Yesterday I had an unusual and pleasant experience -- surfing the web with
NDO without it crashing. Haven't had that happen since I switched to
broadband. I have tried several different PCMCIA Ethernet cards on my
laptop, a 32MB Toshiba Libretto 70CT running PC DOS 7 and NDO2000, and I
seem to have finally found one that works well with NDO. (Linux likes it
The first card I got was a 3Com Etherlink III, running 3C589.com as its
ODI driver. I could use it for short periods of time with NDO's email and
newgroup reader, but if I tried much web-surfing, it would quickly crash
with a KR-07. And if I took too long with the email or the newsgroup, it
would crash, too. It was essentially a time bomb. My 11-yo son uses it
now with his ThinkPad, but he's given up on using it with NDO.
The second one I got was a Megahertz XJ10BT (ODI driver name MHZETH.com).
I think I was able to use it once with NDO, for about two minutes, before
NDO crashed. To be honest, there was a problem for a while getting the
card enabled, and then with getting the port and the IRQ properly
configured. Even after I was able to do that, though, it still crashes
regularly, usually before it even loads up my home page (Google).
So, I finally took a chance on buying another PCMCIA NIC. This last one
is a SOHOware ND5120-E I bought new on e-bay for $1. It uses NE2000.com
for its ODI driver. It didn't work at first, but after I ran the nifty
DOS configure utility that came on the driver disk, I was able to identify
the proper port and IRQ, and then everybody was happy -- me, the NIC, and
NDO. Haven't had a single KR-07 since I've been using it. (Granted,
that's been only about 15 minutes total web-surfing time, but that's
easily five times as long as I've been able to browse with either of the
other two cards.) So, if the list of GEOS-compatible hardware is still
active, I'd like to tentatively add the SOHOware ND5120-E to the list,
pending further testing. I'm convinced enough that I've already bought
another one for my son's laptop.
A couple of other notes:
(1) I had just about written off using NDO on my laptop because it was so
slow, and Linux (Slackware 7) was so much faster. Turns out, the hard
drive for this machine has a notoriously slow seek time. Adding a 10meg
drive cache (SMARTDRV) cost me about 40k of memory < 1meg, but it speeded
up *everything* considerably, and the disk isn't churning all the time.
And now that I can actually access the Internet under NDO, I suspect I'll
be using the Linux partition much less. If only there were an SSH client
for NDO, I'd be all set.
(2) I keep about 7 days' worth of e-mail on the POP server for my work
account. (Thunderbird, the mail client on my machine at work, deletes
them from the server after that.) That equates to between 1000 and 2000
pieces of mail. NewMail cried foul after downloading 400 messages. It
*did* warn me -- a panel popped up to say that the Inbox was getting full
-- but then the system locked up. Umm, will this limit be removed in
future versions of NewMail?