Cyberspace Development has updated The Internet Adapter, or TIA. Released in August of 1994 (see TidBITS-239), TIA enables a Unix machine to provide graphical Internet access without additional expensive hardware by emulating SLIP, and – new in version 2.0 – CSLIP (Compressed SLIP) and PPP. TIA is available for entire machines ($495) or single user accounts ($30), and is important because it allows people to avoid learning and using Unix if their Internet connection was previously limited to a Unix shell account. Single users can update for free through 13-Oct-95 (but you must get a new license code from the TIA Web site), although a $12.50 upgrade fee provides six months of email tech support and all future 2.x upgrades. The upgrade is only available through 01-Nov-95, after which the price increases to $15, and after 01-Jan-96, the upgrade option disappears entirely and you have to buy a new copy for $30.
TIA’s new CSLIP support provides improved SLIP performance, and its PPP support gives users the option of using PPP client software like MacPPP instead of SLIP client software like InterCon’s InterSLIP. Also new in TIA 2.0 is port redirection, which enables people to connect directly to your machine even if you don’t have a true IP number.
TIA has spawned at least one imitator, the free SLiRP, which also emulates SLIP and PPP on Unix machines. Since I have always had access to hardware-based SLIP and PPP accounts, I haven’t attempted to compare TIA and SLiRP, but I suspect you’re likely to get more support from the TIA folks, given that it’s a commercial product.
For more information about TIA 2.0, send email to <[email protected]> or check the Web page below, where you can also download the free trial version.