How to connect an old computer to the internet?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ComputerBuilder, Oct 11, 2017.

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  1. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    Hello friends,

    I am currently building a computer from scratch using basic logic IC's, and this includes the CPU and the rest of the computer, using wirewrap boards - solid construction.

    I am interested in connecting this machine to the internet when it's finished, but I have no idea how to actually do this.

    The CPU will run at around 5MHz, so I am looking for text-based internet only at first. What would be the best option? Telnet? What are the possibilities for connecting it to the internet?

    What I am looking for is for people to come and visit the computer, leave messages, and download files. How can this be achieved in the simplest way?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Reloadron

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    Jan 15, 2015
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    While not my forte my best guess is using a telephone line modem. You make no mention of any plan for an OS (Operating System)? Assuming you can write your own software your system could be called into using a dial up system. Possibly communication could be done using something like hyper terminal of years gone by. Once you start getting into the "Internet" thing you need a static IP (Internet Protocol) address which is a static and not dynamic IP address. Some of the earliest systems I worked with involved using telephony modems and calling phone numbers. It was strictly a computer to computer affair. Based on your post you are looking at early 1980s technology, something like Windows 3.1 maybe. The early 80286 systems had around a 6 MHz clock I think, I really don't know. Sounds like you are trying to duplicate a syatem which has not been around for about 30 years.

    Ron
     
  3. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    A like ESP8266 module will accept/return AT commands from a serial connection (your computer). And relay those to wifi.
     
  4. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    That's the best way. A few TTL level serial ports (uart and spi) on the computer is all you need. SPI would be my preference for speed, efficiency and simplicity on the basic logic IC DIY end using shift registers to a compatible module
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Externet

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    Connect to the internet or connect to an internet modem ?

    What is the approach to achieve internet protocol ?
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

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    Back in the day, computers had serial ports for a modem or printer. (There we’re also parallel ports.) As networking became common, the computer hardware supported a slot into which you could insert a network interface card. With an Ethernet port, you could attach to any modern router. But I agree that a serial port is the older and easier solution.
     
  7. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    Hello friends,

    I don't get it. If anyone could get down to the actual physicality of the process I would appreciate.

    My computer has serial ports and that's all I will have for connecting to the outside world.

    Would it be possible to connect my computer to a dial up modem or something via the serial ports?

    Is it possible to use a dial up modem today ?

    Another solution would be to use a wireless card, connected to a serial port, and then the rest would be a TCP/IP software stack? Which I don't know how to do.

    Could anyone explain to me in simple terms, the step by step process to doing this? For example, what do I need to connect to my serial ports, and then how to proceed from there?

    Thank you a lot everyone.
     
  8. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    That's what I was thinking. I seen these cheap wireless cards around and I think Bill Buzbee's Magic-1 homebrew cpu uses that.

    Would I connect that to a serial port, and then the rest would be just software? I think the software stack is provided with the ESP8266 card isn't it?

    However......however..... my computer will not run a standard OS, like minix for example. It cannot support this because it is simpler than Minix needs.

    So would I be able to run the provided software without a standard OS? I will write my own OS, but it will be simpler than Minix for example.
     
  9. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    The ESP8266 is a microcontroller and can do all that is needed to serve or fetch a webpage. All you have to do is push some old-school AT commands through a serial connection. Then, after it does what it does, it will feed info (text) back to your “computer” through the serial connection.
     
  10. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    You don't have an OS yet but you are asking about getting connected to the internet???

    Talk about putting the cart before the horse. ;)
     
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  11. spinnaker

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    The question is. Where do you find a dialup connection anymore? DO they still exist?
     
  12. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    How do you put a horse and buggy on to the autobahn, freeway, motorway?
     
  13. GopherT

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    The ESP8266 accepts the AT commands directly and converts those commands to WIFI commands. It would be something like a
    - user at a remote computer pings the an HTML page served by the 8622 connected to the OPs computer.
    - user enters a line of text “hello, Store my name on your little computer”
    - The 8266 transfers the text to the little computer through AT commands/serial transfer
    - the 8266 could then grab a text file from the little computer and send it back to the remote user to say, “ thank you”

    The ESP8266 needs to be programmed to do all of this, it is not a plug and play solution.

    The old computer is not needed the ESP 8266 is a stand alone device if needed. It can store the text files and everything.
     
  14. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    "Computer" ? It is a computer. There's no need for quotes.
     
  15. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    How about you mind your own schedule and business ?
     
  16. GopherT

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    So it my programmable calculator. I also call that a “computer”.
     
  17. ComputerBuilder

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 3, 2017
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    And I call you a retard. How about that ?
     
  18. KeepItSimpleStupid

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    Mar 4, 2014
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    If everything would have went well, I should have had a free PPP connection, now.

    So, you could set up a machine as a PPPOE (PPP Over Ethernet) server. http://www.howtodoityourself.org/pppoe-server-how-to-do-it-yourself.html At least it's a serial port way of connecting to the Internet.

    The closest i ever did was modify a Mac classic modem script to use the modem in my Motorola Razer Cell Phone at the time. It was really coo to be able to use the phone as essentially a dial-up modem. Although I never did it, you could even conceivable FAX using the modem in the phone.

    On your computer end, you would have to implement the PPP protocal.

    There was a text based browser for Linux/unix called Lynx. Because of https:, that usually doesn;t work anymore.

    Where I worked, there was serial access to a telnet server, but the security protocals in place removed that. I was able to connect to a unix box with a dumb terminal and a modem.

    I wouldn't call telnet connection to the Internet, but hey.
     
  19. GopherT

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    It depends, was that ‘retard’ or ‘ “retard” ‘
     
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  20. GopherT

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    Send a PM directly to @jrap. I’m sure you’ll get immediate satisfaction and your communications with @MrChips will be severed immediately.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2017
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