ArcaOS install on VirtualBox

My first job out of college was with IBM as a contractor, working in the IBM Software Center, Basingstoke, providing technical support for OS/2 and Communications Manager/2. I ran OS/2 on my own PC at home for a few years after this, before moving to Windows 95.

In the past few years I’ve installed various versions of OS/2 in virtual machines for nostalgic reasons. I’ve also kept an eye on Arca Noae’s ArcaOS as a current day commercial offering of OS/2 complete with updated drivers and hardware support for current day hardware. For a personal install though I’ve been reluctant to pay the $120 for a personal license, but recently decided to bite the bullet and buy a copy.

I like collecting screenshots of OSes during the install process, and this post is one of those 🙂

After the typical ‘white square’ top right and ‘OS/2’ text, we get to the first installer screen:

After accepting the license agreements, the next page is interesting, it prompts you to select a ‘personality’, a pre-configured set of features depending on how you intend to use this installation. I’ll select the default/first option for now. I don’t remember seeing options like this during a typical OS/2 install, maybe Warp 4 provided options like this (I’ll go check later):

I have a blank 2GB virtual disk on VirtualBox for this install, so I’ll select the option to format it. Later when I do a bare metal install I’ll be doing the same on a blank partition on a new SATA SSD:

Prompted to reboot:

The familiar shutdown compete dialog!

After rebooting, you’re back at the first page of the install again. Stepping through the same options we’re now prompted to select the install volume:

There’s no volumes in the dropdown yet, so press the Manage Volumes button:

I clicked on the Volume menu option, then ‘Create new’, then the ‘Standard/bootable’ option:

I kept the default C and named the volume:

I’m using all the free space on this volume, so kept the defaults:

Volume manager now looks like this:

Closing this dialog I’m prompted to save and now the volume is selected:

Next up, location settings. Huh, remember code pages? I set my timezone, DST, and internet time sync:

This next one is interesting and allows you to configure your hardware options. This is obviously where ArcaOS shines in it’s ability to support hardware of the time as well as updated support for current hardware:

Also interesting that support for VirtualBox is selected by default as the installer recognizes we’re installing on VirtualBox:

I kept all options as default for now. When I do a bare metal install next I’ll check out what the Display options are.

Network driver install next and prompted for machine name, workgroup, and username:

Ready to install – let’s go!

Off we go. Noticeably absent and the messages telling you about the various features that you get during a Warp install:

Time to reboot:

During the install there’s a couple reboots we are automatic if you leave the checkbox selected.

Done! Up and runnning!

Enabling serial tty login to a Raspberry Pi

Depending on what Raspbian version you are running on your Pi, the approach for enabling a serial tty login via a VT terminal differs, but on current/recent versions you can enable by enabling and starting this systemd service (steps from this post, and here):

sudo systemctl enable serial-getty@ttyUSB0.service

and then:

sudo systemctl start serial-getty@ttyUSB0.service

This assumes you are using a USB serial dongle and that it’s connected as /dev/ttyUSB0. You can check by doing a ‘ls /dev/ttyUSB*’ before you connect your USB serial adapter and after to check what device your USB dongle appears as.

If you’re running an older version of Raspbian not using systemd, you can add a line to /etc/inittab to initialize getty as described here.

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 :