[nos-bbs] agwpe/flexnet interfaces, JNOS for Windows, and so on ..

Bill Vodall wa7nwp at gmail.com
Thu Dec 15 21:04:49 EST 2011

Already 8 days since Maiko sent this note - I'm either getting slower
or working harder -- or both.

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 1:37 PM, Maiko Langelaar <maiko at pcs.mb.ca> wrote:
> Hi Bill,
>> it would be useful to have client and server support for
>> the AGWPE TCP interface in JNOS ....
> Question : How many people would run AGWPE on one PC and JNOS on an
>           other PC (in linux) ? Unless that other PC was running in
>           a virtual box environment (even more unlikely).

My use case for this is a matter of sharing applications and RF ports
(essentially but not always a TNC).   There are still 6 or more active
(somewhat) packet channels in the area that I'd like to have a
presence on.  Similarly I have multiple clients to be accessing these
systems:  JNOS (first of course),  Linux:AX25 on a couple,  BPQ32 node
stack on some others and probably a couple more that don't come
immediately to mind.

In addition to the full time home stations I'm thinking of having
mobile (the laptop, etc) stations that I'd like to use on the home
TNC's when out and about.

This can be handled somewhat with AXIP - but that's tricky, not always
supported and adds another layer (or two - Netrom) on the system.

Also this is no longer just an AGWPE on 'Windows' issue.  We now have
LDSPED  (http://www.on7lds.net/ldsped/ldsped1.00/index.html)   for
Linux allowing us to share the Linux AX25 ports with remote systems.
(Which reminds me, I have to plant a seed of an idea suggesting that
adding a TCP-AGW client interface on the existing sound modem source
would allow creating AX25 ports in Linux from remote AGWPE TNC's..)

Outside of AXIP and some platform dependent tools like NETCAT, the
AGWPE system and protocol is the standard for AX25 access on TCP
between computers.

>  I have run a rudamentary WINMOR interface that allows JNOS on a linux
>  box to interface via IP to a WINMOR modem on a windows PC. I have never
>  received any feedback from anyone about even trying it or using it.

Sorry about that.  I always wanted to try JNOS with WINMOR but the old
"too many projects" got in the way.

The new UZ7HO sound card packet modem is similar to WINMOR but more
'packety' so should be more interesting with a system like JNOS.  It's
getting good reviews and is giving a small kick to the packet on HF


Note the sole interface to UZ7HO is the AGWPE protocol.

> So one may conclude I would run into a similar situation with AGWPE.

Wish I could promise lots of activity but we all know how slow things
in Ham Radio these days.

>> We can use it now with BPQ32 as a shim on the windows machine
> Question: Can you explain how JNOS talks with BPQ32 at this time ?

In a Windows only environment, I believe BPQ32 has a 32 to 16 bit DLL
that creates an interface JNOS attaches.   I'll post the docs when I
find it.

BPQ32 currently has client and server ports for AGWPE protocol...


AXUDP - http://ohiopacket.org/index.php/Linking_JNOS_to_BPQ32

> The big *problem* I guess is that JNOS for windows is not available
> like it is for DOS and Linux, and Mac some time ago.

The 16bit'ism and 640K memory space of existing DOS JNOS is a real
challenge.   Personally I don't care about the Windows GUI but would
love to have a 32bit native JNOS application running.   I don't know
if anybody has tried, but the Mingw compiler platform might be a
shortcut to getting this running.

 I really
> would like to port JNOS to native windows in it's entirety (I have wanted
> to do this for some time, using the FlexNet and AGWPE api libraries, which
> if you think about it would save me the trouble of having to write ANY
> device drivers, since no doubt the 3rd party packages probably could do
> a much better job then I could ever do in the time I have).

... that's the AGWPE client side I'm wishing for...

> Curses is
> not mandatory for JNOS to work, technically a windows version of JNOS
> could very well have just a browser interface for any consoles.

Right.   The GUI of the future (today) is a browser interface.  The
more I think about this the more I want to bring the TNOS web browser
over to JNOS...

> So what does one do ? You really think people would want a native windows
> version of JNOS ? What would it offer to the windows user that they don't
> have already ?

Having a 32 bit application is the feature that will make the
difference ...    (Hmmm - AmigaNOS had windows 20 years ago...)

> I would do it just for the sake of it being a worthwhile *coding* challenge,
> which was the original motivation for my prototype a few years ago. I like
> very much the idea of using APIs like FlexNet (which I used when I did my
> KLMproxy project quite a few years ago). I so like the idea of not having
> to worry about writing TNC and other drivers when these APIs do it for me,
> and they do such a great job.

Isn't FlexNet a higher level system than the TNC level AGWPE?    There
is already a shim between the two..


> I'll take it further. It would be a dream come true almost to have the
> flexnet guys tell me they want someone to maintain the API, and that would
> give me alot more flexibility in bringing out a version of JNOS for windows.
> But I digress ..

And I have to get back to work for a few more minutes...   Supporting
Linux systems that are past their support life is a challenge...

> Regards,
> Maiko Langelaar / VE4KLM

Bill, WA7NWP

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