Telnet BBSes and other things – part 2

A while back I posted about a number of BBSes that are accessible online, and can therefore be easily ‘dialed’ with ATD using a WiFi Modem over the internet. I recently came across this huge list of online resources accessible via telnet and took a look through some of them:

It seems like most of these are no longer accessible. The library online catalogs all seem to no longer be available. It’s not surprising given the insecure nature of telnet, and accessing library catalogues via your browser would be a much more secure and user friendly experience.

There’s a few things in this list that are interesting however. Ignoring the massive list of BBSes, there’s a few other oddities that are worth checking out and as of posting this, are still up and available. Here’s a few that I tested out using an Atari ST running the Taz terminal software, connected to my VT132 modem/terminal.

Need access to the web but your older computer doesn’t have a browser and/or is limited to text? This site is running a telnet accessible copy of Lynx, the text mode browser. Works just as you’d expect if you were running it locally.

Online version of the all time classic dungeon crawler, nethack

Zork and many other text based adventures: 6502

I’ve played around with frotz before, looking at getting some text adventures running over Amateur Radio using Packet. If you fancy accessing some classic text adventures online, this site has plenty, and there’s background info on how this was setup here:

Viewdata, and Telstar

Here’s an interesting one. If you were into computers in the UK in the 1980s you probably heard of BT’s Prestel service, and even if you’re not familiar with it, you’ll recognize the graphical style if you ever used Ceefax or Oracle on your TV. have a service called Telstar, which is a recreation of a Viewdata/Videotext system. It can be accessed online with a Viewdata terminal client app (details in the link above), or even online via a browser here.

Unfortunately the only Viewdata terminal app for the Atari ST seems to be FaSTcom, but that app crashes on my ST when it loads (I have TOS 1.04, not sure if that’s an issue or not).

Connecting with a regular VT terminal app loses all the color formatting of the pages, but you can still connect with :

4 Replies to “Telnet BBSes and other things – part 2”

  1. Hi, Kevin,

    Thanks for posting such interesting information.

    Re:–with a TCP/IP connection, I’m able to get get the email entry of login and get to Lynx.

    However, with a modem at 38400bps, I’m stuck at a frozen keyboard and the same gibberish that I see in your own pic of using

    How did you unfreeze your input and enter your email?

    Many thanks for any advice,

  2. I’m using telnet and an AT wifi modem. I wrote its developer and he suggested command ATNET1 which works for the Tindie and I got to lynx.

    Depending on your modem, the command may work for you, too. In your picture, I think you might be having a similar issue–the gibberish at the end should be a prompt for your email address.

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