[nSLUG] ethernet and the modern linux

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Mon Sep 29 07:03:37 ADT 2008

On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 12:41 AM, Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/9/29 D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com>:
>> Ugh.  I retired all of my Etherlink III gen NICs a few years ago.
>> In my experience, a $10 NC100 I picked up in
>> Greenwood mall is more reliable than the 10 year old
>> 3COM cards.
> Really?  Linksys?  I don't know the NC100.  I was a fan of the LNE100
> sometime back, because they were cheap, and DEC tulip clones -- those
> were good cards, and I could mix/match the hardware using the same
> drivers.  But give me a 3c905 any day.  Especially version C
> (3c905C-TX-M) which had an integrated boot rom.  Sweet!

Maybe you have not been to the Greenwood mall.  The selection
is narrowed to one.

The latter 905 series were better, but if you read the kernel notes
and user reports with 509 and some other 3COM models of
that time, there were headaches and bad words were being used.
I used a 905B until 2 years ago when I saw packet loss
was starting to accrue.  Neutrinos stack up the odds against us
eventually with old hardware.

My point is that taking a chance on a cheap ethernet NIC
with built-in support for modern resource negotiation
is likely a better bet than using 10 year old ethernet cards.
I'd rather get compliance with current hardware standards
than follow loyalty to brand.  It won't get you every standard
enabled on an old PIII system, but it would probably be better
resource allocation, auto-negotiation, etc.  My PIII worked
very well with the NC100 - it was a good $10 risk.


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