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Parallel Cable File Transfer DOS PCs

PeterNY

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Does anyone remember what parallel cable is required for PC to PC file transfer under DOS? I remember using this in the early to mid 1990s with a tool by the name FX.com.​
 
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Chuck(G)

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It's generically known as a "Laplink parallel cable". These also came in a 6-connector called something like a "Laplink Universal Cable", with both DE-9F and DB-25F for serial and DB-25M for parallel.

I still have a carton of new unopened-in-the-bag parallel cables, which can also be used with Microsoft Interlink. We had them custom made to our specs, as the consumer-level ones were, in our opinion, a bit flimsy.
 

PeterNY

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It's generically known as a "Laplink parallel cable". These also came in a 6-connector called something like a "Laplink Universal Cable", with both DE-9F and DB-25F for serial and DB-25M for parallel.

I still have a carton of new unopened-in-the-bag parallel cables, which can also be used with Microsoft Interlink. We had them custom made to our specs, as the consumer-level ones were, in our opinion, a bit flimsy.

Awesome! Do you know which freeware/shareware utilities work with such a cable under MS-DOS?​
 
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Dave Farquhar

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You can use interlnk/intersvr.exe that were part of DOS 6-6.22. As I recall, you run intersvr.exe on one machine and interlnk.exe on the other. It's been a long time since I needed to do it, but it was very straightforward.
 

phreakindee

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...I remember using this in the early to mid 1990s with a tool by the name FX.com.

Might that be FastLynx? It's also sometimes known as "FX" (fx.exe) and should do exactly what you need. I use FastLynx v2.0 and a Belkin F3X171-10 ("Pro Series File Transfer - PC to PC Cable - Serial") to transfer stuff between PCs.
 

PeterNY

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Might that be FastLynx? It's also sometimes known as "FX" (fx.exe) and should do exactly what you need. I use FastLynx v2.0 and a Belkin F3X171-10 ("Pro Series File Transfer - PC to PC Cable - Serial") to transfer stuff between PCs.

That is probably it! I remember using it on null modem, parallel as well as BNC and ethernet IPX through Netware Lite and IPX.com. :)

I prefer parallel as it is a lot faster than null modem.​
 
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Ole Juul

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You can use interlnk/intersvr.exe that were part of DOS 6-6.22. As I recall, you run intersvr.exe on one machine and interlnk.exe on the other. It's been a long time since I needed to do it, but it was very straightforward.
Indeed it is dead simple. One thing to remember is that interlnk.exe has to be loaded with your config.sys. intersvr.exe can be loaded from the command line at any time.

Also, if you put intersvr.exe in your autoexec.bat and you can have a headless box. I've had one of those as part of the network mix since 6.0 came out.

Edit: I forgot to say that there are some interesting setup options. If you are indeed running MS-DOS 6.* then just type "help" and you will see. That info together with a couple of clever batch files and you really have something. ... but that's for later. :)
 

PeterNY

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Indeed it is dead simple. One thing to remember is that interlnk.exe has to be loaded with your config.sys. intersvr.exe can be loaded from the command line at any time.

Also, if you put intersvr.exe in your autoexec.bat and you can have a headless box. I've had one of those as part of the network mix since 6.0 came out.

I will experiment with that as well. Now I need to buy one of those cables.​
 
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Ole Juul

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I will experiment with that as well. Now I need to buy one of those cables.

They may be hard to find at this point. You can make one by chopping a straight through cable and reconnecting the wires to fit. A little heat shrink and it will look good as new. That's easier than soldering connectors. :) The wiring diagram is included in the MS-DOS 6.* help file. As mentioned, just type "help interlnk".
 

MikeS

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And don't forget about Windows DCC (W95 and newer), which uses the same cable (as well as IR and serial), in case you have an old laptop or other box without ethernet.
 

Chuck(G)

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Didn't Norton also have a file transfer utility that used the same cable?

I was designing a product before LapLink parallel was documented and worked out my own cable. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be exactly the same wiring as the Laplink parallel (one of our customers had tried the Laplink product and reported that it worked with our software). If you consider that the file transfer uses D0-D3 on one end and a collection of status signals on the other, it's a pretty amazing coincidence.

Peter, if you need a Laplink parallel cable, I've got one that you can have for priority mail shipping (should fit in a small box). PM me if you're interested.
 

PeterNY

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Peter, if you need a Laplink parallel cable, I've got one that you can have for priority mail shipping (should fit in a small box). PM me if you're interested.

Thank you Chuck! I am bidding on one right now on eBay. When I do not win, I will reach out to you!​
 
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PeterNY

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IBMMuseum

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I am running MS-DOS 6.22 on my 425SI/SI and PC-DOS (I forget the version #) on my 325T so I would need to downgrade. :)

Yesterday when I looked the page I saw how Louis had written it too. Those are the minimum PC-DOS versions (2.0 or higher on the "sending" system, 3.3 or higher on the "receiving" system"). The "receiving" portion executable was even included on the Reference Diskettes of the PS/2s.

With some older systems, receiving files might be more hardware-dependent than the DOS version: The bi-directional printer port ("EPP" now, but initially know as a PS/2 parallel port) has to be present, and there isn't any mechanism to drop down to a "nibble" mode if not. All PS/2s had bi-directional parallel ports (a few third-party adapters specifically for them did not), and the microchannel level (Model 50 and above) had 16550-level UARTs (again, some adapters were 16450).
 

pianoman72

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I wonder if the parallel cable included for transfer with the Backpack external floppy drive would work with the Interlink DOS file transfer program. Anyone know?
 

PeterNY

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Yesterday when I looked the page I saw how Louis had written it too. Those are the minimum PC-DOS versions (2.0 or higher on the "sending" system, 3.3 or higher on the "receiving" system"). The "receiving" portion executable was even included on the Reference Diskettes of the PS/2s.

With some older systems, receiving files might be more hardware-dependent than the DOS version: The bi-directional printer port ("EPP" now, but initially know as a PS/2 parallel port) has to be present, and there isn't any mechanism to drop down to a "nibble" mode if not. All PS/2s had bi-directional parallel ports (a few third-party adapters specifically for them did not), and the microchannel level (Model 50 and above) had 16550-level UARTs (again, some adapters were 16450).

Unfortunately I have no reference disks: I run on regular MS-DOS & PC-DOS. I shall find out whether I can make it work. I bought a cable for $ 0.99 + shipping today: http://cgi.ebay.com/180611988765.​
 
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