BBS on iOS – Finally!

BBS, Commodore 64, iOS, Mac No Comments »

Is anyone still here? I doubt it. I haven’t had anything to post for quite some time. I used to have down time at work where I was able to port and update CGTerm. As Windows and MacOS moved on though, I didn’t have the time to make the changes needed for CGTerm to keep up. I eventually decided that moving to a website based model would work best.

The problem with the website based model is the back-end needed to translate Telnet into Websocket and back again. I was not sure how well my server could handle it and opening a port up from a web server hosted in a home is not for the faint of heart. I also couldn’t figure out how to keep a Color64 BBS running in emulation for me to test. So I haven’t worked on this model much.

Enter this weekend. I had done searches in the App Store for things like Commodore and C64 and last week Emulator. There used to be an excellent Commodore emulator in the App Store years ago but was not maintained and I think Apple changed the rules so the app was taken down. I can’t remember why, but I started searching for a program called C64 Paint. The application was not available in my region but scrolling down I found the Muffin Term app for iOS and MacOS.

This app does terminal emulation for PETSCII (So I can call my beloved Color64 again!), ANSI for PC boards (are there any out there? Didn’t that get replaced with this World Wide Web thing I keep hearing about?) and ATASCII for those Atari BBS’s. I am hoping that I can find an Atari BBS to call. I had no idea that Atari had BBS software. My parents sheltered me from all of the “other” formats out there. And thank goodness too. Imagine if I had gotten locked into that fruit company. They aren’t still around are they?

The app has different modem icons you can choose from. Very classy. And when I typed atdt the app gave me a dial tone. I didn’t try and dial anything but I wonder if it also gives the negotiation tones? It also takes advantage of external keyboards, syncs your phone book to the cloud, uses pinch and swipe to zoom in and move around, can lock in at different speeds so that art is “played” at the right speed, and keeps track of your number of calls and time spent on the board. Once I get over my joy at being able to do this again, maybe I will write another post going more in depth. This makes me wish I could port it to PC as well. It’s that good.

Atari Logo for iPhone 5/s Lock Screen

Atari 2600, iOS No Comments »

After seeing a post by the Retroist awhile ago I promptly forgot the link and went on my way. Later, when I was ready to change my wallpaper, I went back to his site to find this post. I was able to page through the many listings for ‘Wallpaper’ on his site to find this post. Along the way I found a different post that linked to a really cool image of the Atari logo. When I went to add this image to my home screen I found out it isn’t really easy to “Move and Scale” an image that doesn’t fit on the screen well. You can zoom in, but you can’t zoom out to get the entire image to fit on the screen. So I did a little looking and thanks to this website I was able to find out that I needed to make the image 744 X 1,392 pixels for the iPhone 5/c/s. With a little photoshop work I was able to make a pretty decent lock screen view of the logo. Maybe when I decide to change the home screen I will find either a good image of a “woody” 2600 or the stock joystick to fit under this logo. But until then, enjoy.


Thanks to Retro Justin @ for the original image.

P.S. To get this on your lock screen just open this link in Safari on your phone, and using the Share button Save Image. Then open Photos and choose Albums at the bottom and select Camera Roll. From there view your picture and press the Share button again and at the bottom select Use as Wallpaper. Then just select Set and Set Lock Screen and you are all done.

Apple hates retro computers

Arcade Games, Commodore 64, iOS, Video Games No Comments »

That’s probably not entirely true. But thanks to the 8.3 update to iOS we either have to jailbreak our phones or go somewhere else for our retro gaming fixes on the go. At least that’s my interpretation. Prior to 8.3 there were two important apps on my iPhone that I could use to feel like a kid again.

Gridlee, which was yanked within hours of being posted on the app store, allowed me to play arcade games in an emulator called MAME. It was basically a MAME emulator that played one arcade game, Gridlee. From what I read the Gridlee game was licensed. I am not sure if MAME was. It’s attraction was that it was leaked that if you used an app like iFunbox you could drop Zip files with MAME compatible ROM’s in Gridlee’s Documents folder and voilà, Gridlee shows a MAME front end. And the best part of Gridlee, it was compatible with the iCade, also because I liked portability the iCade 8-Bitty. That was before Apple “figured out how to do controllers”. I wasn’t aware there were technical issues that needed to be solved. Console’s had solved those issues years ago. But you know Apple, they are the only ones that can bring great tech to the masses. Did you catch the sarcasm? Anywho, Apple yanked it from the App store but as long as iFunbox had access you were good to go. Even after Apple borked other ways apps downloaded content in iOS 8 Gridlee still worked. (My other favorite game Atari’s Greatest Hits which plays Atari 2600 games fell to this issue. To their credit, they did finally fix it. Thank you Atari!) Now it looks like Apple may have permanently taken access to that directory away. Making Gridlee unusable in any other iOS device I might get in the future.

The other casualty was Manomino’s C64 Emulator. It was a great little emulator based on Frodo for the iPhone. I kept waiting for an iPad version but sadly development stopped and due to licensing hassles it was eventually permanently pulled from the app store. I say permanently because it had been pulled once before. Apple didn’t like the fact that you could program BASIC on it. That capability was supposedly taken out. However, the version I have has the BASIC interpreter as a playable “game” in the library. And even without loading any games I can program in BASIC. With iFunbox you were able to load new games into the app and even add box art. I was even able to load and play “Impossible Mission”.

Alas, the days of playing Arcade and Commodore 64 games on the go appear to be over. Thanks a lot Apple. Well to be fair thanks should also go to the owners of Commodore and to all the content owners that refuse to do anything with their IP other then sue people who want to enjoy their creations. Even licensing it so that a game or group of games is only a buck or two has got to be a better way. So I leave you with the best parting words ever written:

“So long, and thanks for all the fish” – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


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