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MARCH exhibit kiosks

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  • evan@snarc.net
    ... +1 I m stoked about that! For those who don t know, Jim (a couple of years ago) had a GREAT IDEA. Instead of putting traditional PC-based info kiosks in
    Message 1 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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      >>> I guess would much rather see you complete your "Green Screen Experience" project

      +1

      I'm stoked about that!

      For those who don't know, Jim (a couple of years ago) had a GREAT IDEA. Instead of putting traditional PC-based info kiosks in our museum exhibits, we can put the info on terminals. That way people get the info AND get a hands-on vintage computing experience. I love that idea, and so does Fred @ InfoAge.

      But, like many good ideas, it mostly got lost in the shuffle.

      Jim: do you have the tech to make this happen yet? Currently we'd only need a half-dozen or so simultaneously running terminals.

      We have all kinds of choices for connecting them to a multiuser system. For example, I know Jeff J. and others really want to get that Z-8000 running.
    • Mike Loewen
      ... From a maintenance standpoint, I would suggest a more modern multiuser server environment such as Linux or NetBSD. An inexpensive terminal server could
      Message 2 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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        On Sat, 16 Jan 2010, evan@... wrote:

        > For those who don't know, Jim (a couple of years ago) had a GREAT IDEA.
        > Instead of putting traditional PC-based info kiosks in our museum
        > exhibits, we can put the info on terminals. That way people get the info
        > AND get a hands-on vintage computing experience. I love that idea, and
        > so does Fred @ InfoAge.
        >
        > But, like many good ideas, it mostly got lost in the shuffle.
        >
        > Jim: do you have the tech to make this happen yet? Currently we'd only
        > need a half-dozen or so simultaneously running terminals.
        >
        > We have all kinds of choices for connecting them to a multiuser system.
        > For example, I know Jeff J. and others really want to get that Z-8000
        > running.

        From a maintenance standpoint, I would suggest a more modern multiuser
        server environment such as Linux or NetBSD. An inexpensive terminal
        server could provide 16 to 20 serial ports. Pros:

        1. It would be easier to keep running

        2. Updates to the museum info could be done remotely

        3. The server would (probably) use less power

        Cons:

        1. Not vintage, but no one will see it.

        2. Would require a functioning internet connection (for remote access)


        Mike Loewen mloewen@...
        Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
      • evan@snarc.net
        ... I prefer authenticity. That also lets us put a free exhibit in the museum (without taking much space) and have one less big thing in storage.
        Message 3 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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          >>> From a maintenance standpoint, I would suggest a more modern multiuser server environment such as Linux or NetBSD.

          I prefer authenticity. That also lets us put a "free" exhibit in the museum (without taking much space) and have one less big thing in storage.
        • evan@snarc.net
          ... For example, my memories of green screens evoke two words: slow and unreliable .... a modern version wouldn t have those vintage attributes. :)
          Message 4 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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            >>> I prefer authenticity.

            For example, my memories of green screens evoke two words: "slow" and "unreliable" .... a modern version wouldn't have those vintage attributes. :)

            Otherwise, we wouldn't need a museum at all, just a 486 with some emulation software!
          • Mike Loewen
            ... What sort of multiuser systems do we have that would be appropriate? And that work? :-) Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic.scol.pa.us Old Technology
            Message 5 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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              On Sat, 16 Jan 2010, evan@... wrote:

              >>>> From a maintenance standpoint, I would suggest a more modern multiuser server environment such as Linux or NetBSD.
              >
              > I prefer authenticity. That also lets us put a "free" exhibit in the museum (without taking much space) and have one less big thing in storage.

              What sort of multiuser systems do we have that would be appropriate?
              And that work? :-)


              Mike Loewen mloewen@...
              Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
            • evan@snarc.net
              ... Plenty. Especially the aforementioned Zilog server. ... You re so picky.
              Message 6 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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                >>> What sort of multiuser systems do we have that would be appropriate?

                Plenty. Especially the aforementioned Zilog server.

                >>> And that work? :-)

                You're so picky.
              • Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-
                ... My VT100 green screen is still operational and in top shape. It s not slow. An 80x132 display can be quite quickly filled at 9600 baud. I ve given
                Message 7 of 30 , Jan 16, 2010
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                  evan@... writes:

                  >>>> I prefer authenticity.
                  >
                  >For example, my memories of green screens evoke two words: "slow" and "unreliable" .... a modern version wouldn't have those vintage attributes. :)
                  >
                  >Otherwise, we wouldn't need a museum at all, just a 486 with some emulation software!

                  My VT100 "green screen" is still operational and in top shape. It's not
                  slow. An 80x132 display can be quite quickly filled at 9600 baud. I've
                  given away my venerable DECServer-200/MC terminal server choosing to use
                  several newer generation DECservers but they old DECServer-200/MC was as
                  fast (68000 based). I can't say that I've had that kind of luck with any
                  PeeCee type equipment in my history. ;)

                  --
                  VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

                  "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
                • Jim Scheef
                  Sorry to reply to this week-old thread, but the Green Screen Experience was my idea. Basically the concept is to position terminals throughout the museum that
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jan 23, 2010
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                    Sorry to reply to this week-old thread, but the Green Screen Experience was my idea. Basically the concept is to position terminals throughout the museum that can display information about the exhibits, the museum, Infoage, etc. - all using devices (serial terminals) appropriate to the era.

                    My plan was to use a uVAX 3000 to drive it, but that is just not gonna happen. The machine will not cooperate and I do not have the time to make it work. While there might be other even-more-vintage multi-user machines at Infoage, the most critical criteria for this exhibit are:
                    1. distributed content development
                    2. reliability
                    3. ease of maintenance
                    4. vintage user interface
                    #1 - Content - Even if I had the uVAX running perfectly, I could not develop all of the content. The key to this exhibit is to allow many people to contribute content they develop at home. Adding new content should be a very simple process. That means simple text files and a menu system of some sort and common software to drive the terminals. Using some old (but no doubt wonderful) operating system to drive this is just asking for unnecessary difficulty.

                    #2 - Reliability - This system needs to run when anyone opens the museum and flips a switch - no special expertise needed. Same for the terminals. This must happen week after week, month after month. When there is a problem spare parts must be readily available.

                    #3 - Maintenance - This means software maintenance. This must be a system that many members can help maintain so it does not die when one person loses interest.

                    #4 - Interface - The user only sees the terminal that sits on the table. Where the other end of the cable connects is immaterial. We have suitable ASCII terminals that can be used with just about any host.

                    All of this means that the host system should be (shudder) a PC running Linux. Reliable hardware is free (as in donated by members). Connecting four terminals is trivial; connecting eight or even sixteen is relatively easy with serial cards that are supported by Linux. Driving a terminal server is also possible but is more than we would need for quite some time.

                    As to the software driving the terminals, my first thought was to use the Man program, although I believe that Man pages must be run thru a compiler of sorts so that might be beyond us at this point. It would be best to use HTML and run linx to display the text.

                    I know there will be comments...

                    Jim

                    On 1/16/2010 9:56 AM, evan@... wrote:
                     

                    >>> What sort of multiuser systems do we have that would be appropriate?

                    Plenty. Especially the aforementioned Zilog server.

                    >>> And that work? :-)

                    You're so picky.

                  • Bob Applegate
                    I do man pages at work. Old technology, and simple. The problem is that you want an average person to be able to navigate the thing, so having them type man
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jan 24, 2010
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                      I do man pages at work.  Old technology, and simple.

                      The problem is that you want an average person to be able to navigate the thing, so having them type "man xxx" at a unix prompt isn't good, and anyone who knows anything about unix will putz around at the command line, doing who-knows-what.

                      I can't remember the name of the old text based web browser, but that might be your best bet.  Put it into a loop so that if someone exits the program it just re-executes and goes back to the starting page.  It's also a user experience that most people are familiar with, albeit with a mouse, and can understand.  The program can be set so the user does not have the "G" (Goto page) option which means they can't just enter a URL to go someplace else (I know, it's not on the internet, but still).  Set up an account like "demo" without a password that forces the user into the browser so it's easy to kick off and it just runs reliably.

                      Most people can develop web pages, so anyone can work on them.

                      Just my two cents.

                      Bob


                      On Jan 24, 2010, at 12:09 AM, Jim Scheef wrote:

                       

                      Sorry to reply to this week-old thread, but the Green Screen Experience was my idea. Basically the concept is to position terminals throughout the museum that can display information about the exhibits, the museum, Infoage, etc. - all using devices (serial terminals) appropriate to the era.

                      My plan was to use a uVAX 3000 to drive it, but that is just not gonna happen. The machine will not cooperate and I do not have the time to make it work. While there might be other even-more-vintage multi-user machines at Infoage, the most critical criteria for this exhibit are:

                      1. distributed content development
                      2. reliability
                      3. ease of maintenance
                      4. vintage user interface
                      #1 - Content - Even if I had the uVAX running perfectly, I could not develop all of the content. The key to this exhibit is to allow many people to contribute content they develop at home. Adding new content should be a very simple process. That means simple text files and a menu system of some sort and common software to drive the terminals. Using some old (but no doubt wonderful) operating system to drive this is just asking for unnecessary difficulty.

                      #2 - Reliability - This system needs to run when anyone opens the museum and flips a switch - no special expertise needed. Same for the terminals. This must happen week after week, month after month. When there is a problem spare parts must be readily available.

                      #3 - Maintenance - This means software maintenance. This must be a system that many members can help maintain so it does not die when one person loses interest.

                      #4 - Interface - The user only sees the terminal that sits on the table. Where the other end of the cable connects is immaterial. We have suitable ASCII terminals that can be used with just about any host.

                      All of this means that the host system should be (shudder) a PC running Linux. Reliable hardware is free (as in donated by members). Connecting four terminals is trivial; connecting eight or even sixteen is relatively easy with serial cards that are supported by Linux. Driving a terminal server is also possible but is more than we would need for quite some time.

                      As to the software driving the terminals, my first thought was to use the Man program, although I believe that Man pages must be run thru a compiler of sorts so that might be beyond us at this point. It would be best to use HTML and run linx to display the text.

                      I know there will be comments...

                      Jim

                    • David Gesswein
                      ... Lynx is one of them. Another option would be to make it look more like a BBS. Its been a little too long since I played with one to remeber enough to know
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jan 24, 2010
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                        > I can't remember the name of the old text based web browser, but that
                        > might be your best bet.
                        >
                        Lynx is one of them.

                        Another option would be to make it look more like a BBS. Its
                        been a little too long since I played with one to remeber enough
                        to know if this would make sense. Would require some more work to adapt or
                        make the display program.

                        The other thing I was wondering is how the tours work and how this will
                        fit it. I took a tour during VCF where the equipment was described and
                        demonstrated but the public didn't really interact with anything. Are the
                        normal tours less structured and give people time to try and explore?

                        How much do people touch things now vs just watching?
                      • Bob Applegate
                        ... Before PPP caught on (and before all the ISPs upgraded their terminal servers) lynx and pine were King. It was sometimes much easier to walk someone
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jan 25, 2010
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                          Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote :

                          > So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                          > interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                          > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic. :)

                          Before PPP caught on (and before all the ISPs upgraded their terminal servers) lynx and pine were King. It was sometimes much easier to walk someone through using a text-based tool than trying to get early Windoze networking running :(

                          They were definitely mid-90s sort of technology.

                          Bob


                          ___________________________________
                          NOCC, http://nocc.sourceforge.net
                        • Jim Scheef
                          Bob and David, Somewhere I ve seen Man menus but Bob came to the same conclusion I did, that Man is more complex than we need. And unlike me, he actually knows
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jan 25, 2010
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                            Bob and David,

                            Somewhere I've seen Man menus but Bob came to the same conclusion I did,
                            that Man is more complex than we need. And unlike me, he actually knows
                            something about Man.

                            We all understand HTML and "links" and "lynx" are two text-based
                            browsers that should work on terminals like a VT100 or better. Apache on
                            Linux is reliable, available and understood by many members.

                            The pages can be written to look like a BBS. Actually, without graphics
                            it will be hard not to look like a BBS.

                            To make the PC thing more palatable, we could use an "interesting" PC,
                            like an EISA machine. However, that would be moving away from the
                            reliability and easy hardware parts availability requirements. It's
                            really important that this be "light switch" simple to operate when the
                            museum is open.

                            Jim



                            Bob Applegate wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > I do man pages at work. Old technology, and simple.
                            >
                            >
                            > The problem is that you want an average person to be able to navigate
                            > the thing, so having them type "man xxx" at a unix prompt isn't good,
                            > and anyone who knows anything about unix will putz around at the command
                            > line, doing who-knows-what.
                            >
                            > I can't remember the name of the old text based web browser, but that
                            > might be your best bet. Put it into a loop so that if someone exits the
                            > program it just re-executes and goes back to the starting page. It's
                            > also a user experience that most people are familiar with, albeit with a
                            > mouse, and can understand. The program can be set so the user does not
                            > have the "G" (Goto page) option which means they can't just enter a URL
                            > to go someplace else (I know, it's not on the internet, but still). Set
                            > up an account like "demo" without a password that forces the user into
                            > the browser so it's easy to kick off and it just runs reliably.
                            >
                            > Most people can develop web pages, so anyone can work on them.
                            >
                            > Just my two cents.
                            >
                            > Bob
                            >
                            >
                          • Evan Koblentz
                            ... .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from The Green Screen Experience to The BBS Experience and actually have visitors dial in to a MARCH
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jan 25, 2010
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                              > The pages can be written to look like a BBS.

                              .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from "The Green Screen
                              Experience" to "The BBS Experience" and actually have visitors dial in
                              to a MARCH intra-museum BBS to discover new content.

                              On second thought, it's better to save that idea for some future exhibit
                              about the history of the Internet, etc.

                              So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                              interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                              college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic. :)
                            • Dan Roganti
                              ... How about using a GOPHER server ? here s one, http://gofish.sourceforge.net/ And Lynx supports this protocol too, since it was before HTTP. that s all text
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jan 25, 2010
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                                ----- Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                >
                                >   Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                > interface?  My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s.  I know, off-topic.  :)
                                >


                                How about using a GOPHER server ?
                                here's one, http://gofish.sourceforge.net/
                                And Lynx supports this protocol too, since it was before HTTP.
                                that's all text based...

                                =Dan
                              • Jim Scheef
                                Guys, The terminals are period-appropriate devices (that are not PCs) to display text in a manner that creates an interactive kiosk to give information to
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jan 25, 2010
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                                  Guys,

                                  The terminals are period-appropriate devices (that are not PCs) to display text in a manner that creates an interactive kiosk to give information to museum visitors. The program we use to display the text is not the point. The point is the information - the text - about the museum. We're not exhibiting lynx, the exhibit is the text displayed on the terminal. Lynx is just the tool to drive the terminal. Lynx or link is a tool that allows us to use HTML for format the text and link multiple documents to create screen-fulls of text that tell about the museum and the exhibits in the museum.

                                  The PC under the table running Linux is in the same category as lynx. It is only there to reliably drive the terminals.

                                  Jim


                                  On 1/25/2010 12:53 PM, Dan Roganti wrote:
                                   


                                  ----- Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                  >
                                  >   Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                  > interface?  My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                  > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s.  I know, off-topic.  :)
                                  >


                                  How about using a GOPHER server ?
                                  here's one, http://gofish. sourceforge. net/
                                  And Lynx supports this protocol too, since it was before HTTP.
                                  that's all text based...

                                  =Dan

                                • Bob Applegate
                                  I agree. Using new (1990) tech allows us to distribute the work (anyone can write HTML pages) and presents the data in a format that most people will
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                    I agree.  Using "new" (1990) tech allows us to distribute the work (anyone can write HTML pages) and presents the data in a format that most people will understand, except for not having a mouse ;)  More people will remember lynx than the BBS they used 30 years ago.

                                    While the idea of using a BBS-like front end might be more retro, you've got to remember that not many people remember the BBS era, so they won't get it and might have a hard time negotiating their way around.  And many BBS software had completely different front ends, so then we'd need to argue the front-end to use.

                                    Bob



                                    On Jan 25, 2010, at 10:48 PM, Jim Scheef wrote:

                                     

                                    Guys,

                                    The terminals are period-appropriate devices (that are not PCs) to display text in a manner that creates an interactive kiosk to give information to museum visitors. The program we use to display the text is not the point. The point is the information - the text - about the museum. We're not exhibiting lynx, the exhibit is the text displayed on the terminal. Lynx is just the tool to drive the terminal. Lynx or link is a tool that allows us to use HTML for format the text and link multiple documents to create screen-fulls of text that tell about the museum and the exhibits in the museum.

                                    The PC under the table running Linux is in the same category as lynx. It is only there to reliably drive the terminals.

                                    Jim


                                  • joprysko1
                                    Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I have several 8
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                      Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I have several 8 port ISA Digi boards, that were recently pulled out of service from my work. I talked to the guy who administers all of the systems across all of the other TV stations that these boards were pulled from, and none of the others are using that type of board anymore. So I don't think there isn't a reason I wouldn't be able to donate at least one of them towards the BBS experience exhibit at the museum.

                                      Joe

                                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > The pages can be written to look like a BBS.
                                      >
                                      > .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from "The Green Screen
                                      > Experience" to "The BBS Experience" and actually have visitors dial in
                                      > to a MARCH intra-museum BBS to discover new content.
                                      >
                                      > On second thought, it's better to save that idea for some future exhibit
                                      > about the history of the Internet, etc.
                                      >
                                      > So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                      > interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                      > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic. :)
                                      >
                                    • Evan Koblentz
                                      For info kiosks, we ll almost certainly stick with terminals logging in to hidden-away PC, until (or if) we get a suitable vintage machine running reliably
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                        For info kiosks, we'll almost certainly stick with terminals logging in
                                        to hidden-away PC, until (or if) we get a suitable vintage machine
                                        running reliably enough to do the job. Meanwhile I'm all for a
                                        standalone BBS exhibit. We can put that into part of Room 5. Joe, if
                                        you want to take the lead on making that exhibit, then let's talk off-list.

                                        ---------------------------------------------
                                        > Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I have several 8 port ISA Digi boards, that were recently pulled out of service from my work. I talked to the guy who administers all of the systems across all of the other TV stations that these boards were pulled from, and none of the others are using that type of board anymore. So I don't think there isn't a reason I wouldn't be able to donate at least one of them towards the BBS experience exhibit at the museum.
                                        >
                                        > Joe
                                      • Jim Scheef
                                        I agree that a BBS would be a cool exhibit. From where (what machine or machines) will you dial? A C64 would be cool. Some modems will work if you just cross
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                          I agree that a BBS would be a cool exhibit. From where (what machine or
                                          machines) will you dial? A C64 would be cool. Some modems will work if
                                          you just cross the tip and ring wires between them like a null modem,
                                          but most will not. Most modems want to see a live line with a dial tone
                                          to know that it's time to dial.

                                          It may be possible to do this without any modems - just using null-modem
                                          cables between the user's machine and the BBS host. An appropriate
                                          script on the host can detect the "caller" and start the connection.
                                          Without two or more real phone lines ($$$) this is not as easy as it
                                          sounds. With all the ex-phone company people in the area, we might find
                                          someone with the knowledge to turn a phone "bridge" (a device used for
                                          large conference calls) into a mini, internal self-contained phone
                                          system that would allow modems to "call" other modems without any
                                          outside phone company connection. Where we would get such a bridge or
                                          even if this would work is speculation on my part.

                                          Could I suggest that we concentrate on the Green Screen experience since
                                          we have a high likelihood of actually making it work?

                                          I'm putting together a trivial demonstration of the concept that you can
                                          all try and maybe even contribute content.

                                          Jim


                                          joprysko1 wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with
                                          > multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I
                                          > have several 8 port ISA Digi boards, that were recently pulled out of
                                          > service from my work. I talked to the guy who administers all of the
                                          > systems across all of the other TV stations that these boards were
                                          > pulled from, and none of the others are using that type of board
                                          > anymore. So I don't think there isn't a reason I wouldn't be able to
                                          > donate at least one of them towards the BBS experience exhibit at the
                                          > museum.
                                          >
                                          > Joe
                                          >
                                          > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                          > <mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > > The pages can be written to look like a BBS.
                                          > >
                                          > > .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from "The Green Screen
                                          > > Experience" to "The BBS Experience" and actually have visitors dial in
                                          > > to a MARCH intra-museum BBS to discover new content.
                                          > >
                                          > > On second thought, it's better to save that idea for some future exhibit
                                          > > about the history of the Internet, etc.
                                          > >
                                          > > So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                          > > interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                          > > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic. :)
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • joprysko1
                                          I used to have a little 4 port device that each one was an extension. The device would provide dialtone, as well as the power needed to run a phone. And you
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                            I used to have a little 4 port device that each one was an extension. The device would provide dialtone, as well as the power needed to run a phone. And you would dial from 1 port number to another. Could probably build something very similar using Asterix Linux PBX if someone has the hardware available. As I have not been to the museum yet, I do not know if they have a PBX in-house, if they do, it really just becomes a matter of wiring up the phone jacks, and setting up the BBS. They may even want to provide dialup access to the BBS also.. (Although I would probably add in telnet access for internet-based access)

                                            Also, I looked around online a few months ago, I can't find the links right now of a device that you can build your own little CO for a project like this also.

                                            Joe
                                            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Jim Scheef <scheefj@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > I agree that a BBS would be a cool exhibit. From where (what machine or
                                            > machines) will you dial? A C64 would be cool. Some modems will work if
                                            > you just cross the tip and ring wires between them like a null modem,
                                            > but most will not. Most modems want to see a live line with a dial tone
                                            > to know that it's time to dial.
                                            >
                                            > It may be possible to do this without any modems - just using null-modem
                                            > cables between the user's machine and the BBS host. An appropriate
                                            > script on the host can detect the "caller" and start the connection.
                                            > Without two or more real phone lines ($$$) this is not as easy as it
                                            > sounds. With all the ex-phone company people in the area, we might find
                                            > someone with the knowledge to turn a phone "bridge" (a device used for
                                            > large conference calls) into a mini, internal self-contained phone
                                            > system that would allow modems to "call" other modems without any
                                            > outside phone company connection. Where we would get such a bridge or
                                            > even if this would work is speculation on my part.
                                            >
                                            > Could I suggest that we concentrate on the Green Screen experience since
                                            > we have a high likelihood of actually making it work?
                                            >
                                            > I'm putting together a trivial demonstration of the concept that you can
                                            > all try and maybe even contribute content.
                                            >
                                            > Jim
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > joprysko1 wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with
                                            > > multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I
                                            > > have several 8 port ISA Digi boards, that were recently pulled out of
                                            > > service from my work. I talked to the guy who administers all of the
                                            > > systems across all of the other TV stations that these boards were
                                            > > pulled from, and none of the others are using that type of board
                                            > > anymore. So I don't think there isn't a reason I wouldn't be able to
                                            > > donate at least one of them towards the BBS experience exhibit at the
                                            > > museum.
                                            > >
                                            > > Joe
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                            > > <mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>, Evan Koblentz <evan@> wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > > > > The pages can be written to look like a BBS.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from "The Green Screen
                                            > > > Experience" to "The BBS Experience" and actually have visitors dial in
                                            > > > to a MARCH intra-museum BBS to discover new content.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > On second thought, it's better to save that idea for some future exhibit
                                            > > > about the history of the Internet, etc.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                            > > > interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                            > > > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic. :)
                                            > > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            >
                                          • Evan Koblentz
                                            ... I see no reason not to do both. Jim, your G.S.E. is for MARCH info kiosks; Joe s BBS exhibit would be just that -- an exhibit. But they are separate.
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                              > Could I suggest that we concentrate on the Green Screen experience since we have a high likelihood of actually making it work?
                                              >
                                              > I'm putting together a trivial demonstration of the concept that you can all try and maybe even contribute content.

                                              I see no reason not to do both. Jim, your G.S.E. is for MARCH info
                                              kiosks; Joe's BBS exhibit would be just that -- an exhibit. But they
                                              are separate.
                                            • Evan Koblentz
                                              ... You re talking about dialtone simulators. I used them all the time when I worked at TMC Labs from 98-00. We did product reviews of PC/IP-PBXs, speech rec
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                > I used to have a little 4 port device that each one was an extension. The device would provide dialtone, as well as the power needed to run a phone. And you would dial from 1 port number to another.

                                                You're talking about dialtone simulators. I used them all the time when
                                                I worked at TMC Labs from 98-00. We did product reviews of PC/IP-PBXs,
                                                speech rec servers, etc. .... there was a company called TelTone that
                                                supply a lot of our gear. I'm still very friendly with the reviews lab
                                                director, so I'll ask him what he recommends. Maybe we can get a
                                                company to donate something, or find one cheap on ebay.
                                              • Justin Jernigan
                                                I thought about this recently as something I would do for VCF 7, to have a BBS Experience display, where visitors could see both sides of the BBS - the user
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                  I thought about this recently as something I would do for VCF 7, to have a
                                                  'BBS Experience' display, where visitors could see both sides of the BBS -
                                                  the user and SysOp view, either side by side, on opposing desks or at
                                                  opposite ends of the room. In place of a modem, I was thinking of using a
                                                  SwiftLink with a Lantronix type wireless device on a Commodore 64 and then
                                                  use a wireless access point/router to allow a 'modern' PC running a terminal
                                                  (or emulating a Commodore) connect from the other end.

                                                  If you wanted to do it over copper, to simulate a ring don't you just need
                                                  to introduce enough voltage to trigger the receiving modem to answer? I
                                                  believe, from a Commodore perspective, you can configure many terminal
                                                  programs to go off hook without dial tone present - I would have to research
                                                  that a little further. Or, wire it through a salvaged PBX capable of
                                                  providing dial tone (most should, as TelCo's don't generally provide
                                                  dialtone) - but that might make for a pretty big exhibit

                                                  Doing it with tcpserv as telnet capable is easier, but we aren't about easy,
                                                  are we? :)


                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                                  [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim Scheef
                                                  Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 3:13 PM
                                                  To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Green Screen Experiance - was MARCH
                                                  exhibit kiosks

                                                  I agree that a BBS would be a cool exhibit. From where (what machine or
                                                  machines) will you dial? A C64 would be cool. Some modems will work if
                                                  you just cross the tip and ring wires between them like a null modem,
                                                  but most will not. Most modems want to see a live line with a dial tone
                                                  to know that it's time to dial.

                                                  It may be possible to do this without any modems - just using null-modem
                                                  cables between the user's machine and the BBS host. An appropriate
                                                  script on the host can detect the "caller" and start the connection.
                                                  Without two or more real phone lines ($$$) this is not as easy as it
                                                  sounds. With all the ex-phone company people in the area, we might find
                                                  someone with the knowledge to turn a phone "bridge" (a device used for
                                                  large conference calls) into a mini, internal self-contained phone
                                                  system that would allow modems to "call" other modems without any
                                                  outside phone company connection. Where we would get such a bridge or
                                                  even if this would work is speculation on my part.

                                                  Could I suggest that we concentrate on the Green Screen experience since
                                                  we have a high likelihood of actually making it work?

                                                  I'm putting together a trivial demonstration of the concept that you can
                                                  all try and maybe even contribute content.

                                                  Jim


                                                  joprysko1 wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Well, to dial into a BBS, you would likely need to have a machine with
                                                  > multiple serial ports and modem, at least one for each BBS client. I
                                                  > have several 8 port ISA Digi boards, that were recently pulled out of
                                                  > service from my work. I talked to the guy who administers all of the
                                                  > systems across all of the other TV stations that these boards were
                                                  > pulled from, and none of the others are using that type of board
                                                  > anymore. So I don't think there isn't a reason I wouldn't be able to
                                                  > donate at least one of them towards the BBS experience exhibit at the
                                                  > museum.
                                                  >
                                                  > Joe
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > <mailto:midatlanticretro%40yahoogroups.com>, Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > > The pages can be written to look like a BBS.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > .... Or we could change the exhibit / kiosks from "The Green Screen
                                                  > > Experience" to "The BBS Experience" and actually have visitors dial in
                                                  > > to a MARCH intra-museum BBS to discover new content.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > On second thought, it's better to save that idea for some future
                                                  exhibit
                                                  > > about the history of the Internet, etc.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > So back to the green-screen idea. Was it common to use Lynx as the
                                                  > > interface? My only personal Lynx experience was in using it from my
                                                  > > college dorm to access Pine email in the mid-1990s. I know, off-topic.
                                                  :)
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  >


                                                  ------------------------------------

                                                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                • Evan Koblentz
                                                  ... Kidding aside, I think it s also important to give the visitors the experience of hearing a dial-in modem connect! We insiders all know that dial tone
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                    > If you wanted to do it over copper, to simulate a ring

                                                    Kidding aside, I think it's also important to give the visitors the
                                                    experience of hearing a dial-in modem connect! We insiders all know
                                                    that dial tone followed by the electronic crackling sound .... any BBS
                                                    exhibit we do in the museum should replicate that experience. It's fine
                                                    to have modern tech behind the curtain though.
                                                  • Mike Loewen
                                                    ... I run an Asterisk-based PBX at home, and intend to try hooking a couple of modems to it via a spare 2-port VOIP gateway. If that works, it should be
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                      On Tue, 26 Jan 2010, Evan Koblentz wrote:

                                                      >> If you wanted to do it over copper, to simulate a ring
                                                      >
                                                      > Kidding aside, I think it's also important to give the visitors the
                                                      > experience of hearing a dial-in modem connect! We insiders all know
                                                      > that dial tone followed by the electronic crackling sound .... any BBS
                                                      > exhibit we do in the museum should replicate that experience. It's fine
                                                      > to have modern tech behind the curtain though.

                                                      I run an Asterisk-based PBX at home, and intend to try hooking a couple
                                                      of modems to it via a spare 2-port VOIP gateway. If that works, it should
                                                      be possible to pick up a reasonably priced analog VOIP gateway (4 FXS
                                                      ports for $140) and use the same (Unix) box to run the PBX as the
                                                      green-screen backend. Then your C64s, Apple ][s and TRS-80s could all
                                                      dial in the old fashioned way.


                                                      Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                                      Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                                    • Evan Koblentz
                                                      ... You re confusing things. Jim s green screen experiene is only for museum info kiosks. Joe s simulated BBS is for a new museum exhibit. Different
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                        > I run an Asterisk-based PBX at home, and intend to try hooking a couple of modems to it via a spare 2-port VOIP gateway. If that works, it should be possible to pick up a reasonably priced analog VOIP gateway (4 FXS ports for $140) and use the same (Unix) box to run the PBX as the green-screen backend. Then your C64s, Apple ][s and TRS-80s could all dial in the old fashioned way.

                                                        You're confusing things. Jim's "green screen experiene" is only for
                                                        museum info kiosks. Joe's simulated BBS is for a new museum exhibit.
                                                        Different things.

                                                        For Jim's green screen experience, it sounds like terminals connected to
                                                        a PC is the easiest approach.

                                                        For Joe O.'s BBS exhibit, it doesn't matter which kind of microcomputer
                                                        is used to dial in. What matters is the BBS experience itself.
                                                      • Mike Loewen
                                                        ... I m not confused, I m trying to be efficient. :-) ... My point is that the same system could be used to drive both the green-screen and BBS experience
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                          On Tue, 26 Jan 2010, Evan Koblentz wrote:

                                                          > You're confusing things. Jim's "green screen experiene" is only for
                                                          > museum info kiosks. Joe's simulated BBS is for a new museum exhibit.
                                                          > Different things.

                                                          I'm not confused, I'm trying to be efficient. :-)

                                                          > For Jim's green screen experience, it sounds like terminals connected to
                                                          > a PC is the easiest approach.
                                                          >
                                                          > For Joe O.'s BBS exhibit, it doesn't matter which kind of microcomputer
                                                          > is used to dial in. What matters is the BBS experience itself.

                                                          My point is that the same system could be used to drive both the
                                                          green-screen and BBS experience exhibits. For the green-screen terminals,
                                                          you could either use a multiport serial card or a terminal server (I have
                                                          a spare 16-port terminal which I could donate).


                                                          Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                                          Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                                        • Evan Koblentz
                                                          ... Oh. That s very interesting then! Do you have a few minutes right now? Give me a call to discuss it please. 6465469999
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                            > My point is that the same system could be used to drive both the green-screen and BBS experience exhibits.

                                                            Oh.

                                                            That's very interesting then!

                                                            Do you have a few minutes right now? Give me a call to discuss it
                                                            please. 6465469999
                                                          • B Degnan
                                                            ... *Just Do It™ , please seriously. It s not practical for most with our busy schedules to build and support an MP/M terminal cluster or an HP
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                              Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                                              Could I suggest that we concentrate on the Green Screen experience since we have a high likelihood of actually making it work?
                                                              
                                                              I'm putting together a trivial demonstration of the concept that you can all try and maybe even contribute content.
                                                                  
                                                              I see no reason not to do both.  Jim, your G.S.E. is for MARCH info 
                                                              kiosks; Joe's BBS exhibit would be just that -- an exhibit.  But they 
                                                              are separate.
                                                              
                                                                
                                                              *Just Do It™ , please seriously.   

                                                              It's not practical for most with our busy schedules to build and support an MP/M terminal cluster or an HP BASIC/timesharing environment.  A great way for someone who can't be at InfoAge who wants to do something for the museum would be to code little "MARCH info" programs that can run on the computers that we already have set up in the museum.  These programs can run and tend themselves even when no one is in the room at the moment.  No extra hardware to support.  Start simple and build from there - "Welcome to M.A.R.C.H" ascii display that we can run on the IBM PC for example. 


                                                              *Just Do It™ - We could run on the existing Commodore, IBM PC, Apple, Atari, and CUTTER (for the Altair)  hardware in the micro room.

                                                              Also, we need a working printer for banners.  That's the cheapest vintage way to do signs for meetings and events.  Banner and cardboard, done.  Looks authentic.

                                                              Bill






                                                            • Evan Koblentz
                                                              ... That computer still doesn t turn on reliably. Many times it beeps, gives strange error messages, and then hangs. Also, Jeff F. reported that our PET 2001
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Jan 26, 2010
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                                                                > that we can run on the IBM PC for example

                                                                That computer still doesn't turn on reliably. Many times it beeps,
                                                                gives strange error messages, and then hangs.

                                                                Also, Jeff F. reported that our PET 2001 smelled like something was
                                                                burning during startup last weekend. Not good.

                                                                > we need a working printer for banners. That's the cheapest vintage
                                                                > way to do signs for meetings and events. Banner and cardboard, done.
                                                                > Looks authentic.

                                                                Jeff B. brought in one of his printers, and we successfully tested it
                                                                with Print Shop on the C-64. But it's his printer, not ours, and he
                                                                says cartridges are hard to find.

                                                                What I think we should do instead is make a vintage printing station,
                                                                separate from our exhibits, that we use just for making banners. I bet
                                                                an Apple II(x) with an Imagewriter is the easiest approach, because
                                                                supplies are readily available (and because that is what I used as a kid
                                                                to make banners for all my family's parties, so I'm biased!)

                                                                Just like with the C-64s, we have a large amount of II+/IIe systems.
                                                                Although our IIc is probably a better choice for a printing station
                                                                because it's physically smaller. We can hide this away in the small
                                                                supply area behind the former Camp Evans / future ENIAC-UNIVAC exhibit.
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