AmigaTalk? NETTari? TandyIP? AcornLink?

These days, if you wish to network computers, you can use TCP/IP (a Unix standard), NetBIOS (Microsoft networking), or AppleTalk (the Mac protocol); although TCP/IP is rapidly taking over as the universal standard, you still find all 3 in use, and I believe all three platforms can utilize all three protocols.

What about obsolete and/or niche platforms? Did/do Amigas, Acorns, Tandys, Commodores, Ataris, etc., have any means of connecting computers for purposes of file and printer sharing, and, if so, did they use protocols borrowed from PCs, Macs, or Unix systems, or did some of them have their own protocols?

For that matter, does the Palm Pilot and other handheld/peripheral devices use a variation on one of these, or is it using “PalmProtocol v.2.1” or some such proprietary send/receive mechanism to transfer data?


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The Amiga does - I’m sure the Atari and Acorn do too. I have an old Amiga, as well as a Win98 PC. The Amiga’s IP stack I use (there are several to chose from) is definately higher quality than the one in Win98, and has more features to boot. There is file and printer sharing software you can use to talk to PCs, and since Amigas have had long file names since the get-go, it works fairly well.

The only reason I don’t use this as my full time internet box, despite it’s age, is that (1) the hardware is obsolete, even with my 1280x1024 gfx card, and (2) a lot of proprietary things used on the net like RealVideo or Shockwave are not available for it. But if it wasn’t for that, I would, because it’s a much nicer user environment internet platform than my PC is otherwise. But it’s a dead system now - you might as well try to rent Beta tapes at your local Blockbuster as to find Shockwave for the Amiga.

I’m sure there is Atari and Acorn IP software, but I’m not too familiar with those systems.


peas on earth

So is the Amiga IP protocol directly compatible with TCP/IP (internet as we know it)? If so, does Amiga also have any proprietary networking protocol that is different from TCP/IP, AppleTalk, and NetBIOS? How would you add an Amiga to an existing network of PCs running Microsoft Networking (NetBEUI)? Or an existing network of Macs running AppleTalk? If I wanted to add my Mac to a network of Amigas, what would I expect them to be using? Would the Mac implementation of TCP/IP allow me to access shared resources on an otherwise all-Amiga network?


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Hello AHunder3:

I bet it’s more compatible than the Windows one even, as far as following the specs. PC IP stacks tend to play fast and loose with the standards.

I think so, but I’ve never used it, so I can’t really give you any details on that one. If it does, it’s probably vanishingly rare and I doubt you’d encounter it.

I’m not too sure about this. I’ve never looked into whether there’s AppleTalk for the Amiga.

Virtually all networked Amigas use standard TCP/IP. A few use some el-cheapo things like “parnet”, which is a poor man’s network of just 2 machines over connected parallel ports.

I believe so, but I’ve never tried it. But there are both unix based (NFS/etc) filesharing and PC-based (samba) resource sharing available on the Amiga, so if the Mac can handle either of those, it should work (in theory anyway).

There are also several Amiga X11 implementations. I have used remote Unix machines by setting $HOST point to my Amiga, running X11 in an Amiga screen (sort of a virtual desktop), and displaying the X11 clients from the Unix box back onto my Ami here.

That said, I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to set up an Amiga network. Although there are really nice aspects to them, and I really love mine, they’re slow, the hardware is extremely expensive (esp networking hardware), and you end up having to collect a bunch of 3rd party stuff like MUI to have a workable environment. Unless you have a historical reason to, like you’ve used one for ages like I have, I would really not recommend them just because they’re such a “niche” platform these days.


peas on earth

Err, make that $DISPLAY.


peas on earth