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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘BBS’ Category

Running BBS Door Games on Windows 10 with GameSrv, DOSBox, plus telnet fun with WSL – Scott Hanselman

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/12/07

Reminder to self: see if I ever can resurrect my old BBS and FidoNet node that was based on at least:

  • FrontDoor (by Joaquim Homrighausen)
  • RemoteAccess (by Andrew Milner)
  • GoldED (by Odinn Sørensen)
  • A FOSSIL driver (forgot the name)
  • A Fidonet NodeList Compiler
  • a Message Tosser

Maybe a good place to start: [WayBack] Running BBS Door Games on Windows 10 with GameSrv, DOSBox, plus telnet fun with WSL – Scott Hanselman

I already wrote a few times about me being on Fidonet, and BITNET in the late 1980s:

A few email addresses I have been using in that era:

A tag-line from me in that era (I blanked out the phone number as it now belongs to someone else):

    o _   _  _   _   _             voice:  +31-2522-XXXXX (19:00-22:00 UTC)
   / (_' |  (_) (_' | |            snail:  P.S.O.
__/                                        attn. Jeroen W. Pluimers
                                           P.O. Box 266               2170 AG Sassenheim   The Netherlands



Posted in BBS, dial-up modems, FidoNet, History, MS-DOS, Power User, Windows | Leave a Comment »

Level 29: The BBS

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/07/13

How retro can you get? [WayBack] Level 29: The BBS gets very far: it runs on an Apple IIgs and provides access via modem (via a landline!), telnet or web to the same text interface.

Web access via [WayBack] Shell In A Box

Welcome to the *NEW* Level 29 BBS!                                                                                                                                                    
916 965 1701 -                                                                                                                                                       
 .             .   _,  _,                                                                                                                                                             
 |    _ .  , _ |  '_) (_)                                                                                                                                                             
 |___(/, \/ (/,|  /_.   |                                                                                                                                                             
The official BBS of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Enter your username or NEW or VISITOR                                                                                                                                                 



Via: [WayBack] Got this TV yesterday at a garage sale and hooked up the Apple II through the Sup R Mod and installed the Hayes Micromodem IIe to call Level 29 BBS. No … – Chris Osborn – Google+


Posted in 6502, BBS, History | Leave a Comment »

Computing History – The UK Computer Museum – Cambridge

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/06/19

On my places to visit:

The Centre for Computing History is a computer museum based in Cambridge, UK. With a collection of vintage computers and game consoles, many of the exhibits are hands on and interactive.

[WayBackComputing History – The UK Computer Museum – Cambridge.

When I bumped into it, this was their collection size, ranging from the 1960s until recent history:

Archive Statistics :

  • Computers = 993
  • Peripherals = 1446
  • Mobile Devices = 31
  • Game Consoles = 213
  • Video Games = 10259
  • Software Packages = 2605
  • Books = 2045
  • Manuals = 4106
  • Magazines = 9057

Looking at their archived brands (having [WayBack] MITS – Altair and [WayBack] Raspberry Pi in the collection) is such a joy.

Archiving the older parts is a tough job, as they stem from way before the web era, so information has been lost, parts are hard to source, a lot of hardware got thrown away or is hard to find at all, people have died. More on that at [WayBack] About – Computing History.

Without a physical visit, you can find what they have at [WayBack] Search Our Archive – Computing History.

The video below on their archive is impressive.


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Posted in 6502, 68k, Apple I, BBC Micro B, BBS, C64, Commodore, CP/M, dial-up modems, FidoNet, History, IBM SAA CUA, PowerPC, Tesseract, VIC-20, Z80 | Leave a Comment »

“You would make for a great computer programmer”

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/10/20

A while ago, Joe C. Hecht mentioned for the second time about his family joke along the lines that he had bad grades at school despite being good at the topics. He got tested which resulted in “You would make for a great computer programmer”.

I wonder how this happened with other people in the IT. Did you get yourself a degree in that direction, or teach yourself programming and such?

The reason is that I recognise what Joe wrote: I’m still a bad learner from books or theory as I learn by doing. I specifically didn’t try to get a Computer Science degree as in the late 1980s in The Netherlands it basically was a heavy math degree plus Computer Science topics. So it was basically doing two studies at once and I was only interested in the Computer Science parts.

So I chose studying Chemistry (one of the science topics I really liked at high school) at the closest university to my home so I kept living with my parents.

In 20-20 hindsight this was not the right choice. But at that time I didn’t know about the right choice.

In about 4 years, I finished like 2.5 years of studying, was a geek-prototype (good at computers, bad at people skills) and still did a lot of Computer Science topics (even though the exams would be worthless as back then individual exams didn’t count unless they were part of the main direction of your study). The last year was prepping for practice and advanced topics. I slowly attended less and less sessions and did more and more programming gigs as somehow that was way more fun before slowly bailing out. I also sold network equipment to the university department helping them to connect to the internet and helped a lot of co-students with their computing issues and assignments, learned my way in DOS/3com/Novell/EARN/BITNET/DECNet/SunOS and VAX/VMS based technologies.

I only found out why I bailed out more than a decade later: I was a pragmatic guy learning by doing, not suited for a university that tried educating theorists. Besides that the department I wanted to finish my studies has two four camps: a very theoretic camp (with nice guys: they were the ones wanting internet access very early on), two less theoretic camps fighting each other and a lazy camp filling their days basically with doing as little as possible. A very unproductive and depressing situation. I had worked at the research labs of the paint factory doing research close to my studies, but there was no way the university would allow me to do my research phase there. Even more depressing.

Now (as always, hindsight is 20/20 vision) I know I should have bailed out early on and go for a more pragmatic study maybe not even a university but a polytechnic. On the other hand it helped doing a truckload of Turbo Pascal work (which I started at High School with Turbo Pascal 1 on CP/M with Apple ][+ and //e machines), programming in assembler/prolog/FORTRAN/C, getting connected to the internet (BITNET RELAY chat, mailing lists, early newsgroups, uucp, TCP/IP basics, thick/thin ethernet converters, serial and modem communication with Kermit and FidoNET, gopher, FTP and truckloads more stuff).

It got me into the Delphi, .NET and open source worlds, doing a lot of travel and conference speaking and being an early adopter of many technologies and concepts (some even so early that they only got way popular decades later – like the 1980s “the network is the computer” mantra – or making sense – like the lock semantics topics really became useful when around the century turn  single processor machines got multi-processor siblings and a lustrum later multi-core and multi-threading processors became available and ubiquitous around 2010) and taught me that being able to search and find things is way more important than knowing things.

So I wonder about all my followers:

How did your education go and how did you end up in computing?


References via Joe C. Hecht:

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Posted in About, BBS, BITNET Relay, Chat, FidoNet, History, Opinions, Personal, SocialMedia | Leave a Comment »

FrontDoor is being resurrected…

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/08/29

After 3 years silence, JoHo has managed to resurrect the DOS version of FrontDoor and blogs about it at [Areboot . defsol . com | Waiting for a call or event.

Found out via [WayBack] So, after having been asleep for some 15 years, it appears this is actually happening #frontdoor #fidonet <ht… – Joaquim Homrighausen – Google+

So I had a private chat with JoHo, where he wrote me this:

After three years of “silence”, and some 15+ years since the last code update, JoHo has appeared on the FidoNet scene once again. Having relased FrontDoor in 1986, I guess it’s safe to say he’s been around (FidoNet) longer than most people.

The biggest issue(s) seem to have been finding all the bits and pieces required to make/update FrontDoor, its utilities, as well as the long dead license key/code generator. Another issue is, of course, to find a suitable operating environment to put the pieces together in.

JoHo has stated that what used to be called the “Commercial/MultiLine” version of FrontDoor is what every future of version will be, except not so “Commercial”. You can get a free license by simply sending him an e-mail. Look at for more details.

The “Reboot” project, as JoHo calls it, will have some details released at There is also a Facebook group available for FrontDoor users.

When asked “Why are you doing this now?”, JoHo responds with “Have you ever seen ‘Finnish Swamp Wrestling’ on YouTube? There is no ‘Why’, there is only ‘Because’.”

JoHo can be reached at, seen on Twitter at @joho68. He has also applied for a new FTN-address in Zone 2. Details will follow.

Here are some more links and pictures:

Good old FidoNet logo:

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Posted in BBS, History | 1 Comment »

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