PicLan for AP/Pro
Version 220.127.116.11 - February 28, 1998
PicLan for AP/Pro is a full-featured version of Piclan implemented for
AP/Protected-Mode (AP/Pro). This paper discusses issues regarding PicLan
in general, and PicLan with AP/Pro in particular.
How is PicLan Licensed?
PicLan licensing with AP/Pro is very simple.
Every copy of AP/Pro includes a fully configured copy of PicLan. Any number
of users (up to the AP license limit) can use PicLan to access the Pick
system over a network.
The Pick to Pick and DOS Services Gateway PicLan license options are included
with PicLan for AP/Pro at no cost.
Dealers and users may freely purchase their own network adapters from any
suitable source within the constraints of supported adapter models. PicLan
is not licensed to a single adapter with AP/Pro.
What Types of Functions does PicLan Provide?
PicLan provides a number of networking functions. These functions are subdivided
into three general categories:
DOS/Windows Workstation Functions
These functions are available to DOS and Windows workstation users that
are networked to a Pick host system.
File upload and download
Re-direction of DOS printers to Pick form queues
Re-location of Pick printers to DOS workstations
Remote file access through Visual Basic function calls
Remote proceedure calls through Visual Basic function calls
Pick to Pick Functions
PicLan supports a number of functions between Pick systems.
Remote file copy
Spooler form-queue re-direction
Remote file access through BASIC subroutine calls
Remote proceedure calls through BASIC subroutine calls
DOS Services Gateway Functions
The PicLan DOS Services Gateway consists of a DOS program executing on
a dedicated DOS workstation. This DOS program provides access to various
DOS functions from the Pick host system without any manual user intervention.
The DOS Services Gateway allows the following functions:
Import and export of DOS and network files under Pick control
Remote DOS/network file access through Basic subroutine calls
Re-direction of Pick form-queues to NetWare print-queues
Re-direction of Pick form-queues to WFW, Windows 95, and Windows NT network
Re-direction of NetWare print-queues to Pick form-queues
What Types of Networks does PicLan Support?
PicLan for AP/Pro supports that same types of networks as does any other
PicLan Ethernet based system. These supported networks are quite diverse
and many sites actually use combinations of different network architectures.
This section discusses networking with PicLan from simple to complex.
Stand-Alone DOS Workstations
PicLan will operate in conjunction with DOS workstation without the use
of any other networking software. Simply install an Ethernet adapter in
each DOS PC and cable it to the Pick system and that DOS PC becomes a high-performance
This type of installation is very simple, and particularly for smaller
sites is very practical. The biggest limitation of this type of network
is that PicLan does not provide DOS network functions between workstations.
If you wish to build this type of network, you must use either the same
types of network adapters in each DOS workstation as is supported in the
AP/Pro Pick host system, or install compatible packet-drivers on each DOS
workstation. Modular Software does not test PicLan with every available
DOS packet-driver, so you should test PicLan functionality with a particular
card and driver before purchasing a quantity of adapters for workstations.
Pick to Pick Networks
PicLan supports Pick to Pick networks with each Pick system acting as a
peer. Simply install networking hardware into each AP/Pro system and connect
them together with Ethernet cabling. PicLan can also be used in a Pick
to Pick environment with Pick systems from different vendors. It is perfectly
practical to build a network that has R83, Alpha Microsystems, and AP/Pro
systems all communicating on a single network. This type of installation
is usually of highest interest to dealers that are supporting multiple
Novell Personal NetWare
Personal NetWare (formerly NetWare Lite) is the simplest DOS network that
PicLan supports. Simply install any NetWare supported Ethernet adapter
into a number of DOS PCs and connect the AP/Pro system to the same network
and you are done. PicLan uses the existing DOS IPX drivers that NetWare
supplies so workstation configuration is extremely easy.
Server-Based Novell NetWare
The bulk of network installations are built around server-based Novell
NetWare. PicLan works with all varieties of NetWare from version 2.0 up
through the current 4.1 release. You can build the Novell network to include
any type of network topology including Ethernet, ArcNET, Token-Ring, FDDI,
and Wide-Area Links and PicLan will communicate with all of them. The AP/Pro
system itself must connect to an Ethernet network segment, but the rest
of the network is wide open.
PicLan uses the NetWare IPX driver under DOS so workstation installation
is extremely easy.
Microsoft Windows for Workgroups
PicLan supports Windows for Workgroups as a general NDIS2 Ethernet network.
This means that you will have to specifically install PicLan support on
each and every workstation. This installation process is not as straight
forward as we would like to see it, but over 200 PicLan installations are
successfully up and running with this type of installation.
The primary limitation of PicLan with Windows for Workgroups (and any
NDIS network for that matter) is that WFW does not include router functionality
as does NetWare. This effectively limits PicLan to smaller networks that
are composed of a single network segment.
Microsoft Windows 95
PicLan supports Windows 95 using the Microsoft-supplied IPX stack that
is included with Windows 95. Support for DSG file transfer and printing
functions is also included. Windows 95 does not act as an IPX router, so
external routers must be employed for larger networks.
Microsoft Windows NT
PicLan supports Windows
NT using the Microsoft-supplied IPX stack that is included with Windows
NT. Support for DSG file transfer and printing functions is also included.
Windows NT 4.0 Server now included IPX routing functions eliminating the
need for external routers in smaller to medium sized networks.
PicLan supports Artisoft Lantastic as a general NDIS Ethernet network.
Lantastic version 5.0 supports and 6.0 includes NDIS driver support that
allows PicLan to use the same network hardware that Lantastic uses concurrently
with Lantastic functions. The installation is about as difficult as a WFW
installation and has the same general limitations.
Other NDIS Networks
PicLan is compatible with, and users are running PicLan with several other
types of NDIS network including Lan Manager, DEC-Net, and a few others
I have never heard of before. If your network uses NDIS2 Ethernet drivers
under DOS, PicLan will probably work with it. The biggest problems with
these networks is that Modular Software's (for AP/Pro this means Pick Systems)
ability to support you is very limited.
Other Packet-Driver Networks
PicLan is also compatible with the Packet-Driver Ethernet DOS interface
Windows 95 and Windows NT
PicLan now supports both Windows 95 and Windows NT directly. PicLan uses
the built-in IPX protocol stack that is a part of Windows 95 and Windows
NT networking functions. DOS, 16-bit, and 32-bit client applications are
included and supported with PicLan. DSG functions are also fully supported.
PicLan does not currently support OS/2. Some very limited PicLan functions
will run as DOS applications under OS/2 if the NetWare OS/2 requester is
loaded. PicLan OS/2 client support is currently being researched.
Direct PicLan support for Macintosh systems is not currently planned, but
a number of users have reported good results running PicLan with Soft-PC
and Soft-Windows from Insignia Corporation.
PicLan was designed in many ways to provide an alternative to Unix networks.
We do however have some sites that use PicLan with DOS and Windows workstations
that concurrently communicate with Unix servers and native Pick servers.
Usually these installs are NDIS2 or Packet-Driver PicLan installs.
What Type of Network Adapters Work with AP/Pro?
In order to use Piclan with your system, you need to have a compatible
local area network adapter installed in your AP/Pro system. The following
adapters have been tested as compatible with PicLan:
WD/CPX Style Adapters
Adapters that adhere to the WD8003/8013 standard work with PicLan. These
include the following models which have been tested at Modular Software:
Many of these adapters are no longer available, so you may have to use
another style of adapter in order to use PicLan.
Compex ENET/M, ENET/U, ENET16/U, ENET16/V
Western Digital WD8003
Western Digital WD8013
SMC Elite/16 (not Elite/Ultra)
NE2000 Style Adapters
Adapters that adhere to the NE2000 standard also work with PicLan. These
adapters are available from well over 100 sources. Field experience shows
that all but a handful of adapters of this type work well with PicLan.
The following models have been tested in-house at Modular Software:
There are many other adapter that work. If you wish to use an NE2000 style
adapter, you should be able to source one at a local computer store. If
you are a dealer, it is suggested that you test the brand of adapter that
you plan on using with PicLan before purchasing a large quantity of them.
Compex ENET16/U, ENET16/V
DEC PCI Adapters
PicLan is also compatible with adapters that use the Digital Equipment
Corporation 21040, 21041, 21140, and 21143 Ethernet controller chips. These
adapters are all PCI based adapters. The following models have been tested:
Other manufacturers also use these DEC chipsets, so you may have other
sources available to you.
Linksys LNEPCI (21040 based)
Linksys EtherFast (21140 based)
Compex ENET32/PCI Rev B3 (21040 based)
Compex ENET32/PCI Rev D1 (21041 based)
Compex FreedomLine 100 (21140 based)
Compex FreedomLine 100 (21143 based)
SMC EtherPower 8432BT (21041 based)
These are company addresses of adapters mentioned here:
Compex Inc. U.S.A.
4055 E. La Palma
Anaheim, CA 92807 U.S.A.
Phone: (714) 630-7302
Fax: (714) 630-6521
Irvine, CA 92714
Tech Support: (714) 261-1288
Standard Microsystems Corporation
With this variety of compatible network adapters, the question occurs,
which adapter should I use. The truth is that it does not matter much.
The PCI adapters are the fastest and the NE2000 adapters are the slowest.
The PCI adapters are also the most expensive and the NE2000 are the least
expensive. In the scheme of things, this probably doesn't matter much.
If you have PCI slots, you will probably want to use a PCI adapters to
save ISA slots for other users. If slot count is not a problem, the NE2000
adapter work just fine. If you are really worried about performance, the
NE2000 cards seem to be good for about 150 users.
80 Arkay Drive
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Phone: 1 800 SMC-4-YOU
One last note, Modular Software will not be selling network adapters
for use with AP/Pro.
How do PicLan Users Appear on AP/Pro
When you load PicLan onto an AP/Pro system, users "logging in" over the
network appear as normal AP users attached to Pick ports. The ports that
the network controls is configurable so that any legal port on the system
can be designated as a network port. With AP/Pro, this means that you can
assign any number of ports from 1 to 256 as a network port. The "default"
PicLan install allocates the top 32 AP ports (225-256) as network ports.
You can freely change this default to either increase or decrease the number
of network ports. The only limitations to PicLan port allocations is that
you should not assign a network port over top of an actual serial port
that is installed in the system, and each network port that you allocate
uses up some system memory. In practice, the amount of system memory that
is used is generally small with about 180K in use by PicLan for a 32-user
install and 750K in use when all 256 ports are assigned to the network.
Once a user has "attached" to a network port, they login to the AP system
in exactly the same manner as a serial terminal user. It is at this point
that AP enforces it's user license limit.
What Terminal Emulations are Available with PicLan?
The DOS component of PicLan for AP/Pro is identical to the DOS component
of all other releases of PicLan currently in distribution. This means that
you can freely use any of the three existing PicLan terminal emulators
on DOS and DOS/Windows workstations. The three emulator programs that are
included with PicLan are:
The DOS terminal emulators also operate in Windows "DOS-boxes" and you
can freely run multiple instances of the emulators (mixing and matching
if your wish) in Windows at the same time.
PL-TERM.EXE - a multi-session DOS emulator
PLT.EXE - a single-session DOS emulator
PLTW.EXE - a single-session Windows emulator
PLTW32.EXE - a single-session 32-bit Windows emulator
Each emulator supports the following three emulations:
In practice, we expect that nearly all users will run in PC-Console mode
(this is an identical emulation to the Pick port 0 console on AP/Pro).
A number of additional commercial emulators are also available with
PicLan support built in including:
Each of these products are built using the same network communication layer
that the PicLan supplied emulators use. If you are the developer of a DOS
or Windows terminal emulator and would like to include PicLan support,
you can download the PicLan DOS/Windows Software Developers Kit (SDK) which
includes documentation and libraries that enable you to directly use PicLan
network connections with your own programs. The SDK is available from the
Modular Software web site.
AccuTerm for Windows
TERMiTE for Windows
Via Duct for Windows
and others ...
How Is PicLan for AP/Pro Supported?
Pick Systems will be supplying all user and dealer technical support for
PicLan with AP/Pro. If Pick Systems is unable to resolve a problem, then
Modular Software will back them up. If you call Modular Software for support,
you must have your Pick call tracking number ready in order for us to supply
The PicLan and AP/Pro software packages are maintained separately. This
means that PicLan and AP/Pro version upgrades do not need to be in-sync.
Modular Software expects that PicLan upgrades will occur independently
of AP/Pro upgrades.
Users and Dealers can get PicLan upgrades for AP/Pro via the following
Download from the Modular Software BBS
With the advent of the internet and Modular Software's web site, our BBS
is no longer operating.
Obtain Copies from your Dealer
PicLan upgrades can be freely copied by Pick Systems dealers for distribution
to registered AP/Pro users, so check with your dealer to see if they have
a later release.
From Pick Systems
Pick Systems will ship PicLan upgrades as they become available. These
upgrades are expected to lag behind the Modular Software's BBS by several
days or more, so the absolute latest may not be available in this manner.
Pick Systems will charge for upgrades to cover media and handling.
Via the Internet
Modular Software maintains a WWW site at http://modsoft.com with links
to downloadable files.