VOGONS


First post, by AtomicPlayboy

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I've got just about everything working with my Power Mac 6500, with the exception of the NIC that I bought - a Dell PCI NIC using the Realtek RTL8139c chipset. This seemed to be a good choice, as many reports claimed that it is compatible with this hw/os combination, but I cannot get it working. I've tried a variety of drivers, including ones which specify OS9 compatibility, to no avail. I even followed some instructions for hacking the driver to work with my specific card's device ID, still no dice. The PCI slot works, and the NIC itself is powered on and detected by the system profiler, and I can the activity lights blinking, it's just that the OS cannot detect it as a networking device and use it with the network stack. I also tried this with Mac OS versions 9.0.4 and 9.1.

So two questions:
1) Has anyone been able to successfully installed a RTL8139c-based NIC? If so, can you share any tricks?
2) Does anyone have any recommendations for other cards / chipsets that they can confirm will work with my machine.

Thanks in advance.

Reply 1 of 4, by LightStruk

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The Power Mac 6500 is such a good looking beige tower. Way better looking than the beige G3.

Just to make sure that the NIC actually works - have you tried that NIC in a PC to see if it is recognized there? Or, alternatively, have you tried using BootX and a PPC Linux live CD?

Allegedly there are a few gigabit ethernet adapters that work in MacOS 9, including the Realtek 8169S. Used examples are very inexpensive.

This site claims that the Farallon 10/100 COMM II, some kind of Kingston PCI Fast Ethernet card, and the SMC 1255TX all work on PowerMac 6400 and 6500 systems in MacOS 9. The SMC 1255TX is apparently available new with free shipping for under $10.

Reply 2 of 4, by AtomicPlayboy

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LightStruk wrote on 2022-02-18, 19:32:

The Power Mac 6500 is such a good looking beige tower. Way better looking than the beige G3.

Definitely. That's why I chose this vintage over a G3/G4, purely for the aesthetics.

Just to make sure that the NIC actually works - have you tried that NIC in a PC to see if it is recognized there? Or, alternatively, have you tried using BootX and a PPC Linux live CD?

Didn't know such a thing existed, and that's a great idea. Now I've got to pop over to MicroCenter this weekend to grab some CDRs, as my IODD isn't bootable on the Mac.

Allegedly there are a few gigabit ethernet adapters that work in MacOS 9, including the Realtek 8169S. Used examples are very inexpensive.

Gigabit would be ideal, so if I pick up an alternative, that will be my choice.

That's one of the sites that directed my initial search which produced the 8139 chipset. But I'm happy to spend short money on buying a couple more to see if I can get another one working.

Thanks for all of your suggestions here. Wish me luck!

Reply 3 of 4, by AtomicPlayboy

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Following up in case anyone is seeking a solution to this: I ordered a Farallon 8960785-00-02 PCI Ethernet card, and it works perfectly in this old Mac. I was never able to get the Realtek RTL8139c-based Dell card to work. I'm sure it will find a home when I eventually buy another retro PC...

Reply 4 of 4, by dionb

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That Farallon card has a DEC 'Tulip' 21041 chipset. Those are quite common, as are their 2114x 100Mb brethren. Not sure how picky MacOS classic is (the Linux Tulip driver has hell with their device IDs, however Solaris and Windows don't care) but that might give options for others.