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

Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
27
Location
Koo-Wee-Rup, Victoria, Australia
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;

Anthony
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mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
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May 3, 2003
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6,248
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 ...)
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
6,248
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.)
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
27
Location
Koo-Wee-Rup, Victoria, Australia
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.

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WBST

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Feb 11, 2017
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518
Location
Guildford, U.K.
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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC_Network

Mirror of the old IBM PCCBBS here:
http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/
The allfiles.txt in the root has all the descriptions.
 
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