I have been working on a internet modem for the ESP32 that can be used with a wide variety of computers, some more retro than others. Here are some expected use cases:
- Apple II without TCP/IP connects with a VT52 or VT100 terminal.
- Old Macintosh with TCP/IP stack, but no ethernet card, connects with PPP.
Basically, since the ESP32 is so cheap, it is much more affordable than a dedicated Raspberry Pi + interface card. One of the big issues is connecting to the modern web with SSL and complicated web pages. Although connecting to a computer running Lynx is certainly feasible, I was looking for something more lightweight. So, here is a sample:
In the lower right, you can see the Mac has a terminal window that is connected to the ESP32 and showing a https secure web page. The HTML is parsed by the Contiki webbrowser, which I modified to use the ESP32 web client that includes SSL encryption. The ANSI/VT100 colors are added by my Contiki console i/o module that detects the VT terminal type.
Of course, since it uses the standard ESP32 AT commands, you can do all the normal connections to telnet-based BBSs.
Some of the code is on my GitHub page, with more to come!