Tag Archives: retro computing

Build a dial-up ISP server using a Raspberry Pi

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-dial-up-server/

Trying to connect an old, dial-up–compatible computer to modern-day broadband internet can be a chore. The new tutorial by Doge Microsystems walks you through the process of using a Raspberry Pi to bridge the gap.

The Sound of dial-up Internet

I was bored so I wanted to see if I could get free dial up internet so I found that NetZero still has free service so I put in the number and heard the glorious sound of the Dial-up. Remind me of years gone. Unfortunately I was not able to make a connection.

Dial-up internet

Ah, there really is nothing quite like it: listen to the sweet sound of dial-up internet in the video above and reminisce about the days of yore that you spent waiting for your computer to connect and trying to convince other members of your household to not use the landline for a few hours.

But older computers have fallen behind these times of ever faster broadband and ever more powerful processors, and getting your beloved vintage computer online isn’t as easy as it once was.

For one thing, does anyone even have a landline anymore?

Enter Doge Microsystems, who save the day with their Linux-based dial-up server, the perfect tool for connecting computers of yesteryear to today’s broadband using a Raspberry Pi.

Disclaimer: I’m going to pre-empt a specific topic of conversation in the comment section by declaring that, no, I don’t like the words ‘vintage’, ‘retro’, and yesteryear’ any more than you do. But we all need to accept that the times, they are a-changing, OK? We’re all in this together. Let’s continue.

Building a Raspberry Pi dial-in server

For the build, you’ll need a hardware modem — any model should work, as long as it presents as a serial device to the operating system. You’ll also need a Linux device such as a Raspberry Pi, a client device with a modem, and ‘some form of telephony connection to link the two modems’, described by Doge Microsystems as one of the following:

We need a way to connect our ISP modem to clients. There are many ways to approach this:

  • Use the actual PSTN (i.e. real phone lines)
  • Use a PBX to provide local connectivity
  • Build your own circuity (not covered here, as it would require extra configuration)
  • Build a fake PSTN using VoIP ATAs and a software PBX

I’ve gone with the fourth option. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Asterisk — a VoIP PBX — is configured on the dial-in server to accept connections from two SIP client accounts and route calls between them
  • A Linksys PAP2T ATA — which supports two phone lines — is set up as both of those SIP clients connected to the PBX
  • The ISP-side modem is connected to the first line, and the client device to the second line

Doge Microsystems explains how to set up everything, including the Linux device, on the wiki for the project. Have a look for yourself if you want to try out the dial-up server first-hand.

The sound of dial-up

For funsies, I asked our Twitter followers how they would write down the sound of a dial-up internet connection. Check them out.

Alex on Twitter

@Raspberry_Pi dialtone, (phone beeps), rachh racchh rachh rechhhhhhh reccchhhhhh rechhhh, DEE-DONG-DEE-DONG-DI, BachhhhhhhhhhhhBACHHHHBACHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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Build your own Commodore PET model 8032

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/build-commodore-pet-model-8032/

Build a mini version of one of history’s most iconic personal computers with Lorenzo ‘Tin Cat’ Herrera and his Commodore PET Mini, which is based on the Commodore PET model 8032.

Commodore PET Mini Retrowave intro

3D Print your own Commodore PET Mini retro computer with a Raspberry Pi and Retropie for retro gaming or retro emulation. Fully documented DIY project: https://commodorepetmini.com The Commodore PET is one of the most iconic-looking computer of the 70’s, it reminds us of an era of frenetic innovation, harsh competition and bold design choices that shaped the computer industry as we know it today.

Commodore PET — a (very) brief history

Presented to the world in 1977, the Commodore PET represents a truly iconic piece of computer history: it was the first personal computer sold to the general public. With a built-in keyboard, screen, and cassette deck, and an introductory price of US$795 — roughly $3287 today — it offered everything a home computer user needed. And it beat the Apple II to market by a few months, despite Jobs and Wozniak offering to sell their Apple II technology to Commodore in September 1976.

Commodore PET model 8032

Commodore was also the first company to license Microsoft’s 6502 BASIC, and in the 1980s the Commodore became a staple in many school classrooms, bringing about a surge in the numbers of future computer engineers — a few of which now work in the Raspberry Pi Trading office.

The Commodore PET model was discontinued in 1982, then resurrected briefly in 1986, before finally stepping aside to make way for the popular Commodore 128, 1571, and 1581 models.

Redesigning a mini PET

Based on the Commodore PET model 8032, Lorenzo Herrera’s 3D-printable remake allows users to fit an entire computer — the Raspberry Pi — inside a miniature iconic shell. Lorenzo designed this case to house a working screen, and once you connect the Pi to a Bluetooth keyboard, your Commodore PET Mini will be fully functional as well as stylish and cute as a button.



You’ll need access to a 3D printer to build your own — all parts are listed on the project’s website. You can also purchase them as a kit directly from Lorenzo if you want to save time on sourcing your own.

3D-printing the Commodore PET

To build your own Commodore PET Mini, start by visiting its official website. And if you don’t own a 3D printer, search online for your nearest maker space or 3D printing service to get the parts made.

We’re definitely going to be building our own here at Raspberry Pi, and if you build one for yourself, or use a Raspberry Pi in any iconic computer rebuild, let us know.

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