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Man launches C64 BBS

Man launches C64 BBS

The C64 runs all the important parts of the bulletin board system - but relies on a Windows PC for 'net connectivity.

If, like me, you have a collection of old hardware mouldering away in a corner of a room, perhaps you'd like an exciting project with no real redeeming features other than geek points? How's about running a 'net connected BBS on a Commodore 64?

According to Hack a Day, that's exactly what Lief Bloomquist has done in what he calls a “moment of nostalgic geekiness.”

Lief was responsible for running a popular bulletin board system on a Commodore 64 back in the halcyon days of 8-bit computing, but hasn't touched such things in fifteen years. According to Lief, getting the software running on the aging microcomputer was the easy part – but getting the system connected to the Internet so visitors wouldn't have to dial-in on a modem wasn't so simple. In the end, he decided to use a VIC-1011A terminal adaptor to connect the C64 to a modern PC running Windows, which acts as a Telnet bridge between the C64 and the Internet.

The system is available for anyone to play with, at bbs.jammingsignal.com port 23 – although, at the time of writing, the server was down for maintenance.

It's a project dear to my heart, as if I glance over my shoulder I can see my precious Commodore 128 sat gathering dust, awaiting the day when I'm bored and/or crazy enough to attempt something like this myself. Until such a day, my hat is doffed to Lief in gratitude for allowing me to experience the glory days of 8-bit BBS once again.

Do you have any ageing hardware hanging about that could be repurposed, or should people stick to hacking the latest and greatest? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

19 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Hugo 22nd August 2008, 14:25 Quote
I just get "We're under attack! Good luck with that, whoever you are. ;-) "
Xir 22nd August 2008, 14:49 Quote
Good Question!

What (usefull) can be done with old hardware.

Upto 8086 (5 Mhz?)
Upto 486 (100 Mhz)
Upto P3 (500 Mhz?)
Upto P4 / Athlon (1 Ghz?)

I for one have a C16, an 8086 (3 Mhz) a Celeron 266 and an Athlon 600 standing about Idle gathering dust. (yes, complete machines)
yakyb 22nd August 2008, 15:08 Quote
routers / firewalls

fileservers

folding?
steveo_mcg 22nd August 2008, 15:42 Quote
Folding on a c64 that would be funny...
Zeus-Nolan 22nd August 2008, 16:29 Quote
Ha 1000 years and it would only do 1 work unit
scarrmrcc 22nd August 2008, 17:14 Quote
BUT! if you linked every 64 in the planet together..
Firehed 22nd August 2008, 17:42 Quote
Awesome. Let's slashdot a server running on a C64... I'm sure that'll go well.

Well, just as well as Hugo said. Sheesh, I wish all of the overloaded Wordpress blogs would time out that quickly.
KayDat 22nd August 2008, 17:52 Quote
8080 is "Still Alive".

The cake may be a lie, but the usefulness of old hardware certainly isn't.
-EVRE- 22nd August 2008, 18:45 Quote
I have an old NEC laptop, ita a VERSA S/33, with a color screen!! 250mb hdd and 4mb of ram!

still works, I just fired it up after reading this post :b


Back in the day of my high school years I built several 486's that were web worthy, its amazing what an sx25 can do! I remember running 3D Studio MAX on that thing.. had to export my 3d's to another computer if I wanted them rendered tho.. currently my moms finance computer is a pII 233 with 256mb of ram and w2k. Its a bit slow loading fancy web pages, but it gets there!
Xir 25th August 2008, 16:58 Quote
yeah...but why use a 266 for browsing if you hav a new computer doing that also...
My 600 Athlon was my DivX Box for 2 years, then the Codec appearently became too complex and it started stuttering on newer movies.

Router...yes! I've used a Fli4l*-Router on an underclocked 33mhz computer for a few years...could cool it passively, no harddisk so absolutely silent. Even the PSU was silenced...by taking off the top and removing the fan (the top stayed off...bigtower)
Apart from the floppy that only ran when connecting new there was no motor in this baby ;-)

Xir

* Fli4L stands for "floppy isdn for linux" works with DSL though
ZERO <ibis> 26th August 2008, 01:07 Quote
Old computers can and almost always should be used to help out around the house:

I have a 1.5ghz original p4 with 512mb of rumbas and raid 1 with 2x 80gb drives and a geforce 3 and a 5.1 creative labs sound card that I use to play music in my room and browse the internet. It also acts as a secure place to work on papers when not in my office. I have has that computer since 2001 and I will still have it for years to come.

I am getting ready to build a media center computer out of an old 2.4ghz northwood and 512-1024mb of ram. I have a geforce 6 series with component out so I plan to hook it up that way. I only need it to play videos hosted on my file server that the crappy ps3 refuses to load. I have an old infrared keyboard with joystick that I will sue to control it.

My current file server is an old rackmount system with an old 2.5ghz p4 and 1gb of ram with only 300gb of storage between 3hard drives all ATA. I had the drives lying around and the computer so I figured I would put it to some good use.

When I build a new main computer this winter my current system will be converted into the file server. At that point I plan to invest in some big drives and give it a few TB of storage on a RAID 5. You can see the current stats for this system in my sig. ;)
Amon 26th August 2008, 02:44 Quote
Who's Garreth Halfacree? :? :?
Xir 26th August 2008, 09:55 Quote
Wont this Result in a file server that eats massive amounts of electricity?
CardJoe 26th August 2008, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Who's Garreth Halfacree? :? :?

News writer for the last year or so...you do read the about page, right? ;)
Amon 27th August 2008, 04:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
News writer for the last year or so...you do read the about page, right? ;)
Nope!! :)

Gareth Halfacree 27th August 2008, 10:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
Who's Garreth Halfacree? :? :?
I'm genuinely hurt. :p
Star*Dagger 2nd August 2012, 20:38 Quote
Use it as a guidance module to knock down the police drones
Dude111 4th August 2012, 21:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I wonder if he still has this up??

I think PUTTY is the nicest TELNET client and i wouldnt mind logging on!!



EDIT:

According to this page its online now!


www.jammingsignal.com/leif/bbs

Well ill be!
GravitySmacked 4th August 2012, 23:57 Quote
Pfft Commodore 64, use a Spectrum and then we'll talk!
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