Forum Rules and Etiquette

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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
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  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Easy to set up Network System that work with Boot ROMs?

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    Easy to set up Network System that work with Boot ROMs?

    I picked up a very rare network card for an IBM JX which is looking for a network to serve it a file. On boot, it seems to be waiting for a response from a server but eventually times out. Appears to be coaxial Ethernet - is there something simple I can install that supports an NE2000 so I can see if I can serve it a boot image?

    Thanks for any thoughts;


    You should be really careful unless you know exactly what that card is. The IBM Cluster Adapter was period correct for the time, and it also uses a BNC connector. And it's also a totally different network technology that is not compatible with Ethernet.

    Can you post higher resolution pictures of the card? (Both sides ...)


      Hi Mike -

      Sure thing - here it is.


      For more clues - I should point out it is one of the PCs mentioned in this press release -


        I am just reading this -

        and I am pretty sure you are right - it will be an IBM Cluster Adaptor. Now I need to figure out what to do with it.



          That is what I expected. And it's good think you did not try to hook it up to Ethernet ... I'm not sure which side would earn the "hit points."

          I have two ISA versions of that adapter here and several PCjr versions of it. The technical reference is readily available. I am looking to port mTCP to it so that we can have mTCP running on top of native, IBM specific hardware, and for Internet connectivity I'll write a small gateway program to bridge Cluster to Ethernet. But I haven't even started poking at the adapter to make it send or receive a packet yet. Compared to Ethernet the programming model it's quite icky; it is like the love child of peer-to-peer SNA and Ethernet.

          Keep it safe - it will make a wonderful part of a VCF exhibit one day. (The PC, PCjr, and PC XT all part of an IBM Cluster Network.)


            I have just bought a New Old Stock IBM PC Cluster Adaptor. Is the software available somewhere? Would love to give it a spin. Would be great to bring a JX over to the USA as part of a PCjr exhibit.

            I ordered a JRide the other day - over the next week or two I plan to wire up an Adaptor to theoretically use PCJr sidecars in the JX expansion bay.



              It seems to have been a predecessor to the IBM PC Network (Broadband) cards (CSMA/CA vs CSMA/CD and 375Kbps vs 2Mbps). Maybe there is some IBM Networking software, but I'm not sure which would cater to interfaces that old.

              Mirror of the old IBM PCCBBS here:
              The allfiles.txt in the root has all the descriptions.
              Last edited by WBST; May 21, 2020, 09:42 AM.


                I have just found this article from 1989 which indicates that IBM JX computers with cluster cards can communicate with an AT with a cluster card under Novell Netware. This is apparently also an option.


                I need to see if I can find a copy of this version - it may contain drivers for this board.



                  A possible clue to the Netware support for the IBM Cluster Adapter variants:
                  Last edited by WBST; June 11, 2020, 12:07 AM.


                    Originally posted by Anthony Beckett View Post
                    ...for an IBM JX...
                    Oh sure.. you just have to rub in the fact you have a working JX that isn't smashed into a million plastic bits like mine!
                    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me


                      Article on the IBM Cluster Software and Adapters and why they don't form a LAN