Using a Unisys VT terminal with VT132 as a wifi modem

I just picked up a Unisys TO300G VT terminal to use for a few retro projects, and tried connecting it to my VT132 and use it as a wifi AT modem. Initially I wasn’t getting anything echo’d to the screen, then remembered I needed to set the speed to 115200, and then started getting a response from the VT132.

Here’s the menu, with the speed initially at 19200 8N1 :

Now we’ve got responses echoing back but there’s a bunch of CR/LF chars:

Turns out they’re echo’d to the screen if you have the Monitor Mode set to ON, so turning this option off fixed this. Also, the backspace key wasn’t working, and the Recognize Del option set to ON fixed this:

Now using ATD to dial up bbb.fozztexx.com and we’re in business:

Loving the amber glow of the text on this terminal, and the smooth scrolling is <3

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: https://www.jumpjet.info/Offbeat-Internet/Public/TelNet/url.htm

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.

lynx.scramworks.net

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.

nethack.alt.org

Online version of the all time classic dungeon crawler, nethack

Zork and many other text based adventures: zork.retroadventures.net 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, glasstty.com 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. glasstty.com 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 ATDglasstty.com:6502 :

Telnet BBSes and other online things

I’ve been playing with the wifi AT modem on my VT132 and have been dialing up a few BBSes to test it out. Interesting ones I’ve looked at so far:

I’ll share others that are worth a look as I come across them.

New BBS documentary: Back to the BBS part 1

There is a new documentary about BBSes posted to YouTube this week, ‘Back to the BBS’. Rather than focusing on the history of the BBS such as Jason Scott’s awesome ‘BBS The Documentary’, this one looks at using BBSes in the current time, and why there is an increasing interest in using BBSes today.

Part 1 is 43 minutes and walks through using telnet based BBSes today, and includes a number of interviews with people looking back at when BBSes were in their height of popularity, and also interviews a number of Sysops of current day active BBSes and their users.