COMPAQ ISA PC to ethernent

Tomasz Rola rtomek at
Thu May 20 22:09:34 CDT 2021

On Fri, May 21, 2021 at 02:01:51AM +0000, Randy Dawson via cctalk wrote:
> If anyone has ideas about boards or software to connect this
> original Compaq to the net let me know! 
> Browsing the ebay, I do not find a PC 8 bit ethernet  board but
> still looking. 
> Then, the rest, a net set of tools in source would be great.

I assume there is Windows on the Compaq?

If you only want "some" connection, not "fastest possible", then I
would go with serial cable (I think the special one - so called "null
modem" is required, but there are probably receipts for making one)
via some kind of Unix laptop to connect with the rest of the world.

I think your options are briefly described here:

 - TCP over RS-232 with Windows 3.1 and Internet Explorer 5 dialer

PPP or SLIP protocols for serial line, then some net routing on
laptop. Trumpet Winsock was the name of software that did such trick
for me 25 years ago, when I configured and connected Windows95 on
Pentium without net card to the Linux box, using PPP. It was not
perfect but mostly worked.


You may have some basic clients in this package, provided they are
still relevant in modern web environment (and if they are available to
download). On the page above there are some links you may follow.

Things could be better if you had something Unixy on old computer, but
web browsing is not going to be fun, just passable experience. Other
protocols - like, for sending mails - could have moved on too and it
is hard to tell what current servers will tell if you try old clients
with them... You will find out :-) .

One of the thing you may want to be wary is, old terminal emulator (on
Unixy OS) may not be prepared for some fancy attacks, when, say,
something (a command or an email being viewed in your mail client on
the terminal) produces certain charcter squence and makes your
terminal do things...

For example (this one is few days old):

 - rxvt-unicode: possible remote code execution

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at             **

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