TechEdison Blog

https://www.techedison.net/

RetroChallenge - Pictures

May 012018

Here is a bunch of images with all of the features of the site tested out on my Macintosh Classic, as promised for part of RetroChallenge (some out of order. ripi is for networking usb->serial):

and here is the EXTRA thing I made in addition to my original project, MicroForum:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhe86f7BprC/

RetroChallenge Complete (04/29/2018) - Final Update

Apr 302018

I've done it! I completed my website for old computers, NoCSS!

Before I get into the details of the site, I will finish the last update, the Mail system. The mail system is pretty simple, and includes what you would expect in a very minimal webmail. You can only message users registered on the site (didn't want to research/create an actual e-mail compatible system). You can read your inbox and sent messages, compose a new message, reply to a message (including the feature of embedding the msg you are replying to), and read messages. That's really about it... Not much more I could implement that would function on vintage hardware.

Link (READ DISCLAIMER AT THE BOTTOM): http://www.nocss.ml/

If you are on a mac and want to get on the internet: https://68kmla.org/forums/index.php?/topic/54013-connecting-old-macintosh-to-the-net-using-serial/

Screenshots on my laptop for now, but I will create a big post with screenshots of all the functions on my Macintosh after this post.

Here is the feature list for the site:


  • Registration/login

  • Chat

    • Rooms capabilities. Only MAIN room for now, but you can request to have some added if you want.

    • Includes timestamps



  • Forum

    • Create posts

    • Per-forum new post permissions

    • Reply to posts

    • Open source

    • Reg/login separate from the main site (but if you use the same login, it automatically logs in when you visit)



  • Messaging

    • Send message

    • read sent messages

    • reply to messages (including the old message being appended to the reply)



  • Web proxy

    • Supports https

    • Removes all modern technologies to make it load correctly on new sites

    • All links are proxied



  • Google search

    • All links are proxied to the site's web proxy




Update links:

https://www.techedison.net/blog/2018/04/02/retrochallenge-april-2018-is-under-way/

https://www.techedison.net/blog/2018/04/09/retrochallenge-update-04-09-2018-search-finished/

https://www.techedison.net/blog/2018/04/10/retrochallenge-update-04-10-2018-proxy-finished/

https://www.techedison.net/blog/2018/04/12/retrochallenge-update-04-12-2018-surprise-forum-microforum/

 

A disclaimer: account login is stored IN THE URL and sent to the server via a GET request. This is VERY insecure and you should not use the same login password you use for other sites!

RetroChallenge Update (04/12/2018) – Surprise forum! (MicroForum)

Apr 122018

Of course when I thought of making a forum, I had to implement it.

It's 100% HTML 2.0 compatible (+ some tags I know work on old MacWeb at least), yet looks decent enough that it can be used by the average user.

URL: http://www.nocss.ml/forum/

Info page: http://www.nocss.ml/microforum.html

Edit the config to your liking. It's pretty self explanatory.

Screenshots:

Other updates:


  • Added the link to the nocss homepage

RetroChallenge Update (04/10/2018) - Proxy finished

Apr 112018

This was a fairly simple item to complete after the search was done. It was almost as easy as copy and paste.

Fairly simple: enter a URL and press enter. Supports HTTPS. Must be a valid url. What better way to test this than on NoCSS itself!

Other updates:


  • Added the search/url input forms on the error page and result page for search and proxy. This makes it easier to navigate after you already enter data. It also fills it with the current item when you are on a result page.

  • Considering creating a very tiny forum system... This could be fun..

RetroChallenge Update (04/09/2018) - Search finished

Apr 102018

I've worked hard and completed the search function on the site. It uses Google for results, and removes all the formatting from the website that would cause troubles on old machines. I've also changed a few things, I'll get to that later.

The search is not really the best thing, but there isn't much I could do without making an entire search engine of my own, which I was not going to do. All the search result URLs are converted to a url link to the proxy page (automatically proxying the results). The page numbers and next/previous ARE FUNCTIONAL.

Here are some screenshots below (notice the url on the bottom). None on the Macintosh for now though.

Some other various updates:


  • Removed the text only mode because it was basically useless. I'm using minimal enough formatting that it shouldn't cause issues for very very ancient machines.

  • Removed the ability to use cookies for login. This isn't meant to be a secure website, and it's easier to just program it for one login method.

  • Updated the index page. It is no longer index-new.php, and anyone can access the site.

  • Removed autorefresh on every page that had it. It was useless and caused issues with browsers that actually supported it.

RetroChallenge April 2018 is under way!

Apr 032018

RetroChallenge has started, and I figured I'd give an introduction to my project and goal.

The basic idea started when I found a post on the 68kmla forum on how to connect an old mac to the internet using serial. It seemed so incredibly simple, I had to give it a try! I had been messing around with dial-up connections and connecting to a BBS, but that wasn't enough! I had to get my machine on the internet.

Using my updated tutorial and after lots of trial and error, I created a very simple setup using a Raspberry PI, a usb serial cable, and a db-9 to din-8 connector. Now my setup is as simple as turning on both machines and opening MacPPP to activate the connection.

Alright, so now the old machine was connected to the internet. But what can one do on the internet with a 20 year old computer? Well that's where my project comes in!

NoCSS is aimed at getting old computers on the internet, no matter the age. At the current time, the site is built in a way that would allow the page to display correctly even if you were using a teletype on a computer with Lynx browser. I have already implemented a chat system and account login/registration system (that supports browsers that cant use cookies). The goal of my RetroChallenge project is to finish the last three items on the site (google search, website proxy/de-modernizer, user messaging system) and test it fully with my Macintosh Classic. All the pages support a "text only" mode, which removes all the formatting and leaves you with simple hyperlinks and <br> tags to give a new line.

Screenshots of the current site:

modern machine

modern machine (but in Lynx)

Macintosh Classic

Collection growing!

Jan 032018

To start off this post, Happy New Year! 2018 will bring lots of great things, including more macs!

I recently acquired two new items for my apple collection; a Macintosh Classic from 1991 and a Macintosh Plus from 1986! I bought these items off Craigslist, and (coincidentally) picked them up at the same Starbucks location each time, even though they were separate trips.

Regarding the CL sellers, they were both not serial killers (haha, just joking), quick to respond to emails, and professional. They were both young guys like me; great to see I'm not the only young guy with an obsession for old apples!

The machines themselves were great finds! The lot and specs for each listed below:

 

1991 Macintosh Classic, picked up early december

Specs aren't really important, aside from the fully maxed out 4mb of ram.

Included the keyboard, mouse, 40mb hard drive, floppy disks, and all the cables. Everything works.

Pictures of the restoration process (still being done) can be seen on my Instagram (link at the bottom)

 

1986 Macintosh Plus, picked up a couple weeks later

Maxed out also to 4mb of ram

Included the keyboard, aftermarket mouse, Apple 20SC HD (the optional 20mb apple hard drive), an extra non functional scsi hard drive, and all the cables. Everything except for the extra drive works (I'll just replace the scsi drive soon).

Pictures of the restoration process (still being done) can be seen on my Instagram (link at the bottom)

 

Pictures of my entire collection can be seen at:

Here: https://www.techedison.net/blog/mac-collection/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/TechEdisonsMacs/

Macintosh Shenanigans

Dec 082017

Bought a serial modem for my PowerBook 160. Gonna try to do some fun dial-up stuff including dialing a BBS (yes apparently some still let users call over the phone).

More info on this soon, it'll be a fun little test.

Also, I may be adding a Macintosh Classic to my collection (if the CL seller replies to my email).

 

Update 12/29/2017: Since I posted this, I've purchased a classic and plus! Posts on these soon, and a list of my collection at https://www.techedison.net/blog/mac-collection/

A new web project

Nov 302017

I've been working on a new project the past few days, and I figured it was time to share it. It's a chat website that I'm designing for speed, security, and for the users. Some of the features will include user created emojis, the ability to clear chat with the press of a button, the ability to delete your account, and an encrypted database to keep your chat logs safe.

 

It's mostly a learning project, but I will be using it as a replacement for the well known chat program, Discord.

 

More details to come soon (with screenshots). It should be completed around the new year.