Sorry if I'm missing the point but ... Wouldn't it be most natural to just extend AspeQt to listen on some socket beside opening some serial port?
To me it's one of the major benefits of TCP/IP that it's available on every modern machine without jump through loops like Serial2USB dongles etc. I mean, if you just want to connect a few Ataris together you don't need TCP/IP. You could as well use raw Ethernet frames. This would allow to just stay with the CS8900A (or use the W5100 in Raw Mode). Interacting with non-Ataris is the point in TCP/IP, isn't it?
I am pretty sure BOOTP is UDP, but I agree with Oliver, the point would be to use the LAN. I have no idea how AspectQt could arrange to boot an OS from a remote disk, but if it's possible that would be pretty cool too.
Why not use a NAS? Or maybe even a Mac or PC (kinda like SIO2PC, but over ethernet via a router and/or switch)?
Hi, Mathy. Sure, I think that would be fine too, I just think the idea of a remote disk system between two ataris would be cool. Like NFS, but based on low level sector calls that get mapped across the LAN.
You are making it way too difficult. BOOTP/TFTP was specifically created for this scenario. A very small boot ROM (like 1-2kB) and everything else is done by the code that's loaded over the network. So no difficult protocols like http/ftp/smb/nfs or whatever. Trivial File Transfer Protocol. Just to boot, like reading sequential sectors of a boot disk, it reads of a network stream. And BOOTP is your poor man's DHCP.
Edit: about popularity, it might not be that popular anymore to boot over a network (used to be "thin" clients and diskless workstations, etc..) but it's still easily available on current OSes. MacOS and Linux distros have it by default and on win32/64 you can install cygwin or MINGW and have the same daemons for bootp and tftpd.
Yeah, that's the essence, you would need some kind of small bootstrapper on the client atari, just enough to get the stack active and support fetches and loads (either bootp or custom, whatever). No matter the transport mechanism, you'd need this small bootstrapping OS, and it would need to be somewhere that wouldn't get overwritten by the real OS.
Anyways, kind of getting ahead of ourselves here. I was totally just blue-sky imagining possibilities. The actual machine OS is the hard part, just DOS boots from remote machines would be easier.
Hmm, after reading up a bit, BOOTP is just an earlier version of DHCP, all it does is get an IP. There's a 'netboot' protocol that does what we're talking about, but it seems like it doesn't define an actual transport mechanism, just says "most implementations use TFTP"
Edited by danwinslow, Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:53 AM.