable (e.g. to the atari or apple ii).

On the server side, I'm happy to report that loading the bbs base config (prompt, timeouts etc.) and logging in already works with the new i/o code (yay!). Yet, there's some work to do regarding the blist, post and read commands. I hope that I can deal with that over the weekend (forecast says it's gonna be a very rainy one). Also, I'm thinking about reworking the help command in such a way that it loads the help text from a file on the disk. I guess that this is going to free a few bytes in ram.

Wish me luck that the rest of the rework is easy to deal with, because that would mean a new release in the very near future (and we all love new releases, don't we?).

Author:  lodger [ Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Yet another update on the Contiki BBS rewrite process:

* the two seperate commands "blist" and "board" have been merged into one single "boards" command.
* the "static-locals" directive has been removed from the Makefile, miraculously (haha) freeing up 3 blocks (1 block = 256byte) on disk.
* bbs-setup now has its own Makefile, yet is still a C program since turning it into a Contiki process brings no advantages but instead eats up disk and system memory
* rhe bbs message buffer is now a dynamically allocated (4KB, ~ 100 lines of text - size can be changed, if needed) mmem memory object (Contiki OS internal)
* SEQ File i/o is still being implemented for posting and reading messages (ongoing)

at the moment, real-life priorities have slowed down the development process but I'm still optimistic to have a new release out in the coming weeks. Given the massive changes in code and i/o handling, it's probably going to be a new "major" relase 0.3.0 - stay tuned!

Author:  RaveGuru [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Cool Lodger! Nice work. Looking forward to hear more about it :)

Author:  lodger [ Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Yet another one: posting and writing messages basically works but needs some debugging. However, I just tested the new thing on my sd2iec drive and it's like ... er ... lightspeed, you know?! this baby is beginning to turn into something useful I guess ...

Author:  lodger [ Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

It's done! Holy Tramiel it's done!!

The whole thing is now running on SEQ files, it works like a (lightspeed) charm with sd2iec devices and there is no longer a 6-lines-per-message limit (there is, of coures, a message buffer limit of 4KB).

I got it working here and I just spent two hours posting messages, listing them (*tadaa* new feature!) and doing all sorts of optimization. The server binary is now an impressive 157 blocks. But I hope I can free a few byte in the upcoming cleanup of the code.

If you know how to build this thing and write it to a d64 image or real diskette, feel free to pull the latest sources - they're on sourceforge.net now, due to recent changes in GitHub ownership (heh).

The setup program needs some more tweaking and I need to test the new "board drive" option which allows you to store you message bases on another disk drive / sd2iec device.

But to show you what the new thing looks like on the connecting end, I have this log for you:

Code:
Escape character is '^]'.
                                       
          W e l c o m e   t o :         
                                       
           -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-         
                                       
            >> Contiki BBS <<           
                                       
  Contiki BBS  V0.2.8.0 (C) 2009-2018   
                   by                   
               N. Haedecke             
                                       

Contiki BBS 0.2.8.0alpha

login: guest
password: guest
                                       
         ** M A I N   M E N U **       
                                       
  ====================================
  'boards'....... list & select boards
  'read'......... list & read messages     
  'post'......... write new message
  'page'......... page sysop
  'help'......... display help         
  'quit'......... exit bbs (logout)     
  ====================================

BBS>read
board has 20 msgs.
read (msg#/list/quit): list

 msg#    subj.
    1    One
    2    Two
    3    Test!
    4    OneTwoThree
    5    Test once more
    6    Eliza
    7    123
    8    Testing Agaiiiin!
    9    Hello!
   10    Number ten
   11    Another one
   12    A long one ...
   13    Lines ...
   14    Doobie Dooby
   15    Postman
   16    Coding is fun!
   17    Commodore 64 ...
   18    Posting
   19    Bulletin Board System
   20    Twenty
BBS>read
board has 20 msgs.
read (msg#/list/quit): 12

msg#   12   subj.: A long one ...
---------+---------+---------+---------+
This is a very long message. It's a
test message for testing messaging and
message handling. Got the message?!
So here we are, running the new ver-
sion of Contiki BBS and testing
all the neat features and hoping
that the whole thing doesn't blow
up in our face.
 
Anyway, if you feel like dancing,
I recommend to play a few sids or
maybe even mods (got an Amiga?)
 
Right, this seems to be long enough
a message for me.
 
Peace!
BBS>help
Available commands:
?      : shows this help
boards : list and select boards
exit   : exit bbs
help   : shows this help
page   : page sysop
post   : post a new message
quit   : exit bbs
read   : list or read msgs.
version: show version and copyright
BBS>page
*paging sysop (/q on empty line to quit)
---------+---------+---------+---------+
Oi! All workin' a work.
/q
BBS>boards
-id- -------board------- -acl- -msgs-
  1  lounge                10
  2  sysop                255
Choose board # (1-2, 0=quit)? 2
insufficient access rights.
BBS>boards
-id- -------board------- -acl- -msgs-
  1  lounge                10
  2  sysop                255
Choose board # (1-2, 0=quit)? 1
board: lounge has 20 msg(s).
BBS>read
board has 20 msgs.
read (msg#/list/quit): quit
BBS>quit

>>   . . .    G O O D   B Y E  ! !    <<

Author:  lodger [ Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Contiki BBS 0.3.0 is out now. Check the network section for the latest release.

Author:  RaveGuru [ Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Hey Lodger, this is awesome!! Good job man! 8)

Author:  lodger [ Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

RaveGuru wrote:
Hey Lodger, this is awesome!! Good job man! 8)


Thanks a lot! Your appreciation lifts my spirit. I guess the usual 0.3.1 bugfix release will be out in late summer. I'm currently setting up my C64 and NIC64+ to run a demo of the BBS for a while. Nothing beats the real thing and most of my testing was done using good old VICE so it'd be nice to see how the thing performs on real hardware (and the machine has something more or less useful to do).

Once the thing is up, I'll let you all know.

Author:  lodger [ Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

Live demo is online now (and will remain so for the next few days) at the following location:

Telnet: wintermute.bbsindex.com 64 (note: telnet port 64 - the standard one is Wintermute BBS).

The demo runs on a real Commodore 64 and a real SD2IEC device (containing a 4GB SD card). The NIC in use is a 64NIC+ by RETRO Innovations.

Author:  zap [ Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Commodore 64 BBS and C64 Network Cards

To access telnet bbs's using Debian i opened a terminal then enter the command seen below.
telnet wintermute.bbsindex.com 64
This will work from most Linux based operating systems.

Cheers it worked a treat :)

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