Subject: suggested enet cards, eisa vs vlb scsi
To: None <port-i386@NetBSD.ORG>
From: VaX#n8 <>
List: port-i386
Date: 12/14/1994 23:29:12
Okay.  Here's the deal:
I have a secondary machine (i386-33/64k ISA) which I just made out of spare
parts. I think I hosed the old 40MB MFM hard drive by putting in the wrong
BIOS parameters.
Question 1: Can you ruin a disk by doing that?

It low-leveled just fine after I put in the right parameters, and then the
media analysis and high-level worked, but the next time I cold-booted it
died and won't read the disk.
Question 2: Why?

So I'm thinking that the best way to do things now is to get two ethernet
cards, and hook the 386 machine as a ms-dos machine, to talk to the faster
i486DX/2-66 running NetBSD.  I am thinking that the netbsd machine can
NFS export it's ms-dos partition (which is already mounted in /mnt/dos)
and the other machine can use some kind of PC-NFS to run on it.
Question 3: If so, what MSDOS software can I use?

And I'd like to boot using bootp, if possible, rather than a slow floppy.
Question 4: This is possible using what cards?  I know SMC elite... any
others?  Anything special I have to do?

Question 5: Finally, given this setup, what cards would you choose,
and what topology or wiring?  BNC seems the most easily extensible;
with TP I'd have to get a concentrator (or so I believe) when I go to
3 peer units.  Any other options?  Do they have fiber network cards in
the low price range (yet)?

Question 6: Is getting a VLB or EISA network card on the NetBSD/i486
machine worth it, if I still have an ISA hd controller? (I assume not)

Question 7: I'm looking at getting a new hd controller soon; I have
an AHA-1542B now.  Should I go with the bustek EISA controller, or
some VLB controller?  Real experience valued here.  I hear that some
vlb disk controllers can significantly slow down the CPU.  rumor?
PS: The attached disk is a year-old Microp 2210s.  No other drives yet.
Another factor may be that NetBSD-curr doesn't have EISA support back
in yet, and I've already recompiled since then (dumb move)!?!

Thanks for wading through all this!
VaX#n8 (vak-sa-nate) - n, CS senior++ and Unix junkie -
Just the vax-man.  Read my MIPS, no new VAXes!        - PGP key on request