Network gear that supported StarLAN 1 (not 10)

Chris Zach cz at
Thu Aug 20 12:59:00 CDT 2020

Starlan was pretty big in its' day. When I worked at IRD/Westinghouse in 
1988 I walked into a Novell network that was running 2.01 on a Starlan 
network. If I recall there were 8 port hubs that were chained together 
in a daisy chain configuration: I think those were bell labs hubs. 
Anyway the PC's all had 8 bit ISA cards as well as the 286 server. It 
was good, relatively reliable, and ran on the existing twisted pair 
phone lines wired against 66 pin punchblocks and USOC wiring format.

We bought a Synoptics LattisNet 10 later on and put a NP600 card in the 
server to route the traffic. The NP600 was sweet: It had an 80186 
processor on board and could run a good chunk of the IPX stack on card 
so it didn't burden the CPU. Coupling that with a Novell smart disk 
adapter (which could do hardware mirroring and hot fix) and the CPU was 
surprisingly quiet on the server.

Ah those were the days. It was after that job I got introduced to Arcnet....

On 8/20/2020 1:50 AM, Mike Begley via cctalk wrote:
> Wow.  I ran StarLan 1 around my apartment in college, using an AT&T 3b1 as the hub and a collection of 8088 PCs with 8-bit ISA cards scattered around.  I could rlogin (not telnet, from my recollection) from any of the PCs to the 3B1, and dial out through a 14.4 modem into the university network.  Only one at a time, mind you, I never got SL/IP or PPP running, but still, it was like living into the future.  A my own house!
> To my recollection, StarLan was entirely an AT&T product, and few if any other vendors supported it.
> I MAY still have the StarLan board for the 3B1 around (along with most of the 3B1 disassembled in parts).  But all the PC cards, the hub and documentation are long gone.  I believe I sold them to someone in Yellowknife, but this would have been well over a quarter century ago.
> You might be able to find some additional info in the archives in the comp.sys.3b1 usenet group.  Shockingly, I just noted that has actually been a smattering of on-topic (not spam) chatter there in the last few years, even as recently as April, so there's a handul of users still out there with these machines in hand.
> Good luck,
> -mike
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> On Behalf Of Steven M Jones via cctalk
> Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 7:55 PM
> To: cctalk at
> Subject: Network gear that supported StarLAN 1 (not 10)
> I was wondering if anybody remembers which networking vendors supported StarLAN 1, or 802.3e / 1Base5, back in the 1980s? Hoping to get product names and/or model numbers.
> I've come across some references to Western Digital, Micom-Interlan, Cross Comm Corp (Massachusetts), and Fox Research (later DCA?) possibly having offered products to bridge StarLAN to Ethernet. But in the few cases where I've seen a model (ex. Cross Comm 487 Series) I haven't been able to get past blurbs in Info World.
> I have one host interface, expect more to arrive shortly, and would love to track down a bridge/switch/router that might allow me to make them reachable from Ethernet.
> Thanks,
> --Steve.

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