Bulletin Board Project...

so sometimes back there was a discussion with duff and other about how could WinWorld extend their retro/vintage offerings of files on the internet without taxing the current servers, well I cam out of the dark ages so, knowing this area well, I suggested a project of my own cost to devise... a Bulletin Board System, bring back that pre-internet era of connecting to a BBS and reading message from across the world on various topics, yes like much a forum does, but also offer files to download as well.

So I set forth to build it, and being a nerd that I am, I had to get the right hardware (retro/vintage of course) and quickly relive all the reasons why technology is where it is at in this day and age.

the journey begins; Between the years 1984 and 1992 I ran a Bulletin Board system in Montreal Quebec, Canada, with a unoriginal Name of " The paladin's Castle BBS" had a whopping 19200Bps dial up numerous North American Forum Networks (WWIVnet, ICEnet and a few more such a FidoNet), this was of course like a lot of you know (or perhaps dont for the ones born with a cell phone in their hands) BBS where the pre-cursor to the open Internet and High speed digital news.

comments welcomed and will be answered; this of it as a Vlog without the videos, yes I am low tech and doubt anyone wants to listen to me ramble anyways more than I already do on here.

11/5/18 - mission in hand, I scoured local shop, Craig's list, and even visit some "garage sales.." yet seemingly as much hardware there is out there, nothing is older than 5-6 years. Rest they remain in a Museum? so I chase lead son eBay, and find a local shop that has likely system,. its a desktop the kind that lays on your table and you slap a monitor on it, aluminum case, not plastic, the kind that has screws at the back to open the flip open case to see the guts. ah.. finally found it, selling 29.99 pick up or delivery... excited, the shop is 5 miles away... and the Pentium II 400 128MB ram, with video card etc. was solde under VTECH brand... which I looked up curious, a company that did and does close circuit systems.. so not a standard desktop a secretary would of boringly use a spreadsheet on it. SOLD!....

11/8/18 - drive in greet the man, get my desktop at first glance it lookes like it was not used much , screwdriver in hand I pop the cover open in my car and grin... immaculate.. little dusting on the fan blades is all to be found. quickly I pull all cables that are lingering inside it, as no Hard drives was provided, the 1998 power supply is yanks out and trashed, some no name brand 235w 20 years old PSU is not going to be used, I replace it the used parts I have on hand, this replacement comes in the form of a Corsair CX750 PSU, overkill I agree but its what I have. the first boot up comes right up, floppy error 0, so the drive is dead, I strip it out I had no intentions of keeping it anyways, the bezel pulled from the floppy drive is glues in place at the front to keep the old timer look of the case. I mount a 2.5" 160GB HDD in a Bracket and into the floppy bracket fits like a glove once mounted with IDE/SATA adaptor, and a cdrw/dvdrw drive added in a similar fashion we are making headway. Cable management is difficult flat cabling can be complicated to hide away but I manage as well as the other 9 cables remaining to be use of the PSU, slipped and tied together as a bundle under the space of the cdrom drive bracket, tucked away safely.

Specs of the system turned out to be better than what was promised;

CPU - Pentium III-600e 256 KB L2 100 MHz FSB TDP 19.5 W!!
RAM : 128MB DDR.
Video : ATI Rage pro 128MB
Sound: Sound Blaster 16

Missing are a Good PSU, Screen, keyboard, Network Card, Hard drive, cdrom drive.

Here a few pictures:

12/15/2018: The progress rate on the BBS "vintage System" is slowly moving along;

Got the the Pent. III/600E w/128MB ram to run off the 80GB, as it was impossible for it to accept the 160GB I wanted to use, so I installed WinXP on it (testing purposes) and eventually it booted, and works like a charm..

I have on order (delivery Dec 18th) 4x256MB (1GB) of Ram for it, once that arrives I can slap Windows 7 on it.
The PATA/IDE to SATA converters work perfectly well and the DVD and 80GB Drive are working without flaw.

I am looking at a 64GB SSD with an IDE/PATA interfaced (CLICK TO SEE IT HERE) and considering spending the 46$ on it to possibly make the BBS with dual drives 64GB SSD primary with 80GB Data.
I also have my eyes on a PIII-1GHz CPU to make it faster.

Software side of things; The Bulletin board is already programmed on another system, as we speak and can be access by web interface programmed to the BBS link by click on http://bit.ly/2E32Alv to access it.

"The Paladin's Castle BBS" even has a beginning of O/S abandonware from Winworld being hosted. already got some OS ISO already offered in the transfer section, also working on gathering other BBS forum networks, connecting other BBS's networks, already started with the basic WWIVnet but I will add Cnet (commodore users), FIDOnet and others (AMIGAnet and a COCOnet to name a few) that will permit to carry many "vintage computer active forums".

its been fun to revisit the Past in this manner, to be honest I am positive I have used brain cell that were dormant for a long time...

So far, costs is pretty low; 79$

Main computer was = 30$ (PIII/600E, 128MB RAM, ATI Rage 128MB, SB16)
1GB Ram 4x256MB = 31$
IDE/SATA Adaptors = 18$

Part I already Had lying around:

Toshiba 80GB HDD = 0$
PSU CX750 = 0$
DVDrw/CDrw Drive = 0$
Inland Keyboard = 0$
Inland Mouse = 0$
Netgear GA311 Gigabyte Ethernet PCI Card = 0$
TP-LINK RE-210 Wifi Extender to Gigabyte Port = 0$

Other Upgrades under considerations

64GB PATA/IDE SSD =46$
Intel Pentium III 1GHz Processor = 25$

EDIMAX Wireless PCI Adapter EW-7727IN = 35$
(currently using a TP-LINK RE-210 with cable to Ethernet PCI Card to make it wireless)

Highpoint Rocket 100 2-port RAID IDE PATA PC = 10$
(so I can use My 500GB SSD = 0$ and Pair of HDD 500GB for storage = 0$)

More later until then some progress images


Comments

  • 12/16/2018 Todays update, I ordered the Highpoint Rocket 100 2-port RAID IDE PATA PC, as 80Gb will just not cut it for space for download in the end... more to come... :)

  • PS: yes I could of made all this in a DuoCore2 Q9400 with 8GB Ram and 4TB Hard Drive, but this retro point of view is more appealing isn't it ?

  • edited December 2018

    12/20/2018 The Memory (Ram) came in, and it made an obvious difference over the 128MB it had in reaction time, and after using a 120GB SSD drive I found for 24$ (new PNY C900 model at Frys electronics) I began the process to reinstall the operating system, and this time Windows 7 it is. snappy install, and 11pm 168 updates to be done, close the monitor and let it run all night.

    12/21/2018 coffee in hand.... 138 updates installed out of 168.... oh well I kind of expected it and reminisce, how in heck did we ever get anything done on a computer during that era... oh yeah we used DOS :) So I backed-up the WWIV from the other system unto the NAS, (10GB approx.) and ready to be slapped onto the vintage PC once the updating is over....

    OH yeah I did order that PCI/IDE card, hoping to speed up the UDMA 33 Speed to UDMA 100 once it gets installed, delivery should be today.

    Cost Updated as of right now: 126$

    Main computer was = 30$ (PIII/600E, 128MB RAM, ATI Rage 128MB, SB16)
    1GB Ram 4x256MB = 31$
    IDE/SATA Adaptors = 18$
    Highpoint Rocket 100 2-port RAID IDE PATA PC = 10$
    PNY C900 120GB SSD = 24$
    Intel Pentium III 1GHz Processor = 13$ (on order)

    Stuff I had laying around in the shed

    PSU CX750 = 0$
    DVDrw/CDrw Drive = 0$
    Inland Keyboard = 0$
    Inland Mouse = 0$
    Netgear GA311 Gigabyte Ethernet PCI Card = 0$
    TP-LINK RE-210 Wifi Extender to Gigabyte Port = 0$

    Other Upgrades under considerations

    EDIMAX Wireless PCI Adapter EW-7727IN = 35$
    (currently using a TP-LINK RE-210 with cable to Ethernet PCI Card to make it wireless)

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