Help wanted: Interlan Ethernet drivers

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Ged Weare

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Jul 17, 1992, 2:06:09 PM7/17/92
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Hi:

I just acquired two Interlan NP600A Ethernet cards real cheap, and am
trying to find drivers for DOS and AT&T Sys V/386 R3.2 (preferably STREAMS).

DOS:
I got the Clarkson (Crynwr) packet driver set, but no NP600A was
included. I downloaded a packet driver, an NDIS driver and an ODI
driver from the Interlan BBS. I don't know how to use the NDIS or
ODI drivers with NCSA Telnet or ka9q (seems to require some utilities
I don't have), and the Interlan packet driver requires the use of some
Novell utilities (WSGEN and some other *GEN I don't recall), instead of
just being the usual .COM file you get in the Clarkson collection. So,
my questions are (for DOS):

1. anyone have a NP600A packet driver I can use w/o the Novell
utilities?
2. Are the Novel utilities PD, and if so how do I get them?
3. How do I use the NDIS and/or ODI drivers with the PD TCP/IP
stuff, such as ka9q, NCSA Telnet, and so on?

I don't have any Novell or other commercial network SW, and don't want to
buy them (these are for private use, so no funds available).

Unix:
Interlan has a complete TCP/IP package for Sys V, but they sell it for
$1090, and it includes the NP600A itself. This is way outside my budget,
and I already have the cards anyway. I can do it a lot cheaper by
junking the NP600As, and buying something mainstream like 3C503's.

They can't, or won't, sell or give me just the ethernet driver. They
also won't give me technical docs that would let me write my own
driver. I could go on at length about this situation, but I won't. Let
me just say that other PC peripheral board manufacturers are often
very generous with their unix drivers and/or docs, which is the way it
should be. Let me also say that the Interlan Tech Support people were
very good, I have no complints with them.

Anyhow, my unix questions are:

4. Does anyone have/know where there is an NP600A driver for
AT&T Sys V/386 R3.2? Streams, preferable, but not picky.
5. Does anyone happen to know the programming characteristics
of the NP600A?

Again, I don't want to spend money; I can always buy a cheap supported
controller at low cost and junk the NP600As.

Apologies for length of this: trying to preempt answers I already know!
E-mail replies on the above would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


----
Jed Weare | we...@bostech.com
Boston Technology | (617) 246-9000 x3519
100 Quannapowitt Parkway | Amateur Radio NF1Z
Wakefield, MA 01880. |

Michael H. Warfield

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Jul 19, 1992, 9:18:00 PM7/19/92
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>Hi:

>I just acquired two Interlan NP600A Ethernet cards real cheap, and am
>trying to find drivers for DOS and AT&T Sys V/386 R3.2 (preferably STREAMS).

I've got a pile of them. Lotsa luck! I'm not going to be much
help. I've got a little info and more requests.

>1. anyone have a NP600A packet driver I can use w/o the Novell
> utilities?
>2. Are the Novel utilities PD, and if so how do I get them?
>3. How do I use the NDIS and/or ODI drivers with the PD TCP/IP
> stuff, such as ka9q, NCSA Telnet, and so on?

You need some stubs that should have come with the Clarkson
package. There should be and NDIS stub for PDS in there somewhere.

>I don't have any Novell or other commercial network SW, and don't want to
>buy them (these are for private use, so no funds available).

Hmm... Same here. It's a catch 22. I got the boards basically
because they were excess and useless for a commercial application (read
that as "Your software is way overpriced!!!!"). I have the klunky DOS
package but I need drivers for SCO UNIX. All personal stuff. Nobody
in there right commercial minds will touch the things because they can
get better boards and MUCH better software for less than the price of
the drivers for the board!

>Unix:
>Interlan has a complete TCP/IP package for Sys V, but they sell it for
>$1090, and it includes the NP600A itself. This is way outside my budget,
>and I already have the cards anyway. I can do it a lot cheaper by
>junking the NP600As, and buying something mainstream like 3C503's.

I got refered to NCM (I don't remember what that stands for). They
seem to be supplying the software for the boards. They can quote you
separate software packages for a lot of configurations, including upgrades.
HOWEVER.... The individual I talk to didn't seem real enthusiastic. I
got the feeling he was being put out to even be discussing the subject with
some lowly individual. They also want around $500 just for the SCO drivers.
Needless to say, there are better routes to go than that. I don't know
if they have anything for the ATT stuff but their number is 1-800-786-3696.
As I say - their rep had a real attitude and their pricing sucks so lots'a
luck.

I do a lot of consulting as well as my normal job as an Engineering
VP for an outfit down here in Georgia. My recommendation to anyone, after
that encounter with NCM, is to avoid Interlan products like the plague!
If that's their attitude to a consultant who can recommend for or against
their products, heaven help the poor user who is stuck with them!

>Again, I don't want to spend money; I can always buy a cheap supported
>controller at low cost and junk the NP600As.

Yea, my dozen or so are now collecting dust. And Interlan has
already lost several sales as a direct result! Anyone asking or consulting
me will get told that the software was so expensive I could not justify
even evaluating the boards. And I certainly would never recommend something
that I couldn't even evaluate!

Michael H. Warfield
m...@warlord.uucp

Ged Weare

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Jul 23, 1992, 12:16:41 PM7/23/92
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In article <2...@warlord.UUCP> m...@warlord.UUCP (Michael H. Warfield) writes:
>
>> [stuff deleted]

>
> Hmm... Same here. It's a catch 22. I got the boards basically
>because they were excess and useless for a commercial application (read
>that as "Your software is way overpriced!!!!"). I have the klunky DOS
>package but I need drivers for SCO UNIX. All personal stuff. Nobody
>in there right commercial minds will touch the things because they can
>get better boards and MUCH better software for less than the price of
>the drivers for the board!
>
Yeah, the unix package is overpriced, as far as private use goes. As far
as being clunky, I can't say. NCM did say they had vastly improved the
TCP package for unix. You're right about price; I can buy a version of
SysVR4 with TCP for $500, plus an Etherlink or something for less than
$100.

>
> I got refered to NCM (I don't remember what that stands for). They
>seem to be supplying the software for the boards. They can quote you
>separate software packages for a lot of configurations, including upgrades.
>HOWEVER.... The individual I talk to didn't seem real enthusiastic. I
>got the feeling he was being put out to even be discussing the subject with
>some lowly individual. They also want around $500 just for the SCO drivers.
>Needless to say, there are better routes to go than that. I don't know
>if they have anything for the ATT stuff but their number is 1-800-786-3696.
>As I say - their rep had a real attitude and their pricing sucks so lots'a
>luck.
>
> I do a lot of consulting as well as my normal job as an Engineering
>VP for an outfit down here in Georgia. My recommendation to anyone, after
>that encounter with NCM, is to avoid Interlan products like the plague!
>If that's their attitude to a consultant who can recommend for or against
>their products, heaven help the poor user who is stuck with them!

>> [stuff deleted]


> Yea, my dozen or so are now collecting dust. And Interlan has
>already lost several sales as a direct result! Anyone asking or consulting
>me will get told that the software was so expensive I could not justify
>even evaluating the boards. And I certainly would never recommend something
>that I couldn't even evaluate!
>
> Michael H. Warfield
> m...@warlord.uucp

Well, I gotta say, in a pathetic attempt at fairness, that I had nothing but
good service from both Interlan (Ooops, Racal-Datacom), and from NCM. They
did try hard to help me. I talked to three or four different NCM people,
including a technical guy. They even called me back! In fact, a supervisor
called me back to ask if I'd been treated right. I have to admit I was.
I'm bummed that I can't get a unix driver, but that's their marketing
policy, so I have to respect it, but not like it. I agree with your
comments about losing sales through restrictive marketing policies (how
many copies of OS/2 would sell if IBM didn't do cheap competitive upgrades?).
Plus I kinda feel a hardware vendor ought to publish enough info for
a purchaser to write his own software. Actually, the situation is
strange here, with one company making the HW (Racal Datacomm), and another
selling SW packages; maybe R-D can be persuaded to publish the NP600
interface, so they sell more boards? May lose NCM some sales (actually
doubtful, at $1K per), but what does R-D care?

I also have to thank the many people who replied to my post (this included
several Interlan people). Currently, I have the NP600 working for DOS in a
386. I got pkt, NDIS and ODI drivers from the Racal Datacomm BBS, and some
shims and got ka9q working at least. I couldn't get it to work in my old
286, because (I think) the 286 doesn't like bus-mastering (which the card
seems to need). I also got DOS diagnostics. I ended up using the ODI
driver, b/c it didn't need any non-PD software (the pkt driver was not
a .COM file, still can't figure *that* one out).

As I said, still no unix. The only un-explored avenue was that one of
the NCM people said (or implied, or atleast I inferred) that the NP600
might work in NI6510 (?) mode, as a dumb card. That should not need
bus mastering, so I plan to check it out.


----
Jed Weare we...@bostech.com
Boston Technology (617) 246-9000 x3519
100 Quannapowitt Parkway

Wakefield, MA 01880.

Michael H. Warfield

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Jul 27, 1992, 10:26:05 PM7/27/92
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In <1992Jul23.1...@bostech.com> we...@bostech.com (Ged Weare) writes:
>Well, I gotta say, in a pathetic attempt at fairness, that I had nothing but
>good service from both Interlan (Ooops, Racal-Datacom), and from NCM. They
>did try hard to help me. I talked to three or four different NCM people,
>including a technical guy. They even called me back! In fact, a supervisor
>called me back to ask if I'd been treated right. I have to admit I was.

Yeah, I heard from them pretty quickly after my first reply here.
I may have caught somebody on a bad day or something when I contacted them
a few months ago. They had resonable explanations and were quite forthcoming
on details. Gang, I really hope my second contact with NCM was more
representative of their level of support than my first. If so, I'm
impressed. They do seem to be concerned, interested, and helpful.

>As I said, still no unix. The only un-explored avenue was that one of
>the NCM people said (or implied, or atleast I inferred) that the NP600
>might work in NI6510 (?) mode, as a dumb card. That should not need
>bus mastering, so I plan to check it out.

Anybody figures out how to get that to work, I want to know. However,
can it be made to support the higher interrupts. The NI drivers I have
only support the 8 bit interrupts. Main reason I wanted to use the cards
to begin with is for the interrupts on the 16 bit interface. The processor
is actually much slower than my host processor, which is not CPU bound at
this time. As a result, the intellegent NP card would actually slow network
traffic down. But since I'm not network traffic bound either, that's not
much of a problem. I just need more interrupts! :-( ;-( :-(

Mike Warfield
m...@warlord.uucp

Larry Backman

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Jul 28, 1992, 8:38:20 AM7/28/92
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In article <2...@warlord.UUCP> m...@warlord.UUCP (Michael H. Warfield) writes:

>> >As I said, still no unix. The only un-explored avenue was that one of
>> >the NCM people said (or implied, or atleast I inferred) that the NP600
>> >might work in NI6510 (?) mode, as a dumb card. That should not need
>> >bus mastering, so I plan to check it out.

The NP600A is an intelligent card with a 80186 CPU and a 85286 Ethernet chip.
To talk to the net you need the 586. Your host CPU cannot reach that 586.
The onboard 186 can make the 586 jump through hoops provided some code to drive
the 186 is downloaded into the on-board RAM. the host talks to the card
through a rather odd combination of program IO, shared memory, and DMA.

You can make a NP600A act as a "dumb" card; the Netware server driver did that.
However it has a simple dispatch loop down on the card that moves stuff
back and forth between the chip and the host. You also need a host-side
driver to talk to the board just the right way...

The software you are looking at has an old (1982-3'ish) OS called Comet
which is used to drive a protocol stack. This allowed a complete
protocol stack to be shoved into the boards RAM and run on the 186 as opposed
to on the host. As the 186 runs at 8 Mhertz; performance of this stack
will always be an issue.

You need 2-3 spec's out of Racal-Datacomm; the NP600 hardware manual;
the NCX spec which describes the on-board OS, and the spec. which explains
how to write an NP600 driver.


Larry Backman
FTP Software

Doug Lenz

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Aug 3, 1992, 3:47:59 PM8/3/92
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Can anyone point me to an X interface program for GDB? I have
xxgdb and on the few systems I actually got it to compile on
(not many :), it would always die reading in source files.
I never had the time / patience to hack on it but I'm starting
to get kinda desparate! I'm specifically looking for a version
that will compile under Interactive SVR3.2 Version 3.0 with the
X386 server/libraries.

Any hints / ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks...

Doug

---
=============================================================
| Douglas Lenz | Friends don't let friends use MS-DOS |
-------------------------------------------------------------
| internet : le...@ssd.comm.mot.com |
=============================================================

KP KP

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Aug 6, 2022, 3:11:36 PMAug 6
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Kermit the frog.
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