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SUMMARY: Connecting Sun <-> Mac on the cheap

From: mwp.michael (MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM)
Date: Tue Aug 11 1992 - 10:27:08 CDT


Some time ago I wrote:

>
> We have a situation where a single Mac is 400 metres away from a Sun
> server. The environment is noisy enough to warrant Thick Ethernet cable
> and far enough to require a repeater. Plus, laying the cable is a bi*&#
> of a job...
>
> My suggestion to keep $$$ down (we've been quoted $7,000 just for the
> cable) is to use modems over the phone line. The questions are:
>
> 1) Is slip available on the MAC?
> 2) Can we run NFS over slip over the phone lines?
> 3) Has anyone done this, and if so, how do they find it?
>
> Answers to this, or other elegant solutions would be appreciated.
>
> Michael Panosh mwp.michael@melpn1.prime.com
> PrimeService, Australia
>

The answers were varied and useful, though the final direction is pretty
certain to be Thicknet, as there is a strategic direction to extend the LAN
via a warehouse (which is the "noisy" part of the environment).

Total cost of the Ethernet solution is some $13000, while modems would only
cost about $3500. Fibre is too expensive and apparently in the conduit
we have too many tight turns, UTP does not have enough noise protection
(and my cable expert said even Shielded Twisted Pair would be marginal on
the distance) and the radio style links suffered from line of sight problems
(the warehouse is between the from/to offices and higher than both).

Many thanks to the following people:

        Andreas Sorgatz <andi@uni-paderborn.de>
        Mark.McIntosh@engr.UVic.CA
        Michael S. Maiten <msm@Energetic.COM>
        Mike Raffety <miker@sbcoc.com>
        Patrick McAndrew <patrick@icbl.heriot-watt.ac.uk>
        Richard Elling <Richard.Elling@eng.auburn.edu>
        Thomas Tengdin <teto@mbari.org>
        Tom Conroy <trc@NSD.3Com.COM>
        blymn@awadi.com.AU (Brett Lymn)
        cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry)
        ian@sfu.ca
        kremer@vsun02.ag01.Kodak.com (Karl Heinz Kremer)
        paulo@dcc.unicamp.br (Paulo Licio de Geus)
        webber@world.std.com (Robert D Webber)
        
Michael Panosh mwp.michael@melpn1.prime.com
PrimeService, Australia

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From: cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry)
Full-Name: Chris Perry
To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM
Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Michael,

It's more expensive, but Motorola makes a wireless Ethernet link that will
go 500 meters I think. It's called Vistapoint, and it costs around $10,000
U.S. It'll do 2-3 mbits/sec and it's attached the same way a bridge to
an existing subnet is.

Chris Perry
MITRE Corp.

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From: Richard Elling <Richard.Elling@eng.auburn.edu>
Full-Name: Richard Elling
To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM
Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

> We have a situation where a single Mac is 400 metres away from a Sun
> server. The environment is noisy enough to warrant Thick Ethernet cable
> and far enough to require a repeater. Plus, laying the cable is a bi*&#
> of a job...
>
> My suggestion to keep $$$ down (we've been quoted $7,000 just for the
> cable) is to use modems over the phone line. The questions are:

Don't forget to check out optical fibre. We run fibre between buildings
here. Ethernet over fibre transceivers don't cost very much. I'm afraid
that the fibre costs may vary widely though. Surely it is cheaper than
thick coax. Just a thought... hope it helps.
  -- richard

 Richard Elling Manager of Network Support
 Auburn University Engineering Administration
 richard.elling@eng.auburn.edu KB4HB [44.100.0.72] (205)844-2280
 Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed!

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From: ian@sfu.ca
Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap
To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM

You may be interested in an "Arlan" wireless bridge. It uses spread-spectrum
cellular radio technology and (at 400m) can achieve up to 1Mbit/sec throughput,
not as good as wired ethernet but better than phone lines. No license required
in Canada or the U.S. but I don't know about Australia. The two halves of the
bridge would run in the thousands but certainly not as much as $7000.

The company is "Telesystems SLW, Inc." and hails from Ontario, Canada
(one reason for my pitch). We're just a happy customer (the other reason
for my pitch) trying them out for difficult or otherwise-expensive
situations (temporary buildings, distant runs to remote facilities,
one-off connections, etc.).

The address/telephone is:

Telesystems SLW, Inc.
85 Scarsdale Road, Suite 201
Don Mills, Ontario
Canada, M3B 2R2

Tel: (416) 441-9966
Fax: (416) 441-9785

Good luck!

-- 
  Ian Reddy, Senior Systems Consultant  E-mail:    Ian_Reddy@sfu.ca
  Academic Computing Services, AD1021              ian@sfu.ca
  Simon Fraser University               Telephone: (604) 291-3936
  Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5A 1S6          Fax:       (604) 291-4242

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From: ian@sfu.ca Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM (mwp.michael)

> > Thanks Ian. I'd thought about wireless, but all the ones I'd seen are > line of sight. I'll give them a call (no Internet address I take it :) > > Cheers, Michael >

These units will work through walls over short (a few hundred metres - not sure about 400m) distances. With a pair of Yagi antennas they'll do up to 10km line-of-sight. In most cases they will work at lower speeds (selectable) if conditions are less than ideal.

Haven't been able to uncover an Internet e-mail address for the company yet.

-- Ian Reddy, Senior Systems Consultant E-mail: Ian_Reddy@sfu.ca Academic Computing Services, AD1021 ian@sfu.ca Simon Fraser University Telephone: (604) 291-3936 Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5A 1S6 Fax: (604) 291-4242

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From: Thomas Tengdin <teto@mbari.org> To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

I would suggest looking at the following combination:

PhoneNET connector to a single twisted pair cable on the Apple end...

connected to a Kinetics FastPATH Appletalk to ethernet bridge at the sun end.

Tops will allow remote mounts of Sun filesystems on the apple at some level. We are mostly using remote login and ftp via NCSA telnet (freeware) but we have done some remote apple file mounts.

I can't remember what the length limits for the PhoneNET are. If they are short you can add a Star controller and make it work. We have a very extensive PhoneNET appletalk network at one place I consult for that is quite beyond the length limits that works fine.

Phone net connectors are about $20 each (I think) and the Kinetics Fastpath is available on the used market for about $700. Maybe $1400 new? Telephone wire is about 20 to 30 cents per meter for plastic, maybe 1 to 2 dollars for the teflon that can be run anywher inside without using conduit.

Hope this helps.

T3

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To: mwp.michael <MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM> Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap From: admin@esrg.ucsb.edu

Well Shiva sells a $300 2400 baud modem that would connect you to the appletalk, if you had a gatorbox(Cayman systems)($2000) on the appletalk network, or any other gateway, you could get to the suns and you could Mount disks, telnet etc. The gator box has a product gator share which does the disks.

They also sell a product that does the same with your own higher speed modems.

______________________________________________________________________ Terry Figel Internet: terry@esrg.ucsb.edu Earth Space Research Group, UCSB Phone : 805-893-7039 5276 Hollister Ave. #260 Fax : 805-964-0157 Goleta CA 93111 ______________________________________________________________________

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From: Tom Conroy <trc@NSD.3Com.COM> Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap To: MWP.MICHAEL@melpn1.prime.com

> > We have a situation where a single Mac is 400 metres away from a Sun > server. The environment is noisy enough to warrant Thick Ethernet cable > and far enough to require a repeater. Plus, laying the cable is a bi*&# > of a job... > > My suggestion to keep $$$ down (we've been quoted $7,000 just for the > cable) is to use modems over the phone line. The questions are: > > Answers to this, or other elegant solutions would be appreciated.

Have you looked into fiber? Sounds like a perfect application to me.

Sorry, no tangible info for you - at least not without skirting the edges of good taste and plugging one's own products :^)

trc

Tom Conroy trc@NSD.3Com.COM NSD Engineering SysAdm Group Tom Conroy:NSD:3COM 3Com Corporation Santa Clara, CA

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From: Mark.McIntosh@engr.UVic.CA To: mwp.michael <MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM> Subject: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

On Tue, 4 Aug 92 14:11:07 GMT, MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM (mwp.michael) said: > 1) Is slip available on the MAC? Yes. 2 or 3 makers. One we have site licensed is MacSLIP from Hyde Park Software, P.O Box 7133, Austin, Texas, 78713, U.S.A. Phone (512) 454-1170, e-mail info@hydepark.com.

> 2) Can we run NFS over slip over the phone lines? Probably, but slowly and with some NFS parameter tuning to compensate for expected delays.

> 3) Has anyone done this, and if so, how do they find it? Not me.

You're already in a couple thousand dollars for modems alone. Add another thousand for commercial SLIP software for the Sun? Aren't we coming close to half the cost of laying the Ethernet cable? Since SLIP will be so slow, might its capacity not be exceeded in the short term, raising the need for Ethernet again, anyway? What about pulling fibre? That shouldn't need a repeater and it's very noise immune.

Mark J. McIntosh <Mark.McIntosh@engr.UVic.CA> ____________________________________________________________________________ University of Victoria, Faculty of Engineering - Dean's Office Box 3055, Victoria, BC, CANADA \ "...the mystery of life isn't a problem to V8W 3P6 (604) 721-6049 \ solve but a reality to experience." UUCP: ...!{uw-beaver,ubc-vision}!uvicctr!sirius!mmcintos \ from Dune

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From: webber@world.std.com (Robert D Webber) To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

SLIP on the Mac is available, check with Intercon for Mac NFS and SLIP (I have not stake in Intercon).

Have you considered running one of the optical fibre Ethernet- equivalent systems between the two points?

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From: blymn@awadi.com.AU (Brett Lymn) Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM

According to mwp.michael: > > 2) Can we run NFS over slip over the phone lines?

Yes you can run NFS over a slip link but be prepared for extremely dismal performance, we don't dare NFS mount file systems over a 64K link (we have but performance is a bit grungy at times)

> 3) Has anyone done this, and if so, how do they find it? >

All you do is mount the file system normally.

You might want to have a look at Helios which is an Appletalk to sun connection hardware/software combination.

-- Brett Lymn Computer Systems Administrator AWA Defence Industries

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From: cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry) Full-Name: Chris Perry To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Michael,

Hmm. You're right about line-of-sight (actually the Vistapoint needs to have the antennas within 30 degrees of LOS). The other possibilities (infrared, laser, microwave) seem to be similarly limited, since, to get received power, one needs either a bore- sight between transmitter and receiver, or a lot of extra broadcast power from an omnidirectional antenna.

Profound sigh.

Chris

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From: cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry) Full-Name: Chris Perry To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Michael,

My other thought was something like a Windata or WaveLAN spread-spectrum Ethernet transmitter, since both operate at sufficiently low frequencies (2-4 GHz for Windata, 950 MHz for WaveLAN) to permit some diffraction effects for bending 'round corners; however (big HOWEVER), their low power (< 1 watt) limits their range to around 50 meters.

Chris

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From: cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry) Full-Name: Chris Perry To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Michael,

Another thought is to use V.42 modems and Shiva's remote AppleTalk, which works pretty well for low/medium demand applications. You could continue to use it after you get the warehouse wired up too.

BTW, is it about 14:30 local time there?

Good luck.

Chris

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Reply-To: kremer@vsun02.ag01.Kodak.com From: kremer@vsun02.ag01.Kodak.com (Karl Heinz Kremer) To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Point 1: I have no experiance with Mac-Slip (I do not know if there is a Mac Slip available).

Point 2: If there is really no way to use slip on the Mac, there would be a cheaper solution than Thick ethernet: Use a PC as slip router:

------- ------ ------- | Mac |------------| PC |-------//-----| Sun | ------- ethernet ------ phone line -------

If you use the pcroute software, you only have to pay for one ethernet card for the PC and for a cheap PC (i assume that you can find one for free if you do not insist on a [34]86).

I include the readme file for pcroute (the latest and greatest i know about)

(i hope you are using OpenWindows3, so that you can extract the attachment)

Karl Heinz +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Karl Heinz Kremer | | Software and Integration Group phone : (49) 0711/406 2853 | | KNET : 631 2853 | | Kodak AG FAX : (49) 0711/406 2888 | | Hedelfinger Strasse email : kremer@vsun02.ag01.kodak.com | | D-7000 Stuttgart, Germany | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+ ----------

PCROUTE - an IP routing program from the IBM PC Vance Morrison morrison@accuvax.nwu.edu

Traditionally IP routers have been fairly high performance, expensive machines. Typically they run about $5000-$10,000 a unit. Until now a IP router for under $5000 was just about impossible to get. Recent developments in PC hardware, however, has made it possible to convert a PC to an IP router for a TOTAL of $700 a unit. This price is less that the cost of many ethernet boards and thus it now makes sense to always use dedicated router to perform IP gatewaying functions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- What is PCroute?

PCroute is software written for an PC/XT (or AT) or clone that will allow it to act as a IP router. At present the following interfaces are supported.

Ethernet - (WD8003E,WD8003EBT,WD8013EBT) (recommended <= 4 interfaces) - (Any card supported by the Packet Driver) Starlan - (WD8003S card) (up to 6 interfaces) Localtalk - (Apple localtalk card for the PC) (1 interface max) SLIP - (COM1..COM4) (up to 6 interface)

One of the most common configuration for the router is as an ethernet-ethernet router, but this is not the only configuration possible. The software supports up to 6 interfaces of varying types, so many many configurations are possible. Exact details on what is possible is explained in the installation/compilation manual

In addition to the XT, the only other hardware needed are the networking cards, which at present run about $190 a piece (for ethernet). Since you can buy an XT (10Mhz, without an monitor) for $300, the total cost for the hardware is $700

--------------------------------------------------------------------- What do I need to install PCroute?

1) An XT or AT computer (does not need monitor) with a floppy 2) The proper interface cards Ethernet : WD8003E,WD8003EBT, or WD8013EBT : Any card and its packet driver Starlan : WD8003S,WD8003SH Starcard,Starlink Plus Localtalk: Apple localtalk PC card SLIP : COM[1-4] ports

--------------------------------------------------------------------- How Fast is PC route?

Some may argue that a PC simply is not fast enough to be a good IP router. For slow networks (Localtalk SLIP) this is not really an issue. For Ethernet it is a real concern. Luckily, in the case of Ethernet (and starlan), the Western Digital cards do a lot of the work. All the input packet queuing is done by the card, freeing the PC to do the routing task. By programming in assembler and optimizing for peak efficiency (the main loop has NO procedure calls), the PC is up to the task.

Actual tests with WD8003E cards indicate that that following formula is a worst case estimate of the throughput of PCroute on a 4.77Mhz XT (based on actual measurements).

packet_delay = .51 + .00406 * len msec

Where 'len' is the length of the packet in bytes. Thus PCroute has a fixed per packet overhead of .51 msec and takes .00406 msec/byte to transfer the packet from one network to the other.

Thus for the largest packet size (1514) we get throughput of

packet_delay = .51 + .00406 * 1514 = 6.65 ms throughput = len*8/packet_delay = 1.8 Mbit/sec

For the smallest packet size (64) we get a throughput of

packet_delay = .51 + .00406 * 64 = .77 ms throughput = len*8/packet_delay = .66 Mbit/sec

If you are going to by the XT needed, please buy a clone (without a monitor) with a 10Mhz CPU speed (cost < $300). This will almost double the throughput measured above. If you need more speed you can go with an AT clone and a even faster CPU speed. Here are some actual measurements of packet speeds for some common machines.

per packet per byte Packet rate Throughput delay delay (64bytes) (1500 bytes) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4.77 Mhz XT | .51 msec .00406 msec 1300 /sec 1.8 Mbits/sec 10 Mhz XT | .237 msec .00254 msec 2500 /sec 3.0 Mbits/sec 6 Mhz AT | .169 msec .00228 msec 3200 /sec 3.3 Mbits/sec 12 Mhz AT (est)| .100 msec .00220 msec 4150 /sec 3.5 Mbits/sec 16 Mhz AT | .050 msec .00190 msec 5800 /sec 4.1 Mbits/sec

As you can see, at the high end, the PCrouter can sustain a throughput of close to half the BANDWIDTH of a ethernet (remember 5Mbits of sustained load is a HEAVY load for an ethernet). Also remember that this is packets routed THOUGH the router. Thus even if 4/10 of the ethernet bandwidth is being used (that is your ethernet is HEAVILY loaded) and ALL that traffic is going though the router, PCroute can still keep up. The above measurements where made with WD8003E cards. Since copy time is the major bottleneck, and WD8013EBT cards have a 16 bit instead of an 8 bit data path, it is likely that throughput would almost double if that card was used.

In addition the Ethernet boards have an on-board input buffer. Thus packets that come at the PCrouter too fast for it to process will be queued. This queuing happens on board and can keep up with the maximum 10Mbit/sec bit rate. Thus the router will start dropping packets only after this buffer is exhausted.

Unfortunately, the WD8003E card has only enough space for a 6.5K input buffer. Since many file servers (SUN NFS), like to send 8K blocks, PCroute can loose packets if WD8003E cards are used. Thus if you expect NFS traffic through the router, it is STRONGLY recommended that you use WD8003EBT, or WD8013EBT cards. These cards have larger buffers and thus will not drop packets when 8K blocks are sent quickly.

If you are stuck with WD8003E cards and need to run NFS, it may be possible to tell NFS to send smaller blocks by setting the 'rsize' and 'wsize' parameters in fstab. This seems to only work with some versions, however, so it is not the preferred solution.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- What about SLIP speeds?

PCroute also supports up to 6 serial lines in addition to the other interfaces. These lines can operate at all the common baud rates up to 19.2K. In PCroute with a faster processor (10Mhz XT or an AT clone) can handle 38.4K or even 57.6K. All of this using the standard 8250 serial ports.

Note because PC serial ports interrupt the processor on EVERY character SLIP consumes a fair amount of the CPU. On a 4.77MHZ XT the interrupts for two SLIP ports running at 19.2K Baud consume about 1/2 the available CPU time. (actually measurements show that two slip lines running full tilt at 19.2K consume slightly less than 1/2 the CPU). Thus packet delays will double. Obviously the situation gets better as CPU speed increases. On a 12Mhz AT interrupts consume less than 1/10 of the CPU.

If you are buying new cards, buy com boards with the 16550AF chip. This chip has a FIFO that will store up to 16 characters before interrupting the CPU. Thus these chips will load the CPU only about 1/10 that of the 8250. Using com ports with this chip, even a 4.77 XT could handle many ports (4) at high baud rate (57.6K) with no problem.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- What is localtalk support?

PCroute supports IP inside of localtalk (appletalk). This allows you to send IP packets though localtalk nets. Since localtalk can be sent over twisted pair (phonenet) large distances (5000 ft with a star controller), this method has many of the advantages of SLIP and is a higher speed solution. In addition any MACs on the localtalk network that have MacTCP can access the IP network.

Note, however that PCroute does NOT support encapsulating appletalk in IP. This is important because it is a major limitation. Any application like CAP that makes IP hosts look like normal appletalk file or print servers, or lets IP hosts use laserwriters will not work. Basically the only thing PCroute will let you do is run MacTCP applications so that Macs can access IP related services. Also PCroute does not support IP address allocation. Thus all the Macs must either be given a static IP address or generate one dynamically from its localtalk address. PCroute will not 'give out' addresses like KIP boxes will.

Also note that this limitation is unlikely to change. There are no plans for supporting more advanced localtalk features. (It would take a LOT of work).

Note also that PCroute's implementation is known NOT to work with some older MacIP software (most notablely NCSA-Telnet that does not used MacTCP). It does work with MacTCP. This is all I will say.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- What PC route supports?

PCroute was designed to be a fully functional IP router. In particular it supports

1) IP routing with Subsets (however the subnet mask must begin with 255.255) 2) Static routing with up to 250 routes. 3) responds to ICMP echo (ping) 4) Sends ICMP TTL, Redirect, Unreachable when appropriate 5) Fragmentation where necessary 6) RIP dynamic routing protocol 7) Up to 6 interfaces of varying types 8) Error logging using BSD syslog 9) Optional proxy ARP 10) Bootp forwarding

Note that although the software supports up to 6 interfaces, the total throughput of the router is fixed by the speed of the processor. For fast boards (ethernet) this gets excessive after 4 interfaces are installed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Wish List

These are things that I would like to add to PCroute, but it looks like I will not have the time.

1) SNMP support. Everybody wants SNMP support. Well there is nothing that says PCroute can't have it. I have written the code with this support in mind. In addition, some people at CMU have already written the hard part of SNMP and all that would be necessary is to graft that code onto the various databases inside PCroute. I think this would take about 1-2 months of half time programming effort.

2) Any other interface that someone might want (T1 or X.25 for example). PCroute has been designed to make this addition relatively simple.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Hints

1) We found that the 10Mhz XT clones that Jamco and others sell work very well. One nice feature about these units is their BIOS. By setting the dip switches in the PC, you can tell it that there is no Monitor. This also tells the BIOS not to check for a keyboard either. Thus you don't need to buy either the keyboard or the monitor. Other XT BIOS ALWAYS check for the keyboard, and thus you have to plug it in even though you never use it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments and Bug reports

I am interested in finding out what you think of PCroute and how well it performs for you. I am also interested in hearing about any problems you have or bugs in the documentation. You should send your comments to Vance Morrison <morrison@accuvax.nwu.edu>

Note that since I am not paid to support this software, I can not guarantee that I can respond to your problem, but I will try.

Vance Morrison Northwestern University

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To: MWP.MICHAEL@melpn1.prime.com From: Michael S. Maiten <msm@Energetic.COM> Subject: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

I use SLIP at 19.2K baud from a SUN to a MAC located in the same room. I use a Cisco modified NCSA/Telnet which allows telnet MAC->SUN ftp SUN->MAC but no other services. This setup does not use MACTCP.

While it can only be used for telent and FTP, it is useful for what I use it for, but it may not suit your needs. It certainly is inexpensive (I can't justify a localtalk to ethernet gateway for a single mac; on the other hand, maybe someday, I'll put an ethernet card in the mac!).

<MSM>

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From: cperry@gateway.mitre.org (Chris Perry) Full-Name: Chris Perry To: MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

Michael,

Of course kermit works fine: it's just slow (at least at 9.6 it is, and I've never tried it at V.42 speeds, over mnp, etc.) Shiva works OK with most things that do AppleTalk. If your Sun can handle encapsulated AppleTalk via its Ethernet interface, then you can talk to it over Shiva, as far as I know. The trick is finding something like Sitka's TOPS/Sun or MacNFS or MachTen that can accomodate AppleTalk packets encapsulated in IP, as well as AppleTalk routing.

For instance, we made a Sun3 with TOPS/Sun work as a fileserver with remote AppleTalk product work. (Manufactured by NetModem/Remote AppleTalk's previous owners.) The speed of service wasn't too hot (about 75% of the modem link speed, which was 9.6), but it did the job if you were patient and didn't try to execute MacDraw remotely...

Chris

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From: Mike Raffety <miker@sbcoc.com> To: MWP.MICHAEL@melpn1.prime.com Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

> My suggestion to keep $$$ down (we've been quoted $7,000 just for the > cable) is to use modems over the phone line. The questions are: > > 1) Is slip available on the MAC? > 2) Can we run NFS over slip over the phone lines? > 3) Has anyone done this, and if so, how do they find it?

All depends on what the Mac user wants to be able to do with his/her network connection. You need to find out more here. E-mail and such, sure, dial-up shoulw be fine. NFS, X, etc., better run your network out there. The cable would also be a LOT easier/cheaper to support, and also, are you certain there's nothing else out there around that Mac, or on the way to it, that's going to want access to your network eventually??

Another possibility would be to run Ethernet on fiber optic; that'll go for a loooong ways, fairly cheaply. Check into fiber optic Ethernet repeaters.

Please be sure to summarize back to the list; thanks.

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From: paulo@dcc.unicamp.br (Paulo Licio de Geus) To: "mwp.michael" <MWP.MICHAEL@melpn1.prime.com> Subject: RE: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap - long reply

Here's an extract of my archives concerning slip for the mac. Some msgs tell the story about X (not NFS I'm afraid), but NFS for the mac over phone lines should be no different than NFS for a Sun over phone lines, right? Untolerably slow, I've heard, but that's a compromise someone must be prepared to accept.

Hope this is useful,

-- postmaster/manager Paulo Licio de Geus INTERNET:paulo@dcc.unicamp.br Depto de Ciencia da Computacao DCC - IMECC - UNICAMP caixa postal: 6065 13081 Campinas SP Brazil

----------------------------------------------------------------------

>From dorner@pequod.cso.uiuc.edu Sun May 10 04:57:25 1992 From: dorner@pequod.cso.uiuc.edu (Steve Dorner) Subject: MacSLIP and VersaTerm SLIP, a Mini-Review

INTRODUCTION

After a long wait, I've finally seen two SLIP LAP's for MacTCP. One is MacSLIP by Rick Watson, and the other is VersaTerm SLIP by Lonnie Abelbeck. The former is yet to be released, while the latter is available by purchasing or upgrading the VersaTerm terminal emulator.

Before I go on to compare the two products, I want to give you the good news. Both products are easy to install and setup, and both work just fine. You're unlikely to go wrong with either product. While the products are quite different, most of the differences are matters of taste rather than function.

I've been using MacSLIP for a couple of months. I find it quite nice for Eudora, Fetch, and the like. My modems (2400 baud MNP-5) are too slow for SLIP to be useful for terminal emulation, at least with my dialins, which don't do compressed SLIP. I've only used VersaTerm SLIP a few times, though I plan an extended test sometime soon. I've encountered no problems with it in my limited testing.

WHAT IS a "MacTCP SLIP LAP"?

It's an extension that allows MacTCP to work over a phone line, allowing you to use any MacTCP application over your modem, if you have the right dialins.

INSTALLATION

MacSLIP consists of two parts. The SLIP LAP itself, a CDEV (slipcdev) that's used to configure the LAP. To install, you drag the LAP and the CDEV onto your system folder (system 7). It also comes with a NetStat application that's useful if you like looking at TCP statistics.

VersaTerm SLIP consists of three parts. There is the SLIP LAP, a CDEV with no user configuration items in it, and an application (VersaTerm AdminSLIP) that does the configuration. These various pieces are all installed by an installer script, which also installs MacTCP. Of course, there's other stuff with VersaTerm SLIP, too, like VersaTerm :-).

Comment: I didn't like the fact that VersaTerm SLIP installer installs its own copy of MacTCP; I think I'd rather drag the files by hand (which is possible).

CONFIGURATION

Once you've installed either product, you reboot. Then you open the MacTCP control panel, and select the LAP you want. MacSLIP gives you just one choice, "SLIP". VersaTerm SLIP presents you with three different LAP's: "SLIP (Modem)", "SLIP (Printer)", and "SLIP (Other)". If you choose "SLIP (Other)", you may specify the port in the VersaTerm AdminSLIP application.

You then configure MacTCP properly for your SLIP connection. Either product allows you to use Server or Manual addressing. Another reboot is done after you configure MacTCP.

To finish configuring MacSLIP, you open the slipcdev CDEV, where you can set the serial port parameters, MTU, compression, logging and script options. The latter three are most interesting.

MacSLIP has three settings for CSLIP (compressed slip); Never, Automatic, and Always. Never means it will not use compressed SLIP, and always means it will. "Automatic" means that MacSLIP will use compressed SLIP if it receives a compressed packet from the other end.

MacSLIP allows you to log the execution of your scripts, as well as the opening and closing of the SLIP LAP. This has proven to be very useful.

Finally, MacSLIP has a pretty reasonable scripting language built into it, with variables, loops, timers, subroutines, etc. It's hard to imagine a dialin situation it couldn't handle. On the other hand, it does take a little work to write a script.

VersaTerm SLIP takes a different approach. It has several several configuration screens. The inital screen lets you select a setup (you can have different named setups). A button takes you to the configuration screen for the setup you've selected.

This next screen lets you specify serial port settings, phone number, MTU, Compression, and to override some MacTCP parameters. Compression is either on or off; there is no "Automatic" setting. It also contains a button for configuring a modem, and one for a script. The modem configuration allows you to specify some strings to be sent to your modem before the connection is attempted, and has a list of modems with preset strings.

The script configuration allows you to write simple scripts. The idea is that you send something, then wait some period of time for some other string to appear, then send something else, etc.. One interesting feature is that you can have the script read your IP address from the text sent you by your dialin host; this would be useful for dialins where your IP address varies from one connection to the next.

Comments: The configuration process for VersaTerm SLIP is pretty involved, with many screens and subscreens. I found it a little confusing to navigate. On the plus side, most of the screens are pretty easy to handle, and it's not hard to get things up and running.

The configuration of MacSLIP is much more concentrated, and to my mind less confusing. However, you do have to write a connection script, which may be daunting for some users. The author tells me that he will be providing some sample scripts which many users will be able to use more or less as is.

It should be noted that neither package requires you to use a script; you can setup your SLIP connection with a terminal emulator, and then switch on SLIP. VersaTerm SLIP even includes a mini-emulator right in the VersaTerm AdminSLIP application. This is fine for casual use, but I'd recommend getting a script going as soon as possible.

USE

As I said before, both packages work fine. I have only 2400 baud MNP-5 modems, so performance for me wasn't great. Here are some quick benchmarks, done on my Q700, with Multitech 224E modem into a Cisco terminal server (which does not do compressed SLIP):

MacSLIP VersaTerm SLIP Fetch 45K MacBinaryII Upload: 161 cps 219 cps Fetch 45K MacBinaryII Download: 308 cps 216 cps

PLEASE: these were all single runs; I'm not sure they mean much of anything. MacSLIP was using an MTU of 1500, whereas VersaTerm SLIP an MTU of 1006 (the largest it allows).

Both of these packages are a joy to use with Eudora. If you've ever had trouble with corrupt attachments over modems, you want one of these.

Given the relative wimp factor of my modems, I find SLIP unacceptable for interactive use (eg, NCSA Telnet). However, at higher speeds they should work just fine.

CONCLUSIONS

Either package will serve you well. VersaTerm SLIP is available now, bundled with VersaTerm; if you need a terminal emulator and the other goodies that come with VersaTerm, you could do much worse than to buy it.

MacSLIP is not yet available; release is planned for the end of May. People with complicated dialins, or wishing to try multiple phone numbers automatically, may prefer MacSLIP on that basis. I'm also very fond of MacSLIP's log, which has been helpful in tracking problems on our dialin modems.

PRICING

VersaTerm SLIP comes with VersaTerm 4.6.2, which goes for about $90 mail-order, and includes an FTP server and client, MacTCP, a Telnet connection tool, and a time server and client. Educational institutions are eligible for a reduced price arrangement.

MacSLIP is $49.95. Site licenses will be available for a reasonable price. Contact macslip@utexas.edu for more information.

DISCLAIMERS

I have no financial interest in either product.

This review is not intended to be The Last Word on anything; it's just some thoughts based on my limited experience with the two products. More could be said about either one.

SLIP is of limited utility unless you have something to SLIP with. Before you invest in SLIP, be sure your friendly neighborhood dialins support it. -- Steve Dorner, U of Illinois Computing Services Office Internet: s-dorner@uiuc.edu UUCP: uunet!uiucuxc!uiuc.edu!s-dorner

>From werner@cs.utexas.edu Sun May 10 04:58:32 1992 From: werner@cs.utexas.edu (Werner Uhrig) Subject: Re: MacSLIP and VersaTerm SLIP, a Mini-Review Organization: CS Dept, University of Texas at Austin NNTP-Posting-Host: dimebox.cs.utexas.edu

thanks, Steve, for the nice review.

I also have used MacSlip for a little while now (with MNP5 at 2400 baud) WITH compression, and that makes the slower speed a little more tolerable, but not a whole lot.

-- werner@cs.utexas.edu | ..!uunet!cs.utexas.edu!werner | werner@UTXVM.bitnet

From: rick@hydepark.com (Rick Watson) Subject: Announcing MacSLIP

[ Apologies if you get this more than once. ] [ My regular news poster seems to be stuck. ]

Hyde Park Software is pleased to announce the availability of MacSLIP -- a SLIP Link Access Protocol Module for MacTCP.

MacSLIP allows you to extend the network connectivity of your Macintosh to locations that might not be accessible to a LocalTalk or Ethernet network via a modem connection over the telephone or a hardwired connection to a SLIP Server. SLIP (Serial Line IP) is a protocol that allows many simultaneous IP connections to run over a single serial connection to a SLIP Server (a terminal server or other host that supports SLIP). Instead of running a single terminal emulator session over your serial port, MacSLIP allows you to run simultaneous Telnet, FTP, News, Mail, and other MacTCP based applications. You can even run XWindows although XWindow based applications tend to require lots of bandwidth.

MacSLIP supports normal SLIP connections as well as connections that allow TCP Header Compression (CSLIP). TCP Header Compression is a method for compressing the headers of TCP/IP datagrams to improve performance over relatively slow serial lines. Not all SLIP Servers support CSLIP but MacSLIP will work either way.

MacSLIP's connection script facility allows automated modem dialing, logging into a SLIP Server, establishing a SLIP session, etc. The script facility will write a log of the connection process for easy debugging of your script. Sample scripts are provided. During the connection, a script status dialog appears to notify the user of the progress of the connection. The script can write messages to a status area and can prompt the user for passwords or connection data. The incoming character stream from the serial port is also displayed.

The script facility supports sending strings, matching strings read from the serial port to control script execution, simple counters, timers, loops, prompting for user input, and a status dialog to inform the user of the script's progress.

You can configure your Mac to use a static IP address or you can get an IP address from your SLIP Server via the bootp protocol.

Included in the package is Netstat, an application designed for monitoring TCP connections to your Macintosh. Netstat displays all open TCP connections' source and destination IP addresses, TCP ports, and connection state. You can view all the internal counters that MacTCP keeps for each connection as well as global MacTCP and MacSLIP counters.

Requirements:

- Any Macintosh running System 7 or a Mac-II class Mac running System 6.0.7. - MacTCP 1.1 (or MacTCP 1.1+ for a Mac Plus) - A serial connection to a SLIP Server via modem or hardwired connection.

Availability:

We will begin taking orders immediately (Mon-Fri 8-5 CDT) with shipping scheduled to begin the week of May 25. Sales and support are being provided by

TriSoft 1825 East 38 1/2 Austin, Texas 78722 Sales: (800) 531-5170 Support and Info: (512) 472-0744 FAX: (512) 473-2122

Individual copies are $49.95 + shipping + sales tax if applicable. Questions about MacSLIP and other pricing may also be sent to:

info@hydepark.com

Rick Watson Hyde Park Software

From: jjb@pandora.cs.wayne.edu (Jon J. Brewster) Subject: Re: X over dialup lines Summary: Summary of responses

Many thanks to those who replied to my query about running MacX over a dialup line:

Greg Kilcup <kilcup@pacific.mps.ohio-state.edu> Chad Childers<chad@pms704.pms.ford.com> Pascal Gosselin <pascal@cam.org> Mike O'Connor <moconnor@pms704.pms.ford.com> soi!chip@uu.psi.com (Chip Morris) gt5870c@prism.gatech.edu (007) jp@tygra.Michigan.COM (John Palmer) osm@msen.com (Owen Scott Medd) dorner@pequod.cso.uiuc.edu (Steve Dorner) rick@hydepark.com (Rick Watson) Michael W. Wellman <mikel@intercon.com> hernadi@cpsc.ucalgary.ca (Stephen Hernadi)

(Actually, Steve Dorner and Rick Watson didn't reply to this thread, but their articles on the new releases of SLIP LAB MacTCP's were precisely the information I was looking for, so I archived it along with the other responses.)

It appears that IP over a serial line under MacOS is a fairly new thing, with two products just reaching the market at this time: Versaterm has a SLIP LAP for MacTCP, and MacSLIP from Hyde Park Software. Hyde Park is also supposed to be working on a PPP version. I also heard that Intercon is supposed to unveil a product at InterOP, which was described as "very nice".

Two respondents have actually run X over a serial line, Greg Kilcup and Chip Morris, and both said that a 14.4 Kbps SLIP connection is probably the minimum required. Prof. Kilcup also points out that xterm windows are usable at that speed, but bitmap applications, like TeX previewers, are pretty hopeless. Thanks again to all who responded to the questions. If anyone would like the full text of the responses, email me at jjb@cs.wayne.edu and I'll be happy to forward a copy of my archive to you.

-- jjb@cs.wayne.edu | Do not meddle in the affairs of troff, ...umich!wsu-cs!jjb | for it is subtle and quick to anger.

>From ckd@eff.org Fri Jun 5 23:45:01 1992 From: ckd@eff.org (Christopher Davis) Subject: Re: X over dialup lines

Jim> == Jim Rees <rees@pisa.citi.umich.edu>

Jim> This is important when you have short packets, for example a telnet Jim> session with remote echo. I don't know how important it would be for Jim> a typical X session. When I've run X at low speeds (I've had it down Jim> to 300 bps!) it seems to me the throughput is more the limiting Jim> factor than the latency, which would suggest that ARA would be a Jim> bigger win than vj/slip.

Try VJ CSLIP over a V.42bis modem; you get the LZ compression of packet contents, and the dinky headers too. I've been doing it (at 9600) with the Versaterm SLIP LAP, though I haven't tried MacX yet; Fetch and Versaterm's Telnet capability seem to work nicely, though.

Once I can afford a V.32bis modem, that'll really cook... -- Christopher Davis * ckd@eff.org * System Administrator, EFF * +1 617 864 0665 Samizdata isn't that different from Samizdat. -- Dan'l Danehy-Oakes

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From: Andreas Sorgatz <andi@uni-paderborn.de> To: MWP.MICHAEL@melpn1.prime.com Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap

There's a public-domain application named NCSA/BYU-Telnet. You can get version 2.5 on (merely) every ftp-server. This program supports SLIP. I used the telnet-feature via SLIP, and it works fine.

I think you will (if possible) not have much fun with using NFS via SLIP, 'cause it's much too slow.

Instead of a modem:

Is there a multiplexer nearby in your network. We've connected a Mac via a multiplexer (19200 Baud) to our Sun, using it for terminal-emulation. It also works fine.

greetings andi

------------------------------------------------------------- Andreas Sorgatz andi@uni-paderborn.de -------------------------------------------------------------

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From: Patrick McAndrew <patrick@icbl.heriot-watt.ac.uk> To: "MWP.MICHAEL" <MWP.MICHAEL@MELPN1.Prime.COM> Subject: Resent mail

From: Patrick McAndrew <patrick@uk.ac.hw.icbl> Subject: Re: Connecting MAC <-> Sun on the cheap To: "mwp.michael" <MWP.MICHAEL@COM.Prime.MELPN1>

> Answers to this, or other elegant solutions would be appreciated. > How about using AppleTalk cabling from the Mac - I am not sure of the distance limit on it but it might go that far. Then at the other end you could use an ethernet to AppleTalk bridge such as a FastPath or another Mac with an ethernet card - I haven't done this but I believe there is a product called Liaison which allows such a Mac to act as a bridge.

Patrick.



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