early networking (was Re: G4 cube (was Re: 68K Macs with MacOS 7.5 still in production use...))

Wayne Sudol wsudol at scng.com
Wed Sep 14 12:45:57 CDT 2016

Re: Tacky Ring (what we used to call it) vs Enet.  IIRC one of the issues
going forward with TR was that it was mostly an IBM design (patented?) and
the prices of TR chips available to card manufacturers was pretty high.
This was around 1988.  I think that the reason for the high cost was that
there was not a second source of TR chips available at that time because
IBM had control of it and charged a large license fee for the design. They
also misjudged the demand.

I worked at at a large corporate IBM shop with lots of mainframes and 3270
Terminals. PC's came in grudgingly (IBM PS/2) of course) and we bought
Madge and IRMA cards to get them to talk to the IBMs. Everyone thought of
the PS/2 as cheaper 3270 replacements. I think a 3270 cost about $6000 each
back then. Don't know what the PS/2 cost but it was *much* cheaper.  The
cards (4 mb) were very expensive (@$500) at that time as was the type-1
cabling needed for connection. When 16 mb came out the cost to upgrade was
just too high. Also, the programs that ran on the mainframes started to be
ported to smaller systems that ran something else than TR so it was
apparent that we didn't actually need to spend millions on IBM mainframes
any more.

Wayne Sudol
Riverside PressEnterprise
A DigialFirst Media Newspaper.

On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 10:12 AM, js at cimmeri.com <js at cimmeri.com> wrote:

> On 9/14/2016 11:04 AM, william degnan wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 11:56 AM, js at cimmeri.com<js at cimmeri.com>  wrote:
>>> I too started in 1988, doing the same kind of work (mid-Atlantic region,
>>> USA), same number and types of places.  Just to compare:
>>> * Banyan VINES    (never saw)
>>> * Corvus          (saw once)
>>> * ARCnet          (saw many times)
>>> * LittleBigLAN    (never heard of or saw)
>>> * The $25 Network (never heard of or saw)
>>> * NFS             (there were SUNs at the-then NBS (Bureau of Standards)
>>>                    (but I rarely encountered UNIX anywhere)
>>> * 3Com 3+Share    (saw only one place -- at NASA Goddard)
>>> * Sage MainLAN    (never heard of)
>>> * Personl Netware (never saw)
>>> * Netware Lite    (never saw)
>>> * DEC Pathworks   (saw only two places -- NASA G and NBS)
>>> Most frequently worked with:
>>> * Netware 3.x&   4.x
>>> * Lantastic
>>> * Windows / Microsoft
>>> - J.
>>> Also a mid-Atlantic alumni...
>> I started the networking portion of my career in 1987, working at IBM.
>> Part of my job was to set up Token Ring Network for sales demos (college
>> intern).   Also Hypercard related networking was big in the late 80's.  Dd
>> a lot of TCP/IP networking starting in 1992 or so.
>> Bill
> Cool.  I was a big fan of running Netware over Token Ring.   But remember
> eventually
> just getting crushed by cheap and easier to install ethernet.   One of my
> main clients at
> the time was on 4mb Token, and we were asked for a proposal to speed it up.
> 16mb Token Ring had just come out, and the per-card cost was very high.
>  Another
> vendor proposed with 10mbit ethernet and stole the client... despite them
> having to
> ditch the expensive, genuine IBM 4mb Token setup (whose wiring could have
> still
> been used for 16mb) and rewire the place.   Still bugs me to this day,
> which is
> probably why I'm writing about it now.  :-)
> - J.

More information about the cctalk mailing list