Re: TCP/IP-NETBIOS Info Wanted

James B. VanBokkelen (JBVB@AI.AI.MIT.EDU)
Thu, 11 Feb 88 15:44:51 EST

The details of the protocol are in RFCs 1001 and 1002. There is a
write-up of the history of NETBIOS and its implementation over TCP/IP
in the most recent issue of the Connexions newsletter (from Advanced
Computing Environments), written by John Romkey.

Basically, what it is is the use of TCP and UDP to transport data
between pairs of programs which make Int 5C calls on PCs, or something
similar (but not yet standardized) on non-DOS systems. The programs
that call Int 5C are either LAN programs (like Microsoft Networks or
the IBM PC LAN Program), which redirect the DOS filesystem via the
network, or applications like central SNA gateways, or shared databases
where a more user-level application makes the calls. The TCP is just
substituting for proprietary protocols (XNS-derived in the case of 3Com,
Banyan or Novell), or incompatible subsets of OSI transport protocols,
or whatever else. The major benefit conformance to the TCP standard
brings is the ability to interoperate between different vendors'

A couple of commercial versions are available now, for PCs, and more
should be (for some other systems, too) within 30 to 90 days.

James B. VanBokkelen
FTP Software Inc.


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