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RetroChallenge April 2018 is under way!

RetroChallenge has started, and I figured I’d give an introduction to my project and goal.

The basic idea started when I found a post on the 68kmla forum on how to connect an old mac to the internet using serial. It seemed so incredibly simple, I had to give it a try! I had been messing around with dial-up connections and connecting to a BBS, but that wasn’t enough! I had to get my machine on the internet.

Using my updated tutorial and after lots of trial and error, I created a very simple setup using a Raspberry PI, a usb serial cable, and a db-9 to din-8 connector. Now my setup is as simple as turning on both machines and opening MacPPP to activate the connection.

Alright, so now the old machine was connected to the internet. But what can one do on the internet with a 20 year old computer? Well that’s where my project comes in!

NoCSS is aimed at getting old computers on the internet, no matter the age. At the current time, the site is built in a way that would allow the page to display correctly even if you were using a teletype on a computer with Lynx browser. I have already implemented a chat system and account login/registration system (that supports browsers that cant use cookies). The goal of my RetroChallenge project is to finish the last three items on the site (google search, website proxy/de-modernizer, user messaging system) and test it fully with my Macintosh Classic. All the pages support a “text only” mode, which removes all the formatting and leaves you with simple hyperlinks and <br> tags to give a new line.

Screenshots of the current site:

modern machine

modern machine (but in Lynx)

Macintosh Classic