My 'intranet' : Fitting a NIC

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Fitting a network interface card into a RiscPC is a remarkably simple matter. It can be done by any confident person in a couple of minutes, with nothing more than a small screwdriver.

While you could possibly say the same for a PC, I'm sure you will have noticed that some PCs are not the easiest things to get into. The cover comes off easily enough. Then you see the ISA and PCI cards and you think "Oh god!". On some models, especially the desktop layout, adding a card may mean dismantling things first.
Then you have IRQs. Most PCI cards look after this by themselves, but still you have the issue of drivers. Will Windows even 'see' your NIC? How transparent is it to the filing system?

None of this on RISC OS.
Here's how I installed the i-cubed NIC into a single-slice RiscPC.

  1. Turn off the RiscPC and remove all connecting cables (mouse, power, etc). Lay it down with nothing on top.
    At the back, on both sides, are clips. Flip them to the 'open' position.
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  2. Whip the lid off. It works best if you lift upwards from the back.
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  3. At the front there are smaller clips. Undo these by turning a quarter until loose.
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  4. Free any connecting cables you have going to devices affixed to the upper part (such as the floppy drive and a CD-ROM) and also to any other slices if you have them fitted (such as to an iomega zip or a CD/RW drive, or another harddisc).
    Remove your podules, if you have any fitted.
    Now, the upper part of the bottom slice (and any other slices you may have) can be lifted up and moved away.
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  5. Line up the NIC with the special network socket.
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  6. Fit the NIC, and press it down firmly. You can, now, fit the two holding screws either side of the network connectors at the back of your machine. I would advise it if you are using 10base2 with the BNC, but I didn't bother for ages as I was using 10baseT.
    The difference being, if somebody trips over your cable, the RJ45 will get yanked out of the socket. But 10base2 with locking socket may well yank your machine off the desk!
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  7. Now, simply reverse the above to reassemble the machine.  
  8. Switch the computer on, and load ShareFS (provided in ROM on RISC OS 3.7 or later). This shares drives between RISC OS machines, making them look and feel like RISC OS drives.
    For PC compatability, you can load OmniClient (off the Browse/Java CD, or available on its own) to connect to Windows machines, and there is a freely available program called Samba which allows you to share your own drives/printers.



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Copyright © 2001 Richard Murray