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View Full Version : What's a good ethernet card for a PS/2 Model 30/286?



brad162
June 4th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Hey im looking for a good ethernet card for my PS/2 286 machine, luckily its an ISA model, but i have an EA201 from netgear, but even if i use the NE2000 compatible driver, or the netgear driver, i cannot get arachne to use the card. The generic NE2000 seems to talk to the card and arachne can see it, but it hangs and never get's an IP address from the network, so it's basically being a useless card, but it cannot see the EA201's driver because it doesnt sit at 0x60 address, it sits at 0x62, and no matter what command i give the driver, it will not sit at 0x60 for some reason.

I know the card is fine because when i pop it into a windows 3.1 machine or 95 machine it works just fine.

any thoughts?

Ole Juul
June 4th, 2010, 11:15 PM
. . . i cannot get arachne to use the card. The generic NE2000 seems to talk to the card and arachne can see it, but it hangs and never get's an IP address from the network, so it's basically being a useless card, but it cannot see the EA201's driver because it doesnt sit at 0x60 address, it sits at 0x62, and no matter what command i give the driver, it will not sit at 0x60 for some reason.

I am not understanding this. What is wrong with 0x62? That's as good as any, isn't it? I am fairly certain that anything between 0x60 and 0x66 should work. To make absolutely sure, I just now changed my own DOS machine from its usual 0x60 to 0x62 and Arachne was happy. Then I tried it with 0x66 and it still worked. Could it be that you are having trouble setting up Arachne and not your network card?

Raven
June 4th, 2010, 11:19 PM
Im a big fan of Etherlink III cards by 3Com - they come in like 30 different varieties and revisions, but all of them use the same drivers (whether 10base2, 10baseT, a mix, etc.) and almost every OS with built-in networking has drivers for them out of the box.

Plus I have like 10 of them so there's plenty of Etherlink IIIs to go around in this house (no I am not selling them, though, before somebody asks).

Anyway the above guy is right, anything between 0x60 and 0x66 should work with packet driver software (provided you tell the software what sint you used or it detects [like arachne does]).

brad162
June 5th, 2010, 01:58 AM
I am not understanding this. What is wrong with 0x62? That's as good as any, isn't it? I am fairly certain that anything between 0x60 and 0x66 should work. To make absolutely sure, I just now changed my own DOS machine from its usual 0x60 to 0x62 and Arachne was happy. Then I tried it with 0x66 and it still worked. Could it be that you are having trouble setting up Arachne and not your network card?

Arachne keeps spitting back an error during TCP/IP setup that it cannot find the driver located at 0x60. no matter what i do, i looked through all the config files, and tried to manually set it up, it wont let me change it.

mbbrutman
June 5th, 2010, 05:58 AM
Arachne keeps spitting back an error during TCP/IP setup that it cannot find the driver located at 0x60. no matter what i do, i looked through all the config files, and tried to manually set it up, it wont let me change it.

Ethernet cards need the following set correctly to work:


I/O port address
Hardware IRQ (interrupt) (possibly optional depending on the card and packet driver)
A shared memory location for the DRAM on the card (also possibly optional depending on the card)


That's the hardware list. In addition there is one more item - the 'software interrupt'. The software interrupt is an interrupt vector (a four byte pointer in low memory) that points to the packet driver code after it is loaded. Most of this software doesn't/can't call the packet driver code directly - it uses a software interrupt to get to the code instead. That makes the software more flexible - just tell it the software interrupt to use, and it can talk to the packet driver.

Every packet driver I have ever seen lets you install the packet driver on the software interrupt of your choice. Software interrupts reserved for user code like this range from 0x60 to 0x80. (I might be off at the high end, but it's close enough.) Software interrupts are rarely used, so you will probably be able to use 0x60.

If the packet driver you are using won't install at software interrupt 0x60, it is possible that something else is using that software interrupt. Make sure you are booting from a clean version of DOS with no config.sys or autoexec.bat. If you can boot from a clean version of DOS and install the packet driver at 0x60 then, then you must be loading something else that gets in the way.

I really hope that Arachne isn't hard coded to use software interrupt 0x60. That nearly defeats the purpose of having software interrupts ...

brad162
June 6th, 2010, 06:20 PM
Ethernet cards need the following set correctly to work:


I/O port address
Hardware IRQ (interrupt) (possibly optional depending on the card and packet driver)
A shared memory location for the DRAM on the card (also possibly optional depending on the card)


That's the hardware list. In addition there is one more item - the 'software interrupt'. The software interrupt is an interrupt vector (a four byte pointer in low memory) that points to the packet driver code after it is loaded. Most of this software doesn't/can't call the packet driver code directly - it uses a software interrupt to get to the code instead. That makes the software more flexible - just tell it the software interrupt to use, and it can talk to the packet driver.

Every packet driver I have ever seen lets you install the packet driver on the software interrupt of your choice. Software interrupts reserved for user code like this range from 0x60 to 0x80. (I might be off at the high end, but it's close enough.) Software interrupts are rarely used, so you will probably be able to use 0x60.

If the packet driver you are using won't install at software interrupt 0x60, it is possible that something else is using that software interrupt. Make sure you are booting from a clean version of DOS with no config.sys or autoexec.bat. If you can boot from a clean version of DOS and install the packet driver at 0x60 then, then you must be loading something else that gets in the way.

I really hope that Arachne isn't hard coded to use software interrupt 0x60. That nearly defeats the purpose of having software interrupts ...

well i know for a fact that nothing else can be using that interpret, as i am just booting a clean install of MS-DOS on the machine (with a 20mb drive, not many options), and yes arachne is hard coded to use the 0x60 address, and it's a shame.

The software that netgear ships with the card has instructions to set the software int but when i do that, all i get is "Invalid command" and it gives me the list of "available commands". It does do this in the other machines even when i try to use the MS-DOS file..

According to the readme.txt file, i should put in my autoexec.bat EA201.com 0x60 and it should load at 0x60, but that just kicks back an error, and when i use the /? after the EA201.COM it doesnt list any options for setting this.

Just another reason why i hate netgear, advertise a capability and then it not work....typical of them. I am going to pick up a 3Com EtherLink III, as i had one of those before when i lived in Ohio and that thing never gave me any issues no matter what kind of machine i used it in, it always just worked.

Ole Juul
June 6th, 2010, 06:34 PM
brad162: . . . and yes arachne is hard coded to use the 0x60 address, and it's a shame.
How do you explain my earlier post about that? We obviously see things differently. :)

Chuck(G)
June 6th, 2010, 07:44 PM
Well, if insists on using interrupt 0x62 and you want to see if that's the problem, configure it using 0x62, then run the following DEBUG script before you bring up arachne. The boldface stuff is what you type:


DEBUG
-M 0:188 L4 0:180
-Q

All this does is copy the 0x62 interrupt vector to 0x60, so that either one can be used.

Ole Juul
June 6th, 2010, 08:15 PM
Chuck(G): All this does is copy the 0x62 interrupt vector to 0x60, so that either one can be used.
Clever diagnostic - as always. :) It does sound like the OP could have a NIC problem.

However, AFAK Arachne itself doesn't use a packet vector. It simply hooks into the PPPD (or EPPPD) for DOS which Antonio Molero kindly ported from the Unix version. That is why the commands are the same and we have such standard options as this which I copied directly from the DOSPPPD readme which is supplied with Arachne.



pktvec <interrupt number>
Specifies the interrupt vector number to be hooked
by the packet driver interface. The valid range is
from 0x60-0x66, 0x68-0x6F and 0x78-0x7E. If this
option is not used, the driver searches for the
first free vector in this range (usually 0x60).

brad162
June 6th, 2010, 09:45 PM
Clever diagnostic - as always. :) It does sound like the OP could have a NIC problem.

However, AFAK Arachne itself doesn't use a packet vector. It simply hooks into the PPPD (or EPPPD) for DOS which Antonio Molero kindly ported from the Unix version. That is why the commands are the same and we have such standard options as this which I copied directly from the DOSPPPD readme which is supplied with Arachne.

Well thanks for that file name, i was looking in every other file but that one. All i know is arachne no matter what i did it kept asking for 0x60. Im not experienced very much in Unix/Linux command line, so i know nothing about that. It's working just fine at 0x62 now..

mbbrutman
June 7th, 2010, 05:45 AM
Clever diagnostic - as always. :) It does sound like the OP could have a NIC problem.

However, AFAK Arachne itself doesn't use a packet vector. It simply hooks into the PPPD (or EPPPD) for DOS which Antonio Molero kindly ported from the Unix version. <snip>

This is 'fuzzy' to me - can you describe what it means to 'hook' into PPPD? How does Arachne find PPPD and call it?

Ole Juul
June 7th, 2010, 06:56 PM
This is 'fuzzy' to me - can you describe what it means to 'hook' into PPPD? How does Arachne find PPPD and call it?

My apologies for the fuzzyness. :) Perhaps I used the wrong word when I said "hook". Besides I am wrong in referring to DOSPPP in this case.

Arachne does use DOSPPP as an external program when it is connected to a serial connection. As I understand it EPPPD is for emulating a network card and lets programs which expect a network card connect to a serial connection. From what I understand, EPPPD goes between the packet driver and the application and looks like a packet driver to the application. IIRC I've heard it referred to as a "shim". In this case, Arachne is connected directly to a network card so it doesn't need it.

My confusion arose from the fact that in my case I simply treated ARACHNE as the WATTCP application that it is and told it to use WATTCP.CFG. No further configuration was needed.

Given a working WATTCP.CFG file, it automatically connects to the network. I cannot find any place in any of the ARACHNE files where it mentions packet vector other than in the (in this case not needed) DOSPPP documentation. That is why I (mistakenly) mentioned that. No packet vector is set in the ARACHNE.CFG file and like I mentioned in an earlier post I was able to use variety of packet vectors.

Great Hierophant
February 26th, 2011, 05:35 PM
I have a similar problem, but my PCMCIA card's packet driver wants only to sit at 0x69. I do not know how to adapt ChuckG's solution or how to apply Ole Juul's.

Chuck(G)
February 26th, 2011, 06:07 PM
Well, hold your breath--I'm going to try to set up Microsoft Lan Client on an 8088 system using an Artisoft AE-2T board. I don't think I've ever set up an ethernet card on an 8-bit machine before, so it'll be interesting. :)