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Thread: ethflop - a network-backed floppy emulator for DOS

  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    How is this better/more desirable than accessing a network drive?
    I'd call it mostly a personal preference thing, but there are a few reasons why I prefer ethflop over EtherDFS in *some* situations:
    - 2K resident size (on a PC that has less than 200K of available RAM, every byte counts)
    - amount of addressable data is limited to the mounted diskette, so if things should go very bad very quick (virus? crash? whatever), I'm not risking the entire content of my network drive
    - preserves the "floppy" aspect of the experience - nice for running software that was originally distributed on a diskette
    - much simpler under the hood, so there is zero risk that the software being executed will get confused because of some filesystem-related incompatibility
    - can be mounted as write-protected - I like to do it when mounting my antivirus floppy image. In the event that I am scanning an infected system, I don't risk infecting the antivirus floppy image itself

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by daver2 View Post
    >>> The thing is that ethflopd requires access to raw sockets for crafting its own Ethernet frames, that's quite a low-level feature that is not necessarily part of whatever the W10 linux system provides.
    That probably does rule out just running it on the W10 Linux subsystem unless some rumored recent improvements opened up some of its limitations. I remember when I first played with Ubuntu on it you could "ping" but you couldn't run traceroute or anything else that went even a step deeper because netlink and raw sockets weren't allowed. (Apparently even Ping didn't work initially.)

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by daver2 View Post
    >>> The thing is that ethflopd requires access to raw sockets for crafting its own Ethernet frames, that's quite a low-level feature that is not necessarily part of whatever the W10 linux system provides.

    Winpcap (or Win10pcap) is the thing to do this. I used it many years ago to talk at the raw level actress Ethernet.
    That is what I was going to suggest myself if someone had the motivation to try porting this to run on Windows.

    I had WinPcap installed on my Windows 10 system that I use to run SIMH. It quit working a while ago after a Windows update. I uninstalled it an installed Npcap instead to get things working again.

    nmap.org/npcap/

    I don't know anything about the API provided by WinPcap / Npcap. It must provide a low level enough interface to sending and receiving Ethernet packets that, for example, an emulated SIMH VAX running on a Windows 10 system can send and receive MOP, LAT, LAST/LAD and DECnet packets on the physical Ethernet interface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mateuszviste View Post
    I'd call it mostly a personal preference thing
    Fair enough. It's not for me, but for people who like to preserve the floppy-only experience, they'd like it. The only use I would personally have for it is for running/testing applications that are hard-coded to reference A: for their program code locations (they can be cracked, but it's a pain).

    I appreciate that the TSR is now finally in assembler. Time to convert EtherDFS over to assembler?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Fair enough. It's not for me, but for people who like to preserve the floppy-only experience, they'd like it.
    Most, if not all, practical situations can be addressed with EtherDFS alone. Still, under-2K resident size is nice.
    EtherDFS is minimalist already, but ethflop takes the minimalism to another level. And I like minimalism - that is reason enough for me to use ethflop instead of EtherDFS (when applicable).

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I appreciate that the TSR is now finally in assembler.
    It's not really a "finally" matter - should I re-do EtherDFS today, I'd still re-do it in C without hesitation. It's a matter of effort vs result vs time. ethflop is a very minimalist approach, and as such I had enough time budget to do it in full assembly. In comparison, EtherDFS is a highly complicated beast, doing it in asm would easily take (me) months of writing and debugging.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Time to convert EtherDFS over to assembler?
    Nope, still not. Sorry.

  6. #46

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    Hi,

    This is definitely a very cool utility. There has been a need/req. for a software floppy emulator that this could fill (i.e. when you don't feel like writing 12 disk images to actual floppies to install a program). A couple of quick questions/suggestions:

    1. What happens if a system already has two floppy drives (say 3 1/2" and 5 1/4") already installed? Can the emulated drive letter be changed/moved?

    2. I know there has already been a discussion regarding IMD disks - however, any possibility of adding IMD format as a non-protected format? I use IMD to make all of my disk images so to use this utility I would have to convert the file to IMG. It would be nice if we could just load IMD files (and with the full knowledge that no special direct access disks would work).

    3. As others have said a disk change facility would be nice. Nothing elaborate - maybe something like this: All the disks would be placed in one directory and named in some prescribed way (say files are in WIN311 directory and disk are name 01.img, 02.img, 03.img - 11.img you get the idea). Then all the TSR has to do is trap two hot keys (say "ctrl +" and "ctrl -"). The TSR would then step up/down in the file name and load the disk. I am not a programmer so I am not sure how much bigger this would make the TSR's footprint. However, it should be less then a routine that pops up a dialog box asking for the name of the image each time. Of course it would be limited to install disk sets but that is when you would need it most.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

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