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Successful setup at #36C3

Successful operation of Retronetworking setup at #36C3
Added by laforge 10 months ago

The Osmocom Retro-Networking / BBS-Revival project has successfully been operating at the 36th annual Chaos Communication Congress where it was known as the Retronetworking / BBS-Revival Assembly.

At this assembly, we operated our Dialup_Network_In_A_Box setup, providing both analog telephone lines as well as ISDN BRI (S0) interfaces for dial-up. We could verify that the physical layer (telephony) was working as expected, and had a variety of demonstrations:
  • dial-up to a variety of (ANSI) BBSs from TELIX on MS-DOS 6.22
  • dial-up to a RIPscrip BBS (ACiD Underworld 2 from RIPterm on Novell DOS 7
  • dial-up to a BBS from a Datenklo (DIY accoustic coupler with 300 bps)
  • dial-up internet access using PPP over analog modem (Interfax at 28.8 kbps) lines
    • tested from Windows 95
  • dial-up internet access using PPP over ISDN lines
    • tested from Windows 2000 with 1 B-channel but also bundling up to 3 B-channels resulting in blazingly-fast 192 kbps

Many people were interested in the setup - both those remembering the good old BBS days, as well as those who didn't witness it back then. Clearly, the modem connect sounds from the USR Sportster (set to highest volume) were drawing most attention. ISDN is boring in comparison ;)

We also had several visitors who would either bring their own computer + modem (for example Aminga 500 or x86 PC with Windows 2000) and connect to the system. Equally, several others have borrowed some modems from our pool to connect with their own machines. One supporter even brought their own DOS BBS, ran it in a VM on Linux and set up actual modem dial-in to that BBS on the venue itself.

All in all, it was a successful first event for the project to participate. As the core setup is running now, future events will likely have more emphasis on the software side of things, i.e. showcasing a variety of different protocols and systems, such as FTN networks, QWK readers, Zerberus/ZConnect/CrossPoint, etc.

If you're interested in working on any of this, your contribution is more than welcome. Feel free to reach out at the bbs-revival mailing list


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