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8919Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: what network for the PC jr?

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  • Ian King
    Aug 2, 2008
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      What do you mean by "successful"? I saw IBM PC Network used in two
      different business for which I worked in the late 80s and early 90s;
      both used it primarily for printer sharing. These were primarily 8088
      and 286-based computers. Admittedly, the overhead of the network
      limited what applications could be run successfully on the computers,
      especially in the small law office where I worked that was too cheap :-)
      to have a standalone computer for the print server. So the secretary who
      was stuck with the print server computer (always the one lowest on the
      totem pole) had a tough life....

      Given the limited demands on these environments, though, the IBM product
      did a credible job and allowed the sharing of what were very expensive
      laser printers among multiple workers. -- Ian

      On Sat, 2008-08-02 at 08:21 -0700, Jim Scheef wrote:
      > Jeff,
      > This is not Token Ring. Token Ring was announced during the time or
      > the Cluster but TR would not ship for 2 years or more. As you surmise,
      > it's not Arcnet either. Nor is it Ethernet (with capital E). The IBM
      > Cluster Program (its proper name - IBM did not call it a LAN) uses
      > baseband signaling similar to Ethernet. The specs say it runs at 375K
      > bps over 75Ohm coax like for cable TV but with BNC connectors like
      > Ethernet. I'm hoping I can get short distances to work using regular
      > 50Ohn cheapernet. Like the PCjr, the Cluster was intentionally hobbled
      > to keep it out of businesses and in the classroom.
      > At the same time IBM sold the IBM PC Network which they did refer to
      > as a LAN. It used broadband signaling over 75Ohn coax. This network
      > was much more complex but was the network where NetBIOS first saw
      > light.
      > This was the era when LANs were new and there were no standards. True
      > Ethernet was XNet as defined by Xerox, Intel and Digital Equipment.
      > The December, 1984, issue of BYTE Magazine has an excellent review of
      > 24 different local area networks for the IBM PC. None of these would
      > interoperate and only Novell offered versions of its software to
      > operate over other vendor's hardware. I suspect this is what made them
      > successful. As a side note, the early Novell server used a Motorola
      > 68000 CPU.
      > Local area networks were not really successful until the Intel 386
      > gave PCs more power and a flat memory model for the server operating
      > system.
      > Jim
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Jeff Jonas <jeffj@...>
      > To: Jim Scheef <jscheef@...>
      > Sent: Saturday, August 2, 2008 9:01:17 AM
      > Subject: what network for the PC jr?
      > I see your VCF entry is
      > IBM Cluster Network
      > Jim Scheef (New Milford, CT, United States)
      > Play games on a diskless PCjr loading the games over the network
      > from an XT server. The Cluster was IBM's solution
      > for the computer classroom of the future.
      > What network is that: token ring?
      > I can't believe IBM would have used ethernet on the XT
      > or Arcnet (not invented here!)
      > -- jeff jonas
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