[SATLUG] A challenge for all seasoned experts :-)

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Sat Feb 1 07:46:18 CST 2014


Daniel,

thanks for the pointers, my situation is like this:

I have 4 MB RAM - I also have bags full of RAM sticks, but nothing fits.
These are really old and I think needed to be installed in pairs. 

I have a copy of DOS 6.22 and Win3.11 for workgroups, which I believe had a 
TCP/IP stack so you could do ftp. Not sure if win3.11 will run in 4 MB, but
can try.

I also have a null-modem cable and could do this as a last resort.

My very last option would be to make a custom Linux boot disk that will
boot in 4 MB, should be possible.

-b.





On Sat, Feb 01, 2014 at 07:16:03AM -0500, Daniel Villarreal wrote:
> Borries,
> 
> Per http://www.toms.net/rb/tomsrtbt.FAQ, "... tomsrtbt requires about
> 8meg to boot ..."
> I remember Othniel as being very well-versed in Toms RTBT, he
> introduced me to it.
> 
> http://www.tinycorelinux.net/faq.html#req
> "An absolute minimum of RAM is 46mb. TC won't boot with anything less..."
> 
> http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/frequently_asked_questions.html
> Minimum Requirements for DSL with X-Window:
> i486
> 24 MB RAM
> 
> Have you checked this out?
> http://drdos.com/products/dr-dos/tcpip/
> 
> later,
> Daniel Villarreal
> 
> On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM, Borries Demeler
> <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:
> > Daniel,
> >
> > do you know how much memory is required? I only have 4 megs on this box.
> > Other Linux floppy boots did not work on such a low amount.
> >
> > -b.
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 10:19:16AM -0500, Daniel Villarreal wrote:
> >> Borries, you're welcome.
> >>
> >> Maybe http://www.toms.net/rb/tomsrtbt.FAQ
> >>
> >> Daniel
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM, Borries Demeler
> >> <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:
> >> > Daniel,
> >> >
> >> > thanks for the offer, but I found another 3.5 floppy that works and
> >> > can just copy stuff off using the floppy drive. But I still am interested
> >> > in getting the network to work on this.
> >> >
> >> > I had another idea: some supersmall linux with 3c509 modules that runs in
> >> > 4 MB or RAM and has some basic utils to mount FAT16 fs and maybe netcat to
> >> > dump stuff out? Alternatively, it would be nice if I could just get some sort
> >> > of tcpip network to work on this DOS system. The PXE boot emulator sounds nice
> >> > if I can find a copy of this win2003 server program...
> >> >
> >> > -b.
> >> >
> >> > On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 09:51:05PM -0500, Daniel Villarreal wrote:
> >> >> Borries,
> >> >> Have you considered using an old parallel-port Iomega zip drive? I
> >> >> have a spare one I can loan you, if you need it... if you don't mind
> >> >> shipping back to NY.
> >> >>
> >> >> regards,
> >> >> Daniel Villarreal
> >> >> http://youcanlinux.org/
> >> >>
> >> >> On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM, Borries Demeler
> >> >> <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu> wrote:
> >> >> > THis sounds like a great way to do it - however, I cannot find rbfg.exe on
> >> >> > any of my windows systems. I looked at win2k, XP and 7. Is there a place
> >> >> > where I can get a copy or is there an alternative? I did get the floppy
> >> >> > driver replaced and it is working now. I also tried to read the harddrive
> >> >> > with my USB adapter, but it must be pre-PATA because it is not recognized.
> >> >> > In the BIOS it is listed as "TYPE 40". When hooked up directly to the PATA bus
> >> >> > on another computer the drive isn't recognized.
> >> >> >
> >> >> > So, I guess I could copy everything off the drive via floppy now, or
> >> >> > try to get the rbfg.exe file somewhere...
> >> >> >
> >> >> > Thanks for the tip!
> >> >> > -b.
> >> >> >
> >> >> > On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 01:57:20PM -0600, Joe wrote:
> >> >> >> Definately,  PXE!   Fix that floppy drive. Then you can use a pxe emulator (
> >> >> >> http://www.lockergnome.com/windows/2006/03/22/create-a-pxe-emulator-boot-floppy/).
> >> >> >> You still then need a pxe service provider.  You could use a Vm, maybe
> >> >> >> running Amanda, or some other image management software.  It's a bit of
> >> >> >> additional work.  But, once it's done, you can boot any computer on your
> >> >> >> network from the nic and backup or restore through the network.
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> On Sunday, January 26, 2014, Borries Demeler <demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu>
> >> >> >> wrote:
> >> >> >>
> >> >> >> > On Sun, Jan 26, 2014 at 01:20:27PM -0600, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> >> >> >> > > Borries Demeler wrote:
> >> >> >> > > >Here is a challenge for all you seasoned experts with previous DOS
> >> >> >> > experience:
> >> >> >> > > >
> >> >> >> > > >I have recently revived an old but excellent spectrophotometer that was
> >> >> >> > built
> >> >> >> > > >on top of a 486 motherboard. Miraculously, the motherboard still works
> >> >> >> > (after
> >> >> >> > > >resetting the bios with some jumper surgery), but now I am facing a
> >> >> >> > second
> >> >> >> > > >hurdle: The spectrophotometer has a bad 3.5" floppy drive that was used
> >> >> >> > to output
> >> >> >> > > >the data. All floppies I have tried fail to be recognized, although
> >> >> >> > > >they work fine on some other computer which has a floppy drive.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > Wow.  DOD-3.3 was released in April, 1987.  The i486 was released in
> >> >> >> > > 1989.  The first thing I'd do is try to replace the floppy drive so
> >> >> >> > > I could get some sort of input or output.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > >  So forget
> >> >> >> > > >the floppies - don't want to deal with them anyway. There is an old
> >> >> >> > 3c509
> >> >> >> > > >network card (isa) in this spectrophotometer that has a (presumably)
> >> >> >> > 10baseT
> >> >> >> > > >cat 5 ethernet connector. The whole system is running MSDOS DOS 3.3.
> >> >> >> > > >The software controlling the spec needs DOS (its not a windows program).
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > Any possibility of running the program in a virtual system on a
> >> >> >> > > modern machine?  What's the interface to the HW?  Is it a simple
> >> >> >> > > serial port or some kind of proprietary connection?
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > That's the problem, there are about 6 ISA controller boards in there,
> >> >> >> > so I couldn't move the system to a newer hardware where that would be
> >> >> >> > an option, as nice as it would be - but then there would be the question
> >> >> >> > of making all the interrupts and I/O addresses work as well...anyway,
> >> >> >> > I don't know how to get around that.
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > > >So, right now everything is stored on an old 40 MB (!) seagate
> >> >> >> > harddrive,
> >> >> >> > > >which also miraculously still works. I want to first make a backup of
> >> >> >> > the
> >> >> >> > > >whole system and then find some backup hardware that can be retrofitted
> >> >> >> > > >onto the old motherboard in case other stuff fails - the spec is really
> >> >> >> > > >high quality and I would hate to lose it. The controller boards are all
> >> >> >> > > >ISA and so I cannot use a new motherboard.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > You could remove the HD and put it into a modern system for copying.
> >> >> >> > > You can use an ide to sata connector:
> >> >> >> > > http://www.amazon.com/IDE-SATA-Adapter/dp/B000RK89M4 if you can't
> >> >> >> > > find a system with ide.  My 2005 Dell has an ide for the CD-ROM.
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > I could do that, I have one of these devices - good idea, but not a
> >> >> >> > permanent solution for transferring files.
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > > 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FR (ICH6/ICH6R) LPC
> >> >> >> > > Interface Bridge (rev 03)
> >> >> >> > > 00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6
> >> >> >> > > Family) IDE Controller (rev 03)
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > >For now, I would be happy to somehow just get the 3c509 network card to
> >> >> >> > > >work under dos 3.3 and hook up an ethernet cable and be able to dump
> >> >> >> > files
> >> >> >> > > >out over the network. Now I forgot pretty much anything about DOS
> >> >> >> > networking
> >> >> >> > > >and wouldn't know where to get the files. I can probably find an old
> >> >> >> > driver
> >> >> >> > > >on the harddrive for the 3c509 card, but maybe there is something else
> >> >> >> > > >available? What is the best way to network this old computer, and where
> >> >> >> > > >could I find the necessary software?
> >> >> >> > > >
> >> >> >> > > >command line ftp, scp, rsync or similar would be fantastic, am I asking
> >> >> >> > > >for too much? What are my options here? The machine has 4 MB of RAM, and
> >> >> >> > > >is a 486. I *might* be able to find some more RAM for this if this is
> >> >> >> > > >necessary.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > I'd be interested in how DOS 3.3 addresses 4MB.  Standard DOS was
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > Only as a ram drive. It is not until you install a 32 bit OS like win3.1
> >> >> >> > that you can actually use the RAM > 640 kb. Question is: How do I get
> >> >> >> > a tcp/ip network set up under DOS?
> >> >> >> >
> >> >> >> > > only 640K, but there was the ability to swap memory via the eXtended
> >> >> >> > > Memory Specification (XMS).  This was in the application of course
> >> >> >> > > since DOS was only a program loader, not an operating system.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > Interesting project.  Good luck.
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > >   -- Bruce
> >> >> >> > >
> >> >> >> > > --
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