My 'intranet' : Connecting to the PC with OmniClient


Step 1 : Hardware
Step 2 : RISC OS
Step 3 : Windows 3.11
Step 4 : Actually doing it
Connecting to...
  • the PC with !Omni

Once OmniClient has been set up, double-click on it.

IMPORTANT: If you have Samba running and OmniCLient is NOT loaded, then close down Samba, run OmniClient, then run Samba.
Samba should always be run after OmniClient.



If you double-click on the Omni icon now, the Network Servers window will open...

Servers; GIF 6K
This can be a quick way to reach mounts that are already recognised, but it is better to mount a mount properly, if doing so for the first time. Continue reading, for details of how to do this.



Mounts menu; GIF 10K
Click MENU on the OmniClient icon, and open the Mounts submenu. If this is the first time you have used OmniClient, you will see Save mounts and Protocols (as shown).
If this is not the first time, you will probably see one or more mounts listed. If you have a mount saved, select it to access it. Otherwise...

Open the Protocols submenu. You should see the protocols you selected earlier (with !OmniSetup), which are most likely to be LanMan and Access (as shown).
To access a mount on a PC, you will need Lan Manager, so click on it.

A window will open...
Connect; GIF 9K

The Name is the name the mount will be given in the LanMan filer and on the iconbar icon. I tend to use machine names (as I mount the root directory), but using monut names may be more logical for you.

The Server name is... um... the server name (!). This is the name of the machine as you set it up in the various Hosts files.

The Directory path is the name of the mount. If you served C:\WINDOWS and called the share WINDOWS, then you would enter WINDOWS into this icon. It's a little illogical being called a directory path rather than a mount name, but not a big issue really.

The User name can be left blank.

If you password protected your share, enter the password into the Password icon.

The Open icon selects whether OmniClient opens a directory viewer on the share when connected, or if it simply gets the share ready for you but doesn't open anything.

Click Connect. After a short delay (during which you can amuse yourself by watching the indicators on your hub merrily flickering away), the share will be ready. If you selected Open, then a directory viewer will appear, otherwise OmniClient will change it's icon to reflect the share...

Omni icon; GIF 2K


The directory that you have shared has now become the root directory of the OmniClient share. If you have ever used Econet to share user directories, you will be used to the concept.


If the directory viewer didn't open, click on the mount and it will do so.
Here, we are looking at C:\WINDOWS, which appears under RISC OS as $.windows, or more precisely, LanMan::MomsPC.$.windows.

Mounted directory; GIF 16K


If you add other mounts, then OmniClient will spawn another named icon for each mount. You can also disconnect a mount by opening the menu on the mount's icon bar icon and selecting the Dismount option.


When you are happy with your mounts, you can use the Save mounts option, in the Mounts submenu of the icon bar menu (!) in order to save your mount details. Then the next time you run Omni, it will reconnect to your mounts, and have them all ready for you.



You saw just now I mentioned the RISC OS pathname, LanMan::MomsPC.$.windows. If you were wondering if it could be possible to throw BASIC's nice file handling routines at file on a remote harddisc of a PC, then the answer is yes...

  Ode to networking

  You can EXT and PTR, within the file and out.

  You can OS_GBPB to get some data and even put some data,
  or just to examine the directory in case you need it later.

  You can, within reason, do an OS_FSControl,
  I suppose, to ensure a file is not too old.

  You can copy, you can delete, you can rename, you can move.
  You can jump up and down, but the filer ain't that groovy. (!)

  You can even OS_UpdateMEMC, which is nothing to do with files.
  But it will upset your RiscPC, so don't expect any smiles.

  You can access all of Windows, which maybe isn't that great.
  Then again, you can delete it all, an end to what you hate!

  You can copy an AVI or an MPEG or a WAV.
  Only to find out, it's a file you already have!

  But it works the other way, you can share the PC's PRN.
  So no more going mental with Word, just use Ovation.

  Simply print to file, the file being called OmniPrint#Lan;MomsPC;PrintoutXYZ:
  where MomsPC is the computer name, that's followed by the share name, you see.

  Now I'd better stop as this poem is getting out of hand.
  But this network stuff. Bloody hell, ain't it grand?
© 2001 Richard Murray  

Copyright © 2001 Richard Murray