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Mike Chambers
December 10th, 2008, 03:18 PM
i've been working on a new VNC client for DOS. it is much better than the one i started working on a couple years ago. it does support VESA adapters, so resolutions higher than standard VGA can be used. it also uses ASM routines to copy pixel data from the TCP buffer to the video memory, so it's fairly quick.

in my tests, it runs great on both my notejet 486c laptop (25 MHz SX) and my 486 DX2/100 desktop. i also tried it on my 10 MHz 286, and it was definitely usable. on the 8088 is a different story, too slow to use it productively but it still works on it.

i'm looking for people who are interesting in trying it out to let me know if they find any bugs. here is a download link:

http://rubbermallet.org/dvnctest.zip


please note that right now, it is limited to 256-color rendering but i'm working on 16-bit and 32-bit modes. also not all keys are going to work. all the letter and number keys work, along with backspace, tab, alt+tab, enter, escape, pgup, pgdn, and the arrow keys. the mouse works as well. also, please note that i've only tested it with the RealVNC server software so far, but others like tight and ultra should work...

my goal with this program is to be able to turn an old junky 486 into a nice thin client.

like all my other NTCPDRV-based programs, you will need a packet driver for your network card and NTCPDRV must be started before running DVNC.

i'm mostly interested in making sure it works on all the various VESA cards out there, since i only have a couple. let me know how it goes if you try it, thanks! :)

EDIT: cannot connect to password protected servers yet! i need to write a DES encryption routine for that. you'll have to disable the password authentication to try DVNC.

yet another edit: it might be useful to mention that alt+escape exits the program.

Ole Juul
December 10th, 2008, 11:35 PM
I haven't set up a VNC server yet, but thought I'd see what the proggie did so far. It just exits without being able to connect. That looks encouraging so I'll continue. :) I figured this would be a good time to learn about VNC.

I did notice that the proggie asked for a mouse though. I'd hate to have to do that to a DOS machine. VNC will work without won't it? I was hoping for a remote terminal kind of thing but maybe I'm on the wrong track.

Ole Juul
December 11th, 2008, 12:41 AM
OK, now I got a VNC server to monitor a tty. Your client hung at the login, and no, alt+escape does not exits the program. I have to reboot. (Only 12 seconds with lotsa TSRs and RAM disks with loaded utilities!) :)

Here is the screen from the server:


11/12/2008 01:20:30 Listening for VNC connections on TCP port 5900
11/12/2008 01:20:52 Got connection from client 192.168.1.109
11/12/2008 01:20:52 other clients:
11/12/2008 01:20:52 Protocol version 3.3
11/12/2008 01:20:55 Pixel format for client 192.168.1.109:
11/12/2008 01:20:55 8 bpp, depth 8
11/12/2008 01:20:55 uses a colour map (not true colour).
11/12/2008 01:20:55 Using raw encoding for client 192.168.1.109

11/12/2008 01:22:34 rfbSendUpdateBuf: write: Connection timed out
11/12/2008 01:22:34 Client 192.168.1.109 gone
11/12/2008 01:22:34 Statistics:
11/12/2008 01:22:34 framebuffer updates 413, rectangles 413, bytes 265900
11/12/2008 01:22:34 raw rectangles 413, bytes 265900
11/12/2008 01:22:34 raw bytes equivalent 265900, compression ratio 1.000000

Mike Chambers
December 13th, 2008, 10:24 PM
I haven't set up a VNC server yet, but thought I'd see what the proggie did so far. It just exits without being able to connect. That looks encouraging so I'll continue. :) I figured this would be a good time to learn about VNC.

I did notice that the proggie asked for a mouse though. I'd hate to have to do that to a DOS machine. VNC will work without won't it? I was hoping for a remote terminal kind of thing but maybe I'm on the wrong track.

it does work without a mouse. it just checks for one when you start it and lets you know if it found one or not.

Mike Chambers
December 13th, 2008, 10:26 PM
OK, now I got a VNC server to monitor a tty. Your client hung at the login, and no, alt+escape does not exits the program. I have to reboot. (Only 12 seconds with lotsa TSRs and RAM disks with loaded utilities!) :)

Here is the screen from the server:


11/12/2008 01:20:30 Listening for VNC connections on TCP port 5900
11/12/2008 01:20:52 Got connection from client 192.168.1.109
11/12/2008 01:20:52 other clients:
11/12/2008 01:20:52 Protocol version 3.3
11/12/2008 01:20:55 Pixel format for client 192.168.1.109:
11/12/2008 01:20:55 8 bpp, depth 8
11/12/2008 01:20:55 uses a colour map (not true colour).
11/12/2008 01:20:55 Using raw encoding for client 192.168.1.109

11/12/2008 01:22:34 rfbSendUpdateBuf: write: Connection timed out
11/12/2008 01:22:34 Client 192.168.1.109 gone
11/12/2008 01:22:34 Statistics:
11/12/2008 01:22:34 framebuffer updates 413, rectangles 413, bytes 265900
11/12/2008 01:22:34 raw rectangles 413, bytes 265900
11/12/2008 01:22:34 raw bytes equivalent 265900, compression ratio 1.000000


hmm, what VNC server are you using? i've only used realvnc so far, but i've had no issues. a couple guys from my IRC channel have tried it and it works for them as well. i'd like to try the server you're using and see what happens.

Ole Juul
December 13th, 2008, 10:46 PM
>MC: "it does work without a mouse. it just checks for one when you start it and lets you know if it found one or not. "

That makes sense. Maybe I'll try another (more graphical) VNC server as well. I choose a text version because I was concerned about the mousie thing.

>MC: "... what VNC server are you using?"

I'm using linuxvnc version 0.7.1-5. I'm not really familiar with VNC, so I just picked the one that looked best. Adept described it as "With linuxvnc you can export your currently running text sessions to any VNC client." That sounded like just the ticket. Not having used it before, maybe I've missed something. It didn't look like it needed any more configuring than Apt already did with it.

JT64
December 15th, 2008, 07:50 AM
i've been working on a new VNC client for DOS. it is much better than the one i started working on a couple years ago. it does support VESA adapters, so resolutions higher than standard VGA can be used. it also uses ASM routines to copy pixel data from the TCP buffer to the video memory, so it's fairly quick.

in my tests, it runs great on both my notejet 486c laptop (25 MHz SX) and my 486 DX2/100 desktop. i also tried it on my 10 MHz 286, and it was definitely usable. on the 8088 is a different story, too slow to use it productively but it still works on it.

i'm looking for people who are interesting in trying it out to let me know if they find any bugs. here is a download link:

http://rubbermallet.org/dvnctest.zip

please note that right now, it is limited to 256-color rendering but i'm working on 16-bit and 32-bit modes. also not all keys are going to work. all the letter and number keys work, along with backspace, tab, alt+tab, enter, escape, pgup, pgdn, and the arrow keys. the mouse works as well. also, please note that i've only tested it with the RealVNC server software so far, but others like tight and ultra should work...

my goal with this program is to be able to turn an old junky 486 into a nice thin client.

like all my other NTCPDRV-based programs, you will need a packet driver for your network card and NTCPDRV must be started before running DVNC.

i'm mostly interested in making sure it works on all the various VESA cards out there, since i only have a couple. let me know how it goes if you try it, thanks! :)

EDIT: cannot connect to password protected servers yet! i need to write a DES encryption routine for that. you'll have to disable the password authentication to try DVNC.

yet another edit: it might be useful to mention that alt+escape exits the program.


I will test it as soon someone offer me a networkcard for XT under 10 euro.

That said i must confess i do not remember that much about VNC clients, what are their purpose, do the offer gui.

There is X clients that let you run programs X11 programs on a windows/dos pc right?
What is the differences, where can i read about VNC clients and X clients.
Is this some type of Citrix, thin client software?

Can you offer us some screenshots from the client, what OS does the VNC server run on?

I think it is great that net and clients software still is developed for XT 8086.
Would be fun to try run a VNC server on a cellphone, would it be possible?
JT

Mike Chambers
December 15th, 2008, 12:49 PM
I will test it as soon someone offer me a networkcard for XT under 10 euro.

That said i must confess i do not remember that much about VNC clients, what are their purpose, do the offer gui.

There is X clients that let you run programs X11 programs on a windows/dos pc right?
What is the differences, where can i read about VNC clients and X clients.
Is this some type of Citrix, thin client software?

Can you offer us some screenshots from the client, what OS does the VNC server run on?

I think it is great that net and clients software still is developed for XT 8086.
Would be fun to try run a VNC server on a cellphone, would it be possible?
JT

VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing, and it uses the Remote Framebuffer Protocol (RFB)... basically when a client connects to a server, the server sends a graphical image of the entire screen. after that, it sends small bits of it as what's on the screen changes keeping the client's screen identical to it's own. the person using the client can also type and use the mouse as if they were physically in front of the server.

pretty much just a remote desktop protocol.

wikipedia would be able to explain better than i.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Network_Computing


also, you asked what the server runs on.. that could be just about any OS you want. there are servers available for windows, linux, bsd, OS X, etc.

my client runs in DOS. instead of a screenshot of the client, i made a little video demonstrating it on a 486 laptop for an online friend a few days ago..

http://rubbermallet.org/486vncdemo.html

btw, you mentioned running it on an 8086.. that will work, but don't expect it to be all that responsive. i recommend at least a 286. a turbo speed 8088 (like 8 MHz or faster) would probably be tolerable enough as well.

Mike Chambers
December 15th, 2008, 12:55 PM
>MC: "it does work without a mouse. it just checks for one when you start it and lets you know if it found one or not. "

That makes sense. Maybe I'll try another (more graphical) VNC server as well. I choose a text version because I was concerned about the mousie thing.

>MC: "... what VNC server are you using?"

I'm using linuxvnc version 0.7.1-5. I'm not really familiar with VNC, so I just picked the one that looked best. Adept described it as "With linuxvnc you can export your currently running text sessions to any VNC client." That sounded like just the ticket. Not having used it before, maybe I've missed something. It didn't look like it needed any more configuring than Apt already did with it.

thanks... i'm going to download that and try it.