Reply to post: Re: Back in my NetWare days

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems

SImon Hobson Silver badge

Re: Back in my NetWare days

one of the network printers

Ah yes, the joys of ISDN dial-on-demand :-)

Some years ago my employer opened offices in a couple of other European offices - well actually I think it was some form or either joint venture or merger, but that's not important right now. Anyway, I initially setup ISDN dial on demand - we already had ISDN in our main router at HQ so just needed an ISDN-2 line at each remote office. The application in use ran on a Unix (SCO OpenServer before SCO committed suicide) using text terminals and text printers. it worked fine, when someone accessed the system, the network dialled up and apart from a second or two delay initially no-one noticed what went on in the background.

Until that is, staff decided that the way to cancel a print job was to just turn the printer off. Being hung off a networked printer server using reverse telnet, all that happened was the Unix box back in the UK kept trying to send more data and getting told by the terminal server that it couldn't take it yet - all weekend ! I happened to notice on Monday morning, can't remember why, probably because I was having a poke around the network to see what was going on, or perhaps noticed the active print queue job.

After management were informed of the cost of the weekend long call (around £300 IIRC), staff at the remote sites were reminded (yet again) of the correct procedure for cancelling print jobs. When we got the proper network in place (Frame Relay, who remembers that !) it became mostly moot - except when one site regularly had to run over ISDN until the telco finally did some proper tests and found the split pairs causing failures on the FR connection.

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