Subject: RE: Support for earlier Personal Computer Adapters
To: NetBSD Networking Technical Discussion List <tech-net@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Gregg C Levine <>
List: tech-net
Date: 08/12/2000 06:41:39
Hello from Gregg C Levine usually with Jedi Knight Computers
Um, well okay. But the cards are native IBM cards. They are not those DCA
IRMA variants. I've worked with them, and they are very nearly trouble. And
that is of course my opinion. I will try to track down some resources on my
own of course.
Gregg C Levine
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of
> Greg A. Woods
> Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 12:51 AM
> To: Gregg C Levine
> Cc: tech-net
> Subject: Re: Support for earlier Personal Computer Adapters
> [ On Friday, August 11, 2000 at 23:00:13 (-0400), Gregg C Levine wrote: ]
> > Subject: Support for earlier Personal Computer Adapters
> >
> > Are there plans to support such adapters, as the IBM 3278/79
> adapter? It was
> > built by them during the late 80s, and up to the middle 90s.
> Typically  the
> > sotware would be written by them for connection to a S/3X0 mainframe
> > computer, through a communications controller, as the IBM 3174.
> Sorry for
> > the history, but I am involved in a project that uses them, and
> the customer
> > had heard of NetBSD during his search for operating systems through the
> > Internent.
> In days *WAY* gone by (at least in my frame of reference, say about
> 1986-1989) I wrote some such "drivers", first in MS-DOS and then as a
> DLL in M$-Win-v2.1, to use with such cards (eg. IRMA).  They're usually
> pretty simple things to program and a unix driver shouldn't be all that
> hard to write.  Some of the later cards had quite a few smarts onboard
> and IIRC they had a dual-ported memory mapped region representing the
> screen real-estate and maybe one or two I/O ports with which to control
> local options and to trigger the various command functions.  I think one
> variant I worked with even had an IRQ that would trigger when the new
> screen was "painted" and ready to read.
> We then went on to build client/server systems that used highly
> customised screen formats to make the best possible use of screen
> real-estate to transfer data to and from the mainframe.
> I did do a very minor bit of experimentation with one of DCA's(?) latest
> cards on an Interactive Systems i386 unix box (SysVr3.2, IIRC).  Our
> plan was to centralise the mainframe interconnect on the unix server so
> that we didn't have to deploy 3270 cards and cables everywhere (since
> there was already a LAN in place too!).  I think there was already a
> driver though and my task was going to be to write a communications
> server process that would multiplex the client requests efficiently.  I
> ended up taking another job though and I think the project was
> cancelled.
> --
> 							Greg A. Woods
> +1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
> Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>