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2017. október 28., Részletek
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Author Topic: EPNET (Read 1558 times)

Offline BruceTanner

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EPNET
« on: 2017.July.24. 21:35:58 »
A few people have asked about EPNET progress recently so I thought I'd start a new topic for everything to do with EPNET.

Recent work
After the problems I had with glitches on the Enterprise's /RD and other z80 signals on the expansion bus (described in painful detail in other topics :cry:), and after discovering that a few original EXDOS cards include a fix :shock: , I have copied the fix and applied it to EPNET. This involved a new revision of the PCB which I am calling EPNET 1.2. (1.0 was my first version, and 1.1 was an intermediate version that never got made).

EPNET 1.2
EPNET 1.2 also includes: A compact FLASH card interface, nearly :oops: 512k expansion RAM, the ability to enable 64k FLASH ROM for any other ROM images, the ability to sit between the Enterprise and other expansion such as EXDOS, and the ability to live in a box.

18325-018327-1

Current state
I hope to be able to send out two "beta" prototype cards soon time for further testing in environments other than my little workshop. For example I have not tried it with 8 or 10MHz machines or with any Enterprises other than the 3 I own. I am particularly nervous about the last point given my /RD noise problems :(

If that goes ok I have enough parts and PCBs to build 7 more. While I am doing that I will need to order more parts and PCBs which will have a lead time of several weeks.

I hope to make it available as a vertical naked PCB as shown above (which can also be plugged into an expansion bus), a vertical box, or a horizontal box as shown above. (No photo yet of the vertical box as I am still working on it! :oops: ). The box versions sadly will have to be more expensive due mostly to the cost of the box itself.

Future
ESP8266 version: it should be possible to make a wireless version by just replacing the network module. But so far I only have a half-built prototype. :oops:
EXDOS integration: I would like to be able to map a drive letter to a network directory so that EPDOS etc works with a network directory. This requires a lot of work with EXDOS but that should also lay the ground work for FAT16 or possibly even FAT32. :shock:

This project is only a "hobby" in my spare time so no guarantees of timescales. I am going as quickly as I can but there are lots of other demands on my time particularly in the summer months! :roll:.
« Last Edit: 2017.September.18. 15:12:28 by BruceTanner »

Online Zozosoft

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #1 on: 2017.July.24. 21:42:57 »
Wow! Looks very promising!
:smt041

Offline Witchy

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #2 on: 2017.July.24. 22:25:27 »
Fantastic effort there!

I have several EPs near Cambridge if you need beta testers :ds_icon_cheesygrin:

Online gflorez

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #3 on: 2017.July.25. 00:45:10 »
I have translated to Spanish your commentary on the Retrowiki web page.

Please keep on working on that amazing card.....

Thanks.


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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #4 on: 2017.July.25. 08:54:17 »
Cool :)

Offline Tutus

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #5 on: 2017.July.25. 18:29:41 »
Very nice!!! :smt038

Offline Kapitany

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #6 on: 2017.September.06. 13:13:13 »
Wow! After reading about the EPNET in the ENTERPRESS magazine, I got very excited, because I discovered a few weeks ago the world of Commodore BBSs with a C64 Modem, and I thought we should have at least something similar or even better, based on the potential and capabilities of the EP hardware and EXOS! I had only one wishes: to pleeease let it have a WiFi module! Be honest: who uses wired ethernet connection if it is not the only one main PC in the house for high speed tasks? And how fancy would it be to do some stuff in a netcafe with your Wifi capable EP! :D

And as I check the forum: my wish came true! Even more! It would be very nice to have a RAM upgrade in the card, and a writeable flash rom for further ROM images, for example ASMON!

I could not imagine that EPNET is in such a far gone stage! Can't wait to have one of the almost final, usable cards!

Keep up the good work and keep us informed about the development process!

Kapitány

Online gflorez

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #7 on: 2017.September.18. 11:59:33 »
I'm now translating the provisional EPNET 1.2 manual to Spanish. I had already read the 1.0 version, freely available on the Bruce Tanner Github page, but two years ago EPNET was "only" an Ethernet interface....

1.2 is not still the definitive guide version, because some details of the real hardware have been modified, have been added or will change soon, but it explains thoroughly all the juicy details of this superb One For All card.  

Some of you could be thinking that it is only one more expansion for the Enterprise, a card accessible to only a few users, but that's not the intention of Bruce. He is offering the code and hardware freely to every one that wants to construct it.

Also, he is offering a finished product, i.e. this is not the typical unfinished project that you can find on Github, he has put a lot of years of work on it, and will continue supporting it in the future, adding features when, hopefully, EPNET will be on every Enterprise owner's desk.

To me, reading the manual, it gives me the same sensation like when you hear wonderful music performed by a good interpreter. It sounds sort of "easy", you can't feel the effort it has taken to reach that perfection.

For example, he has made a hard work on the card to obtain total compatibility with all the Enterprise configurations, implementing a way to "float"(move) the incorporated EPNET RAM and ROM to memory zones not used by ALL the previous card extensions made on the Enterprise history...

Another aspect is how well he has implemented the EPNET commands, totally compatible and transparent. Once connected to a net, you can DIR, COPY, SAVE, LOAD, etc. remotely from it, almost like you can do with a floppy disc or other logical units.

The average user never will notice the effort Bruce has put on implementing actual net technologies on a 32 years old(or more) machine...

Also he has added an 8-bit IDE port intended for Compact Flash adapters, and written a driver for it. What more could we want?. Ok, here I would want a Real Time Clock(RTC), but EPNET has commands to retrieve the exact net time from a NTP server...

Of course, I am only talking about what I read on the manual, I don't have the real hardware, but I KNOW that this device will change the way we enjoy this so loved computer.

Sorry, I can't say more, as I'm still not allowed to release this provisional manual. But soon Bruce himself will present the definitive one.
« Last Edit: 2017.September.18. 12:11:12 by gflorez »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: EPNET 1.2
« Reply #8 on: 2017.September.18. 15:11:39 »
Thank you for the kind comments :ds_icon_cheesygrin:. I only hope it can live up to expectations. :oops:

The files on my github page are very out of date now - here is the most recent User Manual I have as a .pdf file. (I can send the original in Libre Office format if that is useful to you.) I will update github when I am closer to release.

* EPNET 1.2 User Manual.pdf (1012.34 kB - downloaded 23 times.)

Sadly it turned out that the "glitch" issues are not over, and I have had to go to v1.3. The new PCBs have this morning arrived from China. :)

In the User Manual some of the descriptions of links/jumpers used for configuration will now be out of date but all the commands etc. should still be valid.

Regarding the glitch issues, the latest news is: it seems the glitch problems mainly apply to EP64s with ISSUE 4 PCBs. I have one and zozo has several, and other hardware (eg Microteam cards) also usually do not work with them. zozo also has two ISSUE 6s with similar problems. Original EXDOS cards seem better at working with the "bad" EP64s that other add-on hardware, but even they do not always work. And some EXDOS cards have a factory-fitted modification to filter out glitches on the z80 /RD signal going to the EPROM (but not anything else, which is a bit of a mystery). It is still my hope that EPNET will work with all EPs. :)

B.

Online gflorez

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #9 on: 2017.September.18. 16:02:02 »
Ok, Bruce. I am at the middle of the translation, working on the .odt file you send me in July, so better I will compare the two pdf files and add or fix what I found.

More ahead I will do an automatic Hungarian translation.

I have found that we have a way of checking if the Hungarian translation that is returned by Google or Chrome is more or less correct. It is, translating the text back into English. If the text returned is similar to the original, we are on the right track...

This will give us a translation more or less like those of the prospects of Chinese products....

Later it will be easier for a qualified human translator to make the final fixes.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: 2017.September.18. 16:11:22 by gflorez »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #10 on: 2017.September.18. 16:20:46 »
I have found that we have a way of checking if the Hungarian translation that is returned by Google or Chrome is more or less correct. It is, translating the text back into English. If the text returned is similar to the original, we are on the right track...
Great idea!

If you are working from the July copy you should be ok - I think I've only fiddled with the title page with a new photo. But the description of the links/jumpers will still be wrong (except fopr ADDR, that hasn't changed).
B.

Online gflorez

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #11 on: 2017.September.18. 16:26:06 »
I will return you the Spanish ODT file, so later you can add what you want.

I also will translate the Hungarian error messages, but don't take them as the definitive. You know... I want a Spanish Rom of it..
« Last Edit: 2017.September.18. 16:30:15 by gflorez »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #12 on: 2017.September.18. 17:34:08 »
You know... I want a Spanish Rom of it..
You will get one :ds_icon_cheesygrin:

Offline Kapitany

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #13 on: 2017.September.19. 09:57:19 »
More ahead I will do an automatic Hungarian translation.

I have found that we have a way of checking if the Hungarian translation that is returned by Google or Chrome is more or less correct. It is, translating the text back into English. If the text returned is similar to the original, we are on the right track...

This will give us a translation more or less like those of the prospects of Chinese products....

Later it will be easier for a qualified human translator to make the final fixes.

Thanks.

Please, don't! Hungarian differs from every language in the world so much, there is no even a barely similar one to it, I literally say that I have not seen a normal google translation to hungarian. I think I possess the capability to translate the manual to hungarian and I would be more than happy to do so - from english. :) If a version is ready that's worth to translate, then I will start working on it, just tell me when it's ready.

Cheers,
Kapitány

Offline Tutus

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Re: EPNET
« Reply #14 on: 2017.September.19. 10:11:58 »
Please, don't! Hungarian differs from every language in the world so much, there is no even a barely similar one to it, I literally say that I have not seen a normal google translation to hungarian. I think I possess the capability to translate the manual to hungarian and I would be more than happy to do so - from english. :) If a version is ready that's worth to translate, then I will start working on it, just tell me when it's ready.

Cheers,
Kapitány

It's interesting ...
What gflorez translates from Hungarian into English (Enterpress) is perfect. :)