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Reply 40 of 58, by drosse1meyer

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-01-19, 10:39:

I've only recently started networking my old stuff. It was a novelty at first to go BBSing from the 386, but the real purpose is for LAN file sharing, and I would not be without this functionality now!

The DOS machines run FTPSRV (mTCP) and the W98 machines run WarFTP, so I can file manage both from my main PC. The Windows machines have LAN access only, not internet. I'm also toying with EtherDFS so I can mount shares from an RPi server.

Agree, there is little point aside from the nostalgia factor of trying to get contemporary internet sites working on old hardware and browsers. Sure its fun to revisit netscape 3.0 or dos dial up BBS apps etc. However for me, the main purpose of networking older machines is to easily transfer files, games etc. FTP FTW!!

Reply 41 of 58, by Sphere478

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I’m building a k6 3+ on a p55xb2 (take two)
Back in the day I used it to record shows. It was the only computer that stayed on all the time (so that it could record)

I’ll probably use it for a daily use, web browsing and downloading computer as well as file managment. So it will probably stay on most of the time like it did back in the day.

Edit. Oh, 🤣 “offline” as in off internet, not turned off when not in use hahah.

My 98 partition will likely not have connectivity. But I’ll see. The linux and windows 7 will likely be on network.

🖥Craziest socket 7 build on a 430tx chipset
🖥Dual socket 7 build

Reply 42 of 58, by Gered

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I keep my retro machines hooked up to my home network, and they can access the internet, yes, but there is no point in doing so. The only reason I keep them hooked up on my home network is to make the transfer of files to/from them easier.

486DX2-66/16MB/S3 Trio32 VLB/SBPro2/GUS
P233 MMX/64MB/Voodoo2/Matrox/YMF719/GUS CD3
Duron 800/256MB/Savage4 Pro/SBLive (IN PROGRESS)
Toshiba 430CDT

Reply 43 of 58, by Bruninho

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With a Netscape and roytam1’s NSS patch to bring TLS 1.2, I can surf a good amount of websites on Windows 98. However I use it only when I know where is what I want to download or read.

for example, I can log into VOGONS, but CSS and JS does not work so well. Same for MSFN.

For retro networking to work, we need the return of low bandwidth websites versions. The ones used for when we had Motorola Startac phones, no iPhones. CNN.com has a LB website. LB needs to be a trend and I find it much better than using Bootstrap to make webdesign responsive.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

List of ALL Android vulnerabilities

Reply 44 of 58, by shamino

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Everything is online. The oldest OS I use semi-regularly is WinXP, but if my Win98 machine was hooked up right now, I'd plug it into the LAN without any hesitation or concern. It would be no more vulnerable than any of my other machines, which are equally hidden behind the same router.
The main danger IMO is web browsers, but not really if you stick to reputable (mainstream) web sites. Anyway a web browser is borderline useless on a machine that old, thanks to what those same modern mainstream web sites have turned into. I install NoScript to close the scripting exploits that web browsers provide, and by default it also includes a whitelist of the supposedly trustworthy sites. It doesn't make mainstream sites any more usable but it means you can browse the rest of the internet without the same fear as if scripts were running unrestricted.

I don't like automatic updates, even when I was running "supported" Windows versions I always had that turned off. Occasionally I'd run through the update procedure but that was very rare. My PCs usually were and are many years out of date on patches. I prefer to leave them as they are unless I have reason to believe a particular update will fix something that's broken.

I prefer to protect myself through user behavior, and being behind a router which inherently doesn't allow incoming connections. If I was hosting services to the internet on something then I'd worry more about it.

I've been infected twice, both in the early 2000s, and I know what I did wrong that caused it each time. Those incidents had little to do with what particular version of Windows I was running, and antivirus wouldn't have been necessary if I had not done something dumb. So while I did use a memory resident antivirus for a short time after that, I soon abandoned it and don't miss it.
I keep an archive of installer files so I know that stuff is clean. If I download something new I scan it at Virustotal, but I might skip that if it came from somewhere I trust. Anything I haven't scanned yet or for some reason I'm not sure about is tagged as such, but generally if there's much doubt I'll just delete it.

Reply 45 of 58, by Shreddoc

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I can see the attraction of LAN for FTP purposes, but my DOS machines are all set up now, so there are only rarely files to transfer - and when there are, I can literally turn around in my chair and move an SD card between the fronts of two machines.

I'm fine with that. Got too much crap plugged in all over the place already! 🤣

The 100%-wireless-in-every-way People Of The Future will marvel at the reams of wiring we have all through our homes here in the First Internet Age.

Reply 46 of 58, by maximus

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I don't connect my Windows 98 and Windows XP systems to the LAN. Not really a security concern (nothing important on those systems anyways), it would just be extra work to set up and I don't see a compelling use case.

Flash drives work great for day-to-day file transfers to and from modern Internet-connected machines. Any large files that I access regularly I burn to CDs. Having a library of patches, drivers, demos, etc. within arm's reach at all times and accessible from any computer with a CD-ROM drive really rocks. And writable CDs are still dirt cheap.

I do occasionally get the itch to see if I can browse the web from an old machine, just for novelty. But that is always done with Linux. This was a lot more feasible ten years ago. Lots of software requires SSE2 these days, and most distros no longer offer 32-bit versions. Time was when you could run Ubuntu on a Pentium 4 1.8 with 1 GB of RAM and browse the web comfortably 😀

PCGames9505

Reply 48 of 58, by creepingnet

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No, my RetroRigs are online a lot. That's where the "net" in "Creepingnet" comes from - I've been doing this for over 20 years now. Granted, most of my stuff is so old it's no longer a target or really useful.

gerry wrote on 2021-01-18, 10:58:
I do. […]
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I do.

Out of all the machines I own i only allow a couple cheap 4 year old windows 10 machines and a 7 year old laptop with Linux to go online

all the others, even a couple that could still just about cope with the modern internet and have windows 7 - stay offline

it's mostly for security reasons, why take a risk with unsupported systems?

You're using a lot more at risk and far more impacted systems than I do. I'm running 1st generation Pentium (<100MHz) systems online at the newest. Everything else I have either runs WIndows 10, whatever the latest Mac OS is, and Linux Mint and updated frequently. Even then, with a fully updated modern system, in some ways those are less secure than a vintage system is because a vintage system lacks certain features and expansions, as well as a progressively smaller "Forest" for any nefarious software to hide in as you go back in the history of the computer.

Putting a vintage machine online is like putting a vintage car on the road and driving it. You can't just hop in it like your brand new Subaru, turn the keys, and let ABS, traction control, driver assist, and set the "Driving Mode" to "cruise" and it all works nicely. I liken things like tweaking and tuning mTCP or setting up your network to handle a Win9x box akin to standing in your driveway and tuning your carburator or setting the camber on the tires on the weekend. It's not something everyone here wants to do or can do, but it's something some of us enjoy. Some people will enjoy their "Sport Mode" in their modern car, some people will buy an old car and put an LS Swap in it (ie i7 in a 386 Chassis), and some people will just enjoy watching the tinkerer and his fine vintage car.

it's also for usability, just using a modern browser and looking at youtube seems to choke machines that can run doom3 happily

Nothing I have can run DOOM3, heck, a few can't even run DOOM 1 (8088, 286). There's a lot more to the internet than surfing YouTube and social media. To go back to the vintage car analogy, you can't "drive the car" the same way either. You don't have ABS, you don't have Traction Control, there is no ECU - your Carburator can stall your engine out on a steep incline - you'd better know what you are doing - and with vintage computers, it's no different. Basically, all that - dare I say it - computerized safety you have today is no longer there. Everything is manual and common-sense based. That's part of the fun. And of course, you're not going to take your underpowered 1967 BMW Isetta on the highway with 25HP, 3 gears, and what basically counts as a cookie jar on wheels - but it's fine for touring around in the parade or town. So most of my vintage stuff runs around AIM Phoenix, Telnet BBS, FTP servers online, old non-https websites, IRC, or other old/ancient/legacy services. You're not going to take a major road trip in a Model T Ford, nor are you going to go watch Adrian's Digital Basement on a Tandy 1000.

where the type of internet access might suit an old machine, it may as well be done on a new one

Well, with that line of thought, you can run all those games, including Doom 3, on a modern computer with a Virtual Machine or Compatibility Mode, so why should we even keep our vintage machines when we have DOSbox, PCEmu, or Oracle Virtualbox? The reasons are the same as why people choose to keep driving vintage cars - because of a mixture of nostalgia and the experience. Plus many of us, myself included, are tech inclined and find it relaxing, fun, or educational to tinker with old hardware and even make it useful again. I see myself as the cyber-form of the guy driving down the street with the nicely kept Ford Model "A" coupe or 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang convertible, and VOGONS, VcFed, and so on, are like the "Hot August Nights" car show for vintage PC enthusiasts.

And those of us that do don't always use our vintage hardware for everything. Day to day I use 2 different LInux boxes, a 2015 iMac, a brand new i7 laptop at work, when its more convenient or when some actual big work needs done. While I'm a huge fan of using vintage PC's for productivity, like how the writer for Game of Thrones uses a 286 with Wordstar 6 for writing his scripts, there's some things these old PC's can't do, that's where the modern silicon takes over. Car analogy - the guy with the 64 1/2 Mustang might drive it to work once in awhile when it's nice out, but you know most days he's probably driving something modern on the same roads because it's more convenient.

And some of it is for giggles and/or fun. Like showing up at starbucks with my vintage NEC VErsa M/75 tethered to my Cell Phone, decked out in 90's attire around halloween, to just play some games and have a sip of coffee - and the fun conversations it can stir up. It's also a good way to build contacts to obtain parts/hardware/etc and meet other fellow retro people. That's like going to a car show for me with my vintage PC. Heck, beore COVID, we even had some conventions like the ones VCFED holds that you could take your old stuff to to show off.

however having old machines on a home network completely protected from the online world, seems like a good idea

The amount of safety I think is a "hump" rather than a linear line - with the summit of the "hump" being machines within the 3-7 year old time frame - ie, all these old, updated, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 computers and older Mac OS machines that people are often forced to use because they can't afford to replace them. That's a totally different use-case than us here, that's like the person with the beat old car on your block that they can't afford to replace. They're doing what they can. It's a concern for security because these people are typically not technically inclined, not very high income, or don't see their computer as a priority or a security risk (lack of education). I'm the guy cruising by in his 94 1/2 NEC Versa Convertible on a sunny weekend, while the guy down the street with the backfiring 13' Dell Inspiron with sloppy IRQ steering, security rust holes, and a copy of Windows 7 with 220 pending updates for the last 12 years is the guy to look out for. Unfortunately, I Feel we are a bit under-represented and lumped in with the guy with the old Dell because our machines - in the mainstream eyes - are "oooooold". Once you get past the Pentium 4 generation, things get progressively safer through both a lack of system resources, outdated "Slow" ways of doing things, and operating systems with security holes that would host nothing useful, and are so old and slow nobody would waste their time going through it to get at a modern machine if it's even possible with proper security measures set.

There's actually some security provided by age as well. 486's and older can't get get attacked by the two big Intel CPU security holes from years ago because they don't have out of order execution. And because they require 32-bit code, that counts out the 286, 186, and 8086 and their relatives from both for sure. Most of the really nasty stuff out there today will not run on Win9x, Win3x, DOS, or old Mac OS, or require services from LInux that are no longer in use. Modern Windows 10 blocks using SMB 1.0 protocol for file shares - so no connectivity to older WIndows from 2000 on back without re-enabling it, and even then, you can only allow the new machine to reach out to the host if you really need to. And anything running in Pure DOS is running a single-user, single-tasking O/S that would require a DPMI of some kind to be able to multitask, and a lot of that memory stuff is so specific it'd be easier to use nefarious activities in DOS to temporarily crash the machine than actually do anything that does real damage.

But like I said, it's for fun, and a lot of it is common sense. Unless you're making Amazon transactions somehow on a 25+ year old PC - which is impossible with out using a Web Rendering Proxy (which then you're protected by a modern system), or storing your personal info on these old machines, and surfing wares and porn sites with them (which also likely would not work anyway) - you're pretty safe. And using DOS and having networking on only when you intend to use it makes it even more safe, because now you're a moving target, so even in the extremely unlikely event that a bot targeted your host or a hacker targeted you specifically somehow - they would have a hard time predicting when your machine is going online or offline.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 50 of 58, by creepingnet

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-01-27, 20:10:

The ONLY times any of my systems had been hacked was using MS Window NT based systems. Win2k and XP.

Both times I've been hacked it was not even my computer that was at fault, it was Microsoft owned Hotmail and recently someone TRIED to get into my MS Outlook account for home use, and had a major epic fail as I got notified as soon as they tried.

The only real virus I ever got was when an ex-girlfriend installed LImewire on my Windows 98 SE machine in 2003 to download some music. Then when I wiped and reloaded the machine and she had the audacity to whine that her Diablo savegame was gone.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 51 of 58, by Wanderer

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Hello,
here is something new for this thread... My main modern PC is running XP and 7/10 (switchable) and is always offline. For network needs, there is a small VM (4GB on disk) accessible from any OS, in which Internet browers, messengers etc. are installed, and connection is bridged to the hardware NIC where the cable is plugged. In the host, all NIC functions are disabled except the bridge protocol. Thus, the host stays offline, the user is online, and the guest OS along with the outer world are unaware of anything in the PC except the NIC and a shared folder.

I tried this scheme initially to solve a software license issue, and it turned out surprisingly convenient. A nice bonus is fully usable Internet in XP (via modern browsers and client apps in the guest). In the host system, there are no sudden software updates or update checks or overrides with latest version upon installation or anything alike. No concerns about privacy or online security. The VM can be reverted to a snapshot if something goes wrong or just for cleaning cookies.

It's barely on topic, but I thought this idea could be helpful to someone.

Reply 52 of 58, by WolverineDK

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I am thinking this option, just as an idea. Which I have mentioned before, run a linux powered machine as a firewall/router. And perhaps then also have a real time virus scanning engine running (with access to the network of retro computers) as an example ESET NOD32, and ESET does have an antivirus client for Linux, so that could protect the retro computer from being infected with viruses. And if you want to go the dos antivirus route. Then it is still easy to get either the last F-Prot dos antivirus , or Mcafee dos antivirus. Anyway those are my thoughts upon the matter.

Reply 53 of 58, by creepingnet

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WolverineDK wrote on 2021-01-28, 17:19:

I am thinking this option, just as an idea. Which I have mentioned before, run a linux powered machine as a firewall/router. And perhaps then also have a real time virus scanning engine running (with access to the network of retro computers) as an example ESET NOD32, and ESET does have an antivirus client for Linux, so that could protect the retro computer from being infected with viruses. And if you want to go the dos antivirus route. Then it is still easy to get either the last F-Prot dos antivirus , or Mcafee dos antivirus. Anyway those are my thoughts upon the matter.

Funny you mention that but that's how I get my NEC Versa on WiFi - sort of in a similar fashion.

I have a WiFi hotspot on my phone and I have it setup with no security and to only allow ONE machine on it at a time. On my older phone (Google Pixel 3) I was able to use it as a bridge to my home WiFi. The way I secure it is limiting the connections to ONE laptop because I'll only ever be using one device at a time. And when that Versa using my Aironet or Orinoco card is on there - it's on there - and there's nothing knocking it off - I tried with my modern Laptop......connection was rejected every time. I don't use this method very often though these days because it does make use of my 2GB Data Plan and I have a docking station with a Ethernet Card in it.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 54 of 58, by God Of Gaming

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All my retro rigs are connected, I don't really do any browsing but I do play online multiplayer on retro games, and also it's convenient to share game disc images over the network. I'm not worried about security - what will hackers even gain from attacking, steal my half-life savegames? Not like I keep any sensitive information on retro rigs 😀

1999 Dream PC project | 2001 Dream PC project | 2003 Dream PC project

Reply 55 of 58, by WolverineDK

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The reason why I made that post, is because in a former thread (which was locked of reasons I can not remember), there I mentioned basically the same solution to the online security stuff, when it came to old machines and retro etc. To me it just boils down to security, not whether or not it is an old machine or not. I mean, just look at the whole retro scene of now adays, everything from wifi modules on old computers ranging from before the C64 and towards Amiga, and more. Heck even the old XBAND service is up and running again, thanks to awesome hobbyist people and so forth. There is even still (as far as I am aware) active Amiga anti virus software. That gets definitions. So why not, just a bit of security ? 😀

Reply 56 of 58, by Jo22

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Generally, I love the idea of linking ancient technology with modern one, such as crystal detectors, field effects transistors and electron valves. Or analogue and digital computers.

However:

I dislike the idea of reducing an older computer to a dumb terminal (aka glass terminal) only.

Of course, for the fun of it, I occasionally also remote control another serial device with a PC running Windows 2.x Terminal.. 😉

It looks kinda cool and the old application also due its age was the designed for computer-computet communications in mind. 😎

But if possible, I try to let the vintage computer do the protocol handling.

PS: I'm careful when it comes to WinTel systems.
Using Windows 98 up online is still dangerous.
These platforms are still quite API/ABI compatible with current x86 Windows.
Win32, GDI(+), Unicode (tucows.dll), . NET 2, MFC etc.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 57 of 58, by Caluser2000

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I like the fact I can control a linux box via the GeoWorks Pro 1.2 terminal program on my XT Turbo system via a null modem cable.

Late 1980s hardware with early 1990s software controlling 2010 hardware and 2020 software. In a window no less with a whopping 640k of ram.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 58 of 58, by RandomStranger

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Those few I chose to have at hand are on my home network but on a VPN that has no access to the internet. The rest are in a cabinet. I might connect them if I have to move a larger amount of data between them and my daily driver.

sreq.png