Xenix Serial Port Question...

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_30below.com>
Date: Fri Aug 6 16:28:49 1999

Thanks to all who responded to my IBM PC XT/AT Y2K compliancy question...
All of the info was very helpful.

And now, for something completely different!

I have a customer who's using (I think) a mediocre 486 system with an
8-port (unsure of brand) serial card linked thru RS-232 cables connected to
3 ASCII terminals and 1 computer running ProComm Plus as their small network.

The terminals are still working fine, but the computer no longer connects
to the server, nor could I get my Tandy200 to connect to the server thru
*any* of the ports on the multi-port card.

I took a working terminal and hooked it to the cable of the non-working
computer, and the terminal wouldn't link, either.

The cable had 7 conductors, 4 were used. I replaced 3 of the conductors on
each end, no change. I used some of the now unused conductors to replace
the last conductor, still no change.

I tested continuity on the main conductors, no breaks or high-Z connections
that I can see.

Here's the strange stuff:

1) I plugged my handy-dandy overpriced Tandy RS-232 mini-tester onto each
of the unused ports of the server multi-serial card -- each showed a
different status.

2) Using my <joke> vast </joke> Unix/Linux knowledge, I was able to
muckety-muck around the software some, and the server itself as well; and
found a bajillion serial ports enabled, but I know some were for the
virtual terminals, and some may be for the non-existant hardware.

Question 1) Does anyone know the serial port designations for Xenix? I
looked and looked, but couldn't figure it out on my own, despite the fact
my mind is like a strong, steel sieve. ;-)

[[Editor's note: During my muckety-mucking, I noticed that the /etc/passwd
file was *world writable*... is this normal for a stock Xenix install???
That seems to be extremely poor security... especially for a dial-in
capable box. :-( ]]

Question 2) I found that some serial ports could be designated log-in
enabled, and some were log-in disabled. If these settings are different,
would that explain the differing signal status lights on my RS-232 tester?

Question 3) The serial ports on the multi-serial card are already wired for
null-modem capability. What do I need to do to get my Tandy200 to talk to
the ports. (Yes, the ports are set up for 9600 bps, 8-N-1 and X-on/X-off,
as was my Tandy. Yet, no commo happened.)

I'll be on the road tonite for "civilization" - the northern boroughs(sp?)
of Detroit - Lake Orion, Oxford, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, etc. If I get a
chance, I now have web-mail access... will try to check my mail.

Any good classic machine hotspots down there??? ;-)

Thanks again for any help I receive,
Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger "Merch" Merchberger   ---   sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
Recycling is good, right???  Ok, so I'll recycle an old .sig.
If at first you don't succeed, nuclear warhead
disarmament should *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Fri Aug 06 1999 - 16:28:49 BST

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