The RetroServer - Networking for old computers

A device that acts as a bridge between old and new computers. More simple that what is sounds.

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Using random parts, my idea is to build a "bridge" between old and new computers, mainly using normal ethernet, Modems and serial ports.

For this right now im ussing:

Generic x86 atom baytrail Tablet mainboard, i found this tablet for almost free with a cracked screen, replaced Windows 8 with Debian Jessie.
TP-Link MR-3220 Router running Openwrt, just for offloading networking stuff.
Usb Hub, the only way to expand the board.
Usb modems and serial adapters, the main interfaces for old stuff.
Power supply for the tablet, adjusted for ~4v or so, i don't know if i can run the board with just 5v.

At this point i have Linux running (there is a lot of missing hardware support on the thing, but nothing i care or need)

The modem and ppp configuration is done. (have you tried to browse the modern internet @ 33.6?)

My idea is also get a BBS running, maybe syncronet.

  • 1 × x86 compatible tablet motherboard got this from a broken windows 8 tablet, replaced Windows with Linux.
  • 1 × 3.7ish power supply For powering the board.
  • 1 × TL-MR3220 Router For networking stuff
  • 1 × USB to ethernet dongle to connect the board to the network, no onboard nic.
  • 1 × USB hubs lots of ports please!

  • Old OS Virtualization With Virtualbox and some updates

    Leonardo03/22/2017 at 03:29 0 comments

    Installed virtualbox and qemu-kvm for some retro OS, right now NT4 on virtualbox, really fast!

    Also i got a proyect box for this, need to make holes.

    Also samba and cups for filesharing, here tested in my 386 with 3.11 wfgw

  • Dial UP and PPP server in modern Linux

    Leonardo03/15/2017 at 18:27 2 comments

    This is really simple to do, at least in Debian Jessie.

    Since the innittab file is gone, we setup mgetty as a service with systemd.

    we create a service in /lib/systemd/system/mgetty.service

    Description=Linea 1 Modem USB
    ExecStart=/sbin/mgetty -x0 -s 57600 /dev/ttyUSB0

    then, standard setup:

    systemctl start mgetty.service

    systemctl enable mgetty.service

    and last mgetty config


    debug 5
    port ttyUSB0
    data-only y
    toggle-dtr n

    Now, PPP, this is also really simple.

    After we install PPP, we edit the /etc/ppp/options


    then create a device option file



    then we create the user and configure secrets.

    useradd -G dialout,dip,users -d /home/dial -g users -s /usr/sbin/pppd dial

    i did change this user password to "dial"

    now we need to create the pap-secrets so we can authenticate with ppp: /etc/ppp/pap-secrets

    dial * dial *

    and last, at least for now, you enable packet forwarding for IP4 editing /etc/sysctl.conf

    # Uncomment the next line to enable packet forwarding for IPv4

    with this you get networking working over serial, atleast with modem, haven't tested direct serial yet.

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    This is for the Auto turn On circuit, just keeps pressing the button until the 5v power supply is on.

  • 2
    Step 2

    First was finding a power on pin, really easy, there is a test point for everything on this board (not labeled but closer to the buttons board connector)

    (sorry about the crappy soldering work, but this is the "prototipe" stage haha)

  • 3
    Step 3

    Before reinventing the wheel ( i was going to use a 555, relays, and some other stuff) i did a google search and found this:

View all 4 instructions

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