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Thread: What should I look for in an Ethernet card for an XT-class computer?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Google's works fine. Put this in google:

    site:vcfed.org EXP8
    I made this bookmark and placed it on my on my Bookmarks bar:

    Code:
    
    javascript:function f(){var q=prompt('Search for');if(q!=null){location.href='http://google.com/search?q=site:'+location.host+'+'+encodeURIComponent(q);}}f();
    
    I called it... Search this site with Google.

    But you can name it whatever you like.

    I just click on it and it searches Google or whatever site I happen to be on for whatever text I enter into the prompt it generates.

    Naturally you can edit it to use any search engine of your choice if you like or you can create as many as you like, one for each search engine you regularly use use.

    Isn't that what computers are for?
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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    The numbers from the Linux PLIP howto were quite a lot less optimistic, but still perhaps just good enough to still merit investigating. (If nothing else an option that works on a machine like these Tandys without standard slots *or* standard serial ports is still technically interesting.) All the Linux PLIP documentation that's easy to find dates from the late 90's to early 'aughts, it'll be interesting to see if it still works on a modern kernel.
    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the module isn't even compiled on mainstream linux kernels anymore. You may end up having to roll your own.

    Man, I haven't compiled a kernel for years. Haha.

    It may also conflict with the generic parport driver. I seem to recall, some years ago, when the kernel guys converted to the generic parport driver and rewrote all the parport peripheral drivers to run on top of that, that the PLIP driver was still a standalone low-level bit banging thing, that didn't work with the new multilayer stuff. But I may be misremembering, or it may have been ported eventually. Regardless, I am fairly sure that with some clever module blacklisting and only a little bit of head-desk-banging, the linux PLIP driver could still be made to work with a "real" parallel port. I kinda doubt it will work with a USB parallel port on a modern machine, although that would be pretty nice.

    I'm going to try PLIP with my PS/2 Model 25 at some point. It only has 2 ISA slots, and they are filled by XT-IDE and a Sound Blaster.
    -- Lee

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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    All the Linux PLIP documentation that's easy to find dates from the late 90's to early 'aughts, it'll be interesting to see if it still works on a modern kernel.
    I have not tested with PLIP, but I did setup a SLIP environment not too long ago. The required userspace utilities are definitely not installed by default anymore, but after that... the kernel happily gave me the 1989 copyright message and things just worked.


    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the module isn't even compiled on mainstream linux kernels anymore. You may end up having to roll your own.
    On Debian 10.1 (kernel 4.19), the module is included by default:
    Code:
    # modprobe plip
    # lsmod|grep plip
    plip                   28672  0
    parport                57344  4 parport_pc,lp,plip,ppdev
    My machine has no actual parallel port (notebook), so I haven't tested if it works. I'd assume it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    Man, I haven't compiled a kernel for years. Haha.
    You might have heard of kernel modules. They are good at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    I kinda doubt it will work with a USB parallel port on a modern machine, although that would be pretty nice.
    These adapters things only work for printers, because they run the communication protocol themselves. Even if you can get them into a bit-banging mode at all (most can't), USB is far from a realtime protocol. Expect a slowdown by a factor of 100 or more. There is a reason that people offload the protocol into microcontrollers...

    However, you should be able to use any PCI, PCIe, CardBus or ExpressCard-based adapters just fine.

  4. #24

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    I stuck a 3COM 3C503 in my xt + tandy 1000sx. has rj45 connector, works fine with packetdriver and mtcp. short board, 8bit isa.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    I'm going to try PLIP with my PS/2 Model 25 at some point. It only has 2 ISA slots, and they are filled by XT-IDE and a Sound Blaster.
    Be sure to post about your results if you get to it before I can.

    The Realtek card I decided to take a chance on is in the mail, but there's a lot of pre-work I'm going to be stuck with before I get to play there either.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladamson View Post
    I'm going to try PLIP with my PS/2 Model 25 at some point. It only has 2 ISA slots, and they are filled by XT-IDE and a Sound Blaster.
    I'm surprised people haven't mentioned the XIRCOM PE3 yet. It's a parallel-port ethernet adapter that works well (it's a mainstay of the PCjr hobbyist community).
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  7. #27
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    It's been a while since I updated, so...

    Where things are now is I'm starting to wonder if I jumped the gun on thinking the RTL8019AS was the right thing to go with. I saw a number of reports that they "worked" with XTs, but I'm having nothing but trouble... a lot of which I suspect is pilot error, but I'm having a terrible time googling my way out.

    First problem: When I tried running the "RSET8019" setup program on my Tandy 1000 HX it detected that there was an I/O setting clash with my XT-CF card at 300H. The dialog offered to change it to 240H, which I accepted. After that it popped up a blinking "Wait while scanning slots................." message.. and that's all I get now. The computer hangs hard enough ctrl-alt-del won't cut it, only a power cycle will free it up. If I try running the program again I no longer get the warning of it crashing with the XT-CF card (so I assume it succeeded in programming the configuration EEPROM with the new address), but it still croaks trying to scan the other slots. The machine I'm trying to run this on still has the original 8088 CPU, could this be an issue with that(*), or is it likely something else? I assume I'll still need this program to set an IRQ for the card? The program doesn't seem to accept any config switches to directly specify that I want it on, say, IRQ2, it insists on scanning.

    Second problem: I apparently fail at Google; what are people using for a DOS packet driver for this card? I can only find drivers for later PCI RTL cards.

    Thanks.

    (*) Edit/addendum: I tried the card in the EX with a V-20 and get the same hang. I suppose it could be an issue with my ISA adapter, but there isn't much to that.
    Last edited by Eudimorphodon; November 12th, 2019 at 10:51 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Both the packet driver and the config program work just fine here on a Turbo XT clone with a 8088-1 installed but with such old hardware nothing it's sure.

    I have attached here the very same ones I'm using on my XT. In fact I just uploaded them to the computer I'm using to write this from it .

    In jumperless mode the config is stored on a small eeprom. Maybe that eeprom just got corrupted. You can try to configure it with proper resources in a more modern box with PnP support. Make sure to configure it in jumperless not PnP mode and with an IRQ<=7.

    Hope this helps
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by dieymir; November 13th, 2019 at 09:19 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieymir View Post
    Both the packet driver and the config program work just fine here on a Turbo XT clone with a 8088-1 installed but with such old hardware nothing it's
    That's certainly a sure thing, alas.

    So... I got somewhere else, but still not where I need to be. Unfortunately the copy of RSET8019 in your ZIP file also crashes on my machine. Digging around I *did* find another possibility; there's a "PG8019.EXE" program out there that you can use to directly load the registers of the 8019 without probing. I managed to get that to work (I think), but I ran into another problem: (Cue teeth gnashing here.)

    When I run the "PNPPD.COM" packet driver it detects the I/O location as set, but it it detects the IRQ as 9, not 2 as I set it to. This is a vague recollection, but isn't it true that in an AT all higher IRQs are cascaded off of 2 and 2 becomes 9? Maybe that would explain why it'd seeing it as 9 despite the fact that the PG8019 program lists "2" and "9" as two separate legitimate options for setting the IRQ to, but the driver subsequently bombs with the error "<hardware_irq> should be between 0 and 7 inclusive". The Tandy 1000 only has 2,3, and 4 brought out to the bus connector and I already have serial ports on 3 and 4 so... aaagh. (What's really strange is the driver recognizes it's in an 8-bit slot so... again, why is it calling it 9?!?!)

    I've seen this card described as a "NE2000" compatible, is it possible to run a different packet driver that would let me manually specify I/O and IRQ?
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  10. #30
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    Yes, IRQ2 is used as the master for the second 8259. Best to stick with one of the other IRQs on an XT.

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