[nos-bbs] self-intro and pointer help...

Michael Fox - N6MEF n6mef at mefox.org
Mon Jul 10 02:19:40 EDT 2017



As the song goes, “Welcome to the jungle.”


A few suggestions:


For JNOS, you’ll want a copy of “NOSintro – TCP/IP over Packet Radio – An Introduction to the KA9Q Network Operating System”, by Ian Wade, G3NRW.  You can find used copies on Amazon or else Ian has posted a scanned version online in PDF format (http://g3nrw.net/NOSintro/).  A couple of the pages are messed up in the scan, but it’s readable.  It’s really the bible for JNOS.  For me, the most important page is the diagram on p144 because it shows all of the message flows and how each part of JNOS touches the message.


The BBS specification is important for understanding how BBSs talk to each other.



The FBB protocol spec is important for understanding compressed, binary forwarding.



If you want to carry bulletins, you’ll need to know the distributions in use in your area so you can set up the JNOS rewrite file properly.  Perhaps someone in your state can help.  As an example, this web page covers the distributions in use in my neck of the woods (silicon valley):



Our county web page for packet may contain info that is helpful to you.  It contains links to lots of info, including our training classes.  A lot of the training and documentation is specific to our local operational procedures.  And it’s mostly targeted at end users, not sysops.  But there’s bound to be something there that’s helpful.



Finally, you should really consider running on Linux.  I’m not a Linux fan boy by any means.  I curse it daily.  But, after all, a BBS is a server-type environment, not an end-user client.  The ability to manage scripting, security, and other operations is invaluable.  And if you want to connect to a modern mail gateway, like Postfix, you’ll definitely want Linux.  A Windows person will find the Ubuntu Desktop version fairly easy to navigate.  Whether you prefer published books or websites, there are plenty available for Ubuntu. 


Hope that helps.





From: nos-bbs [mailto:nos-bbs-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of bill - K7WXW
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2017 12:08 PM
To: nos-bbs at tapr.org
Subject: [nos-bbs] self-intro and pointer help...


GM all,


First of all... this is long. Completely understand if it is TL;DR...


I am new to the list. As you all probably know, the packet radio network around Portland has fallen apart, but I am really interested in packet modes, so I am going to roll my own, albeit small, version.  I am starting from scratch.


While I am trained as a EE, and have done a fair amount of networking and digital stuff over the years, this is a whole new area for me.  I built a winlink/APRS capable VHF station around a signalink soundcard, which works, and I am learning a little about combination of RF and packet technologies from that. I will build winlink and APRS gateways next, which should teach me more. 


My goal, however is to build a more reliable, old-fashioned VHF packet gateway with mailboxes, a BBS and the like. And then get some other people to use it then build them, too.  To that end, I have acquired and repaired a PK-232MBX and a Kenwood 2 meter transceiver for my TNC/radio combination.  Since I want to make small steps, I am not going to dive into Pi/Linux quite yet and so will work in Windows. 


And here is where I get overwhelmed... I've found websites and instructions that give "cookbook" approaches to getting a packet gateway going or very high level overviews of packet but little that really steps through the various protocols, what the various pieces of software do, or how to actually maintain a system and be a sysop. The books available in the 90s are out of print and so far, impossible to find.  And there aren't any packet gurus in my neighborhood.  Most of the stuff you all talk about here is, unfortunately, gibberish to my untrained ears. 


So... where to start? websites or books that I might find helpfu? Youtube videos?  Wizened packet gurus lurking in the Cascade range? What's a beginner to do?


73 de bill K7WXW


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