I never imagined that this would actually be possible. But whilst I was looking around retro projects recently I came accross another ESP8266 based WiFi MoDem project. This one connects up to any device using a standard RS232 Serial Port.
Reading through the project it mentioned some of the computers it works with. The Atari Portfolio was listed as compatible which is what I was searching for so I will be having a play with that once I can source the serial port adapter for it.
But also in that list was the Amstrad Notepad NC100! I knew this already had a serial port as I used to use it for transferring my school homework over to my PC back in the 90s. But I never thought about the fact that it had a terminal emulator built into it.
So I build the modem, designed and printed a case for it then turned on the NC100 and hit Function key + S. After a few config changes in the menu I was ready to go. Setting up the WiFi network was easy and is all done through a text driven menu.
Then it was just a case of using the atdt command to connect up to one of the many BBS’s still available.
Now obviously the experience isn’t perfect as the notepad has an 80 x 8 character display. But I found a few BBS’s that actually allowed that to be configured and it worked perfectly!
I wish this would have been available back in the 90s, would have made my english lessons much more bearable! I could have done it back then with a dial up modem and a telephone line, but I am guessing the teacher would have noticed that even if they had no clue what it was.