Get WiFi Ethernet up and running on Amiga with our PCMCIA Guide

To get the Classic Amiga machines on-line is getting easier and easier. Ethernet cards exists as pure ethernet cards for PCMCIA, Parallel  Ethernet port with Plipbox Deluxe and a bunch of Zorro and PCI ethernet cards. But to connect them to a wireless network is not the easiest thing to do.

Get WiFi Ethernet up and running on Amiga with PCMCIA Guide

By getting On-Line with your AmigaOS 3.1.4 setup! You are connected! We hope that this guide will help you.

With the awesome Help that I’ve got from Amedia Computer France and Retro Ready. I managed to complete this guide and hope you use it or let anyone that struggle with getting their Amiga on-line with a wireless PCMCIA network card know about it.

Here is the two PCMCIA cards that we know that Works 

  • Netgear PCMCIA WIFI CARD – WPA2/AES Compatible
  • Speedtouch PCMCIA WIFI CAR – Open Net Compatible

You need Wireless Manager and a TCP/IP stack to get connected

Today, MorphOS is the AmigaOS compatible OS that got the best Wireless connection support. It’s almost as if you use MacOS. The configuration is easy as it is all displayed in MorphOS Prefs window or if you want to connect to a specific wireless network. You can do it from the dropdown menu that you get when clicking on the Wireless icon in the upper right corner.

When you choose one of the WiFi hotspots then you will get a window asking for password if that is needed. But this luxury is something that AmigaOS 3.x users doesn’t have yet. So, either you have AmigaOS 3.1.4 or AmigaOS 3.9 !

If you have issues or don’t know how to progress. You will need to follow our step by step guide. Let’s begin!

Wireless Ethernet Connection with Amiga 600 and Amiga 1200

You need software that can connect your Amiga 600 or Amiga 1200 to a wireless network. Today you have a Driver for 11Mbps wireless network cards that you find on Aminet. You need to download it and unpack it in a place on your hard drive.

Installing Wireless Manager (prism2v2.lha)

  1. Unpack prism2v2.lha (You can do this with Dopus or in CLI. Find the directory and type lha x prism2v2.lha)
  2. Use the installer that is in the Prism2v2 folder
  3. Installer will ask for SSID: Type in the network name that you want to use
  4. Installer will ask for Password: Input password that you use on your network
  5. Installer now generates psk code for you

Once this is done. Everything should be fine! From now on, you can find the Prefs that you’ve made here:
Workbench:Prefs/Env-Archive/Sys/Wireless.prefs

So. If you want to add functions or change your wireless network card. You need to delete wireless.prefs and then use the same method using the installer that comes with Prism2v2 package.

When you have installed the Wireless Manager. You then need a TCP/IP stack. There are plenty to choose from in the Amigaworld. But we at Amitopia recommends you to go for Roadshow 68k. Yes! It’s time to abandon Miami, Genesis, TermiteTCP or even AmiTCP!

Get WiFi Ethernet up and running on Amiga with PCMCIA Guide

When opening Prism2 in your Devs/NetInterfaces folder you can configure DHCP or not and many other options if you need it!

Connect to the Ethernet with a TCP/IP stack

When AmigaOS 4 came out. Roadshow became the standard tcp/ip stack for the operating system. Then after a while, the same developers choose to release Roadshow 68k version without any GUI.

So. If there is a gift that your classic Amiga is screaming for. Then it is Roadshow 68k. Either you want ethernet, ethernet to parallel or want to have a wireless connection. You need to get hold of this tcp/ip stack. Your classic Amiga will love it as it is one of the best TCP/IP stacks for the platform. Especially since this is a completely GUI-free tcp/ip stack. No MUI or no ClassAct/Reaction GUI packs needed.

Roadshow 68k is Amitopia’s all time recommended tcp/ip stack for sure! It manages to reach 997 KBytes per second even on a 68040 Amiga! Which is quite good indeed.

Get WiFi Ethernet up and running on Amiga with PCMCIA Guide

The location of Wireless.prefs and User-Startup showing WirelessManager and Roadshow input as it should be

Getting Wireless Manager and Roadshow 68k on-line

We recommend you to goto Roadshow 68k website. Purchase the tcp/ip stack (help Amiga developers!!!), get access to the full version and Download it. Unpack it like with the Wireless Manager package. Install everything after unpacking the .lha file!

  1. Unpack roadshow.lha
  2. Install roadshow
  3. Move the Prism2 and Prism2.info files from Workbench:Storage/NetInterfaces to Worbench:Devs/NetInterfaces
  4. Open User-Startup file that is located in Workbenc:S/ (Use a editor or just type ed s:user-startup)
  5. Make sure that WirelessManager is set to be loaded BEFORE Roadshow (see image above)

Now you can restart your Amiga. When your Amiga 600 or Amiga 1200 is now getting on-line. Then its perfectly normal that the Amiga uses a bit longer time to boot. Wireless Manager must connect first to the wireless network. Once connected.

Then Roadshow 68k takes over and connects your Amiga to the net. If you however later connect your Amiga 600 or Amiga 1200 to a ethernet network. You just need to goto User-Startup file. Here you can either put a semicolon in front of Wireless Manager or remove it with you favorite editor.

Need a Wifi Signal Strength Meter?

MorphOS got this as standard. AmigaOS 3.x doesn’t. But there is a nice solution to see the WiFi signal strength. Our recommendation is to download WiFiSignal from Aminet. You can use this together with your Prism2 compatible PCMCIA WiFi card. Recommended!

Use a Wireless PCMCIA card with Open Net

Not all of the PCMCIA supported cards for Amiga supports WPA2/AES wireless network setup as the Speedtouch WiFi card that Amitopia got for testing purpose. In that case you want to set your router to Open Net. Then connect your Amiga to the open net even though its not so secure.

But if you got a card that is not working with WPA2/AES. You need to do this:

  • You need to install Wireless Manager the same way as described above. But now you need to set a fictive password when installing! Or else the installer won’t complete the installation!
  • Then you need to find Wireless.prefs (see image above) and edit it. Change #psk=”fictivepassword” to #psk=””
  • Reboot your Amiga. Now you should connect to the Open Net without issues.
Get WiFi Ethernet up and running on Amiga with PCMCIA Guide, TwittAmiga online with Amiga WiFi PCMCIA Guide

TwittAmiga running on my AGA screen in 1280×720 with 32MB RAM.

Amitopia Recommends

Out of the Speedtouch and Netgear PCMCIA cards that we have tested. Speedtouch is less strict in how everything is set up. I had issues with getting both Speedtouch and Netgear up and running before I figured it all out with the help of Retro Ready. It is also faster to connect to the Open Net than the Netgear PCMCIA card. Also the fact that it got two lights. One for power and other for network activity helps when setting it up.

I have tested both of the cards.

If you want to connect to a WPA2/AES WiFi network with the Speedtouch, you can’t. It doesn’t work, which is a shame. It means that most of the newer routers will not work with it. So, even though Speedtouch is faster to connect, the Netgear one is great too once connected. I miss activity LED light on the Netgear one,.. but for what you get. It does the job! Works perfectly with my ASUS RT-N16 router and even my newest ASUS RT-N12 router.

AmigaOS 3.x on World Wide Web

So what can you do with a Amiga 600 or Amiga 1200 when you have connected it?

Our best suggestion is to get light web browsing experience with either Ibrowse or Aweb if you have 68020 or higher. If you have a 68060 or better, then I recommend you to install the newest NetSurf for 68k. It gives CSS and more possibilities. Then our recommendation is to install AmiSSL, then you can visit even more sites.

But the net is more than just browsing. Get in touch with other Amiga users worldwide by connecting yourself to IRC. AmIRC v3.6.2 is now freely available for AmigaOS and MorphOS. It requires MUI 3.8 or higher to be installed. Lets you chat with other Amigans on Amiga specific servers or on Freenode. Join #apollo-team for example if you are interested in 68080 Amiga talk!

Also. If you want to push Twitter posts on Twitter. I recommend TwittAmiga. With this app you can see and publish Twitter messages with your Amiga. Version 4.2.2 is just out on Aminet which also got versions for MorphOS and AmigaOS 4.x. Amitopia tested TwittAmiga on our 68060 Amiga 1200 in 1280×720 AGA mode and on our 68080 Amiga 500 in RTG mode, where it works flawlessly. Just remember to have all MUI libs that it requires installed.

This is what you can do on-line with your Amiga

  • browse Amiga friendly sites using – iBrowse, AWeb web browsers
  • use IRC – AmIRC, WookieChat, BlackIRC
  • transfer files (games, adf files, demos etc.) using FTP clients – AmiFTP, AmiTradeCenter, mFTP, AmFTP
  • use GoogleDrive and Dropbox using Amiga Cloud Handlers
  • transfer files using SMBFS
  • use Telnet to connect to BBS (DcTelnet, AmTelnet)
  • play games online – dynaMITE (fast paced Dynablaser clone), HBMonopoly, Doom etc.
  • listen to online radio (if your Amiga is fast enough 😉
  • you can even use Twitter client
  • you can start your own FTP server – RcFTPd
  • you can use SSH1

 

I hope that with this guide you are now able to surf the web and communicate on-line. There are many more apps for Amiga. But I just wanted you to get a taste of what Amiga can do. Classic AmigaOS still have some limitations over the nextgen AmigaOS systems in world wide web compatibility. But then there is a difference between a 50MHz and a 2GHz cpu too. The PC world have simply ignored all forms of optimization, so web is much heavier than a 3D FPS game such as Quake. Which makes me think… What the heck did the PC World do?…

 

 

Source: Amitopia Own Experience

 

 

 

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