[vcf-midatlantic] Idea for an Exhibit - Novell

Bill Degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Sat May 26 13:48:27 EDT 2018

On Sat, May 26, 2018 at 11:15 AM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> Time-out, please.
> I appreciate there are mega-minds out there, that talk TCP/IP and know
> protocols forwards and backwards. They can manipulate Linux like Play-Doh.
> That's not me, I'm an old person that knows 8-bit computers from original
> use. I have those skills and others, I have some training, I know what
> "skills" means. And so my situation, likely applies to a number of other
> people, who own other 8-bit or 16-bit computers, who post in or read this
> list. We aren't mega-minds, but we know some stuff; and we have some
> vintage stuff.
> Here's the deal as I see it. There's dead networking protocols from the
> 8-bit and 16-bit microcomputing era. ARCnet. NOvell. Token Ring. And not
> quite dead in the Mac world, Appletalk (over Phonenet or on Ethernet).
> These are not in (much) use today. Hardware and software for them are
> scattered to the winds. Current hardware is powerful - but these are dead
> technologies, the two don't mix well.
> Maybe there's some Web page or email discussion about each of these - but
> it's likely to be a group of mega-minds who will be talking about
> packet-drivers, who worked for Novell or Tandy, who are writing them in
> TK-TCL, to run on Sparc stations - completely above my pay grade, out of my
> reach, beyond my experiences and most of my vintage hardware. OK? And not
> just me.
> The issue isn't "let's make protocol converters so ARCnet can talk TCP/IP
> and we can print pages and do Web browsers on TRS-80s". The issue is "look
> - I have ARCnet running between two computers!" OK? Base hits, not
> home-runs with bases loaded and fireworks. Sorry to be boring.
> <anip>
> *That's* the situation as I see it. That's my view, from my experiences.
> Now -  if a few people who know this stuff, just want to set up some
> Novell or other dead-network and show it off - that's fine. It would be
> interesting, and certainly a challenge, and is a worthy exhibit. My memory
> is short - maybe such networking exhibits have occurred at VCF-East in the
> past. But how about, *preserving* that knowledge and "passing it forward"?
> How do you do *that*? That's what I'm talking about. That's what happens,
> afterwards.
> For all I know, others HAVE done this - and have a Web site, and it's all
> there. Haven't checked lately, pardon my ignorance.
> And if that's just outside the scope of what Bill Degnan and some other
> folks are talking about, of course that's entirely up to them to not do.
> This is a hobby and people do what pleases them and interests them. I'm
> presenting a point of view about Bill Degnan's proposal; I'm responding to
> his "idea for an exhibit". These are my responses ... and I'm done.
> Herb Johnson
>From a exhibit perspective I'd rather see an actual Novell or same era
exhibit than an exhibit that attempts to connect an old protocol to the
modern world, something that did not exist then.  Isn't as educational or
on-topic to our group.  My intention was to teach/demo what was then as it
was then.


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