Uther – Net —
I love getting mail. I especially like getting mail of stuff I ordered some time ago that is being hand-crafted for me and has to be sent from other countries. That’s particularly enjoyable mail.
Today’s mail provided me with a cute little device called the Uther Ethernet card. You are either going to be excited or indifferent when I tell you that this is an ethernet card for an Apple II.
Come on, say it: Apple II Ethernet Card.
There’s some history of Apple II Ethernet, but it’s a sad history, that ended badly with no actual cards being sold. All of this happened in the 1991-1993 era, and while there was a nice amount of discussion and press release about this item, it never actually existed. So the Uther’s existence was a big deal.
Mine came from a hand-made batch of 25. That’s the level of craftsmanship we have these days in the more obscure sectors: two dozen item runs, all hand-checked and mailed out. In some crazy way, it’s not unlike the dawn of personal computers, when you knew (or maybe refused to know) that the computer item you were getting was made by some guy or gal in a back room in an office somewhere, one of a tiny run of equipment you’d paid well for.
You get something like 70K/sec transfer rates out of your Apple II. Suck it up! That’s great!
And if you’re wondering how one actually accesses the Uther card, you need some sort of IP stack running. Luckily for anyone now sweating that idea, there’s a great little OS called Contiki that exists out there and will interface with this card. Pretty cool, huh.
I love this stuff, and that 2008 would be the year of getting one of my Apple IIs into my home network.
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Funny you should be mentioning this now, as I just got a RR-NET NIC for my C64. The RR-NET is a “newer” micro-brew device. It can used with Contiki as well. I haven’t had much time to mess with it yet, but one of the things I plan on doing with it is accessing BBSes via telnet.
Comverting real Apple II diskettes to virtual disk images has always been a pain in the ass. I have a friend who can do it for me by using an old IIgs with a network connection, but he lives out of state and the IIgs is not always hooked up. I wonder is the process could be done by using this card? Either way, it’s still neat hardware.