Is there any way i could use either of those networking cards and use them on a modern ethernet system? We have aDSL where i live. If i couldnt connect it to my home network, is there any way i could directly connect the computer to another computer using the same protocol?

I have a Packard Bell Legend 20CD that, when i obtained it, had 2 different networking cards. One is the diamond multimedia 23540025-002, which dates 1999. It uses ISA, and has 2 RJ11 connector ports and a speaker out and mic in. It's 5 years older than the manufacture date of the computer, so i doubt it would be compatible with the Win3.11 OS. The other network card i have not fully identified, but it has a rockwell RC96V24DPL, and seems to be the original card included in the machine. It has the part number D-9924NP1/R1.

  • POTS modems won't work with Ethernet. The wiring, modulation, protocols, etc. are completely different. BTW, modems uses RJ11 jacks (2 or 4 conductors), not RJ45 (8 conductor). From what I recall the card with a Rockwell chipset is probably a softmodem. Apr 29 '20 at 21:15

As I understand it, you have two internal modems, but nothing one would normally call a "networking card", or more precisely a NIC (network interface controller). Depending on what you want to achieve, you basically have three options:

  • If you want to bring you computer onto your network, your best course of action would be to get an ISA NIC ("ethernet card") with a 10BASE-T socket for which Windows 3.11 drivers exist. If you want more than basic TCP/IP connectivity, you'll probably have to set up those services in your network, too.

  • If you want to use those modems to re-live the dial-up experience, you could set up a telephone line simulator to connect them to another modem, attached to another, suitably configured computer on your network.

  • If all you want is to exchange the occasional file, you could look into

    • using a null-modem or LapLink (parallel) cable

    • exchanging media, such as an IDE harddisk, a compact flash card in a CF-to-IDE adapter, or burnt CDs (one way).

If you really just want to put some software onto the machine, the last option would be a lot less work than the other two.

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    For NICs, the 3Com 3C509 (ISA) and 3C590 (PCI) series cards are excellent. The downside is they're rather pricey ($50+ each). If you end up getting NICs make sure they support 10base-T or 100base-TX. Apr 30 '20 at 1:59
  • Price seems to vary a lot depending on where you are. On German eBay, they typically go for less than 20 Euros shipped. However, before the OP goes down that route, installation is not trivial, especially if you have only the card, and not the driver disk. cf. discussions.virtualdr.com/… Apr 30 '20 at 9:13
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    The main problem seems to be to (a) get the driver + separate TCP/IP stack (WfW doesn't have one by default), and (b) to get it onto a medium that your modern machine can write and your WfW can install from. This looks interesting, too, in that regard: christianliebel.com/2016/06/… Apr 30 '20 at 12:21
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    Re using modems over a simulated phone line - note that 56K modems are asymmetric, and if you just try hooking two consumer grade 56K modems together, the best speed you'll get is (IIRC) 14.4Kbps. Better off using a null modem cable to a machine running a modem simulator and a PPP dial-in setup, which should be easily achievable with a Linux system and a bit of scripting.
    – occipita
    Apr 30 '20 at 21:35
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    @occipita -- Depends on what other speeds the modems support. The fastest modem-to-modem ITU recommendation (i.e., standard) is V.34, which goes up to 33.6 kbps. 28.8 kbps was also common. Apr 30 '20 at 22:16

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