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Communication between computers without the web?

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12 replies to this topic

#1
LostInSpace2012

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Hello,

I'm wondering, and forgive my ignorance, but is there a way (using dial-up modems) to communicate to other computers without an "internet service provider."

Can you by using just your phone line, set up some kind of Link, a way to communicate.

I'm thinking ahead to when the internet is completely cloud based and you'll need the latest greatest, NSA-Back-Doored Windows Metro machine in order to talk to people.

Is there a way I can transfer files, or send messages, or whatever, WITHOUT an internet service provider?

For example, here's a page with DOS based "communication / web" software... would these apply under Win9x?
http://www.reimagery.../fsfd/comm1.htm

Edited by LostInSpace2012, 09 June 2013 - 04:58 PM.



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#2
nostaglic98

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Yes, I believe there is. I can't give specific details as my Windows 98 machine is not powered on at the present. I know 98 calls one of them Dial-Up networking, and the other is Direct-Cable Connection

You can use two methods, but you may require your Win98 CD to install these features (Dig through the Install/Remove Accessories in control panel).
~ Null Modem Connection (Use a Serial cable with two female ends - Lap-Link, Null-Modem etc.). Aka 'Parallel Port Networking'
~ Dial-Up Networking

With dial-up networking, I THINK you use a phone line between two modems, but don't use the actual phone service, you just "ring" the other modem through your modem, and the other picks up. There is a Host and Client

Null-Modem connections are the same, and were once very popular. Speed isn't great, but is good enough for file sharing, multiplayer games and so forth. You probably won't browse the internet, unless you use the "real" parallel port (The LPT connection, NOT the COM connection). This model also uses the host/client scheme. One computer "hosts," and the other "Dials in" with the appropriate credentials from their client through the connection. To access shares, you do "\\ComputerName" in Explorer, followed by a '\' for each file deeper.

Hope this is of use!
Will attach a screen-dump later, when I get the chance

#3
jumper

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An Ethernet cross-over cable is the fastest direct connection between two computers:
+ 10/100/1000 mbps depending on the max speed of the slower ethernet adapter.
+ NetBEUI protocol
+ DIY cable guide

Commercial USB-to-USB bridge cable solutions exist.

Direct Cable Connection (DCC) cable types (decending speed)
* Universal Cable Module (UCM) cables (ECP-enabled parallel)
* Enhanced Capabilities Port (ECP) cables (ECP-enabled parallel)
* Standard or basic 4-bit cables (standard parallel aka printer port)
* Null-modem cable (standard serial port)

DCC guide
Microsoft's DIY DCC cable guide
Design feedback requested:
IHAtool - IpHlpApi tester; call various functions and report results
--status-> framework is solid; 22 api's fully supported; preview release coming soon
ComDlg32 wrapper - ComDlgEx meets IpHlpApi wrapper
--status-> PrintDlgExW working in latest SumatraPDF 8^)
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#4
jaclaz

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Two modems won't normally work without a telephone line, but it is possible to "fake" one :w00t: .

There are a couple related threads here:
http://www.msfn.org/...ia-phone-cable/
http://www.msfn.org/...en-2-computers/

jaclaz

#5
Nomen

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I'm wondering, and forgive my ignorance, but is there a way (using dial-up modems) to communicate to other computers without an "internet service provider."

Packet radio?
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Packet_radio

#6
LostInSpace2012

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thanks for the replies.

I just realized that all that stuff is too complicated for me :-)

#7
nostaglic98

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You'll find that Direct Cable Connections are very simple. If both PCs had ethernet ports, then a crossover ethernet cable should work too (you may have to set IP addresses manually, as I've found Windows can't "do it" without a DHCP server!)

#8
jaclaz

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You'll find that Direct Cable Connections are very simple.

But for the intended use OP would need a lot of cable.... :whistle:
And from real life experience it is not so easy to lay cables along other people's properties, additionally. :ph34r:

jaclaz

#9
bphlpt

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Not to mention he would need multiple cables to talk to multiple people. :)

Cheers and Regards

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#10
technoid

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I have actually done a modem-to-modem communication/connection before using a modem on each computer and a telephone cable. But the kicker is that I did this back in the early 1990's and it was with my two Commodore 64's with 1200 baud modems (model 1670). I used terminal software and BBS programs. So effectively it was like hooking directly as a client to a BBS.

Another way might be to use Symantec's PCAnywhere. I had (and still have) it and mainly used it to hook up from one PC to another over 10 years ago, but only remotely by dialing up the other PC somewhere in another building. Your phone company is the middle man. You can then remotely use the other PC's drive and desktop just like if you were there. A little slow on dialup but you can get the job done. It's been awhile since I used it, but there is a chance it can do what you're asking, i.e. a phone cable link. The problem with this solution is that this is commercial software and I don't think it's on the market anymore (it's probably second-hand on eBay).

I have never tried the aforementioned Direct Cable method. From what I recall you can use serial and parallel ports. Not sure about modems and phone cabling. Infrared also would work but that would mean both PC's infrared sensors have to be close and in line with each other.

Anyway I'm sure it can be done, there's probably specialized software to do it. I haven't had any need to do it since the days of my C64's so I have no modern day experience.

#11
JorgeA

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About 20 years ago, I connected two DOS machines using the INTERLNK command and a cable between the two, although I can't remember now whether it was connected to the serial or the parallel ports. I do recall getting that "Wow" feeling the first time I saw one PC's directory show up on the other PC's screen.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 19 June 2013 - 09:41 AM.


#12
CharlotteTheHarlot

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About 20 years ago, I connected two DOS machines using the INTERLNK command and a cable between the two, although I can't remember now whether it was connected to the serial or the parallel ports. I do recall getting that "Wow" feeling the first time I saw one PC's directory show up on the other PC's screen.

--JorgeA

Ah, InterLnk and InterSvr on a null modified cable ( aka "LapLink" ). The first step out of the stone age for DOS. They worked on either interface but Parallel was definitely the way to go. I think in Win95 Plus they officially called it "Direct Cable Connection".

I can remember a few other 3rd party Solutions too ...
  • Briggs LinkMaven
  • Rainy City FastPCLinker
  • Laplink ( obviously )
Depending on LPT ports you can get from a few hundred KB/s to 1 or 2 MB/s ( using the last EPP motherboards ) which pretty much blew away all other methods. That high rate was dependent on error checking in the software used to control the connection, but astonishingly it was often faster than some broadband over here even today ( 15 Mb down is pretty common and that is only 1.8 MB/s ). In fact, for many MANY years this was even faster than Ethernet was ( the 10 Mb flavor that lasted for what seemed like forever! ). Of course, the storage was severely limited in the DOS days so that speed meant you could copy or fill an entire HDD ( sub 100 MB was typical ) in a minute!

EDIT: typos

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 21 June 2013 - 01:27 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#13
bpalone

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Two computers communicating on telephone lines is not that hard. If my memory serves correctly, the program I used back then was "PROCOMM" and it had the ability to answer a call as well as initiate one. This a Command Line or DOS program and I am sure there are others. I had even started a terminal program in C and if dug hard enough might even be able to turn up my old source file.

Do some searches for Modem manuals and you should be able to find enough about the command set for the modem to get a start. It isn't all that tough, the biggest thing to get a grasp on the ACK and NAK signals. (That is if my memory serves me correctly and assuming you want to write your code.) It would be much easier to find a decent terminal program or use the one that was include with Windows 9x, but a stand alone will probably be easier to learn and use. Someone may correct me on that, as I think I only used the included software one or two times and I have slept a couple of times since then.

But, the simple answer is yes two computers can communicate via the telephone lines, provided both computers are using software that deals with serial communications through a Modem and that the Modems and the Software are configured properly on both sides of the link. Just remember that, you are still using the PUBLIC telecom system and that your speeds are going to be dialup equivalent.

bpalone




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