Future of HP-IL with PIL-Box and TCP/IP?

In summer / fall 2009 Jean-Francois Garnier began to distribute his PIL-Box as solution for communication between real HP-IL devices like the HP-41C or HP-71B and virtual peripheral like printer and mass storage running on the PC. Therefore Jean-Francois published the Windows program ILPer, a virtual printer and mass storage solution with integrated IL frame scope. ILPer is communicating directly with the PIL-Box over a virtual COM port. The PIL-Box itself can operate as controller or as device, in case of ILPer as device.

With the current ILPer v1.35.3 solution it's not possible to create a virtual loop on the PC, the virtual loop is only inside of ILPer. First I thought about creating a virtual loop between applications inside a PC with "named pipes", later I made tests with TCP/IP and UDP. Finally, for some reasons, I decided to use TCP/IP IPv4 as transport protocol for a virtual IL implementation on a PC.

So the first program I wrote, was ILPilbox.exe. ILPilbox is a bridge between the real HP-IL world connected over a PIL-Box and the virtual IL using TCP/IP. On the next step I expanded ILPer with the TCP/IP virtual IL feature. Now I was able to create a virtual loop with two or more ILPer instances inside. Finally I created ILScope.exe, a separate IL frame scope, which can be included anywhere in the TCP/IP virtual IL. All programs are written for Win2k or later.

I made a demo side at http://hp.giesselink.com/ILPer/ILPer.htm showing an instance of ILPilbox, two instances of ILPer and one instance of ILScope showing the data back to the real HP-IL in one virtual loop. ILPilbox was connected with the PIL-Box and on the HP-IL side of the PIL-Box was a HP-41C as controller.

I'm looking for a few beta testers for this software. For testing you must have a PIL-Box. It would be interesting if someone has more than one PIL-Box, in this case one PIL-Box can operate as device (the one with the controller on the HP-IL side) and the other as controller with devices (or a closed loop) on it. I have only one PIL-Box so I'm not able to check this condition. If you're interested into testing, drop an eMail over my MoHPC account. Please explain for what do you use the current combination of the PIL-Box and other software. This will help me to decide if you fit into the beta test group or not.




For me this announcement is a little dream-come-true: the virtualisation of the HPIL-loop. And by using TCPIP as "virtual machine communication facility" it is _not_ restricted to run on one PC only.

Thank you very much Christoph!

But, what emulated controler do we have currently? Emu41? Nonpareil? V41 in future?? My NutEm in some decades?


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