Novell 68K file server
Curt Vendel - Atarimuseum
curt at atarimuseum.com
Fri Feb 13 08:48:57 CST 2009
Ah yes, the 3com 3+ Open servers, I loved those beasties, I used to work
on them at American Express back around 89-90, the server loaded the OS
off of a tape, no disk drive on the box as I recall. What I loved best
about it were the command syntax, it was so easy to work with that
network OS and setup services and clients, I was disappointed when the
plug was pulled on it. I remembering have to change the power supply
on a Novell 68000 server box, they came in XT type cases, the
motherboards were impressive looking and I've always wanted to find and
acquire a Novell 68K box and finding Novell SNET/NDS to run on it.
Liam Proven wrote:
> 2009/1/17 jeff.kaneko at juno.com <jeff.kaneko at juno.com>:
>> -- "james" <james at jdfogg.com> wrote:
>>>> Here are some pics of a Novell file server circa 1987.
>>>> Was wondering if anyone had documentation or software for
>>>> this. I had some of the external dual drive scsi boxes for
>>>> these at one point.
>>> This reminds me of a similar oddity I used to support years
>>> ago. 3Com made a server, and an OS called 3+ Open. As I
>>> recall, it was an OS/2 - LAN Manager derivative.
>> Ah yes, the era of the 3Server is forever seared into my
>> brain; my first *real* job in the computer business involved
>> the care and feeding of several generations of these beasties.
>> The Original 3Server (about the same vintage as the Novell
>> unit pictured earlier) used an 80188 and a heavily modified
>> version of MS-DOS. It used an early SCSI implementation,
>> which was closer to SASI, to attach MFM disks and QIC tapes
>> via Adaptec bridge boards.
>> Because there were neither video nor ISA bus, there was more
>> room for contiguous DOS memory; something over 700k, which
>> pertty cool at the time. They originally were equipped with
>> 30MB drives, but then the 3Server70 had an 80Mb (unformatted)
>> unit by Vertex.
>> These early boxes had the (optional) QIC tape in an external
>> box; the 3Server3 introduced in 1986 (IIRC) had disk and tape
>> in one box; in addition the 3Server3 could be interfaced with
>> appletalk, and also sported the then-new LIM memory used to
>> speed up the operating system.
>> These 80188 systems all used either 3+Share or EtherSeries
>> NOS's for basic drive sharing. IN addition, 3+Mail, 3+Route
>> (for routing e-mail between sites), 3+Backup and other network
>> applications were supported under the 3+Share NOS (in <1Mb
>> These were followed by the 3S400 & 3S500 machines, which are
>> not interesing as they are little more than stock ISA 80386
>> machines running at 16MHz. These guys could run 3+Share, or
>> 3+Open (a.k.a. OS/2 LanMan as pointed out above). ISTR that
>> they added TCP/IP late in that products life.
>> Then Novell took over the world and all of the above 'stuff'
>> died in obscurity.
>> It was at this point where I learned in my life that I had a
>> knack for picking losers.
>> I need a stiff drink now . . . .
> Ohh yes. In my first job, doing networks support in 1988, I supported
> a number of 3Server3s. I got to know 3+Share alarmingly well, given
> that I never saw a manual. We also ran 3+Share on a number of generic
> IBM PS/2 servers - there was a version of it for generic hardware too.
> On a PS/2 Model 60, it ran in 1MB RAM and didn't use the top 384K - so
> everything happened in 640K. I found a program to run on a 286 to map
> extended memory as LIM EMS and got a gratifyingly large performance
> boost - until I discovered that 3Com's DOS-multitasking cleverness
> stomped on the XMS-EMS app and had corrupted the disk. I recovered
> 5000 trashed files from a disk dump, by hand. What a lovely job that
> And about 4y later, when I moved to London and got a job with a
> high-street VAR on Tottenham Court Road, my new boss was overjoyed to
> discover that I knew 3Servers and 3+Share and immediately handed me
> Mentorn Films (think Challenge Anneka and the like) as my sole
> responsibility - the company's only one with this bizarre old
> hardware. They ran a LAN of 286s and 386SXs running runtime Windows 2
> with Excel as their accounts department LAN. These machines never had
> mice, so not only did everyone know how to use Excel solely by
> keyboard control, all the machines had the Excel cross cursor burned
> into the middle of the monitor - there was no way to move it and
> Windows 2 was too dumb to hide it if a mouse was not connected.
> I wrote the original Wikipedia article on the 3Servers, IIRC.
> Contributions welcome!
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