PCjr Telnet BBS is up for testing!

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PCjr Telnet BBS is up for testing!

Postby Brutman » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:50 am

It's running again! Please drop in and help me test it ...

For those of you who are new, it is a new Telnet BBS that I am writing running on an IBM PCjr. I have written all of the TCP/IP code and the BBS code from scratch. The only thing I didn't write was the packet driver for the Ethernet adapter and the version of DOS it is running.

The IP address is 96.42.239.42 . That goes to my cable modem - the router port forwards telnet traffic directly to the PCjr. Pretty much any telnet client will do including the one built into Windows. (This URL should fire it up for you: telnet://96.42.239.42/ )

Since the last round of testing I have added the following:

  • A forum area with threads
  • A private message area
  • Bulletins (read only files that are longer in length)
  • Basic user profile editing functions
  • Better telnet protocol support with performance improvements

It is a pretty big set of changes. I am hoping there are no bugs, but having a few people on at the same time will help flush them out and give me an idea on if the machine is capable of servicing multiple users doing real BBS functions. (My previous tests were pretty limited.) The machine is setup to handle 6 online users at the same time.

I am also looking for feedback on the user interface .. if it is not usable, then there isn't much point. I am limited with what I can do given the hardware, but let me know what you think would be neat and I'll add it to the todo list. (ANSI graphics isn't there, but I know how to get it done.)

I will leave the machine running for about a week. If it falls over before then I will fix the bug and restart it as quickly as I can. If it makes it a week with no serious problems I'll be pretty happy.


Mike

PS: It has been my insane plan to run a BBS on a PCjr for a long time. But with the passage of time, the stakes have gotten higher. A single 2400 BPS isn't good enough anymore. :-)
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Testing is done (for now)

Postby Brutman » Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:48 am

Testing is done!

I had to shut it down around 3:30 in the morning .. it had been up for a week and we had some major thunderstorms coming in. I was copying down statistics while the lightning was illuminating the room.

Total uptime was around one week, 3 hours. In that time the machine sent 132067 TCP/IP packets and received 111346. 72 users registers and left around 70 messages.

The most visible bug was my retransmit timer. Due to a misconfiguration it was timing out on packets 10x faster than it should, so there were a lot more retransmitted packets than normal. This lead to some dropped connections - if a packet has to be retransmitted more than 6 times I assume the connection is dead.

There are some telnet options that I received and did not answer - I'm going to dig into those to see if that is something I should fix. There are also some warning from my TCP stack I'd like to look into deeper.

Overall, it was a great test. I think the machine is more than capable of handling a multi-user telnet BBS with reasonable responsiveness.

I'd like to thank everybody who signed in and poked around. I had connections from New Zealand, the UK, Canada, Brazil, and many points in the US. The oldest machine that connected was a Mac SE - most others seemed to be using Windows or Linux.


Mike
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Re: PCjr Telnet BBS is up for testing!

Postby Vorticon » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:22 am

Hi. It looks like the telnet link is not working. Is that project still alive?

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Re: PCjr Telnet BBS is up for testing!

Postby Brutman » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:21 pm

Walid,

That test ended on Jun 27th .. it's not been up since.

The telnet BBS is still an ongoing project, but there is a lot of work still left to do. The user interface was minimal, there was no ANSI color support of any type, and I'd like to go back and cleanup the message board code to make it a little easier to maintain. (The private messages feature is the most complex part because it uses the standard messages code, but has to hide your messages from other people.) It's all so performance sensitive too because disk I/O on the PCjr is so slow ...

Lately I've been working on a telnet client program for the PC/PCjr. It's part of the mTCP project that includes an IRC client, FTP, and Ping. I expect to be posting a first version of the telnet code on the mTCP pages in the next week or two, and then taking a break. But at least when I pick up the telnet BBS project again, I'll have a telnet client that runs on the PCjr that is capable of connecting to it. There are other Telnet clients that run on the PCjr, but this one will be pretty small and very fast - perfect for the old 8088 based machines.

If you want a private demo of the PCjr running the BBS I can fire it up for you sometime.


Mike
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