• Analog modems in the digital age.

    From James Digriz@1:123/755 to All on Wed Apr 4 17:11:44 2018
    Since I've just gotten back into BBS'ing and Fidonet, I thought I'd get some perspectives from folks on analog modems, the PSTN, and
    dial-up BBS'ing. This seems relevant even if most people seem to be running strictly IP nodes anymore, given the history of Fidonet's now much
    less relevant zone:net/node structure for minimizing connection costs. Even if that is likely to remain, even if only an historical artifact, it occurs to me that it's something that should be retained even if, as is already happening in
    a lot of places, copper wires, T1's, and even ISDN and DSL as well, are now being obsoleted. It could be relevent for mesh WiFi networks, for instance.

    The local ILEC, for instance, no longer advertises their (former?) dial-up Internet and has moved past DSL to fiber, offering symmetric gigabit capacity for less than the price of a T1. This is all fine and dandy, but there doesn't seem to be any straightforward way to do DCE to DCE communications over IP, absent expensive proprietary software, for the most part on expensive proprietary networking switches and routers. I haven't had occasion to order a voice phone line that ran over fiber yet, but I'm hearing that even with proper
    QoS, the voice bandwidth is just not there for analog data connections. Any insight there would be welcome. I could be wrong on that.

    There is a 2003 ITU recommendation, V.150.1, otherwise known as V.MOIP, that addresses this, but again
    there seem to be only costly proprietary products available. There are other, basically half-measures, such as iaxmodem, or various tricks using SIP signaling combined with G.711, RTP, etc. that are limited
    in bandwidth to about 9600 baud, and less than completely reliable, for fax and
    possibly data modem connections.

    Yeah, I have an old Total Control chassis loaded with quad V.34 modems, and if T1's are still available here, I could set up a multi-line dial-up system, but I'm thinking some kind of open-source V.150.1 implementation might be worth pursuing, given all the myriad other legacy analog DCE equipment still out there. If the patent issues on a lot of the other V. stuff.

    Appreciate any comments or direction, and sorry if this is well-trod ground in this echo.





    Greetings, James Digriz
    email: jbdigriz@bbs.dragonsweb.org

    --- MBSE BBS v1.0.7.4 (GNU/Linux-x86_64)
    * Origin: DragonsWeb Labs (1:123/755)
  • From mark lewis@1:3634/12.73 to James Digriz on Thu Apr 5 23:09:46 2018

    On 2018 Apr 04 17:11:44, you wrote to All:

    Appreciate any comments or direction, and sorry if this is well-trod ground in this echo.

    actually, it hasn't really been trod on enough anywhere... it is also much simplier than you're thinking...

    older systems that still want to talk to analogue modems simply use a shim to convert to telnet and a virtual modem...

    in the windows world, the best and pretty inexpensive package is Mike Ehlert's netserial and netfoss packages... netfoss handles the FOSSIL type stuff... i don't recall if netserial is also needed or if they work independently... they can be found on many BBSes as well as Mike's PCMicro site...

    in the OS/2 world, the best is still the SIO package from x00 guru Ray Gwinn...

    in the linux world, most of the mailers and BBSes talk directly to the whatever
    port they are configured on... there's no virtual modem or shim needed... if you're running DOS doors on your native linux BBS, use DOSEMU and set all doors
    to talk to COM1... there's a setting in DOSEMU, command line i think, that handles the tying together of the fake comm port and the telnet, ssh, or rlogin
    ports... native synchronet and mystic both operate this way... synchronet, i know, offers telnet, ssh, rlogin, http, https, ftp and ftps access to it...

    in today's world, the mailers operate, mostly, on their own port (24554 default
    for binkp) and so there's no real need for the old style front end mailer sharing the same port as the BBS... it can still be done, though... i do it here with my frontdoor/remoteaccess setup running on OS/2... there are not very
    many systems out there doing this so there's not much mail being transferred over telnet mailer connections... the majority of today's systems are using binkd or have a mailer that offers the binkp protocol...

    i don't know if that answers your question(s) or not... hopefully it does help some...

    )\/(ark

    Always Mount a Scratch Monkey
    Do you manage your own servers? If you are not running an IDS/IPS yer doin' it wrong...
    ... You folks telling me that intolerance is a Traditional Family Value?
    ---
    * Origin: (1:3634/12.73)
  • From Paul Hayton@3:770/100 to James Digriz on Fri Apr 6 20:48:14 2018
    On 04/04/18, James Digriz pondered and said...

    Since I've just gotten back into BBS'ing and Fidonet, I thought I'd get

    Welcome back, I've flicked you a netmail.

    Best, Paul

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A39 2018/04/04 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Agency BBS | Dunedin, New Zealand | agency.bbs.nz (3:770/100)
  • From Richard Menedetter@2:310/31 to James Digriz on Fri Apr 6 13:02:22 2018
    Hi James!

    04 Apr 2018 17:11, from James Digriz -> All:

    Since I've just gotten back into BBS'ing and Fidonet, I thought I'd
    get some perspectives from folks on analog modems, the PSTN,
    and dial-up BBS'ing.

    From my point of view analog modems, PSTN and BBSes are completely irrelevant nowadays.
    There seem to be some people who, for whatever reason, still have BBSes, but all that I know use IP communication like SSH or (jikes :( ) telnet.

    CU, Ricsi

    --- GoldED+/LNX
    * Origin: Dogs come when you call. Cats have answering machines. (2:310/31)
  • From James Digriz@1:123/755 to Paul Hayton on Fri Apr 6 06:08:18 2018
    Paul Hayton wrote to James Digriz:
    On 04/04/18, James Digriz pondered and said...

    Since I've just gotten back into BBS'ing and Fidonet, I thought I'd
    get

    Welcome back, I've flicked you a netmail.

    Best, Paul

    --- Mystic BBS v1.12 A39 2018/04/04 (Windows/32)
    * Origin: Agency BBS | Dunedin, New Zealand | agency.bbs.nz (3:770/100)


    Thanks! I'll be in touch.


    Greetings, James Digriz
    email: jbdigriz@bbs.dragonsweb.org

    --- MBSE BBS v1.0.7.4 (GNU/Linux-x86_64)
    * Origin: DragonsWeb Labs (1:123/755)
  • From James Digriz@1:123/755 to mark lewis on Fri Apr 6 07:35:04 2018
    mark lewis wrote to James Digriz:

    <cut much useful info>


    in today's world, the mailers operate, mostly, on their own port (24554 default for binkp) and so there's no real need for the old style front end mailer sharing the same port as the BBS... it can still be done, though... i do it here with my frontdoor/remoteaccess setup running on OS/2... there are not very many systems out there doing this so there's not much mail being transferred over telnet mailer connections... the majority of today's systems are using binkd or have a mailer that offers the binkp protocol...

    i don't know if that answers your question(s) or not... hopefully it does help some...

    )\/(ark

    Right, and I'm familiar with most of that. I remember for instance making a TI S1500 (an old SVR3.3 32-bit Unix system without the available ethernet card) accessible via telnet 15-20 years ago or so. So I'm not a stranger at that sort
    of thing. It's not too hard to make a strictly digital connection of some kind, or to convert IP to serial connections.

    You can fake dial-up, too. On the retro 4.3BSD UUCP network that Warren Toomey of tuhs.org set up, we've used his tcpdial perl script for this. You could use a flatfile like a nodelist for this, or use a distributed or shared database.

    I probably wasn't clear enough, though. The problem I'm looking at is going from serial
    connections to analog and back, on both ends, over the PSTN, when there is no copper, analog, or TDM. Where there is no POTS, only fiber, only IP data networking underlying everything. It's not clear to me that such use of voice phone lines will be univerally available. With or without the "repeal" of "Net Neutrality", the economics appear to disencentive support for analog data.

    Why would you still want to do this? Well, consider that the 2015 FCC decision exempted dial-up ISPs (or BBS'es, if you stretch things, especially if they route outside their local network) from the Net Neutrality regulations, some of
    which were both onerous, and offensive to 1st amendment sensibilities. May or may not be a moot point now, but it could come up again easily enough.

    Beyond that, analog is still a good choice for some applications and some media.






    Greetings, James Digriz
    email: jbdigriz@bbs.dragonsweb.org

    --- MBSE BBS v1.0.7.4 (GNU/Linux-x86_64)
    * Origin: DragonsWeb Labs (1:123/755)
  • From James Digriz@1:123/755 to Richard Menedetter on Fri Apr 6 07:57:34 2018
    Richard Menedetter wrote to James Digriz:
    Hi James!

    04 Apr 2018 17:11, from James Digriz -> All:

    Since I've just gotten back into BBS'ing and Fidonet, I thought I'd get some perspectives from folks on analog modems, the PSTN,
    and dial-up BBS'ing.

    From my point of view analog modems, PSTN and BBSes are completely irrelevant nowadays.
    There seem to be some people who, for whatever reason, still have BBSes, but all that I know use IP communication like SSH or (jikes :( ) telnet.

    CU, Ricsi

    --- GoldED+/LNX
    * Origin: Dogs come when you call. Cats have answering machines. (2:310/31)


    Hi Richard. Yes, it seems irrelevant, yes. Maybe not to a 711 user, or somebody
    maintaining a network of field data sensors, legacy alarm systems, etc, but to
    most people, it probably is. And I guess that's my real concern. I'm just suspicious of monocultures. Much has been made in recent years of the possible effects of a natural or man-made EMP event for instance. Fiber is less vulnerable there, but then it doesn't run off batteries, either. More to the point,
    in my opinion, there need to be infrastructure alternatives to the Panopticon. Even the NSA agrees. Or it did in 2003, anyway. Perhaps it was pre-Patriot Act,
    pre-Cheney et al. inertia, or not, but a significant part of V.150.1 addressed
    the need for *secure* communications, apparently at the US DoD's behest.


    Greetings, James Digriz
    email: jbdigriz@bbs.dragonsweb.org

    --- MBSE BBS v1.0.7.4 (GNU/Linux-x86_64)
    * Origin: DragonsWeb Labs (1:123/755)
  • From mark lewis@1:3634/12.73 to James Digriz on Fri Apr 6 17:02:18 2018

    On 2018 Apr 06 07:35:04, you wrote to me:

    I probably wasn't clear enough, though.

    maybe... i thought i understood what you were trying to say but i guess not...

    The problem I'm looking at is going from serial connections to analog
    and back, on both ends, over the PSTN, when there is no copper,
    analog, or TDM. Where there is no POTS, only fiber, only IP data networking underlying everything. It's not clear to me that such use
    of voice phone lines will be univerally available.

    AHHH! ok... yeah, you can do this but you will have to deal with the problem of
    the codecs that the telco's use for encoding the voice traffic over the network... i don't know their names of numbers... that's all confusing for the most part... i know that in some cases, it works and works well aside from the network protocol paradigm that allows for packets to travel via different paths... some have been successful with several of the available VoIP products... others have not... some can only get 9600 while others may see 19200 or better... it really depends on the network, the codecs and QOS or similar that may be in play...

    With or without the "repeal" of "Net Neutrality", the economics appear
    to disencentive support for analog data.

    i think that's a separate thing, altogether... other than maybe restricting VoIP, it should not get in the way...

    )\/(ark

    Always Mount a Scratch Monkey
    Do you manage your own servers? If you are not running an IDS/IPS yer doin' it wrong...
    ... For Sale: dining table with two legs and six toes.
    ---
    * Origin: (1:3634/12.73)