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World's oldest web server?

By mattdm in News
Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 01:55:24 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

Or at least the world's oldest web server hardware. Kevin Loch (of brickshelf fame) has his Atari 800 serving web pages. It's quite a nice hack. (Oh, and source code is provided.)


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World's oldest web server? | 11 comments (11 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
The Wheel logo is especially approp... (none / 0) (#2)
by joeyo on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 12:44:51 PM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

The Wheel logo is especially appropriate today :)

"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

I *love* computer archaeology.... (none / 0) (#3)
by pwhysall on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 12:56:42 PM EST

pwhysall voted 1 on this story.

I *love* computer archaeology.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

It's a little boring in terms of ac... (none / 0) (#1)
by dr on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 01:55:24 PM EST

dr voted 1 on this story.

It's a little boring in terms of actual info, but neat to see these things being done.

Lame. (none / 0) (#4)
by fluffy grue on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 02:26:38 PM EST

They didn't make a TCP/IP stack, instead they kludged something up with a terminal server. Their "source code" is less sophisticated than your run-of-the-mill braindead CGI (and that's basically what it boils down to, a CGI written in Atari BASIC), they don't even use the terminal server for routing for those of us behind a firewall which doesn't allow connections on port 513 (because since it's port 513, it MUST be rlogin, which can only be used to hack other systems right?!).

This is more like the kind of wannabe-uber1337 site which clueless Slashdot people drool over.

If this Atari counts as a webserver, so does my finger program. Not the server it's running on, but the program itself. It's about the same level of functionality (except that my finger program is written in sh and actually DOES something).
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Re: Lame. (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by driph on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 03:19:29 PM EST

Yes, but its on an Atari! I've got in the closet right now a 400(mmmm membrane keyboard) 800, and a 130xe... loved those boxes..

Also, for those of you that happen to have an AV Macintosh AND an old Atari, check out this link. It details various ways in which you can tie your old Atari into yer Macintosh.. some may be applicable to PC users as well.. I especially like the simple monitor cable hack that allows you to view the Atari video on yer monitor.. I just came across the site a week ago or so, but I'll be setting it up soon.. the Atari leaves a tiny footprint, so I can just set it on the side of the desk to draw out whenever I feel that need for Star Raiders...

Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
Re: Lame. (none / 0) (#6)
by ramses0 on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 04:05:56 PM EST

Yes it is lame, but fluffy grue, you seem to miss the point- it is also neat.

I hooked an old amiga "digitizing camera" (basically a b/w security camera with about 12inch focus) up to my wintv card on my linux box, and had it running as a webcam for a while. I mounted it by using the screw on top of my lamp-shade to fit the tripod mount on the camera.

It had very little practical purpose, I was afraid to leave it on 24x7, and since it couldn't focus for more than 12 inches, i couldn't even get it pointed to my whiteboard so that I could read my "list of things to do" while away from my apartment.

But it was neat for a few days, and that's all that counted. Some things are good to do if only to feel the satisfaction of having done them.

[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Lame. (none / 0) (#7)
by fluffy grue on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 04:26:14 PM EST

Yes, but having a terminal server get a single hard-coded piece of data from an Atari 400 and relay it isn't what I'd consider a hack. If they'd actually implemented even a minimally-functional TCP/IP stack, then I'd consider it cool, but as it stands, it's just some hardware randomly thrown together with a fluffy website about it. It wouldn't be at all difficult to do the exact same thing with anything which speaks any sort of serial protocol. Why even use a terminal server? They could have been much more flexible and use a workstation as the bridge to do all the handling of everything, like the PIC-based "webserver" on Slashdot a year ago or so.

I appreciate things with neat hack value. I don't see any hack value in this setup.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Lame. (none / 0) (#9)
by Inoshiro on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 09:18:15 PM EST

Well, it really depends on how much effort you want to spend enabling 20+ year old technology to be somewhat connectable to today's infrastructure.

A simple machine with some sort of terminal server indicating connections via CS and DTR pins between the machines is actually a fairly elegant solution. He does count hits with the Atari, and could likely do more complex things if he wanted to. Perhaps even keep-alive connections ;-)

Writing an actual TCP/IP stack would not have been feasible because he'd have to figure out how to represent MAC and IP addresses via serial line. Not easy, not worth it. As it is, it is a rather simplistic example of what is possible. You could theoretically have an entire farm of Atari 800s connected to a system with scads of serial ports, all handling thousands of hits via a simplistic basic program which some how synchronised the various page content bits. It's not the reality, it's the possibility which I find fascinating.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Lame. (none / 0) (#10)
by fluffy grue on Tue Mar 21, 2000 at 11:48:20 PM EST

There is already a way of handling everything over the serial line. It's called PPP, maybe you've heard of it. :)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Lame. (none / 0) (#8)
by lachoy on Mon Mar 20, 2000 at 05:13:24 PM EST

You're right, the damn thing doesn't even do SSL!

M-x auto-bs-mode
[ Parent ]
Re: World's oldest web server? (none / 0) (#11)
by hattig on Wed Mar 22, 2000 at 12:50:41 PM EST

You can get TCP/IP stacks for the Amstrad CPC as well now! It won't be long until those machines can serve webpages (actually, I think it has been done), but I forget the URL.

I saw a screenshot of Doom running on a CPC (4MHz Z80 processor, btw, for you Americans who never experienced these machines) - someone has hardwired a PCI S3 Virge graphics card to the expansion port of the computer so all the CPC has to do is do the calculations! Link here. Don't know if it is a hoax though, I have some doubts.

World's oldest web server? | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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