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Review: Inet-225 TCP/IP Software From InterWorks, Inc.
By James Melin
AmigaDos 2.0 or higher
At least 2 megabytes of RAM (6 to 8 is recommended)
A Hard Drive is recommended (Though floppy install is possible)
Any 68000 family processor (Though at least a 68020 is recommended)
Inet-225 is a fairly complete implementation of TCP/IP for the amiga and is
based upon AS-225r2 orginally created but never released by Commodore
Business Machines and features many things commonly used in the unix world.
These features include SMTP, FTP, NFSd, GMail a GUI based mail program,
NNTPpost, NNTPxfer, NNTPxmit, NcFTP, rSH and others. INet-225 also
includes a built in dialer that may be used to dial an Internet Service
Provider and establish a slip connection. Inet-225 supports the following
network protocols: ARP, ICMP, IP, TCP and UDP.
Inet-225 is published by InterWorks of Temecula California and has a retail
price of $350.00 for a 5 node license. This price may first seem to be
quite high for what Amiga owners are used to paying for software however,
this price include 90 days of FREE technical support calls to the
InterWorks Technical support staff to resolve any problems that might arise
with the software. At this time, InterWorks does not have a single node
license package available but are considering a package for single node use
that will be somewhat more limited in the features that it offers.
InterWorks has not decided at this time what the possible differences in
functionality will be should they produce a single node license version of
For this review I recieved the pre-release version of Inet-225 and after
speaking with Allen Brooks, the company President I expected no
difficulties with the installation process.
Installation of Inet-225 was purported to be very easy and I was somewhat
surprised to run into difficulties with the installation script. These
problems turned out not to be the fault of the user nor even the fault of
the installation script, but due to a flakey version of the Installer
utility. I spoke to the individual who is currently re-writing the
Inet-225 installer script about my problem and was most cheerfully given a
copy of Installer version 2.17 which solved the problem. It should be
noted also that Installer version 1.24 will also install Inet-225 with no
problems. This problem will be taken care of before the final release
version is frozen. With the updated installer running on my system I was
able to easily and quickly install Inet-225 on my A3000 and my A2000. You
must have the following information from your service provider in order to
install Inet-225 sucessfully.
1) Address of the host system you obtain service from
2) The Domain Name of your service provider (e.g. scotland.com)
3) The address of your machine (Static Slip/PPP only. Dynamic
connections do not require a dedicated IP address.
4) The name of your machine will use on the net (e.g.
5) The address of the domain name server you will use for translation
of ip names into ip addresses.
The Inet-225 installer script shipped with the pre-release version of
the software quickly allowed me to set up my initial environment including
the establishment of the first user account, but the pre- release installer
script does not have any capability of allowing easy modifcations to the
installed package. To change to PPP from Slip one must re-install the
package completely, and there is no facility for a GUI driven user
management system or GUI driven configuration tool to allow multiple
interfaces on one machine at a given time. (e.g. 2 amigas connected via
Ethernet or Arcnet with one machine serving as a gateway and the other as a
user of that gateway)
At this time I have not tested the new installer script for Inet-225 but
I hope that at some point in the near future these types of reconfiguration
tools will be built into the installation script.
Inet-225 Installer will create an icon in the INET drawer with the
tooltypes that reflect the choices you made during install. Double click
this icon to start the network once you have used a dialer program to
establish your modem connection. You will be prompted to login after the
network startup has finished. If you have not set your password during
install your login password will be null and you should click on the OK
gadget on the LOGIN requester to continue, otherwise, type in your password
and press enter to continue.
At this time, you may begin running whichever TCP/IP related
applications you need, such as an FTP client, a Web Browser, and IRC
client, a News reader, mail reader or even the Network File System.
Possible startup problems:
There area only a couple of situations that may cause a problem during
network startup. Inet-225 absolutely requires that the modem connection to
the service provider be established and that the dialer program, what ever
it may be is not in control of the serial port being used for the network
In the case of no network connection being established, Inet-225 will
report that it cannot connect to the network and indicate a possible
connection problem. This is remedied by dialing the service provider and
making certain that the slip or PPP connection has been established
properly. Once this is done, double click the StartInet icon in the INET
drawer to start the network as normal.
In the case of the network connetion being established but the dialer
program still being in control of the serial port, Inet-225 will report
similar errors to the above mentioned scenario and fail to start.
Termination of the dialer program and clicking the startnet icon again will
not work. The network software will not properly initialize and the Amiga
must be rebooted in order to clear this up. If your modem is set up to not
recognize DTR loss as a hangup your modem connection should remain on the
modem and as soon as your system completes booting you may double click the
StartInet icon and continue. 00530400
To shut down Inet-225 the command StopInet is used. Stopnet will inform
you you if there are other tasks still using network resources and it may
refuse to completely shut down. Make certain you have ended all TCP/IP
related programs before attempting to shut down the network. using the
status command from a CLI windo will show any active tasks. StopInet will
display a message 'Network is completely shut down' when it has detected
that all processes have completed.
Possible shutdown problems:
Inet-225 uses a commodity called Login to handle user login.
unfortunately, this task does not get signalled to terminate when the
StopInet command is issued. Although the interface for the login commodity
at this will show a shutdown button, it does not appear to actually
terminate the Inet-225 TCP/IP software. This still must be done manually.
In order to manuall shut down the network the login commodity must be
stopped. Use the Exchange program or another commodity manager in order to
either remove the login commodity or to display the user interface and
select the shutdown icon. In either case, you must then manually enter
'StopInet' from the CLI or from the execute command requester of workbench.
If StopInet insists that there are still tasks using the network and those
tasks cannot be terminated, a reboot of the Amiga is required in order to
remove Inet-225 from the system. Software compatibility:
Inet-225 works with the following software programs.
GrapeVine IRC client
AWEB World Wide Web Browser
Envoy Peer to Peer amiga networking package
Enlan DFS Ethernet peer to peer networking package
AmIRC IRC client
AmiWin X windows client
Chimera World Wide Web Browser for AmiWin
Amosaic World Wide Web Browser (Requires AS-225r2 version)
Ibrowse World Wide Web Browser (Requires AS-225r2 version)
DaFTP GUI driven FTP client
AmiFTP GUI driven FTP client
Telser.device TCP/IP modem emulator/telnet daemon
In addition, any program writte to be compatible with AS-225r2 will
have no difficulties functioning with Inet-225. However, AmiTCP specific
software will not function with Inet-225 at this time.
Software found not to work with Inet-225:
AcuSeeMe CuSeeMe client (requires AmiTCP)
Questions and Answers with Allen Brooks, president of Interworks
AR: What are the differences between Inet-225 and AS225?
IW: In bullets, we have the following changes:
o More Unix-type clients and servers than AS225
o Significant numbers of bug fixes
o Elimination of inet.library
o Significant efficiency enhancements
o Replacement of old buggy ports of some clients with new ports
o The additional of the commercial version of INetUtils
o A graphical newsreader (commercial GRn)
o A graphical mailreader (commercial GMail)
o tn3270.device (a telnet/rlogin/3270 emulator for use with a
terminal program such as VLT).
We've taken all the bug reports from the BIX networking developers
area, and from the adsp.networking newsgroup (a closed newsgroup for
Amiga developes in Europe) and addressed all of those bugs.
Several clients have been rewritten from scratch. Other have been
re-ported from scratch.
The stack is significantly more stable, faster, and just plain better
than AS225r2 ever was.
AR: Due to CBM's failure to release AS225-R2 as a product, AmiTCP a
competing TCP/IP protocol stack has entrenched itself in the amiga user
community. Are there any plans to include compatibility software in
Inet-225 so that AmiTCP specific applications will run under Inet-225?
(Similar to BSDSocket.library in AmiTCP which provites AS225-R2
IW: We do not have an AmiTCP emulator, however, we have written our
software in such a way as to allow AmiTCP and standard UNIX
applications/utilities to be easily converted and recompiled to support
our stack WITHOUT extensive modification. (I will ask the programming
staff to add to this!)
As Allen has said, we have no specific plans to release an "AmiTCP
compatibility library". However, a beta-tester has indicated an
interest, and we've provided him with sufficient information to create
In general, we provide an include file for programmers,
"amitcptoiw225.h", which provides most of the hooks which should be
required for converting an AmiTCP application to an I-Net 225
application. For most applications, a simple recompile is all that it
AR: The pre-release installer does not offer any reconfiguration capability
(I.E. I cannot run the installer to change address information, user
ID and information or other general stuff) Is there an improved version
of the installer script planned and if so, what features will it have?
IW: I am referring this to the programmers too. We do have plans, however,
the exact timing has not yet been determined.
A GUI configuration utility for most items exists in the package,
called WConfig. It can deal with some simple changes.
We intend to create a more in-depth re-configuration utility, after 1.0
is released. If sufficient time presents itself prior to final 1.0
lockdown, there may be some further improvement to the installation script.
AR: With the Advent of ESCOM purchasing the Amiga, what is the status of
IW: I-Net 225 is, for all intents and purposes, owned by Interworks, Inc.
due to the amount of work we've done on the product.
As you may be aware, a portion I-Net 225 is the basis for the "Surfer
Pack" being sold by AT; and of the "SurfWare" soon to be sold by AT.
I-Net 225 is being continuously developed and enhanced by Interworks.
It expected and hoped that we will have a long, mutually beneficial
relationship with AT.
AR: Is there currently an Interworks Web site?
IW: Currently, the only specific site we have with publicity is
http://www.iam.com/amiga/interworks.html -- after we finish polishing
1.0, that will change.
AR: What is the Current pricing and availability of INet-225?
IW: As of today, General Availability is only for the 5-user version of
I-Net 225, at $349.
Within a few short weeks, we will start shipping a single-user version
of I-Net 225 for $150.
Obviously, Amiga Surfer is available in Germany, and soon SurfWare will
be. An upgrade from Amiga Surfer and/or SurfWare to the full package
will be available as well.
AR: What is the status of NFSd?
IW: Available at an extra cost of $80. Enhanced over the one in AS225r2 in
terms of speed and reliability (but, before you ask, it still requires
Purely subjective opinion of Inet-225 as a whole:
I personally found Inet-225 to be easier to deal with than AmiTCP/IP. It
seemed easier to install and operated with more stability than my
experience with AmiTCP/IP. I was able to see a small improvement in
throughput when severely loading the connection, but under normal use there
does not seem to be much of a performance difference. I liked the Gmail
mailer, and I liked several of the clients I played with. I found
Ineterworks to be very helpful when I ran into problems with installation
or configuration, most of which were solvable by liberal application of the
RTFM princible of software installation :) They have a generous tech
support policy which, with the full license package include 90 days free
technical support. I do not have a policy on the single users package, but
I would wager it will be similarly generous.
In short, if you read the manual, you should have no trouble with the
installation of this package. A basic working knowledge of TCP/IP and
networking will be invaluable however.
Ordering and other information:
To request current pricing info and ordering information