LanceGS Network Card: First Looks

By Eric Shepherd
www.A2Central.com

About the Author
Eric Shepherd is the webmaster of A2Central.com in Tracy, California and is also the director of Syndicomm.com. He is involved primarily in bringing many of the software packages from the 1980’s into the freeware realm by writing to the individual authors to gain the releases. Please note that A2central.com is not related to the magazine from the early 1990’s.

The Card
I wandered by my mailbox yesterday, as I do just about every afternoon, and inside was a small padded envelope containing my long-awaited LANceGS ethernet card for the Apple II. I dashed back inside the house, grabbed the carry case with my Apple IIGS in it—I hadn’t had a chance to set it back up since getting home from KFest—and hightailed it upstairs to my office to set everything up. I took the opportunity to do some other hardware adjustments to my system, including installing my new Apple 3.5″ Controller Card, then installed the LANceGS card.

Installation
Installing the LANceGS card is pretty easy, but there are a few steps involved, so A2Central.com is pleased to present this article covering the entire process of installing your card into an Apple IIGS computer. Installation into an Apple IIe is comparable, but the text and photos here will specifically cover the Apple IIGS. We will add directions specific to the Apple IIe in the future.

First, Appreciate the Beauty of It All
The LANceGS card is impressive to look at. The relatively small number of components is indicative of the quality of its design. Note the unusual protrusion from the front of the card, on which the card’s revision number and serial number are displayed. The area above that is the gap left over after the RJ45 adapter was knocked out from the circuit board. We’ll have a look at that in a moment.

The most impressive thing about the LANceGS card’s design is the size.
If you’re not familiar with the parts on the card, you might not quite get a feel for the size of the LANceGS card. To the left is a photo of the LANceGS card next to a standard-issue Apple IIGS mouse.

The LANceGS card package includes the LANceGS card itself, a length of ribbon cable, and an RJ45 adapter to allow you to plug in a standard RJ45 10baseT ethernet cable.

Included in the package is an RJ45 adapter.
This plugs into one end of the included ribbon cable, to let you plug a standard RJ45 10baseT ethernet cable into your LANceGS card.

Okay, Now You Can Install It
Once you’ve had a nice look at the majesty that is the LANceGS card, you can start the installation process. This only takes a few minutes.
First, make sure your Apple II is shut off. Installing cards while the computer is on is almost guaranteed to damage both the computer and the card you’re trying to install. Then take the cover off the computer.

Locate the slot into which you want to install the card. You can use any empty slot except slot 3. You will have to change the Control Panel setting for the slot you select to “Your Card,” so be sure you’re not going to lose a port you otherwise need.

My recommendation: if you have a ROM 3, you should use slot 4 if it’s not already in use. If you have a ROM 01, or you have a ROM 3 and slot 4 is occupied and don’t have a modem, or intend to stop using the modem once you have your LANceGS card installed, use slot 2. Otherwise you’ll have to figure out what you can live without. Slot 6 is a good option if you don’t use 5.25″ disks.

Next, remove your LANceGS card from the static bag it was shipped
in, and locate the included ribbon cable. Be sure to handle the card carefully, touching only the edges and not any of the circuitry or components on the card.

Plug one end of the ribbon cable into the eight-pin connector on the end of the LANceGS card. The cable should extend away from the card, as shown in the photo.

The next thing you need to do is open one of the peripheral cable ports on the back of your computer by turning the clip that holds it in place and removing it. Then you can thread the ribbon cable through the opening. It’s easiest to do this before inserting the card into its slot. In this photo, I’m threading through the opening right next to the power supply, since I plan to install the LANceGS card into slot 2.

Once you’ve threaded the cable, you can install the card into its assigned slot, as shown here. Once you’ve done that, you can put the lid back on your computer. But you’re not quite ready to turn it on and install the LANceGS software yet; you have a little more work to do first.

Align the cable’s socket with the 10-pin connector as shown in the photo, with the cable extending away from the RJ45 adapter.

You’ve finished the actual installation and setup of the LANceGS card. There’s only one more step before you can boot up and install the software.
Now you need to plug the other end of the ribbon cable into the RJ45 adapter module.

The final step is to plug your Apple II into your network. Use a standard RJ45 cable. Plug one end into your cable modem, DSL modem, or ethernet hub, and the other end, as shown here, into the RJ45 adapter. You’re now ready to install the LANceGS software!

Installing the Software
Now that the hardware is all installed, boot up your computer. Make sure you have Marinetti installed; if you don’t, you can download it at http://www.apple2.org/marinetti.

Once you’ve installed Marinetti, following the instructions included with it, you can install the LANceGS software.

Because at this time, the software is incomplete, it’s possible that in the future the following information might change.

There are three utility programs included. The most important one is LANCETST.SYSTEM (yes, it’s a ProDOS 8 application). This program lets you test that the card’s hardware is functional, and, more importantly, configure your computer’s IP address, the IP address of your router, and your netmask The program is easy enough to use and it only takes a few moments to configure the card.

The other item you need to install is the Marinetti link layer file, which provides TCP/IP support for the LANceGS card. Once installed in the System:TCPIP folder on your boot disk, you can select the LANceGS card in the TCP/IP control panel.

Ordering Information
Packages for all overseas orders are sent by registered airmail (European orders: registered surface mail). All orders must be prepaid. We accept payment by cash, check; money order and international money transfer via post office. If payment is check or money order, an additional fee of US $5 applies for every order (we have to pay this bank fee to get German funds for the check). If you feel insecure when sending cash, please use registered mail. Sorry, no credit card or other payment methods accepted.

Make all checks payable to Joachim Lange, ///SHH Systeme.

In your order, please mention an e-mail address (if possible) for immediate feedback. For European orders please send a request for pricing in German currency. Please use this complete address for ordering:

///SHH SYSTEME Joachim Lange Bergstrasse 95 82131 Stockdorf Germany

Contact information
Phone: Germany + 89 + 8577040 (19.00-23.00 Central European Time)
e-mail: Joachim Lange
jlange@tasha.muc.de

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