9 Apr 1995

Installing LAN Software

Although the LAN can be used to access the Internet, it can also be used to share local files and printers, to connect to database systems, to log onto the host computers, and to distribute E-mail. Some computer users will add Internet support to existing LAN clients. Others will want to add Internet and other services simultaneously.

In either case, the simplest approach is to install one of the already network enabled operating system. Microsoft offers Windows for Workgroups 3.11 today for the average desktop user. Next year it will be updated with even more function by Windows 95 (Chicago). A power user with a large machine might not be willing to wait and could choose Windows NT 3.5 Workstation today.

IBM offers a family of OS/2 3.0 "Warp" products all with Internet connectivity. The home or personal systems are slanted to connect over a modem. The office versions provide full LAN support.

However, it is not necessary to move to a modern operating system to gain access to the network. Those who are hopelessly stuck with Plain Old DOS and Plain Old Windows can inexpensively add Internet support using shareware products. The new operating systems simplify this document since they install a new, clean version of the network support. Adding Internet support into an existing Windows 3.1 system can be complicated by the collection of old junk that may already be in place:

Packet Drivers

The hardware of each 3COM card looks slightly different, and all 3COM cards differ from cards made by DEC or IBM. Good programming will isolate higher level software (such as the Trumpet Winsock package) from the special features of any particular card. All three of these LAN packages hide differences between adapter cards. The problem is then to hide the differences between the systems.

The Packet Drivers were developed from a proposal advanced by FTP Software, Inc. Clarkson University took initial responsibility for collecting them. Because business will not use an unsupported program, a separate company has been spun off to provide support to corporations. All freeware/shareware network software for DOS and Windows is typically based on the packet driver interface.

Most packet drivers support specific hardware cards. The packet driver named 3C503.COM, for example, supports the 3C503 card. Programs are also included with the packet drivers to translate ODI or NDIS into the packet driver interface.

Continue with one of the following:

Adding MS TCP/IP to Windows for Workgroups 3.11

Configuring TCP/IP in Windows NT 3.5 Workstation

Configuring TCP/IP in OS/2 3.0 "Warp"

Naked Packet Drivers in Plain Old DOS

Adding Internet Drivers to an Old Novell Client

Adding Packet Drivers to Microsoft (NDIS) Clients

Continue Back PCLT

Copyright 1995 PC Lube and Tune -- Windows on the World -- H. Gilbert