Home Web Design Programming Fairlight CMI Soap Box Downloads Links Biography About... Site Map

The Holmes Page THE SOAP BOX 1997/02/26



1997/02/26: The Cost of "Free"   I guess that I am a bit of a pack rat, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. I have never gotten rid of any of my computers, and I have even been accumulating other people's old ones. I find that a 386 is a perfectly good machine for running Windows 3.x and simulating a "typical" end-user's machine. 
So, I was setting up one of these machines and installing a network card. I've found that getting a machine on the network increases its value a lot. It can use the resources that are available on my larger and faster machines, and it can host some of the stuff that doesn't fit in my main machines, like the controller card for the Bernoulli Box. 
Anyway, I installed a network card into the machine and then configured Windows for Workgroups 3.11, which detected the card properly. After rebooting and running Windows again, the machine locked up. A bit of experimentation showed that the lock-up happened only when I tried to run Windows. If I loaded the network software with "NET START FULL" at the C: prompt before running Windows, I got access to the network and it worked fine. 
After a good bit of fooling around, I began to doubt the "value" in rebuilding an old machine. This was beginning to cost me more that the price of a new machine. A "lucky" find in the network card manual showed me the answer: I had to tell Windows to avoid using the area of memory reserved for the network card. This turned out to be upper memory at segment EC00 to EFFF. I had to indicate this in two places: CONFIG.SYS and SYSTEM.INI. The relevant CONFIG.SYS line looks like this:
SYSTEM.INI holds something similar:
So the next time you install a card in a machine, take the time to exclude the memory addesses that the card uses. Oh yeah, and RTFM*. 

*RTFM = Read The Fine Manual

Previous: 1997/02/12 - There Are Many Grammatical Errors
Next: 1997/03/12 - Long-Distance, or Not?

Home Web Design Programming Fairlight CMI Soap Box Downloads Links Biography About... Site Map

Site Map Send comments about this site to Greg at gregh@ghservices.com
All pages copyright © 1996-1999 GH Services™   Created 1997/02/26   Last updated 1999/09/30
All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners