Tandy Model II ARCNET Software Archive

By | November 3, 2019

After a lot of effort from many members of the community, I am proud to present a collection of Tandy ARCNET software for the TRS-80 Model II/12/16/16B/6000 microcomputers.

ARCNET for the Model II line was an ambitious attempt by Tandy Radio Shack to create networked Model II systems for businesses, schools and other organizations. ARCNET networks could consist of many Model IIs, up to 256 in a single network. The system was not a success as it suffered from a lot of initial hardware issues and bugs. By the time these issues were overcome, the company switched it’s multi-user emphasis to multi-terminal Xenix systems with the Model 16/16B.

Initially released with TRSDOS 4.3, there were two distinct software packages released. The 26-6501 Application Processor was used on most of the computers on the network. The 26-6502 File Processor ran a custom multiprocess operating system called ARCDOS. This OS provided shared filesystem and printer services over the network. It required at least one Hard Drive in order to install the system and to provide a volume to share on the network. Application Processor machines could mount shared volumes from one or more File Processors as standard TRSDOS disk identifiers. :9 was the default. APs could also print remotely on printers connected to FPs.

Unfortunately, the only way to use this software is with a pair of 26-6501 ARCNET boards. I did have this setup running at Tandy Assembly this year. Eventually, the goal is to produce replicas of these cards. There was also a later modification to these cards which allowed them to work with 3.x versions of Tandy XENIX as part of a system called Vianet. Unfortunately, for various reasons, Vianet for the 6000 was even less of a success than ARCNET on the Model II.  



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