Ok, so I finally did it. Back in 2011 when OS X Lion debuted I went looking for a good way to get back into BBSing. I have missed the long hours spent in front of the keyboard trying to get a game mod working on my board. Funny thing is, those were fun times. But I didn’t see it that way when I was doing it. In fact as I recall I think I felt like I was trying to get a high score in the game of ‘Blood Pressure’ back then. Of course when you are 16 you don’t care about silly little things like cardiac arrest.

Anyway, I had just bought my first Mac after the family PC died. I was just learning about OS X and had installed Lion. Lion turned out to be a mess. But that’s a WHOLE other post. I had been trying to figure out why Lion kept crashing so when I downloaded CGTerm  and it wouldn’t work I was mad but I had bigger fish to fry. After I fixed what Apple broke, I went to Google to find the answer to my CGTerm problem. Doesn’t Google have all of the answers for everything? And with Apple being so popular I knew for sure someone had figured out the black magic needed to run run this or connect to a BBS from my Mac. But alas it was not to be.

As it turns out, the only version I was able to find that was compiled was for PowerPC. So I decided to figure out how to compile it for the Mac. But that turned out harder then making Lion work as it should. So I did what any good IT person does, I gave up. Well that’s not entirely true. I just turned my attention to getting Color64 to run in an emulator. Which I was mostly successful at.

Eventually I decided I didn’t have enough quests er I mean open projects. I needed at least one more. So I decided I would learn to program iOS. I couldn’t get websites to run the way a giant team with millions of dollars and years of experience to so I figured programming for the phone natively would be easier right? Well sort of….

I had just enough knowledge to cause some real damage so I decided to throw the source code into XCode to see what I got. After messing with the code a ton I was finally able to get something that could be placed in the Application folder and wouldn’t crash on launch. It doesn’t have a native installer because I don’t have the $99 a year per platform Apple needs to keep from going bankrupt. But if you download the zip file and follow the instructions at the beginning of the Read Me file you should be able to start dialing BBS’s.

I wasn’t able to test upload and download and I had to make some changes to the source so it wasn’t so confusing when you saved .SEQ files. And it appears that the person that programmed this originally has abandoned it as it was out of date in 2011 and the website still has some failed links. But I updated the default configuration file to include the address of real working BBS’s and tested them all. So if you have any questions, feel free to email me. I would be happy to help where I can so we can get more people using these BBS’s. One day I hope I can get a terminal program going for iOS.

Just in case it wasn’t clear from this posts title but this compile should run on any system 10.9 or greater. It would work on 10.7 but I couldn’t force it go below 10.9. And besides, who is running anything earlier the n 10.9 now anyway? Now if only I could get Nuke ‘Em running again……

UPDATE (2-9-2015): Zip file was removed. In it’s place is a disk image file with CGTerm v 1.8. Download the DMG file and open. Then move CGTerm.app over the link to your Applications folder. Also be sure to move the SDL.Framework folder to link to your Library/Frameworks folder. See my post on fixing bugs in CGTerm for more information on changes made to v 1.8 and the source code for the changes.

UPDATE (3-7-2019): Moved the servers and broke the links. Sorry about that. Thanks to the Sysop over at Color64.com for bringing this to my attention.


8 Responses to “CGTerm for OS X 10.9”
  1. Avatar ultramagnus_tcv says:


    I would love to talk to you more fully about this and a few of your other projects. A friend and I are putting together a podcast about BBSs but I’d mostly like to ask you about your experiences with getting CGTerm to work. Can you email me? (I presume you can see my email.)

  2. Avatar bigmanfrank says:

    any news on getting a file fix with transfering files working. I has been a great pain getting this work in VICE and we need a working version again.
    Please help

    • jnichols jnichols says:

      No, I am afraid my personal life was thrown in a little bit of an upheaval shortly after I posted that. But knowing that it matters to other might be just what I need. I should maybe post the project on Github and work more on fixing that part. Thank you for the comment about this.

  3. Avatar bigmanfrank says:

    It matters! OSX support for RETROing is very small, almost nil.
    So for me, the phonebook bug is not a big issue, its the transferring that is causing alot of problems especailly when files are located on a BBS and not online, forcing you to be RETRO.

  4. Avatar bigmanfrank says:

    I had a friend look at this. I asked him compile 1.7b2 and the transfer didnt. We both looked at the code and 1.7b2 and 1.8 and qoute:

    “The default name for xfer_tempdlname is “download.tmp”. It will attempt to create that file in whatever directory you launch the program from. So if you launch it from FInder, I don’t know where it will attempt to create it.

    Copy file to /usr/local/bin/ Try opening a command prompt and make sure it is in your home directory. Then run /usr/local/bin/cgterm Then try the file transfer. It *should* work because you working directory would be your home dir where you have write permission.”

    Safe to say, this works! So i hope this helps you in fixing the next release.

    • Avatar bigmanfrank says:

      Phonebook is saved as hidden file “.cgtermrc” in /users/[username]/

      Inside flie looks like:

      #keyboard = us.kbd
      #zoom = 2
      #fullscreen = no
      columns = 40
      #localecho = no
      #senddelay = 5
      #recvdelay = 0
      #reconnect = 0
      #logfile =
      #host =
      #port =
      #sound = yes
      #debug = no
      #xferdir =
      #debug = no
      bookmark = 64 Vintage Remix, 64vintageremixbbs.dyndns.org, 6400
      bookmark = Particles! BBS, particlesbbs.hopto.org, 6400
      bookmark = Anarchy Underground, aubbs.dyndns.org, 23
      bookmark = Borderline, borderlinebbs.dyndns.org, 6400
      bookmark = CarrierSync II BBS!, carriersync2.thruhere.net, 6912
      bookmark = The Hidden, the-hidden.hopto.org
      bookmark = Eaglewing BBS, eaglewing1962.dyndns.org, 23
      bookmark = Scorp’s Portal, scorp.us.to, 23
      bookmark = Riktronics BBS, rkbbs.net

  5. jnichols jnichols says:

    I haven’t had a chance to try it, but I left the phone book file as I saw it. So you should be able to uncomment the xferdir command and point it to whatever directory you want. That way you don’t have to move the application to get it to save or upload a file from your home directory.

  6. Avatar bigmanfrank says:

    Any Chance at looking at cgterm for osx catalina. it works but every time you try to receive a file it give a error message of “cant create tempfile!” which is download.tmp. I have tried editing the ,cgtermrc and moving the app to different locations but still the same result.

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