Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Modem emulation

Ever since I got my Raspberry Pi*, I've been kicking around the idea of running a BBS on it, and have had a couple of working configs going for short periods of time, but I've never been entirely happy with them. Then a moment of genius struck - why not obtain an old external modem, and stuff the entire BBS into it? Nothing, really, as long as the modem is large enough to contain the Pi, I'm good. So I set out to find a suitable modem, and I found this Zoom external modem* at a thrift store. The modem number is 3048, and I chose it for a couple of reasons. First, it was the first one I found that would easily contain the Pi, and second, it's got a ton of LEDs on the front panel that I can re-purpose via the GPIO header.

After kicking around what BBS software to install and such, an idea struck me. Why not revisit my CoCo project? My original thought was to emulate the CoCo to get it going (which I might, but only as proof-of-concept, as I need to re-obtain the real hardware at some point. Mine has all been lost.), but then another thought struck me. Why not, instead of putting the entire BBS in the modem, emulate a modem via tcpser and a USB<->RS232 adapter*? This would allow me to use my modem with any old-school BBS system I wanted. So that's what I'm setting out to do. I'll post updates as I go, but I'm excited about this project and wanted to share the idea with the world.

*affiliate link

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