VOGONS


First post, by 386SX

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Hi,

I "closed" the other thread where I found help for my 386 isa Ne2000 compatible card after using the original installation package works great with the 8bit ISA bus in dos. The card was and is a AT-2000B Ne2000 clone one. Tried in Arachne and it works.
I want to focus on this thread on the Windows 3.1 o.s. cause the graphic acceleration I suppose can't be used in msdos and maybe it'd help to try some browser like Opera 3.x and offloading the cpu with the BitBLT acceleration of the Cirrus Logic card I've got.
But as expected Win 3.1 ask for a Winsock.dll I didn't remember about it. I've read around and it seems the solutions would be an hard to find official IE2.1 or later browser (and also was it freeware or a commercial product I have to buy?) or the Trumpet shareware Winsock solution.
Which one would you suggest? I was expecting Win3.1 to simply use the loaded official NE2000 packet driver but it seems it's not or maybe it need some config on it? I've installed the Lan Manager 2.1 Basic as read online but maybe it wasn't even necessary.
Thanks

Reply 1 of 18, by jheronimus

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Do you have a TCP/IP stack? You can find Microsoft's TCP/IP 32b package. Install it, configure it to use DHCP (or specify static values) and make sure you have a driver for your network card installed in Windows.

I would use a Netscape 3.0, but old IE versions aren't hard to find either. I'm not sure I can post links to them here (due to no abandonware policy on Vogons). I'm just not sure whether IE 2.1 was a separate release and not just a localized version (like Windows 3.2 is just Chinese Windows 3.1).

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Reply 2 of 18, by darry

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As far as I remember, IE was freely distributed at the time on the Internet (so was Netscape Navigator, but you need the IE stuff first). ftp.sunet.se is/was a very legitimate public FTP . If it is there, it's pretty certain to be legally redistributable .

http://ftp.sunet.se/mirror/archive/ftp.sunet. … ternetExplorer/

Reply 3 of 18, by Grzyb

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darry wrote on 2020-07-23, 12:41:

so was Netscape Navigator, but you need the IE stuff first

No, you don't need any IE stuff for Netscape.
Once upon a time, I've spent a lot of time on the Internet using DOS packet driver + WINPKT.COM + Trumper Winsock + Netscape.

Reply 4 of 18, by darry

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Grzyb wrote on 2020-07-23, 13:26:
darry wrote on 2020-07-23, 12:41:

so was Netscape Navigator, but you need the IE stuff first

No, you don't need any IE stuff for Netscape.
Once upon a time, I've spent a lot of time on the Internet using DOS packet driver + WINPKT.COM + Trumper Winsock + Netscape.

That's another way of doing it, but you can use the winsock dll provided with the IE install with Netscape, AFAICR . The potential problem with using Trumpet Winsock is that it is shareware and needs to be purchased for continued legal use, unless that has changed since the 90s.

EDIT: Still shareware and still purchasable .
http://www.trumpet.com.au/index.php/downloads.html

Reply 5 of 18, by 386SX

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jheronimus wrote on 2020-07-23, 12:22:

Do you have a TCP/IP stack? You can find Microsoft's TCP/IP 32b package. Install it, configure it to use DHCP (or specify static values) and make sure you have a driver for your network card installed in Windows.

I would use a Netscape 3.0, but old IE versions aren't hard to find either. I'm not sure I can post links to them here (due to no abandonware policy on Vogons). I'm just not sure whether IE 2.1 was a separate release and not just a localized version (like Windows 3.2 is just Chinese Windows 3.1).

But wasn't TCP/IP stack only for WFW 3.1/3.11?
I understand that Trumpet software it's a bit too expensive so I'm not gonna use that and I'll try the Explorer way. The driver for the Windows 3.1 seems to not exist only for WFW3.x for this card I suppose it's the same for any others considering this o.s. has no network installation adapters tool or at least I didn't find any into the o.s. beside the "Setup" network Lan Manager installation. I've seen there's the Ms-Dos Network package that may install the TCP/IP stack.

Reply 6 of 18, by Grzyb

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386SX wrote on 2020-07-23, 15:15:

But wasn't TCP/IP stack only for WFW 3.1/3.11?

If you mean TCP32B.EXE a.k.a. "Microsoft TCP/IP-32 for Windows for Workgroups 3.11", then yes, the README.TXT specifically states: "This product is compatible with, and supported exclusively on, the Microsoft Windows For Workgroups 3.11 platform."
I tried to install it on Windows 3.1, and failed.

Reply 8 of 18, by 386SX

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I wasn't expecting W3.1 standard to be that difficult to get on a LAN internet connection when in msdos is basically a matter of a single packet file. Too bad because the graphic acceleration of the video card would have helped maybe in some rendering and scrolling. Arachne is good but maybe too much for a 386. Maybe I should try some Lynx similar browsers.

Reply 9 of 18, by Caluser2000

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386SX wrote on 2020-07-23, 18:49:

I wasn't expecting W3.1 standard to be that difficult to get on a LAN internet connection when in msdos is basically a matter of a single packet file. Too bad because the graphic acceleration of the video card would have helped maybe in some rendering and scrolling. Arachne is good but maybe too much for a 386. Maybe I should try some Lynx similar browsers.

It isn't difficult to set up. As mentioned Dos packet diver., winpkt.exe and Trumpet winsock Works fine on my 286/12

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Reply 10 of 18, by Jo22

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I second that. As for WfW 3.10.. I believe there also was a TCP/IP driver available.
Not sure if it was free, though. It's been so long.
Anyway, Windows for Warehouses (WfW 3.10) also runs on 286.
But it can only use existing resources, it can't provide them.
That being said, Windows 3.x can use existing DOS-based networks.
Not sure if it is limited to NETBIOS stuff only, though (network drives, printers).

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Reply 11 of 18, by 386SX

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-07-24, 06:18:
386SX wrote on 2020-07-23, 18:49:

I wasn't expecting W3.1 standard to be that difficult to get on a LAN internet connection when in msdos is basically a matter of a single packet file. Too bad because the graphic acceleration of the video card would have helped maybe in some rendering and scrolling. Arachne is good but maybe too much for a 386. Maybe I should try some Lynx similar browsers.

It isn't difficult to set up. As mentioned Dos packet diver., winpkt.exe and Trumpet winsock Works fine on my 286/12

Yes I suppose I may try the shareware version but I wanted a long term solution, not a 30 days ones. The price of the software still purchasable as said above is high for me after built this machine, at that point I'd look for WFW 3.11. I already bought both msdos and win 3.1 genuine retail versions and maybe I should have thought about the WFW version instead of the standard.
Not that is that important I mean, is just cause the video card in Windows 3.1 even at XGA resolution make "miracles" accelerating graphic processing, it should be interesting to see how well scrolling and rendering old html pages would be. Arachne I suppose lacks these accelerations because the time the page take to refresh colors and the gui is slower than expected even at lower resolution, even using VESA modes or lower ones.

Reply 12 of 18, by chinny22

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The problem is just like dos the non workgroup version has no built in networking. Just as it requires dos to boot it needs something else for networking.
Typically this would have been netware back in the day.
This is why it feels a bit messy by today's standards but using dos level networking is a valid period correct solution.
as is using the various winsock options.

WFW is the better option, if it's built in networking is worth another purchase i'm not so sure. Internet is still going to be pretty bad.

Reply 13 of 18, by 386SX

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-07-24, 11:04:
The problem is just like dos the non workgroup version has no built in networking. Just as it requires dos to boot it needs some […]
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The problem is just like dos the non workgroup version has no built in networking. Just as it requires dos to boot it needs something else for networking.
Typically this would have been netware back in the day.
This is why it feels a bit messy by today's standards but using dos level networking is a valid period correct solution.
as is using the various winsock options.

WFW is the better option, if it's built in networking is worth another purchase i'm not so sure. Internet is still going to be pretty bad.

But what about the "Network" part of the Setup tool in Windows 3.1 (standard)? I installed there the Lan Manager (I read somewhere I might have needed after installing Network for DOS disks) and I suppose some basic network was in mind when developing the o.s.?
Anyway as said it's more a test than a real world thing because I suppose even Opera 3.6 being a 2000 browser would still be impossible to use anywhere beside how much the vga card would help it.
I'm already happy that the ethernet ISA card I've has its official packet driver to work in a 8bit bus, thing I wasn't expecting at all and having the isa riser card for this case, I couldn't find another way to complete the system having only three 8bit isa bus left before and two now.

Reply 14 of 18, by Grzyb

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386SX wrote on 2020-07-24, 14:09:

But what about the "Network" part of the Setup tool in Windows 3.1 (standard)? I installed there the Lan Manager (I read somewhere I might have needed after installing Network for DOS disks) and I suppose some basic network was in mind when developing the o.s.?

It only allows to map (and unmap) network shares to drive letters in File Manager.
Requires all the client software (network protocol support, network file system support, etc.) to be running at the DOS level.
Not very useful, as one can as well map network shares prior to loading Windows, using DOS tools...

Reply 15 of 18, by chinny22

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Yep, above about sums it up, but if you prefer screenshots 😀
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/win31.htm

And I don't want to discourage you. I've a WFW pc that can access the internet access and has Netscape 3 installed just for that 1 hour every year I wan't to relive that period of time 😀
(Mostly I use the netowrk for transferring files though)

Reply 16 of 18, by 386SX

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Understood thanks. 😉
I installed the Internet Explorer with TCP/IP stack and everything but still nothing connect, I suppose it was meant for WFW too. I suppose browser like Lynx and their ports are the best solution even if far from usable in a realistic even text-based usage with all the modern javascripts and html5 requirements. I've found even this forum to be difficult to render in older browser compared to the previous one since the modern visual change.

Reply 17 of 18, by radiounix

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I have a Windows for Workgroups computer set up with TCP/IP and lots of networking software, so I can speak to this. First thing, Windows doesn't have built in TCP/IP. Back in the day folks used Trumpet with a modem, but people with Ethernet and the ability to run Windows for Workgroups should use the more modern and stable Microsoft TCP/IP stack. If you're trying to do this with Ethernet, I recommend you get WFW no matter what. Many of the remaining resources were written twenty years ago, when everyone had dialup, multimedia was by Real Player, and pages would render in IE 5.0 still.

For a browser, I highly recommend Opera 2.12. Opera was the fastest in the 90s, and this early version can load HTML 2.0 pages with acceptable speed on even a 386sx. It will run in 4MB of RAM, but 6 or more is better. Turn pictures off -- i know, i know -- but no 386 has the power to decode images on the Web and not grind to a halt. A 10KB banner GIF sure, but hit a 300KB JPEG and the machine will cry. Lynx was never pointed to Windows 3.11, but this will be rather like a mouse-centric Lynx. It's totally usable on something like floodgap.org or oldskool.org. You can view pictures offline, and I recommend the DOS viewer CSHOW because of its great speed and dithering routines. Pictures look okay even in 16 color dithering, and should be very good if you can do 640x480@256 on your card. There's stuff like WInjpeg... but slow. Modern pages use HTTPS, but there's a project here to translate HTTPS as HTTP. Keep in mind you cannot go wherever you want on the Internet. The newest, biggest browser is IE 5.0, but it's no more capable of handling modern pages. Load a page that's not vintage or coded to be compatible with vintage browsers like Lynx and Netscape, and you'll get gibberish on the screen, thrash the CPU and page file, and maybe lock the machine up. Can't even click links without checking the URL to make sure they're safe. But Google works, Wikipedia works, sites coded to work do work pretty well. You'll just need to make bookmarks of what works. Remember those?

Also, gopher is your friend. And Wsgopher is the best client. It works well on any 386 and is kinda like the Web. There's hundreds of gopher holes out there, can even get the weather and daily news via it. Best part is you can go anywhere, click any link with no worry. It's a trove of weird stuff, stashes of personal files, diaries, lives and hobbies put online kind of like a textual geocities. Very much like seeing the Web in 1994 when nothing was commercial. I think Gopher is actually the best case for having the Internet on a 386, and it died out as a mainstream protocol in the heart of the Windows 3.1 era so you'll miss nothing by using vintage hardware.

FTP is the easiest way to transfer files via a network, and CuteFTP is the best client. WSFTP tends to abort in the middle of transfers. MIRC 5.91s will get you on IRC full speed. For Telnet, like to BBSes and SDF, try QVT/net. Teraterm is good but won't give you the proper ANSI retro feel. Telix for Windows is commercial, but if you want the real BBS feel maybe try and track it down.

Honestly, Windows 3.11 is surprisingly usable on the Internet. It can quickly load retro-styled Web pages coded in old HTML, and there's hundreds of user pages out on Gopher. There's all the old BBSes, and some like Level 29 have active boards. With a UNIX shell service like SDF, you can connect to SSH servers and even get email with Alpine. Using this is much more like exploring, like the really early Web was. I highly recommend you try this. If you go Windows 3.11, you get access to professional, good and easy to use TCP/IP software -- and you can multitask it, view a picture while leaving the browser open while running a telnet session, say. There's even a TCP/IP Telix for Windows you could try and track down.

I've written a lot, I know, but I feel like Windows 3.x gets unfairly maligned. It's a pretty capable multasking OS, and even has some good native games like Castle of the Winds, Exile, Civilization and The Incredible Machine. Also, despite its reputation, it's reasonably stable if you have all the updates applied. I think it earned its reputation because people back in the day were running 3.1 with no updates, Trumpet winsock, not enough files or breakpoints, random real mode DOS drivers, too many TSRs and desk accessories. Also, gotta back up the Windows folder regularly. DLL stomping is as bad in 3.1 as it is in 95 -- as many programs use bespoke, poorly made installers. Fortunately, the fix is just copying the Windows directory back -- it's all self-contained.

Reply 18 of 18, by 386SX

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Thanks a lot for the interesting post! I think I'll look for a retail WFW 3.11 version to buy. I always liked Windows 3.x o.s. and once the GD542x drivers are working ok it get accelerated by the video card and the o.s. sure is fast even with the 386DX40 I got.
I suppose a minimal Win95 would still be capable of benefit both the video card acceleration and the FPU but it might be too much even if I remember the video card actually did the biggest difference ever even in that o.s.