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different ways of connecting 5150 to internet

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    different ways of connecting 5150 to internet

    So, these are the methods I know:
    • Connect it to a more modern PC with serial cable, access internet that way
    • put in an 8 bit ISA Ethernet card
    • use one of those Xircom parallel port to Ethernet devices.


    But what I am wondering is, firstly, how do you guys connect your 5150 or XT to the internet (if you do it at all), and secondly, could one of those serial port to ethernet devices (see link) be used?

    As far as the second question, I think the answer is no, because it appears that they are intended to be a remote serial port for another computer. It seems that, in theory, if you had a DOS packet driver to work with them, you could use them to access the internet on a 5150, but I doubt such packet drivers are available (unless there is a 3rd party/open source one).

    Probably the Xircom device is best if you don't want to use a slot on the 5150 for an ethernet cable.

    --Brian

    #2
    Don't have a 5150 myself, but I've been attempting to get my 286 online. If you can find an 8-bit Ethernet card that's going to be far and away the best solution, but the trick with ISA Ethernet cards is finding one where the drivers don't require a 386...

    As far as software goes, you'll definitely want to check out mbrutman's page for mTCP.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

    Comment


      #3
      dial-up modem
      Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

      Comment


        #4
        And it depends on what you mean by "the Internet". You're not going to find a web browser, for instance that gives you anything close to acceptable performance in today's terms. But if you'd just like to do telnet and ftp, you should be fine.

        I use the NIC method myself. My card looks like 16-bit ISA, but it works just fine in an 8-bit slot. Also lets me network to Windoze machines using NetBEUI.

        Comment


          #5
          well I would just use Bobcat, which is a DOS version of lynx, a text only web browser. also there are IRC programs and email programs for DOS. commodorejohn, I am familiar with the bruntman pages, they were useful when I was going online in DOS with a pentium II laptop a while back.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
            And it depends on what you mean by "the Internet". You're not going to find a web browser, for instance that gives you anything close to acceptable performance in today's terms. But if you'd just like to do telnet and ftp, you should be fine.
            Well, there is Arachne, though I don't know how the performance would be on a 4.77MHz 8088. Also, if you got a text-based browser like Links to build for 8086, you could get to a fair variety of sites without too much trouble.
            Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
            Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
            "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

            Comment


              #7
              You don't want to see Arachne run on a 4.77MHz 8088, take my word for it.

              Comment


                #8
                Can't say I'm surprised. A text browser might still be usable though.
                Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by commodorejohn View Post
                  . . . Also, if you got a text-based browser like Links to build for 8086, you could get to a fair variety of sites without too much trouble.
                  I use Lynx all the time, but the only build I've found needs a 386 or higher. If someone here has a build for 8086 I would be grateful. Thank you in advance.

                  There is also htget and wget. Htget is about 1/10 the size of wget so for working off a floppy it is ideal. I've used a batch file to grab a weather page and then automatically display it with an html viewer. However, I can't quickly ascertain right now, and don't recall which of those programs will work on less than 386. Like Chuck says, telnet and ftp work well - and, short of a full KDE system, what else could one really want?
                  WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Actually now I remember. It was a 1987 Sharp PC-4501 that I tried this on last. Using htget via dialup on the built in 1200 baud modem and rendering the pages with viewhtml.exe. The Sharp has a NEC V20 and 640K memory. I don't know if the V20 is required, but that's getting awfully close. The advantage of the Sharp is that it has a big modern 720K floppy drive so you have lots of space. I'll try it on the 5150 when I get time.
                    WANTED: Cardinal 2450MNP modem.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ah, the joys of DOS networking .. getting a 5150 on the Internet is actually pretty easy.


                      Option: Connect to a more modern PC with a serial cable and use as a terminal

                      This is equivalent to using your machine as a terminal - almost no intelligence is required. The machine you are connected to (Linux? Some other Unix?) is doing the heavy lifting of connecting to the outside world, sending your computer the proper screen handling codes, etc.

                      I used my PCjr for years as a terminal to the various Unix machines on campus I was connecting to. Back then that was state of the art. This solution works well for machines that are limited by CPU speed or memory because it doesn't take a lot to manage the serial port and to emulate a terminal. You are not running TCP/IP on the PC so that overhead is not a factor.

                      You will need a null modem adapter and you will need to set up your other machine to drive a hardwired terminal. It is not that complicated though.


                      Option: Connect to a more modern PC with a serial cable and run PPP or SLIP

                      With this option you are actually running TCP/IP on the machine and using the serial port as your point-to-point link to another machine. The other machine has to be capable of serving as a gateway so that your TCP/IP traffic can be routed elsewhere. (Well, technically this is not true, but most Linux/Unix machines can do this anyway.)

                      At 4800 or 9600 BPS this technique is tolerable for Telnet, IRC and other applications that spend more time waiting for people to respond. It is pretty slow for FTP and anything else that needs to do a lot of data transfer. You effectively are adding the overhead of TCP/IP processing to the very small bandwidth that you have. For FTP traffic you can expect 0.7KB/sec transfer rates.

                      There should be a variation of this that uses the parallel port and a Laplink style cable instead. That would give you some fairly decent speeds compared to the serial port.


                      Option: Put in an 8 bit ISA Ethernet card

                      This is the best option if you are going to use the machine a lot. But it takes a precious slot and requires some setup.

                      With an Ethernet card and a packet driver you can run TCP/IP over the Ethernet at some pretty good speeds. I've measured my XT sending and receiving data at around 30KB/sec using FTP, and that includes the overhead of the disk I/O. IRC and Telnet are very fast too - you will not be tapping your fingers waiting for anything.

                      This page explains the theory of packet drivers in more details:


                      Option: Use one of those Xircom parallel port to Ethernet devices

                      This option is a hybrid - it gives you an Ethernet connection without tying up a slot in your machine. The Ethernet connection is not as fast as the one that a real Ethernet card would provide, but it is easy to do and the software can't tell the difference.

                      This page has some details on the Xircom PE3-10BT:

                      I've used the Xircom PE3-10BT on a wide variety of machines. On a standard parallel port (not bi-directional) receiving data will be half the speed of sending data, but it is more than fast enough to be useful. The Xircom can be configured not to require an IRQ which is a bonus for systems where IRQs are tight.

                      Other "pocket ethernet" devices are similar in operation, but I've not tried them.


                      Software

                      And lastly, you need software for all of this ...

                      The oldest and most widely used software is based on a library called WATTCP written by Erick Engelke (http://www.erickengelke.com/wattcp/). It has been around for a long time, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

                      NCSA Telnet provides a good Telnet client and a slightly usable FTP server, but it is very old code at this point. It also does not run on an 8088 - you will need an 80286 or a NEC V20 in your 5150 to run it.

                      Trumpet (NTCPDRV) is a TSR that provides a TCP/IP stack. While Trumpet is very flexible about what programs can access it and use it, it is not very high performance and it has a reputation for being flaky.

                      I have a personal bias here, but I think the best software to use is my own! I looked at Trumpet and decided that the TSR approach that Trumpet uses is too unstable and adds overhead, so I wrote my own TCP/IP library and applications. Applications include DHCP, Telnet, FTP, IRC, FTP server, SNTP, Netcat, and Ping. You can find documentation, binaries and source code at http://www.brutman.com/mTCP .

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ole Juul View Post
                        I use Lynx all the time, but the only build I've found needs a 386 or higher. If someone here has a build for 8086 I would be grateful. Thank you in advance.
                        There is one!!! Bobcat!!!

                        Link to Bobcat for DOS.

                        Also there is Minuet, which does run on an 8088. The later versions (there is a link on the wikipedia page) had a web browser.

                        --Brian

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My software is Microsoft LANMAN; a bit bulky, but I have an LIM card so it's not too awful. While it provides TCP/IP protocols, I also get NETBEUI, so I can converse with my WinXP network. When I'm cramped for memory, I can simply stop the network service and unload the drivers.

                          A word of warning, however--MSLANMAN appears to require the 286 instruction set--it will install with a V20 in the CPU socket, but not an 8088. I don't know if that's a requirement of the driver or just the installation utilities, however (one of these days, I'll swap the 8088 back and see what happens).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Besides giving you file and printer sharing, what applications dos MS LANMAN let you run? Is there an implementation of Telnet or FTP that can use the MS TCP/IP?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by neutrino78x View Post
                              So, these are the methods I know:
                              • Connect it to a more modern PC with serial cable, access internet that way
                              • put in an 8 bit ISA Ethernet card
                              • use one of those Xircom parallel port to Ethernet devices.


                              But what I am wondering is, firstly, how do you guys connect your 5150 or XT to the internet (if you do it at all), and secondly, could one of those serial port to ethernet devices (see link) be used?
                              As Mike B explained, there are two ways of connecting through a modern PC via the serial port: as a terminal logged into and running the software on a *NIX box, or running the software on the 5150 and just using the modern PC as an RS-232 to TCP/IP bridge instead of connecting the 5150 directly via dial-up modem. The serial port to ethernet bridges you mention are effectively equivalent to the second approach; the Lantronix units seemed to be popular for this, and you can still find UDS-10s occasionally for a good price.

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