ACRPC.NET

My Vintage Computer Virtual Museum and blog page.

Site has been rebuilt, and then some… —

We’ve recovered all the lost content, and even added a few more pages that we’d not gotten around to prior to loosing our hosting.  We’ve still not heard a peep from our former webhost, and his site is still dark all these months later.

Self hosting from our Raspberry Pi has actually been working quite well, though with less bandwidth obviously media content is not loading as fast as it once did, but it’s tolerable.  We’ll definitely be upgrading our internet service the second that we’re able to get a connection with more than 20mbps upstream, unfortunately we’re about 8 blocks away from being able to get symmetrical gigabit “GPON” service 🙁


Working on rebuilding the site. —

This all started on July 31st 2020 when our former webhost (azcappy.com) went dark along with all our content, we’ve restored some content, but the backups were older than we’d hoped, the most recent backup from January 2019 had the wrong database file, so we had to restore the database back to October 2019.

I will be working on recreating the lost pages by hand, though if azcappy ever comes back online I should be able to log in there and grab all of the most current content.

We’re self-hosting this site from a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 4GB, on our 20mbps (upstream) VDSL2 connection, so we are somewhat bandwidth limited now. Our previous webhost had pretty strict CPU and memory constraints on our plan, so this Pi is quite a bit faster.  Due to resource constraints we had resorted to using page caching plugin for quick page loads previously, now the Pi can build/render content dynamically just as fast as the previous page caching did.


Spent the weekend with Garrett of Bithistory.org for some geeky fun. —

My friend Ryan P and I picked up a few things for our collections over the past weekend from my friend Garrett’s BitHistory.org warehouse. The highlights being a nice Tandy 1000TX, a Commodore Amiga 2000, an IBM 5153 CGA monitor, some accessories (KB/Mice), some misc PC ISA/PCI cards, and finally a pink GTE Starlite phone for my wife’s living room end table.


Raspberry Pi 3B+ Dial-up server. —

Finally got my Raspberry Pi 3 all configured to replace my old outdated power-hog Pentium 4 dial-up server. It’s running Raspbian Buster, with mgetty configured to answer the modems. I have a multi-port USB>RS232 adapter that the 4x 56k USR Modems are connected to. The Pi and RS232 adapter are both mounted on the plywood shop wall. My Avaya Definity PBX provides the dialtone and ringing, there’s a hunt group to dial into for all the modems.


Network and Telecommunications upgrades —

Picked up four inexpensive 48-port gigabit layer-3 switches (Nortel/Avaya 5510-48T) to upgrade my network infrastructure, one is acting as the backbone switch in the house, and the three others (office, workshop, and entertainment center) are linked to it with dual gigabit LACP links.

Also I have pretty well completed integration of the new Avaya Definity G3 system.  It’s now running all the telephones in my home and workshop.  I’m utilizing 2x (out of 4x) Cat6 lines to provide 8 extensions to the house, and a pre-existing two pair cable to extend my Centurylink CO trunk, and “Door Phone” call-box CO trunk to the Definity from the house.  I am definitely outgrowing the cabling capacity to the house from the workshop, I need to add at least one more Cat6 cable, though I am toying with the idea of running a 25-pair cat3 telecom cable, then I could reclaim the 2x Cat6 cables I’m using, and upgrade to 4 connection LACP data link to the workshop.


Picked up a Teletype model 43 for the museum. —

I found this Teletype for sale in an antique store in Duluth, Minnesota.

Seems to function in local mode, I need to get the cabling figured out and try to get it working in online mode.

UPDATE: 9/2018: I was able to get this talking to a PC with the right combination of cables and null modem adapter, it was sending/receiving at 300baud.  However I need to source a ribbon for this, the old one is dried up, and fell apart when I tried to open it up to re-ink it.


I’ve tidied up some of the telecom/network cabling. —

I spent some time last weekend cleaning up the cabling mess for our telephones and dialup server, now it’s not such a disaster.  I ran all the telephone/modem connections to a 66 block rather than just hanging it all off the front of the phone switch.

  • 12 of the analog phone lines off the PBX switch run into my house (via 3 of the 4 CAT5 cables in my conduit) for my various vintage telephones throughout the house.
  • 4 lines are dedicated to the dialup modem server (via a call group).
  • 4 more to my workbench for telephone/modem testing.
  • 4 more to my PC display wall for the various PCs and terminals to dial into my modem server.

Network wise

  • The final CAT5 cable from the house feeds into a 5-port gigabit switch mounted below the PBX, that switch then feeds
    1. Netgear 16-port gigabit switch on the workbench
    2. Cisco 24-port 10/100 switch (with gigabit uplink) for the PC display wall
    3. CCTV security camera
    4. Netgear 600N wireless AP and 4-port 10/100 switch which feeds
      1. The Dial-up PC
      2. a 2nd CCTV security camera
      3. Linksys PAP2 SIP Analog Telephone Adapter that feeds dial-tone from my Asterisk PBX in the house to the AT&T Merlin Legend PBX here.

Recently won an auction for a 1969 Carterfone modem —

This is now the single oldest piece of computer gear that I own, you can check out the page dedicated to it, which will be updated as I get it working, and learn more about it, but for now here’s a preview of the photos.


My trip to the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, WA —

Here’s the photos from my trip to the Living Computer Museum.