Announcing HECnetNT!

HECnetNT in action!

HECnetNT in action!

So I have my little project working well enough to let it out into the world.  I call it HECnetNT, and it’s available out on sourceforge.

It’s a port of  Johnny Billquist‘s bridge program to Windows.  This isn’t a MinGW or Cygwin build, but rather, a native build, compiled in Visual Studio 2003.  I’ve been able to run this build on NT 4.0, 2000 and Windows 7.

I also made some additions to the bridge program, by allowing it to bridge IPX/SPX Ethernet_II frames, so you can now build legacy networks that let you logon to NetWare servers, or even play those old IPX/SPX games.

Back when I first got DOOM v1.1 working on IPX/SPX I noticed that it sent an incredible amount of packets that were mostly empty.  To work around this, I incorporated LZSS to compress data between HECnetNT bridges.  Even better, I don’t see any significant CPU utilization, even with DOOM blasting packets like crazy!

The best part is that you can mix compressed & uncompressed bridges.  So you can have an uncompressed connection to one host, and a compressed connection to another.

I’ve been able to bridge CTERM with SIMH to hosts using compressed, and uncompressed links, and this also includes a LINUX box with the original bridge software!

To take it one more step, I also setup a Windows NT box with an ethernet adapter, and the MS LOOPBack adapter, setup TCP/IP on both interfaces (a dummy address on the loopback is enough, but there needs to be something there), and then installed DEC Pathworks 7, on NT, bound it to the loopback adapter, ran the HECnetNT software, and I’ve been able to connect my NT instance.  Logically I could go one more step, and install PPTP support, so I the NT server could then use PPTP to VPN to a HECnet bridge, and then join it.

So the larger question is, the DECnet enthusiasts have their hecnet, is anyone interested in making a Novell like equivalent?  With older Linux that supports IPX/SPX or even NT we could even do routers, and build a large-ish sized network.

3 thoughts on “Announcing HECnetNT!

  1. I have a client using custom software written many years ago to take advantage of Novell Netware 3.12 / 3.2 features never duplicated later. It is prohibitively expensive to replace the software so I am pleased you have done this project.

    I am looking forward to trying this experiment so the software can now be installed on newer equipment.

    • cool. be sure to check out Proxmox/VE, its based on KVM, and should be able to run Novell Netware 3.12.

      I had a netware instance running on debian 7 x64 with kvm for a while.. I think I had a month of uptime before my host decided to destroy the box.

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