MS-DOS 6.22, BBS/Telnet server, SHARE.EXE?

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  • #3444
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

      Can anyone help me get Mystic BBS up & running on my Android device?

    FreeDOS does not have SHARE.EXE support, so none of my BBS apps will run under a default DOSbox setup.
    I have an MSDN copy of MS-DOS 6.22 (also available from various websites), but so far I cannot figure out how to have Magic DOSbox boot into MS-DOS instead of the FreeDOS it comes with by default. I would like to run the MS-DOS based Mystic BBS server, with original DOS “door” games.

    Throughout the years, my absolute favorite games were those running on my “Bulletin Board System”, TheVariable.
    I used a variety of DOS based BBS server apps, from WWIV & RABBS to Synchronet & Mystic, as my hardware and software collection changed over time.

    Most of my ancient machines do not offer much graphics capability;
    My favorite BBS door games had colored text and any graphic art was delivered in “ANSI” (colored ASCII) symbols.
    I left the dinosaur running full-time, synchronizing message-board & inter-BBS game data with other BBSs overnight.

    My PC was not always on & I moved around a lot, but my friends could log on even when I was not at home & we could wage epic battles through games that strictly limited your turns per day. Players with only 10-20 minutes to play per week could remain competitive with full-time gamers, simply because many of the games would kick you out after only 12-30 minutes (or less!). “No turns left, come back tomorrow!”

    Even when TCP/IP internet made its way into my home, Telnet continued to provide new life & new player communities to my favorite games. To this day, there are active servers and web-portals where you can login & play many of those ancient BBS door games, for free, from virtually any device!

    My favorites were/are:
    TradeWars 2002 v2 Beta GOLD – with many redistributable community mods
    Legend Of the Red Dragon – with many redistributable community mods
    LORD 2 – with redistributable community mods
    Global War (basically Risk, only you actually get to finish the game more often)
    (A game with an ANSI splash screen reading “TERRA FIRMA”: It featured an ANSI map of your empire, filled with mountains, rivers, hills, plains, forest, etc, upon which you built roads, walls, fisheries, mines, & factories to build robots. You could build robots using various chassis, weapon & drive sections, each with differing capabilities. When the construction/management phase of your turn was done you moved your bots & could send them across the border to explore & attack the maps of other players. This game was apparently not distributed to many BBSs & appears to have disappeared into the depths of history.)
    Land Of Devastation (I found the map display ugly & small compared to LORD 2)
    Barren Realms Elite (I was not very good at this)
    Planets, The Exploration Of Space (It was an OK game… Spaceship!)

    With a Telnet capable BBS such as Mystic running in DOSbox, my mobile device could allow my friends to login & play dozens of classic text-based BBS door games, from anywhere they can open a connection!
    I am hoping to set up MS-DOS 6.22 so that I can get some of those old game licenses running again!

    If anyone can advise me of suitable settings to get an MS-DOS 6.22 based BBS server running in Magic DOSbox for Android, I’d greatly appreciate the help.

    #3445
    adminadmin
    Keymaster

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for great post. Unfortunately (based on vogons) seems dosbox does not support share.exe too:(

    Connecting with client works, but using share.exe for server is probably problem. For client I tested Telemate, telix and mTcp, but this does not help you:(

    I exactly know why you love these games. I played many years game Brutus MUD based on Circle MUD. Based on your post I tried connect to server and it works fine with serial1=modem enabled. These old text games still offer something magical.

    Best regards,
    Tony

    #3852
    klyxmaster
    Participant

    Hi, hope I am not too late for posting a response –
    I am a huge BBS fan – ran one for 8yrs in the late 80’s and 90’s and thinking about bringing it back on board. must safer and cleaner than the i-net! LOL (games are better too!!)

    anyways.
    here is a possible solution to your SHARE issue. I like many “elite” systems, and one such system “iNiQUiTy” requires share as well –

    Try this line for yours (note: iniquity has a command line option to turn off share checking. see if yours does as well)

    DOSBOX -noconsole -c “CLS” -c “MOUNT C %CD%” -c “C:” -c “iniquity.exe /share” -c “EXIT”

    #3942
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

    Thanks!
    I’ll check for a command-line switch to turn off Share.exe use, & if that doesn’t work, I may try setting up iNiQUiTy instead of Mystic! (Though I have a feeling many Door games will not run without Share.exe either.)

    I appreciate the tip, klyxmaster. Also glad to see I’m not the only one interested in setting up a BBS server via Magic DOSbox.

    I believe Android really needs classic DOS BBS Door-game capability: The minimal data usage, extreme latency tolerance, & turn-based design of those old BBS systems & games seem ideally suited to deployment on mobile devices. Plus those great old games could definitely use an infusion of new interest which the Android community could provide.

    Thanks for the ongoing support, Tony. I wasn’t sure whether serial1=modem was correct or not.

    I’m aware that original MS-DOS isn’t explicitly supported under DOSbox, but if anyone can offer their tips, I still think that’s the most likely method for getting those old Door-games up & running.

    If I make any progress, I’ll be sure to share the results here.

    #3943
    klyxmaster
    Participant

    well surprisingly you do not need share for any of these programs.
    MYSTIC BBS
    This one runs flawlessly – no issues. everything you need to run your systme is built in. YOu can even access anything in the config that you can in dos, you can remotely via sysop menu – that is an extremely rare feature (One I am implementing in my BBS). I ran this for a bit, but it was too solid – i got bored bc I like getting my hands dirty LOL

    If you want to run iniquity and other “elite” systems, the best way to do it, is to run GameSrv BBS Door server. This program was written by a friend of mine to run “a” door as a server – much like you would world of warcraft, oly you could just run Tradwars 2002, where the user would log in then BOOM they are at TW2002. But with some elbow grease, you can literally make GameSrv as fully functional BBS (which is what I run).

    I have never in my recent bbs history run a BBS with dos box! ew – thats for gaming

    to run doors and other “dos” 16bit systems, you need netfoss.
    using the line

    example a mystic setup would be:
    \netfoss\nf.bat /N%1 /H%2 (%1 = node, %2 socket) \doors\lord\start.bat

    Another thing to keep in mind, you cannot run the WFC on the old “cool looking” BBS, you need to use some type of fossil as they are set up for TELEPHONE only. no net. I have gotten telegard, iniquity and RA working under Gamesrv.

    Not sure I can post links here. but hope that gives you all kinds of ideas 🙂

    #3944
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

    Err, sorry: I find your response extremely confusing!

    1) Almost all the DOS-based Door games I have at least request Share.exe, even if they may not actually need it. Mystic also asked for it, though I seem to have that resolved now.

    2) As far as I’ve seen, GameSrv BBS Door Server is a DOS/Linux app; Is there some way I can run that on Android without a virtualized environment?

    3) What is WFC? WiFi Connection? I don’t see it mentioned anywhere above & a few searches didn’t really help me guess what you’re referring to. Magic DOSbox does seem to have modem emulation if I need it. Even so, Mystic is Telnet capable; Presumably, I shouldn’t need to emulate a modem. Perhaps I presume too much?

    You do realize I’m trying to do this in Android? Not Linux. If there’s a set of shell commands I can install to run all this from command line (as one would on Linux), I don’t really know which one, nor how to proceed.

    Could you break down each of those points for me? You seem to have a handle on the tools I need to be using, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of your message.

    I’m only running Magic DOSbox because I have had ZERO success finding a way to run these old DOS BBS & Door apps on Android without emulating a full MS-DOS environment. I’m certain there are better ways to implement classic BBS apps on Android without recompiling everything from source (many do not have source readily available anyway), but I really don’t know enough about the subject to do it on my own without a lot of hand-holding & direction.

    DOSbox is for gaming… I know! It’s the only thing that’s gotten these apps to run even locally, on my rapidly aging Samsung Galaxy S3. They are games after all; They just use text instead of VGA graphics.

    Ideally, I *would* like to run a full BBS, as the retro message boards & inter-BBS features can really make or break the community aspects of those old multiplayer games. (Being able to sync game data between multiple mobile BBSs would be marvelous; Some games are barely worth playing without that.)

    I have no clue how to run GameSrv on Android without either emulating MS-DOS or installing Linux-style shell commands that I haven’t even been able to find a package for. (Android doesn’t actually have a shell with any common/useful commands unless you install one.)

    Please clarify: How would you run (for instance) TradeWars 2002 v2 Beta GOLD & Legend Of The Red Dragon on an Android phone?

    #3945
    adminadmin
    Keymaster

    Hi,

    I am sorry for entering your discussion. Please can someone recommend good client for telnet communication? In the past I played text online game

    http://www.wray.sk/?page=mudstart

    And I think with widget system it would be well playable. I like to have client in which I set buffer size for scrolling lines up/down

    EDIT : I need a client for MS-DOS. I want run it in mDosbox, because I want create various on-screen buttons with macros:)

    Thank you,
    Tony

    #3946
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

    What OS do you want a Telnet client for?

    I have been extremely pleased with Juice SSH for playing Telnet games on Android.

    On MS-DOS… Well, there’s telnet.exe! And also SSHDOS, which I believe should work for both SSH encrypted sessions & old fashioned Telnet sessions.

    #3947
    adminadmin
    Keymaster

    I edited my question

    #3970
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

    I edited my response. ;D

    So… Can anyone help me get an MS-DOS BBS server with Door games running on my Android device?

    #3971
    adminadmin
    Keymaster

    Hi, thank you:)

    Meanwhile I found program TM421. Not bad, but I can’t found function for scrolling up/down (maybe because I have unregistered version). But It works 🙂 Now I can play old text based MUD called “Brutus” through modem emulation.


    Brutus MUD

    Will check the others what you mentioned. Maybe one of them can scroll.
    Hmm I think I’ll create video guide if I’ll find good telnet program.

    #3972
    klyxmaster
    Participant

    1. Mystic is a native Windows 32-bit. Runs fine without share.
    2.gamesrv is also a native 32bit program built for Windows. I know the author and wetalk once or twice a week and I use it as a BBs.
    3.Wfc is a BBS term for wait for call screen. In which the server to wait for a telephone call and then act on that. There was no such thing as Wi-Fi in the seventies eighties and nineties. If you look at any documentation to any BBS software, that term comes up all the time. I’m currently at work but when I get home I’ll elaborate more on some of your questions that you have.
    I personally do not get into Wi-Fi for the BBS world. personally I feel it negates the spirit of it.

    Edit: I am not a linux user – winbloze all the way. Its just the way it is, too many hoops to hop around on linux (a system not designed for gaming or BBS’s) to make even the simplist things work, not to mention all the security/permission issues you have to tinker with. Don’t mistake that, I am a linux lover – its just that everything I enjoy only works well on windows. For my BBS work, I run them on laptops with native XP or 98, as there is no converting this/that/etc.. with the exception of connection, which you use a telnet service (I happen to like GameSrv as it works right out of the box, as does Mystic, Synchornet is to complex for something simple like a BBS – IMHO.

    My suggestion would be to research BBS’s and software before jumping right into converting it to Android usage – If you miss what WFC means, and that is 90% of BBS (if you can’t connect the rest is moot), you will continue to run into issues.

    But if you want to run before walking, then look this up on Youtube (there are a few vids on it) Run Windows XP on android – then from there, you can run any BBS you want, but the connection will be tricky, I personally have run a web server from native android just fine, as well as PHP/MySQL server too. Android has all the tools for such a project – But in reality, I would run the server from a PC, and use your android to connect to it. 🙂

    #3973
    klyxmaster
    Participant

    Ooo, I mis read your post – your going 100% android. I don’t mess with that. Android is too limiting. I am sure it is possible, but I don’t tinker with it, I am more inclinded to make a server with a Rasberry-Pi than android. But see my recent post, I edited it. There is a way to run winxp on android, then use the xp to launch your games, I would setup GameSrv as that it what it is designed to do: run dos-doors. I just happened to use it for a bbs, but I write all my software and do my own graphics – so I have a little bit of an advantage there 😀

    #3989
    ProphetZarquon
    Participant

    Yes, I’m so glad you noticed! (It’s very frustrating to be looking for solutions & getting responses for all the wrong platforms.) Especially thanks for clarifying what you meant by WFC; that makes perfect sense in context, now! (More on that later.)

    The whole point of this project is to bring all the classic MS-DOS based BBS Door games to SysOps using Android mobile devices.

    The high latency tolerance, minimal bandwidth usage, & stately pace of multiplayer gameplay in those ancient dial-in games seem ideally suited to re-deployment on modern cellular phones, which are (almost) always online (whereas most people turn their laptops & desktops off a lot) & feature plenty of screen resolution for color ANSI/ASCII graphics, with space left over for touchscreen keyboards (much less the standard USB keyboard support offered by most models). By running the BBS server on their mobile phone, SysOps could get mobile text, gaming & even limited file transfer support (silly, but possible) on their very own BBS which they are free to tweak & customize with all the classic mods that helped make games like TradeWars 2002 & L.O.R.D. so interesting & memorable.

    Unfortunately, many of the premier BBS games do not have un-obfuscated source code available to port them directly to Android; This means that emulation is required.

    Unfortunately, neither QEMU nor DOSbox provide developer support for emulating original MS-DOS or Windows on Android (they both use FreeDOS by default, which doesn’t work for BBS software); This means that users will need their own original licensed copies of MS-DOS or Windows 95, as well as the (usually free) BBS software itself, PLUS the game & mods they want to run. THIS IS NOT as insurmountable as it may sound, since many of the BBS fans interested in these games may already have these apps lying around, & Microsoft will even give you a fresh copy of MS-DOS if you’re clever enough to find the link. So even though it can’t be distributed as a single package, the necessary licenses are available.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find ANYBODY who can help get this running, even in a single test instance!

    In theory, emulating Windows is total overkill, as both QEMU & DOSbox have methods for emulating modem activity from the host’s TCP/IP communication triggers (UDP would be nice too!) & the games themselves were almost all released for DOS anyway, not Windows. The BBS itself could ideally be run natively in Android, launching Doors in emulation. The resource usage of emulating text-only DOS apps on a modern Android mobile device is minimal, contrasted to the demands of, say Diablo II (arguably the most popular x86 application to be emulated on Android).

    Frankly Android does much more with ARM than Pi does, but it’s all been rebuilt from scratch: Pi has a large number of (originally x86) project sources which have been converted/optimized for Pi Linux, whereas Android has a bunch of new code made without any intention of backward compatibility.

    Unfortunately, while Mystic has been ported to run natively on Pi (Linux on ARM), the code does not currently compile cleanly for Android. I have spoken to the developer about this, but they need Android devices for testing.

    If GameSrv could be ported to Android, that would be ideal! I’m not aware of any current development on that app though.

    So I’m still looking for help: Anyone familiar with running Magic DOSbox on Android, please let me know if you have any advice for getting TW2002, LORD, or any of these other classic game (servers) to run.

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