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"Cheap Networking" for System 6 and 7 Macs

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On 12/22/2018 at 11:31 PM, TechEdison said:

If you'd like a website to test, feel free to try http://www.nocss.ml. This is my website for old devices.

 

As for connecting, this was my best choice when I went through the same process. Works fine on my PowerBook 160 and Macintosh Classic. I believe it's quite a bit faster than modem speeds.

 

Excellent site techedison, the end of Jan once my hobby room is setup I’ll join. I’ve only just moved house and until my wife’s desk arrives I’ve got nowhere for my collection of macs so they’re still in boxes :/

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People, if you want slow network connections to connect your macs, then use AppleTalk. It was important in its day — reasonably affordable networking that didn't require a technician.

It's not especially expensive and not especially fast.

Get yourself a pre-B&W G3 PPC (e.g. a Beige G3) and use this as a bridge machine to the outside world.

While it's fun to see the solution, it seems to me that you are dairy scientists trying to improve on butter. It might work, but why?

 

What I would like to see is a SCSI-Ethernet adaptor. I know they already exist (Focus NuvoLink SC, for example), but if you can develop one (with driver) along the lines of BMOW's Wombat or SCSI2SD, then you will have something many of us would buy and that would solve your problem.

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5 hours ago, Johnnya101 said:

It's for the "because I can" factor. Why not? It's neat to have a 30 year old Plus on Google.

Exactly. It's for the challenge of doing it. As for the criticism: if there's no point to connecting one of these to the internet, then by the same logic, what is the point of owning one? Saying that they're useful for computing in the modern age is a stretch, so I don't think most of us do this because it has real-world value, we do it because it's fun.

5 hours ago, SE30_Neal said:

I still want my SE/30 online, why well simply because you can, some bulletin boards, emails, being able to download a few drivers and files directly to it but i know that isn’t that likely but nevertheless its worth a try. Main reason i want mine networked though is to easily transfer software downloaded from Macintosh Garden on my newer macs.

but like Jonny says just because lol

Exactly!

On 12/22/2018 at 4:31 PM, TechEdison said:

As for connecting, this was my best choice when I went through the same process. Works fine on my PowerBook 160 and Macintosh Classic. I believe it's quite a bit faster than modem speeds.

 

Ooooh, thank you for posting this! After investigating the modem setup, here are the big downsides:

  • Having to modify the modem with a line voltage inducer is a big problem. I think it's too much effort for the end result.
  • It's slow. Like, real slow. An FTP transfer yielded 215 bytes per second. Perhaps there's a faster modem out there? Any thoughts?

So TechEdison, my question for you is: what kind of speed did you see with the serial setup?

18 minutes ago, ArmorAlley said:

What I would like to see is a SCSI-Ethernet adaptor. I know they already exist (Focus NuvoLink SC, for example), but if you can develop one (with driver) along the lines of BMOW's Wombat or SCSI2SD, then you will have something many of us would buy and that would solve your problem.

Cool idea for sure, but I don't have the software engineering or electrical engineering chops to get that done. I did solder a capacitor into a modem, so that's cool I guess. The holy grail would be either a PDS card or SCSI card that is almost plug and play with System 6 and System 7. The problem is that there's no return on investment, there's like 5 of us that are interested in getting our compact macs online, and even in a classic Macintosh forum, people are asking "why bother". There's no business case for it, so it's highly unlikely that anyone will build it.

 

So that's why I'm playing with modems and probably serial cables next. :)

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1 minute ago, PotatoFi said:

Cool idea for sure, but I don't have the software engineering or electrical engineering chops to get that done. I did solder a capacitor into a modem, so that's cool I guess. The holy grail would be either a PDS card or SCSI card that is almost plug and play with System 6 and System 7. The problem is that there's no return on investment, there's like 5 of us that are interested in getting our compact macs online, and even in a classic Macintosh forum, people are asking "why bother". There's no business case for it, so it's highly unlikely that anyone will build it.

 

So that's why I'm playing with modems and probably serial cables next. :)

As for no business case, it has been reckoned previously that there may very well be a market for many hundreds of such devices. If each were sold at USD100, then this would be many tens of thousands of USD. As to whether this would be a sufficiently good business case is up to those willing to undertake the venture. Now, I am not an engineer and I have no idea how difficult an undertaking this would be. I mention USD100 because this is the approximate price point for the FloppyEmu, SCSI2SD and a PDS Ethernet card on eBay.

I mentioned 'why bother?' because AppleTalk is plug-and-play.

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1 hour ago, ArmorAlley said:

People, if you want slow network connections to connect your macs, then use AppleTalk. It was important in its day — reasonably affordable networking that didn't require a technician.

It's not especially expensive and not especially fast.

Get yourself a pre-B&W G3 PPC (e.g. a Beige G3) and use this as a bridge machine to the outside world.

While it's fun to see the solution, it seems to me that you are dairy scientists trying to improve on butter. It might work, but why?

 

What I would like to see is a SCSI-Ethernet adaptor. I know they already exist (Focus NuvoLink SC, for example), but if you can develop one (with driver) along the lines of BMOW's Wombat or SCSI2SD, then you will have something many of us would buy and that would solve your problem.

I couldn’t use AppleTalk between my SE/30 and my 6200 beige PowerPc as it wouldn’t allow AppleTalk to my SE/30 and the networking card For the PowerPc to access the net because of no handshaking.

anyway any cheap networking option is good, personally i think potatoes makeshift offering is a great go. That said can someone not just re-create a copy of an old network card and have a batch from china?

 

ps i have a shiva pds network card for my se/30 i could take pictures of it and its components, probably find a circuit diagram online though.    

Edited by SE30_Neal

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Something else was gong on -- the 6200 has hardware handshaking. (being literally a 630 but with a PPC upgrade integrated onto the board) I'll pull mine out later and make 100% sure that it can do appletalk as well.

 

Sometimes if a 6200 has a modem in the comm slot port, you need to do appletalk on the printer prot (which is usually the default anyway) but the other thing is appletalk can usually only be active on one interface at a time, so if it had ethernet and appletalk and you were using the appletalk protocol, not TCP/IP to connect to a server, that would've been a bit of a damper. (Though, on new enough OS releases to have OT and "Modern" AppleShare, you can use AppleShare on both Appletalk and on IP, for example my beige G3 can talk to my PowerBook via serial and my G4 via Ethernet.

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7 hours ago, Johnnya101 said:

I often ask myself this too... Hahaha.

 

It's for the "because I can" factor. Why not? It's neat to have a 30 year old Plus on Google.

The perfect reason, IMO

 

2 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

...While it's fun to see the solution, it seems to me that you are dairy scientists trying to improve on butter. It might work, but why?...

Who doesn't want better butter?

Edited by Paralel

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30 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

Something else was gong on -- the 6200 has hardware handshaking. (being literally a 630 but with a PPC upgrade integrated onto the board) I'll pull mine out later and make 100% sure that it can do appletalk as well.

 

Sometimes if a 6200 has a modem in the comm slot port, you need to do appletalk on the printer prot (which is usually the default anyway) but the other thing is appletalk can usually only be active on one interface at a time, so if it had ethernet and appletalk and you were using the appletalk protocol, not TCP/IP to connect to a server, that would've been a bit of a damper. (Though, on new enough OS releases to have OT and "Modern" AppleShare, you can use AppleShare on both Appletalk and on IP, for example my beige G3 can talk to my PowerBook via serial and my G4 via Ethernet.

Hi Cory,

i dont think it works on the 6200 as it disables the seriel port when the comms slot is in place but you might know better than me. Please let me know though as I’ve been unsuccessful so far down that route. Hopefully i maybe quite close to getting all 3 of my macs online via ethernet as i have a half duplex switch so if i can get the se/30 online, my 6200 and g3 imac can already so hopefully a small home network. Well thats the plan, unfortunately I’ve just moved house though so my collection are currently boxed up and will be for another 3-4 weeks. :/

For reference my se/30 is on 7.5.5, PowerPc 8.6 and the imac has both 9.2 & 10.3.9.

Edited by SE30_Neal

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1 hour ago, ArmorAlley said:

As for no business case, it has been reckoned previously that there may very well be a market for many hundreds of such devices. If each were sold at USD100, then this would be many tens of thousands of USD. As to whether this would be a sufficiently good business case is up to those willing to undertake the venture. Now, I am not an engineer and I have no idea how difficult an undertaking this would be. I mention USD100 because this is the approximate price point for the FloppyEmu, SCSI2SD and a PDS Ethernet card on eBay.

I mentioned 'why bother?' because AppleTalk is plug-and-play.

 

You can ask Alaska, but I don't think the ROM/FPU card we worked on for the Classic II was a blockbuster hit. I could be wrong, as I disavowed any commercial interest to the project to Alaska, so I have never bothered to ask him.

 

Money has never been nor ever will be of interest to me with regard to these types of pursuits. (and no one think this is because I am wealthy, I guarantee I am among the poorest people any of you know)

Edited by Paralel

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The fpu card wasn't a blockbuster hit because who really needs an fpu added to a classic ii? Ethernet is a whole nother matter...

 

I think an external scsi ethernet adapter would be the best solution. Something plug and play that's supported on most all old Macs. Easy to plug in, no need to take off any covers. That ways you can use it on compacts to the nubus box Macs, instead of a huge nubus card that won't fit in an SE/30...

 

I'd price it at $100-$150. Any more and you risk scaring people off. With a universal scsi adapter, you should have no issues selling them (again, instead of a special nubus card or whatever). 

Edited by Johnnya101

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11 minutes ago, SE30_Neal said:

Lol everyone needs better butter!

Heresy! Butter cannot be improved upon.

Everyone (vegans and dieters excepted) needs butter.

Anything else is but a mere spread.

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13 minutes ago, Paralel said:

 

You can ask Alaska, but I don't think the ROM/FPU card we worked on for the Classic II was a blockbuster hit. I could be wrong, as I disavowed any commercial interest to the project to Alaska, so I have never bothered to ask him.

 

Money has never been nor ever will be of interest to me with regard to these types of pursuits. (and no one think this is because I am wealthy, I guarantee I am among the poorest people any of you know)

These pursuits are for a hobby, as soon as its commercial it stops being fun.

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3 minutes ago, Johnnya101 said:

The fpu card wasn't a blockbuster hit because who really needs an fpu added to a classic ii? Ethernet is a whole nother matter...

 

I think an external scsi ethernet adapter would be the best solution. Something plug and play that's supported on most all old Macs. Easy to plug in, no need to take off any covers. That ways you can use it on compacts to the nubus box Macs, instead of a huge nubus card that won't fit in an SE/30...

I agree Jonny scsi appears the best all around option and probably one ofthe fastest too. Surely theres some expertise on here that could design a scsi board?

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3 minutes ago, SE30_Neal said:

I agree Jonny scsi appears the best all around option and probably one ofthe fastest too. Surely theres some expertise on here that could design a scsi board?

I don't think it's a lack of talent around here. I think the problem is 1) It has already been done well 2) The results of the aforementioned engineering are still available for purchase, even though though they are secondhand products with some years on them at this point.

 

Those two things together make it an uninteresting venture for most here, I would think.

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Yes, you are correct, however how many do you ever see for sale? I don't see any on eBay at the moment or on here for sale... So there is definitely a market. The originals are very hard to find.

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You think so.  I think the problem Potato was looking at was because these network cards or adaptors have now become silly expensive like most of these mac cards, I’ve been looking at 33/40mhz upgrade cards for the se/30 and they’re so expensive now so i do think maybe its time to look at these ventures again, do you not think?

 

agree with you Jonny, apologies i was typing when you posted.

Edited by SE30_Neal

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6 minutes ago, SE30_Neal said:

You think so.  I think the problem Potato was looking at was because these network cards or adaptors have now become silly expensive like most of these mac cards, I’ve been looking at 33/40mhz upgrade cards for the se/30 and they’re so expensive now so i do think maybe its time to look at these ventures again, do you not think?

 

agree with you Jonny, apologies i was typing when you posted.

 

You may be right, it has finally reached that point. Hopefully it can be done better than it was because some of those original SCSI <-> Ethernet adapters were rather garbage.

 

Well, if engineering interests in this project don't materialize, I will lend myself to it. I can do at least a basic hardware design, but I would have to leave the software completely up to someone else.

Edited by Paralel

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I’ve never tried one to be honest so you probably know better but it does seem time to revisit some of these options, things like the commodore or spectrum have some amazing new add ons. It could be done too for these old macs, wifi cards etc :)

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1 minute ago, SE30_Neal said:

I’ve never tried one to be honest so you probably know better but it does seem time to revisit some of these options, things like the commodore or spectrum have some amazing new add ons. It could be done too for these old macs, wifi cards etc :)

 

Ah, now that is a fun idea. make is SCSI <-> WiFi. Now that sounds more interesting to me.

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2 hours ago, Paralel said:

 

You may be right, it has finally reached that point. Hopefully it can be done better than it was because some of those original SCSI <-> Ethernet adapters were rather garbage.

 

Well, if engineering interests in this project don't materialize, I will lend myself to it. I can do at least a basic hardware design, but I would have to leave the software completely up to someone else.

Nice one Paralel, ok so we need a programmer I’m sure that can do done :)

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3 hours ago, SE30_Neal said:

i dont think it works on the 6200 as it disables the seriel port when the comms slot is in place

It does, if there is a modem in the comm slot. I can't 100% vouch for the behavior if there is an Ethernet card in the slot.

 

However, you would just use the Printer port for localtalk and make sure you select that in the AppleTalk control panel on the 6200.

 

Without a little extra You won't get the SE/30 talking directly to the iMac, but you could either use the 6200 as a client to both, or the 6200 as a client to the iMac and the SE as a client to the 6200, or, if the 6200 is the bridge mainly, use it as the server to both.

 

It depends on what you "need" though. You won't [easily] get TCP/IP this way, just file services. That's a huge boon for compact macs, but I do know an SE/30 can be expanded enough to where TCP/IP (with OpenTransport, even) is reasonable on it. It's worth keeping your eyes out for an ethernet card. They do exist for that Mac.

 

SCSI ethernet is another extant option.

 

There are also IP to Localtalk bridges, I forget who it was but someone mentioned running one on an old Cisco router, there was a software one, so if you want to put some effort in, that might be worth it. It'll be a little faster than dial-up as well.

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5 hours ago, PotatoFi said:

So TechEdison, my question for you is: what kind of speed did you see with the serial setup?

 

Fast enough to load the website I linked in less than 30 seconds... it’s 56k but can be up to the max that MacPPP supports. 

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21 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

It does, if there is a modem in the comm slot. I can't 100% vouch for the behavior if there is an Ethernet card in the slot.

 

However, you would just use the Printer port for localtalk and make sure you select that in the AppleTalk control panel on the 6200.

 

Without a little extra You won't get the SE/30 talking directly to the iMac, but you could either use the 6200 as a client to both, or the 6200 as a client to the iMac and the SE as a client to the 6200, or, if the 6200 is the bridge mainly, use it as the server to both.

 

It depends on what you "need" though. You won't [easily] get TCP/IP this way, just file services. That's a huge boon for compact macs, but I do know an SE/30 can be expanded enough to where TCP/IP (with OpenTransport, even) is reasonable on it. It's worth keeping your eyes out for an ethernet card. They do exist for that Mac.

 

SCSI ethernet is another extant option.

 

There are also IP to Localtalk bridges, I forget who it was but someone mentioned running one on an old Cisco router, there was a software one, so if you want to put some effort in, that might be worth it. It'll be a little faster than dial-up as well.

Interesting thanks Cory, i’m luckier than most as i do have a shiva network card in my se/30 i just couldn’t get it working on my network, hopefully with the half duplex 10 base router i just brought and the twisted pair adapter and some configuration I should be able to get that working on tcp/ip with open transport which in theory means i’ll be able to to see both the imac and 6200. 

So it looks like i have a few options i hadn’t considered. Either way nothing is straight forward to setup so the external scsi option for novices sounds a great idea. 

56k sounds awesome! Some other guys on this thread would like that type of speed without having to find the rare network cards.

 

Neal

Edited by SE30_Neal

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