INN - known as “The ImagiNation Network”...

...also known as TSN “The Sierra Network”...

 

...is Back!!!

 

 

“INN Barn”

A new Host w/Proxy - supporting 1995 ImagiNation Network Client version 2.4



A host re-creation by James "Jim" Leiterman for your nostalgic retro video gaming recreation!

 

 

 

The following is the link to the Sierra Help Pages, with links to this page and to the INN Installer that is compatible with InnBarn.

http://sierrahelp.com/Misc/INNBarn.html



Facebook has a forum "ImagiNation Network (INN) Revival that is now used to discuss the games on InnBarn.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/69704136680/



What does one find in old barns? Old rusty stuff. TSN and INN operated out of the location known as the Old Barn, 41486 Old Barn Way, Oakhurst, CA. Formerly, known as the Old Barn Restaurant. Incidently this building burned down July 2017 during the Yosemite area fire that burned a portion of Oakhurst.

This new host, "Inn Barn" was created from scratch and designed to restore some of the functionality of the former banks of DOS servers. In this initial release the server is a multi-threaded 64-bit host handling many of the original membership and object connectivity and storage features.

In addition a 64-bit application known as the InnProxy is designed to run on each remote computer that also runs the Inn Client Application. That client is configured to communicate with the Host via the Proxy as a relay!

Alternatively runs in Wine or Crossover so Linux and MacOS users can enjoy using it as well.

Download Files:

 

The attached files is the zipped up proxy needed to connect ImagiNation Network applications to the new InnHost. The other file is the installation pdf that explains how to setup your dosbox and INN application.

 

INN Proxy
Installation PDF

InnProxy.zip

InnProxy32.zip

InnBarn.pdf

 

 

The InnBarn Creation Story:

Mid January 2019 I was contacted by Christopher Smith to see if I had original source code to the ImagiNation network servers. He had stumbed across my online resume which indicates my employment with INN between February 1994 to November 1995. I was part of the applications group but I was tasked with cleaning and preparing the DOS server code for 3rd party developers into an SDK (Software Developer Kit) with API (Application Interface) with standalone offline servers and making various mix'n'match flavors of DOS-extenders and compilers and linkers. This involved me having hands on application side of server code. Then while the server group was designing the new UNIX based servers I had moved a game specific portion of the server code from DOS to Win32 and built new SDK's as a hybrid for the new upcoming system. This allowed development without having to wait for the new system to be active. I also started to travel and train 3rd parties to develop games for this new system.

Well the answer to the January question was no. I had no server code. I had moved on to other game development and left INN far behind me. But I started to think about the old network and then it happend. My employer laid off my department February 1st so my time was spent looking for new work, spending a lot of my time with my Eagle Scout son's Boy Scout Troop events as an Assistant Scout Master, and as a trainer of trainers for the council Leave No Trace and Woodbadge events. My remaining time was spent recreating the server just to see if I could. My own companies Wild Goose Games and Wild Goose Robotics have not seen any paying clients in a few years. I've help design and build servers for other gaming networks over the years as part of my employment so my thinking, was this should be easy!

It turns out it wasn't so easy. I was pointed at a version control dump of application code checkins which offered some clues but I had to figure out a lot of stuff that had been forgotten over time, or I had never encountered before. Plus a merging of new fast technology communicating with very slow legacy technology designed to run on slow computers (in todays standards) and using low baud modems to communicate. A long story short, what is operational is the end result. It took 3 1/2 months to build this and I had some technical hints and clues from work that Christopher had done in his previous attempt. He was also helpful in the debugging stage trying to help find bugs by helping to test and figure a possible reason why they may be occuring.

This product has not been heavily used or load tested so problems are definitely going to show up. I am in the process of cleaning & documenting code since my goal was to get a product online quickly that could support the old INN network as a subset of its capability. Also working on bringing up some of the remaining systems.

There are no Customer Support Representatives or Sysops. Member Id's and Email Id's are automatically generated though Member Id's. The new installer will automatically set those Id's which, in InnBarn's initial release, had to be manually set by the user after the first time they create their player. Email, store, trivia, and most BBS (Bulletin Board System) functionality is not supported. Some Top 10 scores are operational and some BBS based scoring is not. Instructions and additional information are in the InnBarn.pdf available here.

One final note is that there is no proprietary code in the making of the InnBarn server or the InnProxy. Therefore (when I'm ready) the source code will be given to key people whom I have worked with whom are part of the INN Revival forum who will step up to become the Administrator of the project, create a git resource to further the project. As mentioned, the infrastructure I put in to place can support new games. Then I can get back onto one of my many personal projects I have placed on the back burner.

 

Mac & Linux Systems:

Note above a 32-bit version of the proxy is available. Norton Anti-virus really does not like this executable. But being 32-bit should be helpful for VM environments on Linux or Mac.

Start your innproxy.exe on windows machine. Should get a green Connect. Shut it down. Next to innproxy.exe should now be a file: innproxy.ini Know this computers IP address. Add a line below section [InnBarn] as you will be changing from its default IP address of 127.0.0.1

*** Now assuming 192.168.254.13 is its IP ***

[InnBarn]
ClientIP = 192.168.254.13:3000

...Restart your innproxy.exe

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Inside your INN folder that gets mounted in DOSBOX on Linux/MAC LSCI.CFG
Rename modem to zmodem to hide it. Add a new modem line...

zmodem = ATDTlocalhost:30000~!
modem = ATDT192.168.254.13:30000~!

...Restart INN. You might need to modify your windows firewall port to allow a connection.

Click here, My Website for more information about me!

Click here, Wild Goose Website for more information about my company!