[vcf-midatlantic] WiFi RS-232 Internet Modem

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Sat Jun 17 12:16:28 EDT 2017

> but I really want to to be able to ssh from my Apple IIe 
> to any of my machines without having to serial tether the Apple IIe to 
> one of my Linux boxes.

Caution: this message may be boring to younger audiences.

This is not my technology, but I have interests in 20th C. serial in the 
21st century. After noodling the Web and Twitter, my impression is that 
this item seems to come available briefly, then get sold out; that may 
repeat or not. I'm not passing judgement, I'm simply reporting what I 

There's any number of WiFi dongles which are a little programmable and 
which accept serial trans/recieve, and have some other I/O bits. Neil 
Cherry works with ESP8266 type WiFi dongles, as part of his open IOT 
activities; he's reported on them in this list. This responds to the 
"want non-tehered serial" comment above.

I think I see one such dongle on this device, on a board that probably 
includes another processor and some RS-232 type level-converting. One 
could likely build one with an Arduino - some of them are WiFi without a 
shield. For fun, you could add a speaker to sound-out the wired-modem 
buzz-whirr connect sounds.

One challenge of vintage use of 21st century connection technology - 
WiFi, even USB/serial dongles - is how they manage both sides of the 
20th century transfer. Translation: USB dongles have hardware buffers 
(and software drivers) that screw up character processing and other 
delays, by old MS-DOS programs and old slow microprocessors. I don't 
know if the WiFi dongles have similar issues.

Here's a tech note I wrote recently, reportage on discussions about the 
above, in an on-line 1802 COSMAC forum. Many 1802 microcomputers were 
severely limited, even by mid-1970's standards. That's fine, it was a 
condition of the times.



Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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