Re: FastPath

Subject: Re: FastPath
From: Phil Budne (
Date: 03/31/01-07:22:34 PM Z

> I would really like to learn how to use these devices, so any tips on
> getting started, words of wisdom RE different roms etc.?

A good place to start.

FP4's will probably have PROM 4.1, or perhaps 4.1.2.  You can manage
them from a DIRECTLY connected LocalTalk or EtherTalk (Phase I)
connected Mac running FastPath Manager (FPM).  [This is also true for
FP2's or FP3's which were upgraded to 2U's or 3U's] FPM uses "KLAP" --
a packet with "LAP" type 0x4b (the letter 'K'), which cannot be

An FP4 could be upgraded in two ways; Just a new PROM (5.1), or a new
PROM, and a 256K SRAM memory board (for a total of 512K), which came
with a new case, and a fan.  A box with PROM v5.1 can be managed with
FPM, or via Shiva Net Manager (SNM).  SNM only speaks KLAP over DDP
(or was that ATP).  DDP is the regular AppleTalk network layer, so you
can speak to boxes via intervening AppleTalk routers.  ATP is the
transaction protocol, layered on DDP.  The CPU clock on the FP4 68000,
was, I believe 8MHz.

FP5's started with PROM v5.0 [FP5's use their PROM only to load the
"VROM" -- a protected memory version of the PROM code].  FP5's came
with 512K standard, and could be built with (or, I suppose upgraded
to) up to 1MB, and the CPU clock was, I believe 10MHz.

The FP4 is perhaps, more flexible in the hands of a hacker, since you
could take direct control of the SCC, and do async or perhaps sync
serial.  On the FP5, the SCC is part of the I/O Processor (a Zilog
Z181), and I never did an API to load code into the IOP.  All versions
of the FastPath PROM provide a vector of routines which the download
can call.  In PROM v4 and up, this includes access to the Ethernet
driver, which is how we got away with replacing the iNTEL Ethernet
controller from the FP1/2/3/4 with the Fujitsu EtherStar -- the
download (K-STAR) doesn't care what the hardware is (direct SCC and
i82586 on the FP4, or IOP and EtherStar in the FP5).

On powerup, the PROM spends 20(?) seconds flashing LEDs, then starts
the download, or the built in PROM GW (removed in v5), which is a
simple Phase1/LocalTalk router (with no IP capabilities).  Its's best
to pause or reset the box before it gets rolling, in case it's
misconfigured or otherwise frotzed.  Once you have it paused, you can
set the configuration and download K-STAR (NOTE!! With FPM and K-STAR
8+, the Phase II zone list is sent appended to the download, so it
only gets set when downloading code!! -- SNM can set the zone list any
time -- although the details of how we did that escape me at the

AppleTalk routing; If you set VERY LITTLE configuration, K-STAR will
autoconfigure, either learning information, or supplying it.  If you
set some things, but not others, autoconfiguration may be disabled.

IP; Most people will probably want to use the box to IP-enable
LocalTalk Mac's.  The simplest way is to use K-STAR IP, and supply
"dynamic" addresses.  The Mac IP addresses will directly follow the
FastPaths, so assign a big enough block.  MacTCP has an option
"dynamic", which you DO NOT want to use (it means randomly pick an
address to use!!) -- you want to use a "server" assigned address.

I can't (off the top of my head) think of any other pitfalls.


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