Whoa, Maximus and Squish! I remember those.
It's been 12 years now since I shut down my little four line Maximus BBS, Fidonet hub and Usenet gateway. 12 years...
I thought Maximus, Squish, Fidonet and BBSes in general had long ago died and been forgotten. What would be the point in bringing them back now? Misplaced nostalgia?
It's too bad Scott didn't release this code back in '96 or so before the Internet exploded. Back then I would have eagerly ported it to a long list of OSes.
Scott would never have released this code while it made money. Right now there's more of a business selling buggy-whips, and spare parts for steam locomotives than there is in BBS software.
So why not indulge in a little nostalgia. I downloaded it, and was unable to get it running on my machine.
Using Ubuntu 8.04 and gcc-3.3 will do the trick. So far, the whole software is doing very well on my home server. Some minor bugs, like and labels in *.mec files are unknown to mecca. Also, there's an exception thrown sometimes when a user logs off (I think it's duplicate free() call somewhere in the code).
Yes, BBSes had their time, but it's a pity that development for Maximus has ceased. It's much better than other BBS programs (e.g. Mystic or Synchronet). I'd be happy if at least the more obvious glitches of the code would've been fixed.
Scott is admittedly surprised that *anyone* is even looking at this stuff anymore! But he still thinks it's great that some people have had success getting things to compile under a recent Linux distro.
I am glad to see that people got Maximus working on Linux. The bugs niels refers to is new to me. After I used several weeks on finding the MEX bug, my energy disappeared. But I may fix the remaining bugs in near future.
But I really think that MAX needs a complete rewrite for being well-integrated with the UNIX platform. I am not sure what areas of the code will be affected by such a rewrite, but I think it's worth doing. If anyone wants to help me, please let me know. The main problem is that such a rewrite would break the opportunity to produce versions for older platforms.. I guess it should be MAX II.
Good to hear that at least someone took a look at the problem I reported. If I can do anything to help getting Maximus run without the current "problems", just contact me and let's see if and how I can bring my C coding knowledge to your assistance.
As for BBSes, there are still people like me who feel strangely attracted to console based online systems. Also, Maximus pretty much resembles the (professional) look-and-feel of systems like "BBBS" (which is still commercially available). But I don't like proprietary software and if Maximus could be revived (by whatever actions neccessary), it would be a good addition to the Synchronet dominated remains of the BBS world.
> Scott is admittedly surprised that *anyone* is even looking at this stuff
As you get older, history becomes more interesting than the future.
Well, I'm running a little telnet BBS that is connected to fido etc. just for the sole fun of running it. I re-discovered this discussion and so here I am trying to get maximus compile on a Raspberry Pi, fixing stuff that has changed with gcc etc. It actually compiles on Raspbian Linux, but when I try to log on the screen is black. No text is shown (local or remote). Yet, I'm very tempted to get maximus up running from sources and connect it to fidonet etc. It does compile and run on CentOS 6.5 though ... :)
Just to give some update here:
if you really want to enjoy the whole Maximus BBS experience, you just have to get yourself a copy of Debian Linux 3.1, follow the install instructions for Maximus and voila: it works!
With gcc 4.x the code compiles, but all the mex scripts that successfully compile with mex after the installation will fail to run. No segfault, though. It seems that certain strings aren't visible on a global scope. At least that's what mex logs as error.
Would be nice if someone more competent could fix these issues, as they seem to be related to all the changes that came with gcc 4, not within the Maximus code.
And yes - if this baby would run as expected on a contemporary Linux Distro, I'd use it for my own BBS.
Minh Van Le
In my experience, the only way to get the most out of a Maximus BBS experience is to run it in a DOS or OS/2 environment. Windows XP would be best because of its good DOS compatibility and sufficient network connectivity and multitasking. And a lot of doors and BBS utils like Netserial are only supported on DOS/Windows.