Nitemare Cafe

Thoughts on WWiV on Linux

by on Apr.23, 2014

Here are some of my thoughts on running WWiV 5 under Linux. First, it’s fairly simple, especially if you do your initial 4.30 setup under dosemu instead of DosBox. The difference between the two is that DosBox creates Linux filenames which are all upper case, while dosemu creates them lower case. WWiV 5 under Linux requires them in lower care, in general. Directory names are defined via WWiV’s init (or, initlite) so can be either. Some of the menus need to be upper case because they are called that way from other menus, but the extensions should be lower case. The main menu files should be lower case, but the menu editor might choke on them, so ln -s each file to an upper case filename with lower case extension. This might be required to get editing to work on the other menus as well, but I don’t recall.

Aside from upper/lower case filename issues, there are a few bugs I’ve noticed which appear in the current build under Linux, but not Windows. First, the time left always displays as 0, which is a problem primarily for the door dropfiles. The problem appears to be that IsUserOnline() never returns true under Linux for some reason. The fix was to open utility.cpp and, within the function double nsl(), find the first if statement, and add ” || 1″ to the first if statement so that it always evaluates to true, instead of to false.

The second bug has to do with filenames as well. in printfile.cpp, the function printfile() doesn’t build the filename.ext based on the user’s ANSI settings, and only displays the filename exactly how it is passed to it. Because filenames are quite often passed without an extension so that non-ansi users will get filename.msg while ansi users will get filename.ans, this causes quite a few menus/help items to be broken by default. My solution for this was to temporarily remove the extensions from those files that are passed to printfile() without one. This means no separate ansi/non-ansi files, unfortunately. But most modern telnet clients should support ansi, so that’s not a huge deal. The bigger issue is the telnet client not using the correct upper-ascii character set. FWIW, this is CP437, and is supported in both the Linux and Windows versions of putty.

In a future post, I will detail how I got DOS doors to work. This took a lot of trial and error, but ultimately worked great :)

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WWiV 5 on Linux

by on Apr.16, 2014

Just thought I’d let everyone know what I’ve been up to of late – working on WWiV 5 on Linux. So far, it’s installed and (somewhat) functional, but, because I am compiling it natively, and not running under DOSbox or dosemu (which I *have* contemplated using 4.24a instead), I am having problems with doors. I have to run them under dosemu, and it doesn’t appear that the dosemu autoexec.bat is running. When I telnet in, and go to the doors, I launch a DOS door, and it hangs at “Launching…” until I press CTRL-C, then it drops me back at the door menu. I feel like I’m pretty close to cracking that nut, though, at which point I’ll work on some networking (WWiVnet, Fidonet, and Usenet… Maybe Dovenet) and let everyone know how to access it once those are done. Very, very close. :)

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JAMMA Cabinet

by on Apr.04, 2014

A friend of mine is giving me a JAMMA cabinet, specifically, a Street Fighter II cabinet (which is actually JAMMA+), but the JAMMA board is dead, as is the CRT. The cabinet itself is presumably in decent enough shape and the remaining hardware presumably works.

I’ve been wanting to build a MAME cabinet for a long time, so this will save me a ton of work and expense. I already have everything I need to convert it to a functioning MAME cabinet. I have a Raspberry Pi for the brains. It doesn’t have enough GPIO pins to wire up all of the Street Fighter II controls without getting a bit fancy (a matrix layout is easy enough, but the software would be a bit more complex), but I can concentrate on player 1′s controls initially. I have an LCD monitor that will work nicely with the Pi as well. If I decide I want a CRT, I can pick up an old TV for free off of Craigslist, I’m sure, adding 0 cost, since the Pi can output to that as well ;)

I have a couple of options when it comes to Player 2′s controls. I can hack up a USB game pad, or I can hack up a USB keyboard. Either will work, but there are some known issues with hacking keyboards for use in arcade cabinets. I imagine I should be able to find either for fairly cheap, adding very little, if any, cost to the project.

I also plan on loading Quake onto the Pi, as I have been dying to play is with arcade controls forever.

If I do this right, maybe spending a few bucks on connectors, I should be able to do these mods and make them completely reversible, should I later decide to restore the cabinet to its former glory. Regardless, once I have the cabinet (in a couple of weeks), I’ll post pictures, along with a progress report on my conversion.

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Jupiter Ascending

by on Mar.28, 2014

The trailer for the new sci-fi movie Jupiter Ascending looks pretty good:

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Secret Cryptogram Notes

by on Mar.27, 2014

There have been Secret Cryptogram Notes found in D.B. Weldon Library Stacks, which I have just discovered via one of the RSS feeds I follow, and I am quite intrigued. I haven’t had a chance to really dig in to any of them (yet), but I wonder if anyone has done a number analysis to see how many times each symbol occurs in each note. I know that there are more symbols than letters in the alphabet, but this seems like it should be the first step in any cryptanalysis attempt. If no one beats me to it, I may just try that to see what the results are.

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by on Mar.25, 2014

Does anyone remember an old door game back in the BBS days called Cyberspace? It was almost more of an engine than an actual door, because once you set it up, it was up to you and your users to /dig new rooms, /describe them, define exits, create objects to populate them, etc. There were commands to make objects move from room to room, give them classic RPG character attributes, etc, so you could, essentially, create a game within the door of Cyberspace. I was considering finding the user docs for this door and recreating it in PHP. What does everyone think? Could be kind of interesting?

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lonelygirl15: We will not be stopped.

by on Mar.24, 2014

From, lonelygirl15: We will not be stopped.

lg15chat: Knock knock.
lg15chat: We are here..
lg15chat: We are everyhere.
lg15chat: We will not be stopped. lg15chat: 6/9/14

Wonder what time, and what timezone? Regardless, very exciting stuff :)

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Broken Links

by on Mar.21, 2014

Broken Links
I have started using a plugin to clean up some of the broken links on the site. Many of the links that were found are quite old, and some merely needed updated from http to https. Others had .com when they should have had .org. Still others are long gone from the internet. And some were just fine, and I have no idea why they were marked as broken. Once I complete this cleanup of broken links, I will likely point the ones that are gone forever to the Wayback Machine, if available, or turn the plugin’s CSS back on so that broken links are apparent.

On a related note, I removed the Links page, as all it was getting was the occasional spam that needed moderated. I originally set the page up as part of doing strictly “Ghosts of Ohio” with the site, when it sorta made a good idea.

Cleaning up the sidebar is my next priority. What should go? What should stay? Should any of it be moved to the footer instead? Let me know in comments!

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by on Mar.20, 2014

Pro-tip: when playing around with WordPress plugins, trying to decide on whether or not to change which Google Analytics plugin to use, don’t forget to re-install the one you started with if you don’t find one you like better ;)

On a (somewhat) related note, this:


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Abuse of Authority

by on Mar.19, 2014

You may have noticed the new page on the site called “Abuse of Authority.” This page will link to my posts on the many abuses of authority which occur daily, many focused on the TSA. Some other TSA-related posts may wind up there as well, because, when talking about the TSA, it usually is about their abuses, or their lack of actual security, or some such. Easier just to keep everything in one place ;)

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