Getting an Acorn A3010 online

discuss the archimedes & risc pc, peripherals and risc os/risc os on pi
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MissDLR
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Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by MissDLR » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:42 pm

Hi im wondering what options i have in the way of getting my machine online , i have an ide interface in the machine so from what i understand my only other option is to use the parallel port so im wondering what my options are regarding this? I do have a Plipbox i use on my amiga but dont have any idea if this is somehow useable on my A3010? :)

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IanJeffray
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by IanJeffray » Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:40 pm

Serial port and SLIP may be a first target - I've had this sort of arrangement running... last century :lol:
I'm not sure if anyone's ever made a DCI PLIP driver?

I'm in the same boat as you - A3010 is one of the only machines I have that isn't networked and it's rather annoying :-({|= - I also have an IDE podule installed. I currently use the serial port and SerialNET software for Arc-Arc transfer to the A3010.

MissDLR
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by MissDLR » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:10 pm

I wouldnt know where to begin with Serial port and SLIP unless there is a guide somewhere?

markyoungiw
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by markyoungiw » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:39 pm

I do not have an Acorn set up at the moment, but to do it via Serial, firstly a server would be needed on the computer which will allow access to the internet, I would think a Raspberry Pi would be OK for this, or a PC.

Once a server is set up, and the A3010 is connected to the server via a null modem cable? then both an IP Stack (Freenet or Internet4) will need to be on the A3010. The lastly some method of creating the connection !Connector would do this.

I am very surprised there isn't a guide out there somewhere, perhaps someone may fancy knocking one together? If not as soon as I get time, I will get set up and start to create on.

mark71
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by mark71 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:04 pm

From my recent experiments in getting 32bit Acorn kit online is the level of expectation in what you are trying achieve.

I got my A5000 online using a Wifi modem, from Simultant was the company, found it on ebay, pretends to be a modem as such and uses a Hayes command set, so basically you can telnet in to online BBS's, used an old copy of Hearsay, setup the baud rate and it worked. This is one option for the RiscOS 3.1 computers. One additional thing i havn't done yet is to setup mysticBBS server on a pi on the Lan to get at my acorn files. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=20551

For RiscPC/A7000, it is possible to surf using 3.71 and above with a network card, also to share files using Access which I have setup a Pi3 with Riscos5.24 and enable Access on that, makes it easy to archive data off of the machine.

Just some experiments i have done since march on lockdown to re-kindle my nostalgia for the old Acorn kit i have.

Andy1979
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by Andy1979 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:09 am

mark71 wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:04 pm
From my recent experiments in getting 32bit Acorn kit online is the level of expectation in what you are trying achieve.
I have been meaning to do what you are describing for a few years now. I've even bought most of the bits, but failed to solder them together thanks to my A3010 being set up in an uninsulated loft, a new job, and the arrival of our first child.

I'm assuming by 'online' you mean internet, so WWW and FTP for file transfers.

I do remember form doing this 'back in the day' when I got my first 33.6k modem that it was a bit of a pig to set up and getting everything to run on a 4mb machine was quite a delicate balancing act in terms of which modules are loaded on boot, but I did get it working. It was very slow as it takes the ARM2 based machines ages to decode GIF and JPEG images, and this was back in 1996 so I can't imagine it handling 2020 internet pages at all well.

There is a good guide on setting up TCP/IP networking over serial (amongst many other things) in the following thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7968&hilit=running+from+scratch

In terms of software, I have downloaded the Acorn Browse CD from here: https://4corn.co.uk/articles/cdrom/

It should have everything you need (including Uniboot) and is probably the most recent browser that will run on a 4mb machine. It may benefit from some modules being updated (there's a thread about that on here somewhere).

I planned to transfer the contents to the CF card 'hard drive' on my A3010 using Risc OS on a raspberry Pi, or by accessing an image of the drive in Arculator, but have yet to do either.

On the hardware side I have set up an old Raspberry Pi as a PPP router over serial. I used this to get my Psion 3a online but did not get as far as trying this on the A3010 due to the complexities involved in getting networking installed. I don't recall which guide I used but this link looks familiar http://www.retrospace.net/download/Rasp ... erver.html
Certainly with the Psion I found that hardware handshaking improved the stability of the connection a lot, so would recommend using either a USB serial adapter, or enabling the appropriate GPIO pins (many of the cheap TTL to RS232 adapters only have 4 wires - you need one with 6).

I think, if using PPP, it should be possible to enable full networking over serial and access file shares, but this would likely be very slow.

Similar to what mark71 describes, I also set up an ESP8266 module as a 'retro modem' which allows access to BBS sites over telnet. I used that with both my Psion and BBC Master Compact to access BBS sites and it worked great, but you can't get internet access this way.

Also on my to-do list is to use the same hardware to make a SLIP router using this firmware: https://github.com/martin-ger/esp_slip_router
Essentially it's a cheaper alternative to the raspberry PI based wifi solution, but using SLIP instead of PPP (so you wouldn't be able to access network fileshares).

There's currently no way to use a plipbox under Risc OS. I don't see that changing as the A3010 is about the only machine that can't have networking and IDE simultaneously installed (without extensive modifications), so it would only benefit a small pool of users. Parallel to ethernet devices were sold back in the 90s (rebranded Xircom I think), but very hard to obtain these days and likely very expensive even if you did find one.

Apologies for the brain dump, but hope some of the above is useful.

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IanJeffray
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by IanJeffray » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:13 am

Andy1979 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:09 am
... the A3010 is about the only machine that can't have networking and IDE simultaneously installed (without extensive modifications)
So I thought too, until I saw this : http://www.beebmaster.co.uk/Shows/HCCSUltimateExp.html
Andy1979 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:09 am
Parallel to ethernet devices were sold back in the 90s (rebranded Xircom I think), but very hard to obtain these days and likely very expensive even if you did find one.
Moreover, as far as I am aware, there was only ever a DCI2 driver for this (I used one on an A4 back then). Internet4/5 module requires a DCI4 driver.

thecellartroll
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Re: Getting an Acorn A3010 online

Post by thecellartroll » Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:50 pm

Has anyone ever tried to use something like this:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HLK-RM04-TCP ... SwWu5ea8D5

to network a RiscOS 3.xx machine?

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