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8920Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: what network for the PC jr?

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  • Jim Scheef
    Aug 2, 2008

      You make my point. Couldn't have said it any better. Those companies were willing to make significant sacrifices to share expensive printers with essentially no other benefit. That doesn't sound like success to me. Until the very late 80's, LANs were esoteric and expensive. In about 1986 we sold our first LAN by using floppy-only desktop computers to save the cost of the hard drive.
      Back in about 1990 when General Foods finally installed some LANs, I had two sets of config.sys/autoexec.bat: one to use the network printer and the other to get work done - and this was on a 386! Of course DOS was a large part of the problem.

      Jeff, this thread is now on the MARCH list.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Ian King <iking@...>
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: Jeff Jonas <jeffj@...>
      Sent: Saturday, August 2, 2008 12:18:19 PM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: what network for the PC jr?

      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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