Guides:MAME - Software - Terminate (Terminal Software)

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Terminate - Terminal Software

Seeing if its feasible to use MAME for bbsing, it is and this is roughly how to do it.

Noting I am running a base DOS 6.22 installation CHD with a second storage CHD at drive D:\ where Terminate is installed as such you need to configure both HDDs in the bios as type 47. You don't need to take this approach as C:\ drive is just as good.

Note: I have run into issues between MAME versions where CHDs installed/configured would no longer boot (both CHD version 5) and reinstalling DOS didn't work, but you could boot from a floppy and still use the attached hard drives. A fresh CHD creation and install of DOS was OK.


  • MAME
  • DOS
  • Terminate
  • tcpser


Terminate Install

$ mkfs.msdos -C 1440 terminate5.img
# mkdir /mnt/floppy-terminate5
# mount -o loop terminate5.img /mnt/floppy-terminate5
$ cp /mnt/floppy-terminate5/
# unmount /mnt/floppy-terminate5/

  • Copy and run the installer


  • Get a copy of tcpser (not available in repos on ubuntu 20.04)

$ wget
# dpkg -i tcpser_1.0rc12-2_amd64.deb

  • Startup tcpser to listen on 25232, using the VICE RS232 prot, speed and port can be whatever so long as MAME matches

tcpser -v 25232 -p 6333 -s 38400 -l 4 -i Z

Option Description
-v tcp port for VICE RS232 (e.g. 25232). Cannot be used with -d
-p port to listen on (defaults to 6400)
-l 0 (NONE), 1 (FATAL) - 7 (DEBUG_X) (defaults to 0)
-i modem init string (defaults to , leave off 'at' prefix when specifying)

-p probably isn't really required, but you can hook another console in if you care and watch along



  • Get a copy of MAME and set it up for the ct486 machine -
  • Start up MAME with the bitbanger device on port 25232 and a null modem connected. Add this to your launch params

  -board2:comat:serport1 null_modem \
  -bitb socket.

Note: it will auto connect to the tcpser instance at boot
Note: looks like if you connect it as board2 it'll be become com2?

  • Go into partial UI mode (scrlock) and confirm the speed on the serial device

  • Machine Configuration -> root:board2:comat:serport1:null_modem

Setting Value
Flow Control Off
Data Bits 8
Parity None
RX Baud <tcpser speed>
Stop Bits 1
TX Baud <tcpser speed>
  • Reset the machine to reconnect the tcp instance at the correct speed

Terminate Config

Boot into dos and start Terminate


Note: if you are in partial ui mode, go back to full because scroll lock in terminate toggles doorway mode

Check your comports


  1. ALT-O
  2. Communications Setup
  3. COM Ports

Configure a Hays compatible mode


  1. ALT-O
  2. Communications Setup
  3. Hayes Accura 28.800(1) on COM2
  4. UART/Serial
  5. Baudrate <tcpser speed>
  6. Databits / Stops Bits / Parity 8,N,1

Configure a Phonebook Entry


  1. ALT-D
  2. A (Add)
  3. E (Edit)
  4. System name: <whatever>
  5. Phone Number: <telnet address>
  6. ESC
  7. V (SaVe)


If this is an ANSI based bbs, configure ANSI.SYS in the CONFIG.SYS and reboot the machine or you'll run into all those fun old errors.


(1)caveats, you can't hang up the call because the bit is always high atm