Koozali.org formerly Contribs.org

ISA Networking Support

Kenneth

ISA Networking Support
« on: July 25, 2000, 11:16:25 PM »
Hello,

In my opinion the e-smith server and gateway is a very powerful product, on of it's best features is the ability to transform an old workstation into a stable workhorse of a soho LAN.

The main point of e-smith is to make linux easy for SO/HO situations, and too use older hardware (to save money), By NOT supporting ISA network cards you cause many problems for the average user (It took me 4 day's to set up my server, and I coun't have done it without help)

My plea is for you guys to support a gui install of ISA cards, I don't see why you don't already (the driver is there, all you have to so is find out the IRQ/IO - probing?-)

Thanks for your Time

Kenneth Kowalsky

Orville Carter

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2000, 05:57:34 AM »
Kenneth,
        I am in full agreement with you on this. While "power users" like myself can
afford to buy the latest 10/100 plug&play cards many beginners cannot.
I have a stack of ISA nic's which we give to the "newbies".
E-smith should make the installation of these legacy cards simple as possible.

For those who like the feeling of power: Using 10/100 cards on the e-smith
server/gateway increased the through-put on my 384K SDSL lan connections.
I was a bit surprised when my partner pointed it out. If you can afford the cost
go for it.

Joseph Morrison

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2000, 06:09:27 AM »
Hello Kenneth,

> In my opinion the e-smith server and gateway is a very powerful
> product

Thanks! We've worked hard on it.

> The main point of e-smith is to make linux easy for SO/HO
> situations, and too use older hardware (to save money), By NOT
> supporting ISA network cards you cause many problems for the
> average user (It took me 4 day's to set up my server, and I
> coun't have done it without help)

Actually, the main point of e-smith is to make Linux easy - period. Working well on legacy hardware is an extra bonus ;-) We decided from day one not to support ISA cards, since they cannot be detected and configured reliably (that is inherent in the design of ISA). We started with the premise that the experience had to be seamless, so PCI was a requirement. Here in Canada, cheap PCI ethernet cards can be purchased for $30, so we felt that the restriction was not too burdensome.

Hope this explains our thinking, and I'm glad you were able to get things running using our bulletin board. Enjoy the server!

- Joe

Orville Carter

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2000, 02:05:34 AM »
Joe,

I am well aware of the complex issues surrounding ISA & Plug&Play and other
Intel/MS "errors". During my pc hardware teaching days I took time to point out
the need to DROP the ISA bus completely - In 2000 we are still stuck with
ISA (International Stupid Architecture). oops!
It make you wonder what engineers at Intel are thinking! (Hey! I am an engineer too!)

There is a stack of ISA EtherLink II&III in my home office collecting dust.
What are we going to do with the truckloads of ISA nic' and other cards
- still working - sitting around???? Well, the same thing we are doing for
clients with "old" P90's sitting in storage. PUT THEM ON THEIR ADSL SERVICE
AS PROXY SERVER / GATEWAY / PRINT SERVERS ..... HAH!
If the P90's hardware fail - we take the other "spare" from storage (pre-configured with e-smith) and fire it up that sucker.

Whew! You are getting me started, here!

OC

Charlie Brady

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2000, 03:54:14 AM »
Orville Carter wrote:

> I have
> a stack of ISA nic's which we give to the "newbies".
> E-smith should make the installation of these legacy cards
> simple as possible.

We'd be real pleased if you or anyone else provided a nice little "ISA NIC configuration wizard" ... :-)

Charlie

Kenneth

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2000, 10:47:06 PM »
Hey,

I hope I haven't given the impression that I don't like PCI cards, it's just that my e-smith server is for 14 users, and is a Pentium 133 with a 3.7gig hard drive.That machine [that i just described] was sitting in an old office for 3 years! it has a PCI bus on it, it also has an ISA bus. (I'm not cheap I'm resourceful)

Now, every worksation in my building has a PCI network card (we upgraded the entire enterprise from ISA etherlink III's, 1.5 years ago) I have so many ISA cards in my office that you could call it Mt. Etherlink!!  (7 stacked boxes, to be exact)

One day I saw all of the old pentium 133's being sent off to the dump. (management thought that's where they belonged) I thought it was a waste so I took 8 of the 11 computers home and put red hat on them. I was reading a newsgroup that mentioned e-smith, and I thought I'd give it a try but when I saw that you needed PCI cards I was reluctant (a 3Com 3C905B cost's $129.99!! @compusmart victoria) after having a look around this phourm, I decided that It could be done with ISA card's.

So I tool two card's off of Mt. Etherlink and procceded to install e-smith on one box, after some trouble with the drivers/io/irq (wich you guys helped me out with :) I got the box working. Man, this product is great, infact my boss is so pleased about it we are going to use up mt. etherlink by configuring all of our old server's (PII-333, 9.0 gig HDD, 128-512mb's of ram) with e-smith and implementing them around the enterprise.

as for ISA performance, I haven't noticed a nasty difference beetween ISA and PCI network cards, (but if I had a buget to build a webserver, i would defenetly go with PCI, but when it's a pet project I don't have a buget)

Thanks for you time,

Kenneth Kowalsky
That is my long story of why I still use ISA etherlink cards.

Orville Carter

RE: ISA Networking Support
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2000, 03:30:30 AM »
Kenneh,
   I read you loud and clear. Welcome to my world!

OC