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PCs to Symbolics for distributed computing

    OK, so imagine we have a simulation running on a PC, connected to the
    Symbolics via net cable. We need to have the Symbolics provide inputs to
    the simulation, and to get parameters back from the PC (probably on an
    as-needed, request basis).

    The PC is your favorite -286 or -386 machine running DOS (with apologies
    for the faint hearted). 

An interesting proposition.  We will be facing similar needs before very
long, as we proceed to port more of our software using CLOE.  We will
want to get database services via the net, with requests originating from
the PC.  One problem you've recognized is that you don't have the luxury
of being able to run network processes in the background in DOS.  This
leads me first to think about writing special purpose network hacks for
the application, but I don't know of any networking software for DOS
that supports this.

A crude strategy using the software we have right now is to (1) enter a
DOS subshell from lisp (CLOE supports this), (2) contact the database
server and request the needed bits, (3) start a network server on the PC
and await the requested bits, (4) exit from the PC server code (this
part might be tricky), then (5) exit from the DOS subshell back up to
lisp, and (6) continue processing.  This would no doubt be exceedingly

This all leads me to consider moving to (ulp) Unix.

    - Anybody doing anything like this?

    - Can you get a DOS BIOS that usually reads keyboard interrupts to read
    the Symbolics from the net without to much trouble?

You've got me there.  You obviously know much more about DOS than I do.

    I have a few other questions that I would be grateful to ask if anyone
    can help. I should think these problems are common, if not enjoyed.

Aren't we having fun!