[9fans] 3c509b troubles - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] 3c509b troubles - Plan9 ; hello, i have 3com etherlink iii 509b isa card that refuses to let me change its port or irq. also the only way i can get the card to talk on the network is to put my usb mouse on ...

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  1. [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    hello,

    i have 3com etherlink iii 509b isa card that refuses to let me change
    its port or irq. also the only way i can get the card to talk on the
    network is to put my usb mouse on the same irq and wiggle it around
    really fast when i'm trying to receive or transmit. initially i could
    change neither the irq of the usb mouse nor of the ethernet card. i
    have turned off pnp in my bios and i can now move the irq of the usb
    mouse. however, without the wiggling mouse sharing its irq, the
    ethernet card with not work.

    from what i can tell by gleaning the 9fans archives, the 3c509b is
    quite a troublesome card. i found rumors of a dos utility that would
    convince the card to change its port and irq. i think this leaves me
    with two questions. first, where do i find this fabled configuration
    program? googling has proved fruitless. second, is fiddling with the
    port or irq even going to fix the problem? as far as i understand, if
    the card has its own irq staked out, it should just go on its way

    here is what is printed on startup:
    #l0; elnk3: 10Mbps port 0x300 irq 10:
    #U/usb0: uhci: port 0xEF80 irq 12

    #U/usb0 was initially at irq 10, but after disabling pnp in bios, i
    was able to move it to 12

    -- m

    ps, i have a very limited understanding of what an isa card's port and
    irq even do. if i said anything that doesn't quite add up, that's
    probably why


  2. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    > have 3com etherlink iii 509b isa card that refuses to let me change
    > its port or irq. also the only way i can get the card to talk on the
    > network is to put my usb mouse on the same irq and wiggle it around
    > really fast when i'm trying to receive or transmit. initially i could
    > change neither the irq of the usb mouse nor of the ethernet card. i
    > have turned off pnp in my bios and i can now move the irq of the usb
    > mouse. however, without the wiggling mouse sharing its irq, the
    > ethernet card with not work.


    maybe this is an isa-specific problem that i refuse to remember, but
    i think the answer is that rather than changing the irq (i believe this
    is determed by hard-wiring for the isa bus --- if memory serves), you
    inform the kernel what the irq is. plan9.ini(8) has more information
    but i think you wish

    ether0=type=3C509 irq=12

    in your plan9.ini.

    - erik



  3. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 7:40 PM, michael block wrote:
    > hello,
    >
    > i have 3com etherlink iii 509b isa card that refuses to let me change
    > its port or irq. also the only way i can get the card to talk on the
    > network is to put my usb mouse on the same irq and wiggle it around
    > really fast when i'm trying to receive or transmit. initially i could
    > change neither the irq of the usb mouse nor of the ethernet card. i
    > have turned off pnp in my bios and i can now move the irq of the usb
    > mouse. however, without the wiggling mouse sharing its irq, the
    > ethernet card with not work.
    >
    > from what i can tell by gleaning the 9fans archives, the 3c509b is
    > quite a troublesome card. i found rumors of a dos utility that would


    I remember this card. The port number and irq was setup by small DOS
    program provided by 3COM in drivers/utilities package. Did you find
    drivers for this card on 3COM site?

    Antonin

    > convince the card to change its port and irq. i think this leaves me
    > with two questions. first, where do i find this fabled configuration
    > program? googling has proved fruitless. second, is fiddling with the
    > port or irq even going to fix the problem? as far as i understand, if
    > the card has its own irq staked out, it should just go on its way
    >
    > here is what is printed on startup:
    > #l0; elnk3: 10Mbps port 0x300 irq 10:
    > #U/usb0: uhci: port 0xEF80 irq 12
    >
    > #U/usb0 was initially at irq 10, but after disabling pnp in bios, i
    > was able to move it to 12
    >
    > -- m
    >
    > ps, i have a very limited understanding of what an isa card's port and
    > irq even do. if i said anything that doesn't quite add up, that's
    > probably why
    >
    >



  4. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:40:29PM -0500, michael block wrote:
    >
    > from what i can tell by gleaning the 9fans archives, the 3c509b is
    > quite a troublesome card. i found rumors of a dos utility that would
    > convince the card to change its port and irq. i think this leaves me
    > with two questions. first, where do i find this fabled configuration
    > program? googling has proved fruitless.


    Frail memory triumphs over the almighty Google at last!

    3C5X9CFG.EXE can be found in this self-extracting archive:

    ftp://ftp.3com.com/pub/nic/3c509/3c509x2.exe

    I think it needs 3C5X9ENG.HLP from the same archive as well.


  5. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 1:06 PM, erik quanstrom wrote:
    > inform the kernel what the irq is. plan9.ini(8) has more information
    > but i think you wish
    >
    > ether0=type=3C509 irq=12
    >
    > in your plan9.ini.


    yes, i tried setting it in plan9.ini, but the card just ignores it


  6. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 2:20 PM, wrote:
    > On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:40:29PM -0500, michael block wrote:
    >>
    >> from what i can tell by gleaning the 9fans archives, the 3c509b is
    >> quite a troublesome card. i found rumors of a dos utility that would
    >> convince the card to change its port and irq. i think this leaves me
    >> with two questions. first, where do i find this fabled configuration
    >> program? googling has proved fruitless.

    >
    > Frail memory triumphs over the almighty Google at last!
    >
    > 3C5X9CFG.EXE can be found in this self-extracting archive:
    >
    > ftp://ftp.3com.com/pub/nic/3c509/3c509x2.exe
    >
    > I think it needs 3C5X9ENG.HLP from the same archive as well.
    >
    >


    a windows machine with isa slots will be available to me on tuesday.
    i'll try this out and see what happens. of course a better solution
    would be to just fork over the cash for a better card...


  7. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    > a windows machine with isa slots will be available to me on tuesday.
    > i'll try this out and see what happens. of course a better solution
    > would be to just fork over the cash for a better card...


    Where can you even buy an ISA Ethernet (or any) card these days? I don't
    even see them on Ebay or Craiglist these days. As far as ISA Ethernet
    cards go, in my experience the '509 was one of the most reliable ones ever
    made. In the early 1990s I deployed several hundred of these in various
    university workstation labs running Windows 3.11 and BSD/OS, and they just
    plain worked.

    Referring to an earlier message in this thread, the string 'irq=nn' on
    the ether0= line in the .ini file just tells the kernel what IRQ to speak
    to the card on. It doesn't actually re-configure the card to use that IRQ.
    (The original message was a bit ambiguous about this.)


    --lyndon

    Don't count your chickens, eat them.


  8. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 6:42 PM, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:
    >> a windows machine with isa slots will be available to me on tuesday.
    >> i'll try this out and see what happens. of course a better solution
    >> would be to just fork over the cash for a better card...

    >
    > Where can you even buy an ISA Ethernet (or any) card these days? I don't
    > even see them on Ebay or Craiglist these days.


    there's no reason it needs to be isa, i have pci slots too. it's just
    the only card i have that qualifies as plan 9 supported hardware

    > As far as ISA Ethernet cards
    > go, in my experience the '509 was one of the most reliable ones ever made.
    > In the early 1990s I deployed several hundred of these in various university
    > workstation labs running Windows 3.11 and BSD/OS, and they just plain
    > worked.


    i wouldn't say it's a bad card, just that from what i read in the
    9fans archives it seems to be troublesome on plan 9 for some reason.
    i've used the same card on openbsd with no problem

    > Referring to an earlier message in this thread, the string 'irq=nn' on the
    > ether0= line in the .ini file just tells the kernel what IRQ to speak to the
    > card on. It doesn't actually re-configure the card to use that IRQ. (The
    > original message was a bit ambiguous about this.)


    ha! well that certainly explains a lot! like i said, i don't know what
    i'm doing. thanks, that really helped

    -- m


  9. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    > there's no reason it needs to be isa, i have pci slots too. it's just
    > the only card i have that qualifies as plan 9 supported hardware


    ok ;-) i ass-u-med that you were stuck with a real antique out of no
    choice.

    This being the case, buy an Intel Pro/100[0] PCI card. Accept no
    substitutes. They run everywhere, and your time is worth much more than
    the $10 difference in price vs. fighting an el-cheapo NIC.

    --lyndon


  10. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    heh. geez am i dopey. the problem was my misunderstanding of what the
    irq=xx parts in plan9.ini do. bios decides the irq, plan9.ini tells
    the kernel what the bios decided. that's my isa card mantra from now
    on

    thanks everyone,
    -- m


  11. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    > > there's no reason it needs to be isa, i have pci slots too. it's just
    > > the only card i have that qualifies as plan 9 supported hardware

    >
    > ok ;-) i ass-u-med that you were stuck with a real antique out of no
    > choice.
    >
    > This being the case, buy an Intel Pro/100[0] PCI card. Accept no
    > substitutes. They run everywhere, and your time is worth much more than
    > the $10 difference in price vs. fighting an el-cheapo NIC.


    just do yourself an favor and don't ask how they work. :-)

    - erik


  12. Re: [9fans] 3c509b troubles

    > heh. geez am i dopey. the problem was my misunderstanding of what the
    > irq=xx parts in plan9.ini do. bios decides the irq, plan9.ini tells
    > the kernel what the bios decided. that's my isa card mantra from now
    > on


    I was going to suggest you base your configuration on what OpenBSD
    determines. It I remember right (I have a few 3Com cards I treasure)
    they all allowed an autoconfiguration that predates PnP but resembles
    it somehow: identify the autoconfiguration port and wiggle it to tell
    the card where to enable IRQ, I/O and possibly DMA.

    Plan 9 may have had an issue with the configuration port. ISA has a
    big issue with shared IRQs: IBM engineered the IRQs to be
    level-triggered and active low TTLs, so an inactive card would mask
    any other card reporting an interrupt on the same line. I was told
    some of these decisions (the choice of 8250s instead of 8251s for
    serial communication, for example) were intentional.

    OK, there I go showing off :-) Just in case people think I'm still the
    fourteen year old weenie in the "face" archive and get shocked when I
    pitch up in Volos :-)

    ++L



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