Synchronet in a bubble

Or at least that’s what I’m going to call it.

Click to run!

Basically it’s a super minimally configured copy of Synchronet configured to run on jdosbox.  There is no external ‘world’ to talk to.  There isn’t even any ‘persistence’ all changes will be lost after a simple refresh.

There also isn’t any user id’s it’s completely virgin!

Simply click on the picture, and hit the space bar once the menu comes up and you can login!  Since it’s just console access there is no modem, dialing, tcpip stuff to worry about.  If you can run java you can run this.

So why would I or you bother?  I guess its an importunity to suffer through the BBS experience.  Maybe I’m just leading up to something else, something really involved to setup so for most people this click & go java thing is about as close as they want to go to ‘feel’ it and it doesn’t involve any actual setup, nor any programs to configure.  And of course, you cannot ‘trash’ this thing beyond hope as the moment you refresh your browser, it’ll reload the image and you are back to the start.

And maybe it’s a sign of the times as well.  Comparing a BBS install to any *AMP install of today really shows in some way just how far we’ve come, in terms of installation.  Not to mention back in the BBS days nobody used SQL, everyone wound up writing their own multiuser database.  Actually in retrospect I have to wonder why more were not based around Dbase/Clipper/FoxPro.

At any rate, it’s really impressive to see that Synchronet is not only still going but thriving out there.  And the center of it all is DOVENET.  A quick and easy way of distributing messages easily can make a community…   Which sadly this thing doesn’t have any network IO so … no community.  See it’s like a bubble, easy to pop, and in it’s own little brief world.

For anyone crazy enough to take the plunge you could download version 2 of Synchronet right here. Then you can telnet to and setup an ID for your prospective BBS.  The best part is the simplicity of getting messages in & out… FTP!  You can even use ncftp to make scripts to send / get messages.  I cooked up something terribly simple to do that here.

While I did add TradeWars 2002 as a door, but you’ve also got the other defaults Synchronet Blackjack!, Domain Poker,Supernet Centipede..

For all you TradeWars 2002 fans….

Click to play!


I just found out that jdosbox can do the ‘boot’ command.  So as a test here is TradeWars 2002 running in single user mode.  I suppose I could go all out and make a standalone single node BBS with tradewars configured for the ‘full effect’.

But for now this will have to do.

Click the picture to launch! (needs Java).

Retro: a PC/XT emulator

A friend of mine just pointed me to Retro, a PC/XT emulator written in Java.

It’s got a few games ready to roll, which is cool. While not a full featured as dosbox, it does feel significantly smaller, compared to jdosbo’s 2mb image. And since it’s browser based, it’s not like it’s all that difficult to check out.


So while looking for some Win32s nonsense, I stumbled onto RGB Classic Games, and they have this interesting thing to run dos games online. A quick glimmer of the DOSBox logo flashes by.. So I fire up doom and quickly exit and…

Yes it’s DOSBox.

But in my browser.. A little tearing it apart, and it’s actually a port of DOSBox to JAVA!

Seeing it can run 80386 code, namely DOS4G/W, I figured it’d be interesting to see how it’d handle Microsoft PowerStation Fortran & PharLap TNT.

You can try it if you feel inclined here.