Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby mpack » 9. Aug 2014, 12:35

This topic has been set up to allow discussion of the MS-DOS with a Web Browser tutorial. The first few posts below were originally part of the thread which has now been moved to the tutorials area.


Nice, thank you. Completely pointless, but nice! :-)

Yes, it seems like a good candidate for the Tutorials section - but I'll let it mature a bit first. Bump this topic in a couple of weeks if nothing has happened.
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby michaln » 18. Aug 2014, 15:48

A nice guide! A few comments...

For NAT (not NAT Network!), the client IP address should always be 10.0.2.15 (netmask 255.255.255.0). The gateway is 10.0.2.2, DNS server at 10.0.2.3 may or may not work.

The whole business with the MS Network Client can be skipped if Arachne is the only goal. There is a PCnet packet driver (PCNTPK.COM) which can be used directly. That also likely avoids all the problems with conventional memory shortage. Of course if one also wants to use file sharing then the MS Network Client is indispensable.

If file sharing is desired, it's also possible to use the Intel E1000 emulation, for which a driver is available (E1000.DOS). It eats up more memory than the PCnet driver, but it's faster.

FWIW, my personal preference is using PC DOS 2000, which comes with a mouse driver and automatically installs POWER.EXE (to stop the VM from burning CPU cycles needlessly).
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby dlharper » 24. Aug 2014, 23:18

Thanks for these comments. May I make a few in reply:
michaln wrote:For NAT (not NAT Network!), the client IP address should always be 10.0.2.15 (netmask 255.255.255.0). The gateway is 10.0.2.2, DNS server at 10.0.2.3 may or may not work.

I had jumped to conclusions about the IP address. I had assumed that different open NATted machines would all have to use different IP addresses, so suggested 10.0.2.24 as the address within the NAT range least likely to conflict. When you think about it, though, there is no reason for them to be distinct. I have now made some checks, and in practice they always seem to be assigned the value 10.0.2.15, as you say. However, the value I suggested also works.

The DNS value does need to be correct, and this depends on the host’s network setup. (For my systems it always has to be 192.168.1.254, but this seems to be dictated by my router.) The method I suggested of reading it from the current log is an easy non-host-dependent way of finding what it should be, though perhaps I should suggest saving the log and searching the saved file.

Have you any idea, BTW, why DHCP does not work in these circumstances? It works fine with WfW 3.11 sitting on the same version of DOS, though I haven’t tried it with Windows 3.1 or earlier.
The whole business with the MS Network Client can be skipped if Arachne is the only goal. There is a PCnet packet driver (PCNTPK.COM) which can be used directly. That also likely avoids all the problems with conventional memory shortage. Of course if one also wants to use file sharing then the MS Network Client is indispensable.

I confess that I did not know about this driver. I always had in mind, though, a system that could be extended to file sharing without too much effort.
If file sharing is desired, it's also possible to use the Intel E1000 emulation, for which a driver is available (E1000.DOS). It eats up more memory than the PCnet driver, but it's faster.

Not examined this yet. I will have a look.
FWIW, my personal preference is using PC DOS 2000, which comes with a mouse driver and automatically installs POWER.EXE (to stop the VM from burning CPU cycles needlessly).

I wanted to use a version of MS-DOS itself rather than anything else (though PC DOS is really equivalent, of course).

The POWER issue is nothing to do with the main networking/browser subject, of course, but is an issue with DOS itself. I could suggest putting it in AUTOEXEC.BAT, and leaving off the note about setting an execution cap.

Would you like me to make a few edits to the original post to cover these issues?
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby michaln » 25. Aug 2014, 11:17

dlharper wrote:I had jumped to conclusions about the IP address. I had assumed that different open NATted machines would all have to use different IP addresses, so suggested 10.0.2.24 as the address within the NAT range least likely to conflict. When you think about it, though, there is no reason for them to be distinct.

This is the difference between the 'NAT' and 'NAT Network' modes. In the former case, every VM uses 10.0.2.15 as its own address and NATed VMs do not 'see' each other. With NAT Network, VMs do get different IP addresses assigned and can directly see each other.

Have you any idea, BTW, why DHCP does not work in these circumstances? It works fine with WfW 3.11 sitting on the same version of DOS, though I haven’t tried it with Windows 3.1 or earlier.

No, I don't -- haven't tried setting this up myself yet.

The POWER issue is nothing to do with the main networking/browser subject, of course, but is an issue with DOS itself. I could suggest putting it in AUTOEXEC.BAT, and leaving off the note about setting an execution cap.

Right, that's a separate topic, albeit one that anyone trying to use a DOS VM is likely to run into. Having the VM reduce its CPU consumption is IMO much preferable to setting the execution cap, because then the VM can still run at full speed if it needs to.

Would you like me to make a few edits to the original post to cover these issues?

If you don't mind, yes please :)
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby michaln » 25. Aug 2014, 18:12

The problem with Arachne's DHCP looks like a bug in the VirtualBox NAT implementation. In a quick test here, Arachne's BOOTP/DHCP did not work with NAT, but did work with NAT Network.

I recall seeing some complaints that VirtualBox's NAT doesn't support the BOOTP protocol properly, but I do not know if there is a ticket open (if so, I can't find it).
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby michaln » 25. Aug 2014, 19:54

I fixed the problem with NAT DHCP, hopefully that will make it into the next update. It turns out that Arachne sends out quite unusual DHCP requests :) Now I wonder if it's related to WatTCP in general.
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby dlharper » 26. Aug 2014, 09:33

michaln wrote:I fixed the problem with NAT DHCP, hopefully that will make it into the next update. It turns out that Arachne sends out quite unusual DHCP requests :) Now I wonder if it's related to WatTCP in general.

Well done. I will leave the manual IP in for the moment, perhaps with a note that it may soon be fixed.
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby michaln » 26. Aug 2014, 11:05

Actually with 'NAT Network' (as opposed to 'NAT') it should work today.

FWIW, I only tested Arachne with the PCnet packet driver (PCNTPK.COM) because that's dead easy to set up -- just need to run 'pcntpk INT=0x60' and 'arachne' and that's it. There's no other setup.
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby dlharper » 27. Aug 2014, 19:13

A few edits now made to my original posting to cover the points made. (I have also removed the first paragraph, which was the comment about the thing being an offshoot from another post, and suggesting it might be a candidate for the Tutorials section.)

I will leave it up to you mods as to whether you think it is suitable to move there.
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Re: MS-DOS with a Web Browser

Postby mpack » 27. Aug 2014, 19:51

Ok, I've moved the tutorial to the Tutorials area, and created this separate discussion topic.

Tutorial at: https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=63059
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