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Great Hierophant
September 17th, 2014, 11:16 AM
This week I have been playing around with the MS-DOS Interlnk program, and I have found that, once you get it setup correctly, it will work with just about anything and very well at that. Obviously, I would suggest for speed purposes using a parallel port over a serial port. The parallel port requires a LapLink cable, and the serial port uses a null-modem cable or adapter. Once two machines are connected, the client computer sees the host computer's drives as additional local drives.

The epiphany comes with hard drive-less systems or systems with a hard drive but no easy to transfer data to and from them. Sample systems include, for example, virtually all the IBM PCs, the Tandy 1000s and many of the laptops of the late 80s and early 90s.

Take, for example, the IBM PC Convertible. It has no hard drive and no known way to install one. But it does have a serial/parallel expansion slice, and that will work for Interlnk purposes. While you need to use MS-DOS 6.xx, you can easily load the basic files and Interlnk onto a boot disk (they fit on a 720KB or 360KB disk). You can copy files or make disk images for drive b: and run your programs that way. The speeds for a Laplink cable are roughly 40KB on an 8MHz 286, so you should not expect speeds better than floppy drives if you actually run programs remotely.

A more complicated issue is the PCjr. While that machine has a serial port and can easily be upgraded with a parallel port, it has typically comes with only one drive and MS-DOS 5.x and above don't like it. First, you must patch the jr.'s boot disk to allow MS-DOS 6.xx to run on it. This can be done without too much difficulty. Second, you may want to create a small RAM disk to load COMMAND.COM if you need to swap disks.

glitch
September 17th, 2014, 11:45 AM
Once upon a time, I ran Windows 3.0 on my IBM XT using Interlnk to provide the "hard drive." Incredibly slow, but I didn't have a hard drive for the XT.

Stone
September 17th, 2014, 12:33 PM
If you like Interlnk you'll probably like UNET. It's a full blown parallel port network, workstation/server, like Interlnk, and it will run on DOS 3.3 or greater. The server requires a hard drive and the workstation requires a floppy. It's shares everything, printers included. It uses 20 Kb on the server and 16Kb on the workstation.

bobba84
September 17th, 2014, 02:43 PM
UNET sounds great, I've never heard of it! Who was it made by?

MikeS
September 17th, 2014, 02:59 PM
If you like Interlnk you'll probably like UNET. It's a full blown parallel port network, workstation/server, like Interlnk, and it will run on DOS 3.3 or greater. The server requires a hard drive and the workstation requires a floppy. It's shares everything, printers included. It uses 20 Kb on the server and 16Kb on the workstation.Sounds interesting; where is it?

Interlink does also share remote printers though, and AFAIK it also runs on DOS <6.xx

Stone
September 17th, 2014, 04:19 PM
UNET sounds great, I've never heard of it! Who was it made by? Supa Corporation


Sounds interesting; where is it?It's in my box of old floppies from the early 1990s. :-)

Chuck(G)
September 17th, 2014, 06:34 PM
There was also "The $25 Network" by imodes. I don't recall what "The Invisible Network" (another one) used.

And remember that Norton Utilities of about that same time could transfer files via parallel port.

krebizfan
September 17th, 2014, 07:42 PM
Even little companies like hDC were offering parallel port networking tools. Was a strange time.

Caluser2000
September 18th, 2014, 11:12 AM
DrDos also has a similar utility which prompted MS to include interlnk/intersrv. Interlink/intersrv seemed to work fine my MS Dos 5 machine iirc.

Great Hierophant
September 18th, 2014, 12:38 PM
I have used Interlnk between my IBM PC and my 486, and I am very impressed by the access provided. You really don't need a hard drive with Interlnk. While a local hard drive is faster, Interlnk is great for loading small programs and games, which is pretty much what I would want to run on my PC anyway.