Econet for an RML380Z?

From: Jules Richardson <>
Date: Wed Sep 8 12:15:59 2004

On Wed, 2004-09-08 at 15:58 +0100, Dan Williams wrote:
> I've just got a 380z chain network server. Without keyboard alas. The
> tv and monitor cables are not connected to anything. There is a cable
> but I can't see where it goes. Dp you have one of these you can have a
> look for me. I think someone might of taken out one of the boards.

Is that the one that was on EBay a few days ago? (In which case I'm glad
it went to a recognised collector!) I'll assume for the mo that it is...

I've got a CHAIN network server identical to that EBay one, except that
mine has a Winchester disk controller in it (actually a SASI controller)
and a seperate Winchester cabinet containing a drive and a SASI-ST506
bridge board.

I contacted the EBay seller for the one that was on EBay the other day,
and he swore that it never had a fixed disk, so you're stuck with the
capacity of the 380Z's floppies for shared storage I'm afraid!

As for keyboard and monitor, it doesn't use one. My system's the same
regarding the disconnected video cables inside. All the network code's
in ROM on the server; enough to allow clients to connect assuming that
you have a bootable disk in the floppy drive anyway.

For maintenance mode, what you do is as follows (from the Network
Release 2.0 Design and Istallation Manual):

Hook a regular 480Z (possibly 380Z, but the docs I've seen only mention
480Z stations) up via the serial line to SIO-4 on the back of the 380Z
server. Turn on the server and the 480Z, then hit T on the 480Z to drop
into terminal mode. (I can't see a reason why this can't be any old

At this point, insert the network maintenance disk into the 380Z's drive
A (left hand or top drive, depending on drive orientation). Go on,
suprise me and tell me you got one of those! :-)

Hit reset on the fileserver, and it should boot from the maintenance
disk and give you a command prompt in the 480Z's terminal emulator.

Now, originally the fileserver came with three floppies - the network
server disk, working server disk, and network maintenance disk. The
working server disk is used for a running network and gives you mail,
BASIC, printer sharing, display network status etc. - with the network
server disk essentially being a master copy of this.

The maintenance disk contains utilities to format a floppy, set file
flags, delete files, reset the server etc.

The critical file on all three disks is MPM.SYS; that's the server OS
and I think your system's something of a boat anchor if you don't have
it :-(

We need to give Paul Williams a prod as I believe he has a copy of the
three floppies needed (at least for a floppy-based server; I'm still out
of luck with the hard disk side of things) - we coupld probably both do
with copies of those :-)

hope that helps a little anyway. At some point I'll make an effort to
scan the manuals I've got and that Paul doesn't have.

> Which says :
> Yep. We had 4 bbc model A's at that time, complete with those
> little cream tape recorders, while the 380Z had twin floppies.
> There was a small network filesystem on cassette the beebs had to
> load after power-on, then they connected via rs-232 to a couple
> of pins on the *parallel* port of the 380Z. I can't remember
> exactly (this was 1984 and I was half the age I am now!) but I
> think you could still use the 380Z normally.

Ta for that - that actually further seems to imply that the Econet board
for the 380Z may well have been vapourware!


Received on Wed Sep 08 2004 - 12:15:59 BST

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