8-bitters and multi-whatever

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Sep 12 12:48:53 CDT 2007

On 12/09/2007, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/11/07, Allison <ajp166 at bellatlantic.net> wrote:
> > There were a few simple schemes but excluding myself how many hobbiests
> > back then had two or more systems?
> AppleTalk was a great step forward for home networking.  It's a shame
> that other vendors didn't follow in Apple's footsteps for many years.

I am sitting here quietly boggling at the ingenuity displayed in these
posts. I had multiple systems in the mid/late 1980s. By and large, I
retyped everything, tho' by the end, DOS-format 720K 3.5" disks were a
/lingua franca/ that almost everything spoke.

But there were other cheapo serial networks back then: Sinclair
bundled networking in the ZX Interface 1 for the Spectrum, which was,
I think, compatible with the networking of the later Sinclair QL. Also
there was Acorn's Econet, of course.

I think Econet saw a *lot* of use tho' I've never seen a system
outside of a show stand. I don't think enough Sinclairs got used in
schools to make the Sinclair network worthwhile.

The problem is, they were all more or less proprietary. It's a shame
some kind of standardised serial-port system wasn't adopted; even
really low-end kit like a Speccy with I/F 1 had a serial port.

Just before Ethernet took over, I built a couple of LANs based on
SAGE's MainLAN, a serial-type system, and I used a lot of Mac-to-Mac
LocalTalk LANs - although actually in the '80s, Farallon PhoneNet took
over quickly. Same computer-side electronics & connectors, so 100%
compatible, but used telephone cables (so was cheaper) and carried a
lot further.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven
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