In this presentation from OzKFest 2015, I contemplate various methods to connect an Apple II host running a BBS to the internet for others to 'call' without the need for a modem.
I describe the Lantronix UDS100 serial server device and how I configured it to connect a physical Apple IIgs to the internet and show how to connect to it from an emulated Apple IIgs.
Sean did release the source code to The Complex III, so adding an ethernet driver could be possible. But I wanted the easy(?) option.
I didn’t want to use another computer, so I had a look at Serial Port servers.
Perhaps I can run two host systems?
The Complex III host looks for ‘RING’ and then sends an ‘ATA’ to answer the phone and then looks for ‘CONNECT &lt;speed&gt;’ to confirm a connection. I am using my old high speed modem cable to connect to the UDS100 from the Apple IIgs serial port.
Refer to the “HOWTO Lantronix & C64” resource for a detailed explanation of settings.
GSPort is an Apple IIgs emulator It can be downloaded from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/gsport/files/ Unfortunately, BoycoT BBS is no longer active due to lack of interest.The SYSOP, Terry Olsen, received a lot of one time users when he promoted it, but very few repeat calls.
Gsport Internet Starter Kit image can be downloaded from: http://sourceforge.net/projects/gsport/files/Emulator%20Software%20Images/GSport_Internet_Starter_Kit.zip/download Spectrum can be downloaded from: http://www.wannop.info/speccie/software/spectrum.2mg http://www.wannop.info/speccie/software/spectrum_extras.2mg http://www.wannop.info/speccie/software/spectrum_sounds.2mg http://www.wannop.info/speccie/software/spectrum_program_manual.pdf The Complex Online Display can be obtained from the archive http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ground.icaen.uiowa.edu/apple16/Games/complex3.bxy
Unfortunately, at the time of the presentation I had not had success in running client software for The Complex within GSport. Investigation continues and may require improvements to the GSport emulator and/or patches to the client software. The demonstration consisted of Showing the Lantronix configuration options Showing how the Lantronix responded to modem commands Connecting GSport running Spectrum to a real Iigs via the Lantronix device also running Spectrum
If you have a dynamic IP address assigned by your ISP, then you will appreciate a service such as NO-IP.COM which allows you to give out a static domain name for others to use instead of an IP address that will change over time.
Putting an Apple IIgs BBS on the internet
Putting an Apple IIgs
BBS on the Internet
(I break things so you don’t have to)
At the last OzKFest I demonstrated Sean Craig’s
The Complex BBS host system and explained all
the fun some of us had been having online in the
late 80s and early 90s.
There was some interest in the audience for trying it
out, but nobody really wants to use a modem any
An internet connected host avoids the modem.
There were two ways forward that I saw:
1) Re-write the game to have an ethernet driver
2) Connect the serial port to ethernet
There are a few methods of connecting a serial host
to the internet.
1)Using a Serial Port server device to bridge serial to
2)Port redirection on a computer that also has
Serial Port Server
Allows serial devices to connect and communicate
over Ethernet networks using the IP protocol family
Could be used to tunnel serial signals
May support several serial port types:
One or more serial ports
An Internet user can connect to the serial port
using Telnet to a dedicated IP address and port
Serial Port Server options
I found reference in Comp.Sys.Apple2 for a couple of
options that others had tried.
•Moxa Technologies NPort Server
•Lantronix UDS 10/100/xxxx device server
•Ominously, both had cries for help with the cabling and don’t seem
to be used for Apple II BBS systems any more.
I bought a UDS100 device which has one serial port.
Needs a modem cable (not null-modem)
Has a disconnect option that recognises a closed Telnet
session and drops DCD so host can reset itself.
Issues modem responses (OK, CONNET 9600, NO CARRIER)
Must be configured through a connection to the device
(serial, telnet, web server)
Has configuration options that are set in binary.
Moxa NPort Server
I bought a DE-302 device that supports two serial ports.
Needs a null modem cable
LCD screen and buttons on the device allow direct
configuration of the unit.
The manual devotes many pages to the Windows
configuration program and not enough to the actual
A closed telnet session may not trigger host reset.*
No Modem-like responses.*
*I will be happy to be proven wrong. Please help!
BBS Host setup
The Complex host system was written in a way that
relies on modem responses.
The Lantronix UDS100 is well suited for this.
Cable connections (mini-din 8 to db25) are:
1 Hsko – 5 CTS 4 GND – 7 GND 7 GPi – 8 DCD
2 Hski – 4 RTS 5 Rx – 2 Tx 8 Rx+ – no
3 Tx – 3 Rx 6 Tx+ – 7 GND connection
BBS Host setup – UDS 100
Baudrate - 9600
I/F Mode - 4C (RS-232C, 8-bit, no parity, 1 stop bit)
Flow - 02 (RTS/CTS)
Port Number - 6502
Connect Mode - D6 (full verbose with echo)
Remote IP Address - Leave as 0's
Remote Port - Leave as 0
DisConnMode - 80
FlushMode - F7
DisConnTime - 00:00 (disabled) – or perhaps 5:00
SendChar 1 - 0
SendChar 2 - 0
Server needs a Client
The host supports a graphic display.
How to connect to the host to display the graphics?
Spectrum communications software
•Serial and Telnet connections
•Online Displays: ANSI, ProTerm Special Emulation
(PTSE), VT100, The Complex
Dedicated Client software for IIgs, Mac, PC
Is there an Emulator that supports a modem?
Can it connect over TCP/IP?
GSport modem emulation 1
When client software sends ATDT to the modem
port, GSport tries to establish a network
connection to a domain or an IP address e.g.
By default this is a Telnet connection to port 23
GSport versions 0.32c and above now support the
provision of a port number to connect to e.g.
GSport modem emulation 2
GSport configuration (F4 key)
Serial port configuration
Configuration for the modem port
GSport modem emulation 3
When a connection is established GSport sends a
connect message to the host to advise what
connection speed has been established e.g.
Currently, the 9600 is hardcoded and could mislead
clients and hosts if the rate is set differently. A
feature request has been created to have the speed
reflect the client port setting.
GSport Client Software
Start with the GSport Internet Starter Kit image
Install The Complex Online Display driver
Start Spectrum and
setup a new phone book
entry that uses
“The Complex” display
Beware: Spectrum dislikes
domain names within the number.
Ewen is already on the case!
NO-IP.COM points a hostname to your dynamic IP address
HOWTO Lantronix & C64 extensive configuration walkthrough
HOWTO KEGS & TCPSER4J run telecom programs and BBS's
within KEGS emulator
BoycoT BBS Setup Serial port to ethernet gateway for Windows
Internet Modem Telnet to modem emulator for Windows
(Visual Basic source code is available)
HOWTO METAL BBS with Moxa including cable pinouts
Surf the web at 300 baud Using an acoustic coupler from 1964
Mac plus web browsing via Rasberry Pi proxy
(who wants to do this for the Apple IIgs?)
IIgs BBS on the Internet
Terry Olsen –for inspiration (BoycoT BBS SYSOP)
Nick Westgate – GSport connection to a port other than 23
Ewen Wannop – Spectrum Online Display help
Peter Neubauer – GSport GSBug help
Geoff Body – GSport TWGS help to support Pixie CDA
Kali Lawrie – for allowing me to play for so long