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Thread: VMWare & PCBoard 15.22
 • jtc
Total Posts: 1
Member of 0 BBSs
VMWare & PCBoard 15.22
Posted: 5/7/2012 4:28:41 AM

used to run a BBS back in the 90's for a few years. Came across the backups on a really old CD. I remember toying around with this thing before but that was when I could run PCBOARDM.EXE on windows without getting error messages. Was relatively easy to set up telnet access then, it even worked.

What about now though? I'm on a 64-bit Windows 7 system. Only way to run PCBoard is through a virtual machine (DOSBox works sure, but I think it won't cut it if you actually want people to be able to connect to you) so I've been trying to get the thing to work on VMWare, but no luck. Sure I can run the board software but no luck with getting telnet access to work. Been googling since yesterday and it seems that all the instructions are meant for "normal" systems, no virtual machines.

There's talk of netfoss and netserial, they'd probably do the trick. If I wasn't on VMWare.

Could you offer any helpful tips, or is this even possible?

Edit: forgot to mention that it's an MS-DOS 6.22 VM. Just occured to me that what if I tried it on a, say, Windows 95 VM?
 • Jay Farris
Total Posts: 4
Member of 1 BBSs
RE: VMWare & PCBoard 15.22
Posted: 3/19/2014 11:46:26 PM
I came across the SAME situtation as yourself finding an old system backup on CD and I run pcboard 15.3 also

this is an old post not sure if you are still interested.  but heres a quick reply.
1- you can run PCB on a VM.  use the 32bit Operating system version.  
2- you don't need netserial.    I paid the $25 for it while it works, if you use the "virtual" modem telnet feature here's the issue:  
      a. it's a REAL SYSTEM HOG.  when running nodes live. and even in standby.
      b.  you have to have a separate tcpip port for each node
      c.  no "node hunting" you have to use the eact node tcp port for each node to log in.
      d. it takes kinda long to connect.
 3- netfoss/net2bbs telnet works great with one minor issue of dropping callers (might be my end)
 4- gamesrv works also but I came across some bug with it keep starting node1 (need to look at it more) it have some good features too but it is noticablly slower than netfoss.   (both are free and works better than Netserial)
 5- DosBox works but has limits.   but it's great for "packaging it" and releasing as a single app

PM me if you need help

 • mvan le
Total Posts: 1
Member of 0 BBSs
RE: VMWare & PCBoard 15.22
Posted: 4/1/2016 12:57:12 PM

With regard to your statement Re: "2a. it's a REAL SYSTEM HOG. when running nodes live. and even in standby." - this is true because PCBoard is a real-time DOS application that does not work well on Windows. It does not give timeslices, and therefore the CPU goes to 100%. This problem is solved by running PCBoard in DOSBox.

I have found that NetSerial works well with PCBoard in DOSBox. NetSerial provides a better virtual modem than the one in DOSBox because the one in DOSBox does not fully support the Hayes command set. The commands for DCD (Data Carrier Detect) and DTR (Data Terminal Ready) are particularly important for a BBS.

Setting &C1 (DCD signal to indicate the true state of the remote carrier signal) and &D2 (get the modem to close an active connection and return to command mode when the DTR signal lowered) is not supported. Eg. as of DOSBox 0.74, the Status Window says the commands are unhandled:

Command sent to modem: ->AT&C1&D2<-

Modem: Unhandled command: &C1
Modem: Unhandled command: &D2
Modem response: OK

DOSBox can be configured to use NetSerial by specifying "directserial" as the device type in the DOSBox config file eg.:

serial1=directserial realport:COM1

I am running PCBoard 15.3/100 in DOSBox, in a Windows XP virtual machine guest, on a Windows 7 host using Oracle VirtualBox. Telnet with SyncTERM works Ok (ie. PCBoard receives an "ATA CONNECT 57600" string and properly passes the call to the BBS from its Call Waiting screen).

I have also used NetFoss, TelSrv and GameSrv successfully with other BBSes (eg. Maximus) but the problem with using them is that you lose a bit of the authentic feel of receiving carrier; especially if you want to use a frontend mailer like FrontDoor / BinkleyTerm and want the caller to "Press <ESC> twice for ..." :)

With NetSerial, each node must be dialed directly. However, the company that sells NetSerial (PC Micro) also provides other products: ModemServe and NetModem - which pool virtual modems and allows for the "node hunting" (or round-robin) you described.

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