PC-Interface, have you used it?

Daniel A. Graifer dag at fciva.FRANKLIN.COM
Thu Oct 26 00:41:50 AEST 1989

In article <LARRY.89Oct17173045 at focsys.UUCP> larry at focsys.UUCP (Larry Williamson) writes:
>Interactive markets a product called PC-Interface. It works in
>conjuction with a ms-dos package called DOS Bridge. This package
>"provides a transparent integration of the DOS and Unix systems".
> -Larry

We are using PC-Interface extensively here with our Prime EXL hosts.  It
provides the following services to an MS-DOS PC over either any of a large list
of ethernet controllers or the com1/2: ports:

	Connections to multiple unix hosts simultaneously.

	Each connected host's unix files system appears as as DOS drive letter.
	Non-DOS acceptable filenames are mapped to unique DOS names with funny
	chars.  At the beginning of the connection, the current directory is
	set to the user's home directory.  It then changes with the dos CD
	command according to MS DOS rules.  DOS file attributes (ie readonly
	and modification time) are correctly mapped.

	There is a DOS command "on" with syntax like "on [systemname or drive-
	letter] unixcommand" which will run unix task(s) either synchronously
	or asynchronously. (ie it recognizes a terminating ampersand) and which
	accepts input and output redirection.  This works well, and we use it
	heavily.  Example, we login via a batch file contain a line like:
	on sysname 'date %T' |time >nul:
	which sets the time clock on the DOS machine to match the unix system's.

	There is a printer command which allows you to redirect separately 
	LPT1:, LPT2:, LPT3: into any unix command.  The default is set by the 
	host, usually "lp", but we've used things like "tee -a logfile |lp 
	-dPagePrinter -oLANDSCAPE" very successfully.  This especially useful
	when using Postscript printers with DOS programs that don't support
	Postscript...just have a printer interface option to preface the print
	job with a simple postscript lineprinter program.

	There is a slightly braindamaged vt100 terminal emulator program that
	works over either the ethernet or the serial ports.  Once you have 
	connected to a system, you can pop back and forth between a unix 
	login session and DOS with a function key.  We found it useful to buy
	SuperKey, a DOS keyboard Macro program, and use it to remap function
	keys etc used with this program.

All in, we find it a very useful package.  The version we have (2.8.7) is 
very painless and reliable.  The "on" command is especially useful within
batch files.  We have DOS users running things on the unix hosts all the time
without even knowing that's what's happening.

Good luck

P.S. You may be curious to know that it use UDP/IP, not TCP for the ethernet
communication.  I beleive their are efficiency reasons for doing this, but I'm
no expert.

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