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Thread: Rainbow hosting web pages

  1. #1

    Default Rainbow hosting web pages

    For anyone interested, I recently completed a port of the uIP TCP/IP stack to MS-DOS using the FOSSIL driver interface. To demonstrate the port, I've set up a Rainbow 100 hosting web pages over a SLIP interface at:

    http://uip.rainbow-100.com/

    The speed is a bit on the slow side since the computer is only using standard SLIP (not compressed) at 19200 bps. The source code is available here.
    Jeff Armstrong
    Still a Rainbow 100 user...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    1,291

    Default

    Jeff,

    Pretty neat. I went and took a look. Can you describe for us the hardware connections between the back of the Rainbow and the internet?

    Lou (used to have a Rainbow as a teenager. The only bit left is the monochrome monitor, which is now on my VT240.)

  3. #3

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    Pretty darn cool! Now I finally have a use for the Rainbow 100A coming my way. Are you running this from a hard drive? In that case I might have to do some modifications.
    Looking for: anything from SGI or DEC/digital
    Pictures of my collection: www.pdp8.se

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou - N2MIY View Post
    Pretty neat. I went and took a look. Can you describe for us the hardware connections between the back of the Rainbow and the internet?
    The Rainbow is connected to a decTOP computer using a standard RS232 connection with a null modem and a USB-to-serial adapter on the decTOP. The connection is currently running at 19200 bps. The decTOP, running Debian GNU/Linux, is using Apache to proxy requests from the internet to the Rainbow via a SLIP connection. The decTOP is doing nothing more than passing requests through to the Rainbow; the Rainbow is doing the actual serving and running a true TCP/IP stack.

    The physical connection is:

    Rainbow serial port<--> 25-pin serial cable <--> Null Modem <--> Gender Changer <--> 25-pin/9-pin serial cable <--> USB-to-Serial Adapter <--> decTOP USB port
    Jeff Armstrong
    Still a Rainbow 100 user...

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pontus View Post
    Pretty darn cool! Now I finally have a use for the Rainbow 100A coming my way. Are you running this from a hard drive? In that case I might have to do some modifications.
    No, actually. To simplify things, everything is served off an RX50 in drive B. The server program is only about 32 KB, and I believe the largest web page is only 7KB.

    The system is booted of an MSDOS 3.10b disk in drive A, which also contains the DecComm FOSSIL driver necessary for the server code to work.
    Jeff Armstrong
    Still a Rainbow 100 user...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Manitoba North of 50 degrees Latitude
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Wow !! That's amazing. I had never heard of the Dectop and on visiting the manufacturers site

    http://www.dataevolution.com/dectop%20info%202.htm

    found they had the Dectop on sale at $99. It appears quite amazing. An internet appliance with expandable 128MB Ram and 10G ide HD and with 4 USB ports, a CS5535 audio card, a fast modem and USB ethernet option. It would alleviate my need for now of a more capable computer than the older boxes I now have. It was apparently aimed by AMD at the 3rd world. There's also a Ubuntu install available for it.

    Any intention of putting the Rainbow 100 site up again, perhaps using this setup ?

    A lot of questions which I'll leave for later. My admiration is immense.
    Congratulations.

    Lawrence
    Economics isn't a real science. It's an evil art designed for the rich.

  7. #7

    Default

    The decTOP is a reasonably capable machine. AMD built them, but they had locked the boot sectors to only start Windows CE (yuck). It's a reasonably capable computer, and can boot GNU/Linux just fine. Mine, for example, is running Debian Etch. I upgraded the RAM to 512MB (the max).

    The only problem is that the Geode processor, while extremely low power (<=1W), is also a bit outdated for modern computing. It lacks a lot of the features even found in not-so-modern chips. Almost any Intel or AMD design will run circles around it at the same clock speed. So the system tends to have trouble with things we take for granted, like interpreted modern languages (Python, PHP). Also, the USB is USB 1.1, so the ethernet is even a bit slow.

    I've started working on a Rainbow web site, but other projects keep jumping in front. Eventually I'll get moving on it. Even making a reasonable web site requires a significant time commitment.
    Jeff Armstrong
    Still a Rainbow 100 user...

  8. #8

    Default

    Interesting, I bought two of those Personal Internet Communicators a few months ago at Goodwill. It took me a day or two to think it over only because one box was torn but the other had a nice box with it. They were interesting just in their small form and I figured they had to be a failed release, especially seeing that they didn't integrate ethernet (you can use a usb->ethernet converter). Anyway, I'm not sure the AMD model is hackable, but yeah that's an interesting and cool gizmo if the new company is modding them for that usage. I was originally going to try to keep one for collectors sake and see if I could hack the other for either a tv set top box or some sort of small computing device but didn't get around to it.

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