[vcf-midatlantic] Windows 3.11 Networking

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 12:20:11 EST 2016


On Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 11:16 AM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> Bill Degnan, you've done a great job on of presenting your installs of Win
> 3.11 aka Windows for Workgroups and video drivers on your 486 system, and
> providing access to your resources. I'm no Microsoft fan, but the history
> of public Internet access is worth preserving, and is reasonably "vintage"
> by year 2015-16.
>
> One resource your site links to, is a site at Yale University, with (what
> I presume is a forgotten) set of year 1995 instructions for establishing
> Internet access. They suggest several possible means including "old" Win
> 3.1 and WFW, but also "Winsock".
>
> I recall using a Winsock product as they describe, in the era probably
> under Win 85/98, to make a SLIP (serial TCP/IP) connection via dial-up
> modem, to a Linux commercial system which had Internet access. My first Web
> site was on that system, probably over my client side was a 16-bit Win98
> set of installs. I don't recall the freeware product name, something-slip,
> seaslip, ???
>
> Bill, Winsock was supported in various ways, by either shareware/freeware
> products, or commercial products. Do you have any interests in checking out
> Winsock type networking? Digging up some still-available product?
>
> As I've described it, it would be period-appropriate for PC's with no
> hard-network support but certainly serial line support. At the time of
> course that would be dial-up; but a direct serial connection to a local
> hosting system would be (incrementally) faster.
>
> I have a 486/Win 3.1 system I use to operate old-school hardware. I don't
> think I'd install Ethernet cards and WFW on it - it might break it. But
> installing a Winsock and some serial stuff is no risk.
>
> I'll add, you discussed some kind of networking of vintage systems as your
> VCF-East exhibit, as I recall.
>
> Related: five years ago, I worked the issue of TCP/IP support on 8-bit
> CP/M class systems. The radio amateurs (hams) developed packet radio in the
> 1980's which used X.25 protocols,and hardware "TNCs" (terminal network
> controllers) to do most of the networking, and software like KA9Q and KC85.
>
> But interest in reviving old 8-bit networking died out, once you could buy
> "TCP/IP on a chip" products for under $50. And now those products are under
> $10! But my notes include some SLIP discussion and cover some path to 8-bit
> computers "on the Internet".
>
>
>
Herb,
Yes I do have experience with WinSock, in fact that's what I used back then
with a modem set up on Win 3.1 on a home PC.  Because I have a network
available to me in my house now, something that would have been unheard-of
back then, I took advantage of it and went with the TCP/IP direct
connection method.  Made less sense to use WinSock given lack of a modem.

All that said, I have carefully saved the files I used back in the 3.11
days for WinSock use, including some old ISP install disks that installed
Winsock setup as part of the setup process.  I will post these onto my site
so people can download them, when I get the chance soon to do so.  I was
really there in the very beginning and I remember having to roll my own
modem AT commands, save them into to the Winsock process to initialize the
modem before it used Winsock as a TCR program in memory. I did a lot with
MEMMAKER to optimize RAM, etc.

I fell back a few years yesterday and ran my PDP 8e for a few hours while I
was working, in the background, to exercise the RK05 drives and processor.
I used my 486 system as the terminal (ST240 9600 B serial port COM1).  My
plans for this 486 system is to serve as a bridge between the old and new
worlds.  Using Win 3.1 AND being able to run TCP/IP and serial comms is a
great way bridge old vintage with post vintage.

-- 
@ BillDeg:
Web: vintagecomputer.net
Twitter: @billdeg <https://twitter.com/billdeg>
Youtube: @billdeg <https://www.youtube.com/user/billdeg>
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