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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: NET100 card announced
 

NET100 card announced

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 09:19, 3/3/2002 | , , , , ,
 
Now for news on the "100Mb network card for RISC PC and A7000 computers" - no, not the Castle one, another one!
In collaboration with CTA Direct, R-Comp Interactive and Stuart Tyrrell Developments, Simtec Electronics have produced a 100Mb network card for RISC PC and A7000 computers.

Development of an ISA variant, suitable for the RiscStation R7500 is now complete and the NIC variant, suitable for the RISC PC and A7000, is nearing completion and will be available soon.

This partnership brings together the design and manufacturing skills of Simtec and the expertise in network configuration and cross platform integration currently offered by CTA, RCI and Stuart Tyrrell Developments.

The interface will be available from CTA, RCI and Stuart Tyrrell Developments and will cost ukp 69.00 excluding VAT and postage. The total cost including VAT and postage should be in the region of ukp 89.00
I can see why CTA and Simtec teamed up with the Riscstation angle, and Simtec with Stuart Tyrrell isn't a big shock either; and RComp do sell quite a few networking-related products such as the network in a box stuff, and a new server version of Messenger so a RiscPC can pick up your mail and serve it to a whole network; but having all four team up together on a project, well, it shows an amount of cooperation uncommon in the RISC OS world, and all power to them for that. From what I can gather they reckon that their version should be technically superior and hopefully will appear before that other one, which is already overdue.
 
  NET100 card announced
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John Hoare Message #90339, posted at 11:33, 3/3/2002
Unregistered user Still a duplication of effort though :-(
But yes, it's great they've all teamed up. Hopefully that'll happen more in the future. :-)
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Guest Message #90340, posted at 12:17, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90339
Unregistered user It might be a duplication of effort John, but it does give customers a choice, which brings competition and hence the price down. This must be a good thing.

You must agree that 90 pounds for something that costs a tenner in the PC world is very steep. Competition will reduce this price.

Mike
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John Hoare Message #90341, posted at 12:23, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90340
Unregistered user True - but I'd rather have more choice of different products, rather than different variations on the same product.

But I don't want to drag things down, as I said - I think it's great news they're cooperating.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90342, posted at 12:57, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90341
Unregistered user It should also mean that bundled products - e.g. RComp's network in a box stuff - should be cheaper. After all, why buy in someone else's network cards when you can make your own cheaper?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90343, posted at 13:16, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90342
Unregistered user BTW, even buying from cheapo PC places, a *decent* network card are usually 30 UKP +VAT +P&P or more - buying no-name NICs just isn't worth it most of the time, thirty quid for a decent 3Com ensures reliability and decent drivers. These new cards are therefore only about twice as expensive as the PC-land alternatives.

It's hard to find liks that aren't huge search URLs, but check here:
http://www.scan.co.uk/network.htm
...and look at Dabs, Novatech, Insight, Jungle etc. yourselves. And these are the cheap places.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90344, posted at 14:12, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90343
Unregistered user John....the RISCOS world is full of whinging and whining, "lack of new...", "no cooperation..." etc etc and here we have a new hardware product brought through cooperation and your first statement is a complaint. For f.... sake !

Sorry for swearing folks but this negativity in the face of something positive really gets my back up. The newsgroups are full of it.

regards,

Malcolm
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90345, posted at 14:37, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90344
Unregistered user Erm, why does 3Com making reliable cards mean that Simtec will do so? 3Com's are reliable, because they spend a lot of money developing a chipset and drivers - Simtec won't have done - they will have just lifted a cheap chipset from the shelves at a guess.
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Guest Message #90346, posted at 14:56, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90345
Unregistered user Two comments:

a) Duplication of effort - like Castle releasing an equivalent of Stuart Tyrrell's mouse interface a year back?

b) What quality of designs have we seen from Simtec in the past? It's unreasonable to assume anything until specifications are released - but as an example the packet buffer in NET100 is twice that of the Castle card.
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Guest Message #90347, posted at 15:42, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90346
Unregistered user Rich, it's not only half the price of a 3Com NIC. Add in the vat and postage and it's 3 times the price. The figures are stated in your own report!

3Com cards cost around 20ukp (at least mine did when I bought one a couple of years ago)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Chiswell Message #90348, posted at 16:21, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90347
Unregistered user When I brought my new PC from ex-Acorn dealer and ROM designer (see the very first issue of Micro User) DA Computers in Leicester (yep, I've gone over to the 'dark side' now and so have they - check http://www.dacomputers.com/ ), the 100Mb network card cost £12...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90349, posted at 16:35, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90348
Unregistered user While I can't comment on the quality of the RS network cards, I can add that if you don't want your network to break, then you should be looking to spend between 35-50ukp plus VAT on a quality PC network card (e.g. EEPro100, 3C905C, etc.)

Interestingly enough, looking at some of the brand name PCMCIA network cards, pricing is close to that of the RS card.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90350, posted at 17:19, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90349
Unregistered user 3Com cards are upwards of 30 UKP, plus VAT, plus about a fiver for postage - so 69 ex VAT, 89 all inc. is nearer double. Almost exactly depending on where you shop. And yes, there are even more expensive options.

I provided the link(s) so you didn't have to rely on dodgy two year old memories ;)

And as for the Simtec stuff not being good quality, I've got several devices designed by Stuart Tyrrell already and very much doubt that the NIC will be any different, so I'm expecting good things. I've never heard a bad word against him from anyone else either.

And as for duplication of effort, we could go the whole conspiracy theory - the PS2 adapters, Oregano competing with RComp's long establihed WebsterXL, and CTA/Simtec could take exception to the Neurons. Although providing cheaper NICs simply to avenge past slights would be a bit petty :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90351, posted at 19:26, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90350
Unregistered user Great stuff! If it wasn't for competition we would have a monopoly not a market...

Good news hearing these guys are teaming up. We need to see more of this sort of thing happening. It not only benefits the customer, but also helps the developers share the risk.

Put yourself into Castles shoes for a minute - if WebsterXL didn't exist how much would you charge for Oregano?

To everyone involved in this collaboration or any other projects, keep up the good work!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #90352, posted at 20:28, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90351
Unregistered user Obviously my comments weren't listened to. Despite posting previously condemning negativity, and despite posting that I thought the cooperation was good, I'm not allowed to have one negative comment? My positive/negative comments ratio is literally 10:1! Would it have been better if I had swapped my comments around?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #90353, posted at 21:28, 3/3/2002, in reply to message #90352
Unregistered user Not worth an argument, anyway. The cooperation does seem indicative of the current trend though - the SLYM Cumana/Castle venture being another example.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90354, posted at 00:15, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90353
Unregistered user Rich: And I've *never* had any trouble with the dozens of cheap 10 quid PC network cards I've ever bought, either.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90355, posted at 00:25, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90354
Unregistered user it makes me laugh that everyone gets excited about something that is nothing new to other systems (infact it might be replaced by newer methods) and so over priced in comparison. Awww, well it gives you something to play with on your toy computers at least. There there, go and play.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90356, posted at 09:48, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90355
Unregistered user I've not had many problems with my cheap-ass 5 ukp keyboards at home, but they certainly ain't quality goods. 10 UKP NICs might be okay for occasional home use, but they're not good enough for serious work.

I've skimped on some things when building the servers this site has been on, but they've always had decent 3Com NICs - there's just some things that aren't worth skimping on.

Even on my RiscPC I've had problems - not StrongARM compatible, the chips popping out when they heat up etc. - so I'm looking forward to a /quality/ replacement this time.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Anonymous Message #90357, posted at 09:48, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90356
Unregistered user it makes me laugh that someone who regards risc os computers as toys would waste their time trolling on a risc os website.
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Guest Message #90358, posted at 11:27, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90357
Unregistered user I wonder when this will be available for the Mico,not soon I fear.Omega must come first and they probably have no spare resources to do anything else :(
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flounder Message #90359, posted at 12:39, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90358
Unregistered user How is this related to the Omega development?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Graham Message #90360, posted at 15:55, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90359
Unregistered user Can Micos not be networked then?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mark quint Message #90361, posted at 16:56, 4/3/2002, in reply to message #90360
Unregistered user hrm, a while ago I bought what was really a cheapo 100Mb network card (although maplin ripped me off at £25) and i've had a fair few problems with it. For some increadibly strange reason it would sometimes reset my pc whilst it was booting, it repeatedly did this with windows XP making it unuseable, and the network between the RiscPC & my PC requires the PC to be on before the RPC for it to work correctly - although the pc is on most of the time anyway, so cheap PC cards can be pants, but id expect the new simtec card to be very good quality, & shouldnt come with any problems, mainly as there are only 4ish motherboards & a handfull of different machines for it to run on :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90362, posted at 12:27, 5/3/2002, in reply to message #90361
Unregistered user [OT] Wasn't there a story about David's new movie player below this network card story?! Where did it go?! It wasn't an early April fool after all was it?! I didn't dream it last night did I? :(

The masses need to be told!!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90363, posted at 12:46, 5/3/2002, in reply to message #90362
Unregistered user Rich: What I'm wondering is, what makes you think that Simtec have chosen a good chipset for their card, and not a cheap one? After all, it's the chip that makes 99.9% of the difference, not the PCB itself. If you look inside a RiskStation, all the chipsets in that (networking, etc) are all rather cheap and nasty.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #90364, posted at 13:20, 5/3/2002, in reply to message #90363
Unregistered user The story about the media player is *above* this story... :-)

I always thought Riscstation's machines were known for their quality. Even a lot of people who have slagged of the speed have said that.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Walker Message #90365, posted at 13:40, 5/3/2002, in reply to message #90364
Unregistered user Micos cannot be networked, despite what it says on a certain web site.

Personally, I believe the quality of Simtec's products (which includes RiscStation's hardware) to be superb. The problem with the RiscStation machines is that they are based on the ARM 7500FE, which is *SLOW*.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90366, posted at 14:31, 5/3/2002, in reply to message #90365
Unregistered user Guest posting at 12:46 - can you /name/ one of the chips in the RiscStation that you object to, compare it to, say, it's A7000+ equivalent, and say what you would substitute instead? The one I have here must have been built differently to yours - even the TTL is all TI or Motorola.

And I bet you don't have the guts to identify yourself either.....

Stuart (Tyrrell).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90367, posted at 12:02, 6/3/2002, in reply to message #90366
Unregistered user Erm, perhaps the Crystal LAN?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90368, posted at 22:49, 6/3/2002, in reply to message #90367
Unregistered user Erm... your point being (apart from only being capable of "answering" one point out of several, and still chicken about backing up claims with your name)?

Despite this thread being about the new NET100 card, not about comparing 10Mbit cards, put your money where your mouth is, and compare the Cirrus 10Mbit device against, let's say, /any/ of the 10Mbit cards for the RiscPC.

FWIW I can vouch for what's on the NET100, (although I'm biased!), which isn't a part from Cirrus/Crystal, but I'll let actual reviews from more unbiased people talk when they happen. I trust there will be talk of comparing the level of interrupt loading and the like between the two 100Mbit cards.

Making comments as you have about a subject you know little about is transparent, and until you put a name to your claims and back up your views with facts I trust that the reasonable reader will view them as such.

I will not comment further.


Stuart (Tyrrell)
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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: NET100 card announced