Jump to content
ants

Wifi Extension Development Thread

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, kreats said:

Got one of the external versions in the mail also - hope there is a way of getting the extension working

Give the current wifi extension a go, as there's a good chance that it'll work. Although I don't have one of the external Vonets boxes, the screenshots of the web interface look nearly identical to the VM300.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started tinkering with an OpenWRT wifi device (I got the GL-inet device that @hfrazier suggested - but I assume a Raspberry Pi could also be used). Communicating with the device is great, as OpenWRT provides a json api for virtually all configuration functions.

 

Also, I was able to install stunnel on the device - which in a nutshell works as a HTTP to HTTPS bridge. This could open a world of possibilities for vintage Macs to communicate with the modern web - all the heavy lifting of SSL encryption is done by the wifi device and not the Mac.

 

Early days, but I'll keep chipping away...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After many hours of frustration, and just when I was about to give up - I managed to get my OpenWRT wifi module communicating at 10mbs / Half Duplex with my Mac...

 

I'll post detailed instructions soon - I just need to remember exactly what I did to get it working!

 

IMG_20180803_162327.thumb.jpg.bb25e0ae03f1a1136ae0b413cb25d96f.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, techknight said:

Does the WiFi extension work on a real machine yet? 

Yep, you can download the extension here: https://github.com/antscode/MacWifi/releases

 

It works with the VM300 (with default login credentials), and so far I've tested it on a SE/30 and a Colour Classic.

 

I'll release a new version soon with support for OpenWRT devices, and also the ability to change the login details for the VM300.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a specific Ethernet card that you need to use for this to work? Also, have you been able to try this with one of the antenna-less Vonets var411n units? I wouldn’t mind having one or two shipped to you if it meant that we could have this thing work seamlessly someday without an antenna sticking out. (Seriously PM me if you want)

 

Also, for the bridges... what is the difference between the Vonets unit you’re using and a OpenWRT unit? (I apologize if this is a dumb question)

 

PS This has been fascinating to follow and everyone involved with making this happen so far should take a bow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hustletron it should work with any Ethernet card, as long as you can connect it to the wifi module (i.e. it has an RJ45 port).

 

I haven't tried it with the VAP11N, but I'm hoping someone who already has one can try it out? I'm confident that it will just work.

 

The Vonets was the first wifi card that I discovered that could connect to a vintage Mac Ethernet card (i.e. it supports a fixed 10mbs half duplex connection) - however since then I've been trying out OpenWRT which is much more powerful.

 

From my testing so far, OpenWRT is better than the Vonets in every way, including:

 

- It's faster and robust

- Scanning networks is instant, as opposed to the long delay on the Vonets

- You can change wifi networks without restarting the device

- It runs its own DHCP server, so you don't need to reboot your Mac after changing networks

- But most exciting is that OpenWRT is essentially Linux, so you can install virtually any extension - such as stunnel which can handle SSL encryption (something that a 16mhz CPU simply can't do fast enough)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, ants said:

Yep, you can download the extension here: https://github.com/antscode/MacWifi/releases

 

It works with the VM300 (with default login credentials), and so far I've tested it on a SE/30 and a Colour Classic.

 

I'll release a new version soon with support for OpenWRT devices, and also the ability to change the login details for the VM300.

Awesome! I was only paying half-attention to this thread. I thought it was still being tested in emulation. 

 

Nice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/4/2018 at 1:22 AM, ants said:

@Hustletron

- But most exciting is that OpenWRT is essentially Linux, so you can install virtually any extension - such as stunnel which can handle SSL encryption (something that a 16mhz CPU simply can't do fast enough)

So then the next question I have is... has anyone tried any addons like stunnel on one of these OpenWRT units yet? I'm excited by the prospect of these bridges being able to slice and dice these web pages into digestible pieces for our compact Macs. However, I just realized that I'm locked out of the fun because I have a Macintosh SE (not an SE/30) otherwise I'd try this. OS 7.5+ with these extensions will be too taxing for my computer, I think. I may be way off in my understanding because I'm pretty new to the game; I'm younger than my SE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Hustletron said:

has anyone tried any addons like stunnel on one of these OpenWRT units yet?

I've got stunnel working on my OpenWRT box - however it's not a magic bullet solution, because the client application needs to be written specifically to communicate via stunnel for SSL connections. i.e. it won't allow you to visit HTTPS websites via a web browser. I don't think there's any way to transparently proxy a HTTPS connection to plain HTTP.

 

That said, I'm a firm believer that web browsing on a vintage Mac is dead in the water anyway. But the Internet isn't just web browsing, and I think there's still heaps of cool stuff that's possible using web API's - e.g. I'm currently building a Spotify client to play music on my wireless speakers (dunno if I'll succeed though!).

 

I don't think you're locked out with a Macintosh SE, but perhaps others could provide some input? I'm not sure if System 7 can run on an 8mhz machine? The MacWifi extension doesn't consume much resources - most of the time is just sits idle unless you change Wifi networks.

Edited by ants
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ants said:

 

 

 

I don't think you're locked out with a Macintosh SE, but perhaps others could provide some input? I'm not sure if System 7 can run on an 8mhz machine? The MacWifi extension doesn't consume es - most of the time is just sits idle unless you change Wifi networks.

I only run System 7.1 on my SE and it’s not bad. 7.5.x runs really rough though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ants This is so awesome, great work! I wish I hadn't gone MIA for the entire summer.. (That other router really is so fast!)

 

BTW .... I broke out my Macintosh portable the other day. Its internal modem port has serial lines just like the modem port on the rear.. I wonder how difficult it would be to make that mini router communicate with the portable over PPP or SLIP ...

Edited by hfrazier
Afterthought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

v2 of the MacWifi extension is now available for download: https://github.com/antscode/MacWifi/releases

 

This version adds support for OpenWRT devices and allows you to specify device settings, such as Username & Password. More information about OpenWRT is in the readme.

 

The extension now sports a Settings menu:

 

wifi-v2-1.PNG.d5293386eda2009155f50c4f33abeb42.PNG

 

And a new Wifi Settings dialog allows you to choose which device you are using (Vonets or OpenWRT) - along with your login credentials for the device:

 

wifi-v2-2.PNG.5ee1134d2c405c464a920c37024e1191.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is bloody great - do you still recommend the Vonets adapter, or more have a preference for a particular OpenWRT device?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Byrd said:

do you still recommend the Vonets adapter, or more have a preference for a particular OpenWRT device?

If you haven't already bought a Vonets, then I would recommend an OpenWRT device (see previous reply a bit further back in this thread for more info). The only device I've tested is this one, but it's pretty good:

 

https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-ar300m/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ants said:

If you haven't already bought a Vonets, then I would recommend an OpenWRT device (see previous reply a bit further back in this thread for more info). The only device I've tested is this one, but it's pretty good:

 

https://www.gl-inet.com/products/gl-ar300m/

That and it's way more capable and expandable if you know your way around linux!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, hfrazier said:

That and it's way more capable and expandable if you know your way around linux!

It also has the virtue of being a bit cheaper and easier to find :)

 

I think I'm going to give this a try!

 

I'm wondering, though, since this is almost completely platform-agnostic (the only requirement is an Ethernet port), this could theoretically work on PCs.

 

This is a bit off topic, but one could take this concept and write a comparable program for Windows. Couldn't they?

 

Having something like this for DOS, Windows 3.x and 9x would be very nice!

 

c

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2018 at 10:07 PM, CC_333 said:

This is a bit off topic, but one could take this concept and write a comparable program for Windows. Couldn't they?

 

Having something like this for DOS, Windows 3.x and 9x would be very nice!

Oh, absolutely! Just a matter of writing the software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, hfrazier said:

Oh, absolutely! Just a matter of writing the software.

Someone should write it then!

 

I would, but I'm not that good at programming. Yet.

 

Aside from the UI bits (which are quite Mac-specific), is your code relatively portable?

 

EDIT: Just realized that it probably makes heavy use of MacTCP/OT specific things, so probably not.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CC_333 said:

 

Aside from the UI bits (which are quite Mac-specific), is your code relatively portable?

Well it's written in C++, so that's a good start. There's a good amount of abstraction in the code too. Probably not something I'd ever tackle though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×