[Blindapple] My latest adventure with ProLine BBS
joseph.norton at gmail.com
joseph.norton at gmail.com
Fri Nov 5 11:01:18 EDT 2021
While this isn't the old talking Apple exactly, I figure some of you might
be interested in this.
Well, I've been having more fun with the ProLine BBS software, after I found
a copy of the Y2K patch, thanks to Kelvin Sherlock, who still maintains
ProKegs, a telnetable ProLine BBS running on a modified copy of Kegs.
You may remember my earlier attempts, which were mostly successful.
There was one fiddling little thing that was still bothering me. Currently,
I could run the software with AppleWin, emulating the Apple //e, in
combination with a couple other programs that made the telnet possible.
However, no matter what I did, even with the addition of the Y2K patches
from Eric A. Seiden, ProLine would show the wrong day of the week. On
Monday, it said Tue, though the actual numeric date was correct, for
Tuesday, it printed Wed, an so forth. On Sunday, no day was printed at all.
If I ran it under MAME, (impractical since I can't find any way for MAME to
do serial communications), which had a choice of the ThunderClock or the
Applied Engineering TimeMaster, it did get things right. If I ran it under
GSPlus, it flew, since it was running on a Apple iigs emulation, but, the
TCP code, built into GSPlus was buggy and didn't fully interact with the
serial port, and, it would become unresponsive after a short time.
So, I was back to AppleWin, but, that day thing bothered me.
It turns out that AppleWin emulates the NoSlot Clock, which is a little
piece of hardware that installs in a socket under one of the ROMs on the
Apple II's motherboard. ProDOS didn't natively recognize it, so you needed
a program called "NS.CLOCK.SYSTEM" to chain to your next ProDos program to
use iit. But, the weird thing is that the NoSlot Clock used a slightly
different convention for the day of week function. ProLine used the method
employed by the 2 other clocks mentioned, as well as the method used by the
IIgs to store the day of week. So, it would always be one day off.
So, I Emailed Mr. Sherlock of ProKegs, and he was kind enough to look at the
source code of AppleWin, and disassemble the ProLine time module and locate
the place where the day of week was handled. All I had to do was use a
binary/hex editor and change the strings indicating the day of week, and it
fixed the problem. So, I'm back in business with AppleWin now, and the day
of the week is being reported correctly, and all seems to work properly.
I lucked out, searching for an accessible editor, but, I had to use a
Windows program called "FRHED", but, thanks to CiderPress, I could extract
the file, work on it, and re-import it back into the disk image. So, all's
well that ends well, or has it?
Now, if I can put it up on telnet again, I might just put it up and let
anyone who wants to to play with it. I got a more complete set of games,
including a trivia game, today in history, 3 text adventures, and a port of
what I am almost sure is Eliza, named Freud. All of that was on the Y2K
patch disk in a shrinkit archive.
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