Archives for: November 2005

Beige G3 wifi

23/11/05 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Mac

Well, I got the Beige G3 working with the WiFi card. I installed 10.2.8, and put the card in and it worked.

I had a few issues though...

I discovered why the speaker wasn't working: the personality card wasn't plugged in. When I plugged in the personality card, the USB/Firewire card didn't work. I plugged in the personality card unplugged the firewire/usb card and reset the PMU (or whatever they call it on a Beige). Chimed. Plugged in the Firewire/usb card and it worked. PLugged in the wifi card and it wouldn't boot. Unplugged the Firewire/USB card and it booted. WTF? Anyways, there must be some weird clashing going on. I replaced the FIrewire/USB with a Firewire, and it worked.

I got the WiFi working, and setup a network with the Pismo. It worked.

I decided that I would try installing a network card. I grabbed the Gigabit (free from the now dismantled server) and checked the chipset. There were drivers for OSX. I installed the card and it wasn't recognised (pity), I installed the drivers from the net. I reset. And it hang.

It has been stuck like that since. I figure that since I have proved that the WiFi works, that's all that needs doing.

I have sold the WiFi card now (perhaps this was silly, since I am now not sure if I can get another so easily) so, I guess that is it.

I bought a 7300 for $10 to test it with the WiFi card, but the card left before the 7300 arrived. I am going to put the hard drive from the 7300 in the A2000 at some point. It is 2Gb so it is a perfect size. I put all the spare (large) DIMMs in the 7300. It now has three-hundred-and-something Mbyte of RAM. Perhaps I will come back to it in February 06


A2000 networking

23/11/05 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Amiga

I have been playing with the A2000 the last few days. OS3.9 arrived, and I got some motivation to try to get the network up. I had some vague idea of what was necessary, but 3.9 seemed to have all the parts, so would make an easier solution.

Anyways, the hope is to get the A2000 to the point where I can suck files from the inet and from my other pootas using samba shares.

There is an idiots guide to amiga samba at It goes through the set up of Samba on Classic and OS4. Which is nice, because I would like it running on Amiga1 aswell. But this guide makes reference to Genesis. I tried to find Genesis, and hit a brick wall. I guessed that it might be on the OS3.9 disk.

I came back to the idiots' guide after 3.9 arrived. I found a link to the original Samba site. This made reference to Miami. I started to get a vague notion of what was going on.

Now, at this point I knew that the Amiga needed a few things to network. It needed a network device (hardware). I had got an A2065 and transciever, so hardware wise it would plug right into my network. It also needed a SANA-II driver, which I got from Aminet. And for my kind of network it would also need a TCP stack. I knew of versions that came with commercial software, and I knew of AmiTCP. AmiTCP was free from Aminet, so I got that.

I burnt the software to CD, and installed some on the A2000. I didn't put any TCP stack on, because I didn't know what that was all about. And it seemed hard.

So, I had heard of this Miami thing. So I looked it up. And I was surprised that it was free on Aminet. I'd already burnt my CD, so it was a pain. But I also had a bunch of Aminet CDs (basically, the whole Aminet until about mid 2002). I figured to give it a try. I looked up the release date for Miami on Aminet, and it was April? 2000. I looked up the release dates for the CDs and figured it was on either disc 36 or 37.

I tried 36, no luck. I tried 37 and there it was. Read the install instructions, and saw I needed MUI 3.8. I checked to see where I could find MUI 3.8. I tracked down the Aminet disk I would need. I decided to install MagicWB while I was at it, to fix the palette. In the process of installing MagicWB I discover I had already installed MUI3.8. That was handy. I installed Miami.

I ran the MiamiInit program, and it couldn't find the DHCP server. I wasn't shocked by this. I had had issues with DHCP on the A1 and on Linux (multiple flavours and platforms). I put in a Static address (I had figured out how to do this a couple of days ago with the Pismo) and entered the rest of the stuff (Subnet mask, default gateway, DNS etc).

I loaded up Miami, imported the settings. Didn't seem to work. I tried pinging first another machine on the LAN, then the router, then an internet address. No go. Bugger.

I thought I might have a dud transceiver. I did a google, and got some info. It said that I might need to change a jumper setting. I vaguely recalled something about jumper settings and the AUI/BNC ports.

Take the machine apart, remove the A2065. Aha! Change the jumpers, reassemble, reboot. Go into MiamiInit again, and DHCP works. This was a pleasant surprise. Even DNS was discovered.

So I had it on the net. I could ping the router, other machines on the LAN and the internet. If only I had a browser or FTP client.

I went in search of FTP (more likely to be free). There are too many, but I discovered a whole aminet directory of web stuff (comm/www). There might be a free browser, too. Well, there's too much stuff. I thought I might have a 'full version' on one of the many CDs I have. I search through my CDs and find iBrowse 1.2

iBrowse 1.2 is old. The current version is 2.3 or something, and that is old (by browser standards, young by Amiga standards). I load it up. It has DNS issues. I am not surprised, but it is annoying because DNS is supposedly working with Miami. I can get it to access the router at its IP, but it won't work on URLs or on IPs on the net.

I had a quick go with Aweb (crashed the machine) and Voyager (won't load).

Who knows why... Anyways, I am going to look at this DNS issue tomorrow. I might even try installing OS3.9... :)


Beige G3 Rebuild to Wifi firewall

04/11/05 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Networking, Mac

I am currently in the process of turning my old, dying Beige G3 266MHz into a Wifi bridge/firewall to fulfil my desire of internet surfing in front of the TV.

At the moment (as I type) the OS is being updated from 10.1.4 to 10.2

I have done a couple of things to the box. I installed a 6Gb drive, which came with a PowerMac G4 I bought, and might have originally come from an iMac. This drive is next to the motherboard on the lowest drive bay. I have reinstalled a floppy drive (this might be pointless, but better to have it there, for now). I don't have screws for the floppy, so I am going to bodge something together. I installed a DVD-ROM drive. This is a 6x from a PowerMac G4. I was considering a CD-RW for file transfer, but realised I could use a zip drive for that. It has a Zip 100 drive, but it needs a floppy power cable extension to work. I have ordered one, and it should arrive next week.

I have also added a 4Mb VRAM upgrade (not neccessary, but I had it anyway). It looks like one of the DIMM slots is dead, so 512Mb is the max RAM. I have 192Mb installed.

I whacked out a few dents in the chassis. I also need to check the speaker. No sound. I got this machine as part of a job lot. The other machines were fine, this one was in a pretty ratty physical condition. If it can't be salvaged, I'll just get the cheapest PCI 603 or better PowerMac I can find.

The other cards are a firewire/USB2 combo and the A/V personality card. Again, this might be pointless since it needs OS9 to work, but I had it anyway. The Firewire/USB2 is installed mainly because it was just lying around doing nothing. I originally bought it for the AmigaOne, but drivers are a ways off yet. There are drivers under 10.2.8 though. It could come in handy with networking or external drives, or USB devices. I might park my USB stick there.

I am also planning to add the WIFI card and a 10/100 network card (just need to find one with the right chipset). I might park some of my 512Mb RAM there, only 256Mb will show per stick, but if it is just going to lie around anyways...

I hope to pick up a G4 ZIF for cheap, but I am not holding my breath. Other possible upgrades are a large hard drive attached to a SII based card, gigabit, an external SCSI drive, proper RAM.

The aim, for now, is to get it working with the Wifi card, and try and find a fast ethernet card. Then I will use it as an ethernet/wifi bridge so I can use the powerbook in front of the TV. The software side of things will be taken care of by Mac OS X 10.2.8. It should "just work".

If it works okay, I might add a printer to make it a print server...

I have spent way too much on it, though. :)


Powerbook PowerMac Broadcomm WiFi

04/11/05 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Networking, Mac

A couple of days ago, my Wifi cards arrived. I got a PCI and a Cardbus. Both are broadcomm based. I put the PCI one in a PMac G4 running 10.2.8 with all the updates (as of a few days ago). It was detected as an airport extreme card. I don't yet have a Wifi network up and running, so I couldn't do much more testing. The PowerMac G4 is gone now. I am going to try it in a beige G3. I will post again on that in a moment.

I put the Cardbus Wifi card into a PowerBook G3 Pismo running 10.4.3 and all the updates as of 24hours ago (early 3rd Nov 2005). It was detected as airport extreme. So far so good. I took it into Uni to test the network there, but I couldn't find a hotspot. I will test it again when I have more time.

Both cards together with postage were cheaper than 1 airport extreme card on, or about 2/3 the cost of an airport (11b) card. It pays to know your stuff.

But now onto phase two.


Amiga 2000, progressing

01/11/05 | by admin [mail] | Categories: Hardware, Amiga

So, I have the A2000 setup (mostly). Some interesting things happened.

I have installed the powersupply, top case, backing plates and screws. I swapped the CD-ROM for an 8x/20x CD-R drive, and the two (dying) 500Mb drives for a 1.2Gb drive.

I have the Oktagon, A2320, A2630+rocketlauncher(030+882@50MHz)+2632(96Mb), and the Spectrum EGS. I have checked out the motherboard, and it is the pre-ECS with the 1Mb Agnus. The kickstart switcher works. I also got the Oktagon working. Apparently, the blown diode doesn't do much.

I installed WB3.1 on the hard drive, after I figured out the device name for the oktagon (oktagon.device). I've got the rest of the requisite software ready for burning to CD-R. And OS3.9 is coming.

I had a couple of interesting experiences with the upgrade.

The DKB 2632 wasn't working (and hence the whole system wasn't working, booting to a black screen) with 112Mb installed. I double checked the dox, and I was installing the modules correctly, 32+32+32+16, but it still wasn't working. It looks like the 16Mb is bad. I might install another one later.

The Hard drive stopped working, like before when I was having troubles with the Oktagon, but it turned out it was just a loose power cable.

The CD drive wasn't working with the default 3.1 drivers (which I really need to work, since it is hard to get cd drivers on to it without network or CD drive). I had the CD drive set to device ID 6. I set it to 2, and then it worked. This is strange.

The other significant thing, is that I decided to bite the bullet and buy an ethernet card. These are not cheap for Zorro 2 slots. Mine is costing $125 with an AUI to RJ-45 adaptor. And it is the cheapest I could find :)

So, when it arrives, I will have the pleasure of trying to understand networking on the amiga :)


Current Hardware Projects

This is all about my on going fumblings with hardware. Regular entries should provide an indication of the depths of my obsession.

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