My 'intranet' : Setting up !Internet

Index

Step 1 : Hardware
Step 2 : RISC OS
  • !Internet
Step 3 : Windows 3.11
Step 4 : Actually doing it
Connecting to...
Miscellany

 
Fitting a network card to a RISC OS machine is fairly simple, really. There are no IRQ links to mess with, and no peculiar software to configure the card.
Read this to see how simple it is to fit an i-cubed EtherLan 600 to a RiscPC.

 

When your computer has booted normally, you should test your network card in order to ensure that it is working, and that it is using the correct interface. Most combo cards will fall-back to using the 10-base2 connector if a valid signal is not detected from the hub on 10-baseT. It seems that once this decision has been made, it may require something as severe as a power-down to reset it (my i-cubed card would not reset after a hard reset, I needed to power down).
Moral: Always make sure your hub is switched on first!

If you do not know the command to 'test' your card, don't panic.

Just so you know, the results of the following commands are edited slightly so this page works on an 800x600 screen. So if you have the exact same software as I do, you won't see the exact same responses. But it'll be 99% the same.

First, type in:

*Podules
You should see a reply similar to:
  Expansion card  0: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  1: Simtec 16 bit IDE Interface
  Expansion card  2: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  3: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  4: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  5: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  6: No installed expansion card
  Expansion card  7: No installed expansion card
  Network expansion: i-cubed ltd, EtherLan 600 interface
The network card is fitted in the network slot. From the RISC OS side of things, that is treated as podule eight.
Next, type in:
*ROMModules
And wait for a long list to whizz past. Expect around 150 modules on a normal system.
You should see something similar to:
    1 Podule 8      MbufManager         0.13    Unplugged
    2 Podule 8      EtherH              4.04    Unplugged
    3 Podule 8      AUNMsgs             0.06    Unplugged
    4 Podule 8      Internet            4.03    Unplugged
    5 Podule 8      Net                 6.12    Dormant
    6 Podule 8      BootNet             0.88    Unplugged
It seems a convention that ethernet driver modules are called Ethersomething. In this case, EtherH. Do not be put off by everything being unplugged. Your boot sequence is probably patching in updated drivers.
So now type in:
*Help EtherH
and read the message returned, something like:
  ==> Help on keyword EtherH
  Module is: EtherH  4.33 (27 Nov 1997)  i-cubed ltd. 1997

  Commands provided:
  EHInfo  EHTest

  Configuration keywords:
  EHVirtual
From this, it is obvious. EHTest is our diagnostics command. So we type it in, and the driver responds with:
  Diagnostic tests started
  Diagnostic tests complete

  EtherH Version    4.33  i-cubed ltd. 1997

  Card Info:- i-cubed, EtherLan 600 Ethernet interface
              Unit 0, slot 8, 16-bit driver.
              Ethernet address=00:c0:32:00:29:dd
              10BaseT (twisted pair) interface in use.

  I/O Stats:- Rxfrm=0,Rxerrs=0,Txfrm=244,Txerrs=0,DMAfrm=0
              Collisions=0,Rejects=0,NoMbuf=0,NoDMA=0
              RXPending=0,DMABusy=0,TXActive=0,IRQActive=0

  Interface:- Twisted pair interface:- link is good
  Frame Info:-Type=8035 Frm=1 Addr=2 Err=0 Handler=3a4d3ac
              Type= 806 Frm=1 Addr=2 Err=0 Handler=3a4d3ac
              Type= 800 Frm=1 Addr=2 Err=0 Handler=3a4d3ac
                  
  Ctrl Mode:- Multicast, reject frames with errors
Two things to note... The first two lines, tests started and tests complete. Then, a little further down, it says 10-baseT interface is being used. This is exactly what we want, so we may proceed.
Typically, the test command is EsomethingTest. If your network module is EtherH (i-cubed), then it would be EHTest. If it was EtherM (ANT Ltd), then you would use EMTest.

Now we know the network card is happy, we can set up !Internet...

 

First, double-click on the !Boot application. Your Configuration window will open.

Config window; GIF 12K

Now click on the Network icon. The network configuration window will open.

 

Network config window; GIF 6K
Click on the Internet icon, the Internet configuration window will open.

 

Inet config; GIF 8K

If the Enable TCP/IP Protocol Suite is not ticked, tick it now.
Your ISP connection software should take account of this. I can say that Voyager (and my QuickVoy) work with networking. Voyager is normally quite brutal with the stack, but when the TCP/IP suite is active, Voyager co-exists.

Click on the Interfaces icon...

 

Interfaces window; GIF 6K

Your network card should be listed under the NIC entry. Select it.
DO NOT SELECT Serial PPP!

Click on the Configure... icon to the right of your NIC name.

 

NIC config window; GIF 14K

Select to get the IP address from the hostname, and set Primary interface.
The Netmask should be completed to be 255.255.255.0 as shown.
Click on Set.

 

In the Internet configuration window (with the Enable protocol suite icon), click on the Host names icon.

Host names window; GIF 20K
Click on Use name servers also, this tells the resolver to use name servers to convert URLs to IP addresses. If you do not do this, you will only be able to 'resolve' entries in your Hosts file.
Enter the name of your machine in Host name. This is the name your computer will be known by in 'english'. Your hosts file must also be set up for this to work. Each computer needs a unique name. As I already name my computers (how geeky is that!?), I already had names.
If you can't think of names, here are a few examples:

Enter your domain in Local domain.
I have a domain name, so I enter heyrick.co.uk. Argo's Voyager rewrites this when I connect to the Internet, so I guess it isn't so important really. :-)
Paul Vigay's networking page suggests using ".nom". I have no idea what the significance of this is, but you might like to bear it in mind... though you should be okay with a domain name.
I'm not exactly sure what you should enter if you don't have a domain name. I would guess using the domain name of your ISP might work? As I said, Voyager rewrites this, so it doesn't stay as heyrick.co.uk for long!

The name servers you use will depend upon your ISP. I have completed mine to be the primary and secondary Argonet (=Pipex) name servers, with my Tertiary being the primary name server for BTinternet. If the Pipex servers are acting up, the BTinternet one is used, and it is usually quite reliable.
Please note that Paul Vigay's networking page suggests you set the primary name server to the machine's IP address and leave the other two blank. I have not tried this, but I wonder how flexible that would be when using the same machine to access the Internet? I'm not going to say my method is right and Paul's is wrong (it could be that I am wrong!) - all I can say is my setup works okay when accessing the Internet. Feel free to experiment.

Click on the Hosts file... icon. The Hosts file will open in an editor.

IMPORTANT - the picture here shows the old data, where the network was 10.0.0.x. You should replace that with the correct network information, such as 192.168.0.x.

Hosts file in Edit; GIF 8K
After the local loopback entry (127.0.0.1), there should be nothing. This should be the end of the file.
So enter here the addresses and names of the local machines on your network. The format is quite simple... First comes the IP address. Then follows one or more spaces. Then comes the name of the machine. Then, space seperated, come the aliases.
I've aligned mine with localhost in order to be tidy, and I don't need aliases.
Amend this file as applicable for your network, then save it.

Now click the Set icon in the host names configuration window.

In the Internet configuration, click on Close.

In the Network configuration, click on Save. You should be asked if you wish to restart your computer. If you do not have unsaved data, then restart.

 

 

Keep an eye on the boot sequence as it operates. You should return to the desktop with no odd effects. If bizarre things do start happening, like your CD-ROM vanishes, it is most likely a fault with the network startup script. If an error occurs, the boot sequence appears to carry on but it is really not doing things properly. So don't be put off by illogical errors.
Check the files in:

!Boot.Choices.Internet
as the installer is a bit braindead at times and do something silly like:
Set Inet$EtherIPAddr
(note: a missing parameter!) in the Startup file.
If this happens to you, I set my Inet$EtherIPAddr and Inet$HostName to be the same, "Alyson" and it works just fine. So you'll want to set it to the name you refer to your machine as...
Copyright © 2002 Richard Murray