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new_castle_j
October 12th, 2015, 03:07 PM
Recently, I have been composing emails using WordStar on my S-100 machine and sending them to an SMTP relay server which makes it look like they are coming from a G-Mail account. How's this possible? With networking of course. Networking is built right into TurboDOS, in my setup I have an S-100 mainframe with both a 16bit 186 processor and an 8-bit Z80. They are networked together in the chassis and share the hard disk and floppy disks, also in the chassis is an ARCNet board. With ARCNet I am able to share the disks/printers with a PC-DOS computer running the TurboDOS network client called Turbo-PC. The PC-DOS machine can map a drive letter to any disk resource on the S-100 machine via ARCNet, it's a 2.5 Mbit connection over coaxial cable and works quite well, TurboDOS can also function as a print server (with spooling) to the PC clients.

I installed both an ARCNet and an Ethernet card into my Toshiba T3200SXC running Novell DOS 7, then I got hold of Datalight's TCP/IP stack and SMTP software for DOS and wrote a .BAT file. The BAT file simply checks the mapped drive every few seconds for a new file and if one exists, it hands it off to the SMTP software which sends it out to an SMTP server on the internet. A sample of the file that gets created in WordStar can be seen below:

***************
MAIL FROM: <sender@anywhere.com>
RCPT TO: <receiver@anywhere.com>
DATA
From: sender@anywhere.com
To: receiver@anywhere.com
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:28:43 -0500
Subject: An Historic Email
Priority: normal

Hello,

This message is being composed using WordStar ver. 4 running on top of TurboDOS!
It is probably the first time in history that a modern email has been written on
this kind of system, please reply if you get it.

...Sent from my S-100 TurboDOS computer via ArcNET to TurboPC and relayed to the Internet!

.

***************

By also installing Quarterdeck's Desqview on the PC, the BAT file can run in the background or in a separate window and the PC can still be used for other tasks simultaneously. In addition to file/print networking between the S-100 machine and the PC, a few other features are also provided. I can synchronize the clock on the PC with the S-100 machine, I can open a remote terminal to the S-100 machine and run my favorite CP/M, MP/M and TurboDOS programs, there's even provision for turning the PC into a diskless client and booting it over the network using the TurboDOS shared disk as the local PC's C:\ drive.

Other things that I have been experimenting with using this equipment is FTP and Tape Backup, both of which have been successful. With MTCP running on the DOS machine, I can publish the S-100 computer's disk over FTP, then my modern Windows laptop can log in and transfer files, fun to watch when you're FTP-ing stuff straight through to an 8" floppy! There's also a QIC-02 drive connected to the S-100 machine which allows me to do full or incremental backup/restores to tape. This posting wouldn't be complete without a few pictures, so here we go.

JNZ
October 12th, 2015, 04:06 PM
That's super cool! I didn't know any networking boards existed at the time for S-100 systems...nor have I ever used ARCnet. It sounds like it's a token-style networking protocol using a very interesting sounding star-wired bus topology. I can't say I envy the very early days of LAN connectivity.

How does the ARCnet board expose your disks/printers to the TurboDOS machine? Is one of the two CPUs occupied with handling incoming and outgoing network requests, and is responsible for communicating with the floppy disk controller? You say the Toshiba runs a TCP/IP stack; how does this communicate with whatever addressing and control protocol that ARCnet uses?

Very cool stuff, though! Could you write a program that passes arbitrary data back and forth, not just control messages for the drives and printer? The S-100 playing a networked game, for example...

JNZ
October 12th, 2015, 04:07 PM
Also, on the topic of networking, are there any homebrew S-100 ethernet controllers?

new_castle_j
October 13th, 2015, 08:50 AM
>How does the ARCnet board expose your disks/printers to the TurboDOS machine? Is one of the two CPUs occupied with handling incoming and outgoing network requests, and is responsible for communicating with the floppy disk controller?

In a TurboDOS system, one of the processors is dedicated to controlling all access to disk/printer I/O, the same processor is also in charge of the ARCNet board. In my system the 186 board is the "Master" and the Z80 is the "Slave". The master exposes the disks to the slave boards as drive letters, several slaves can access the same disk resources simultaneously, the master processor handles the requests and file locking routines.

>You say the Toshiba runs a TCP/IP stack; how does this communicate with whatever addressing and control protocol that ARCnet uses?

There's TCP/IP stack and packet driver on the Toshiba binds to the Ethernet controller, there's a separate driver on the Toshiba that is bound to the ARCNet controller. Translation between the protocols happen within DOS.

> Could you write a program that passes arbitrary data back and forth, not just control messages for the drives and printer? The S-100 playing a networked game, for example...

Yes, you can transmit any kind of data you want over ARCNet, just like Ethernet it sends packets, an ARCNet packet has a maximum size of 507 bytes though.

>Also, on the topic of networking, are there any homebrew S-100 ethernet controllers?

Nope, there's no homebrew S-100 ethernet controllers out there. However, there is a homebrew ethernet add on that can be grafted into any Z-80 based CP/M machine. It doesn't sit in the buss, but rather piggy backs onto the socket of the Z80 itself. http://www.kc85.susowa.homeftp.net/

IBM Portable PC
October 13th, 2015, 01:30 PM
.....With ARCNet I am able to share the disks/printers with a PC-DOS computer running the TurboDOS network client called Turbo-PC......

I believed the PC-DOS TurboDOS client may have been lost forever!

I am very glad to hear it is not as I have a Pulsar Little Big Board (Not Ampro) that I eventually hope to find the TurboDOS boot disks for. Someone out there must have them and when I obtain them I hope to also network with the PC world.

Any chance of uploading a ZIP archive containing the client?

Well done! :)

new_castle_j
October 13th, 2015, 04:12 PM
I believed the PC-DOS TurboDOS client may have been lost forever!

I am very glad to hear it is not as I have a Pulsar Little Big Board (Not Ampro) that I eventually hope to find the TurboDOS boot disks for. Someone out there must have them and when I obtain them I hope to also network with the PC world.

Any chance of uploading a ZIP archive containing the client?

Well done! :)

I remember another gentleman in Melbourne with a Pulsar TurboDOS system, screen name PCPete, he ran a business restoring audio and video media. I could no longer find an active website, but internet archive has it https://web.archive.org/web/20130408203150/http://audiography.com.au/index.htm

Bitsavers has a copy of the Turbo-PC client: http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/bits/Software2000/TurboDOS_PC/

IBM Portable PC
October 25th, 2015, 12:27 PM
...I installed both an ARCNet and an Ethernet card into my Toshiba T3200SXC running Novell DOS 7...

What brand/model is the ISA 8bit ARCNet card?

new_castle_j
October 25th, 2015, 12:54 PM
What brand/model is the ISA 8bit ARCNet card?

I have a Tiara arcnet card, same one as pictured in Ebay item# 190954950311, though I don't think it matters much, as long as the card puts a COM 9066 chip or compatible on the bus.

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