TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: MacTech Online

MacTech Online

by Jeff Clites, online@mactech.com

If you're anything like me, you have to face two persistent problems: old equipment and new equipment. Specifically, where to put the new and what to do with the old. The "where" you'll have to handle yourself, but part of the "what" is sure to be "network them". After all, it's hard to watch a good Mac go to waste. As someone who works on the technical end of computing, people tend to assume that I know a lot about the nuts and bolts of networking. The truth be told, I've always worked either on a lone machine, or on a network which was already set up-I've never even had to buy an Ethernet cable. But recently I decided to take up the challenge and put some of my "last generation" equipment to good use, and in the process discovered that it can take a little bit of work to get your printers to play nicely with others. In the end it turned out to be a fun little challenge, and I saved a bunch of money by teaching old dog new tricks, rather than getting new dogs. So this month, we'll tour around some places on the web which tell us what to do and where to get the right tools to get our printers taking to multiple computers. And even if you can't admit to yourself that it's fun, at least you'll learn some things that your friends and family think you already know.

Networking the Un-networkable

To rework an old cliché, there are two kinds of printers in this world-those you can network, and those you can't. But this isn't quite true; it's really just that some are built to be network-aware and others are not. Unfortunately, those low-cost-but-high-quality inkjet printers tend to fall into the latter category, so you are usually stuck with only being able to print to them from one computer, or using a switch box or some such kludge. But, if you happen to have a fairly recent Epson printer, you are in luck. There is a neat little shareware package called EpsonShare which lets you print to your inkjet from multiple computers across a network. It takes care of all of the details for you, but what happens, in essence, is that your client machine prints to a spool file, which just happens to be saved into a folder which is file shared from the server machine (i.e., the machine to which the printer is actually connected). Then, the server machine prints this spool file. So as far as the printer is concerned all printing is still local, but EpsonShare automates the process of getting the spool file to the right machine and telling this machine to print it. It's pretty clever, actually, and it makes you wonder why the Mac OS doesn't do tricks like this on its own. Maybe Tioga, Apple's forthcoming next-generation printing system, will.

As a side note, if you have a new Blue and White G3 then you don't have a serial port to hook up a serial-only printer, but by using an older Mac with EpsonShare you can save yourself from having to buy a USB-to-serial adapter, or any of the other hardware add-ons which provide a serial port.

EpsonShare US

<http://www.ses.fr/epsonshare/softUS.htm>

LocalTalk and Ethernet: The Twain Shall Meet

Now that we've seen that you can finesse some serial printers into working over a network, you would think that the hard part is over. After all, if your printer is network-aware, there should be no problem, right? Well, not always. Most Macintosh network printers are LocalTalk printers, which means that they use the AppleTalk protocol running over LocalTalk hardware (essentially a serial port with the right electronics). But today, you'd probably prefer to use Ethernet to connect the computers on your network. Now, there's no problem with using AppleTalk (or some other protocol you printer might understand) over Ethernet, it's just that many of the popular mid-range laser printers, for example, don't come with Ethernet connectivity; to get this, you either need a high-end printer or you need to purchase an add-on attachment for your printer. And again, if you have a Blue and White G3 then you don't have a LocalTalk port anyway.

The solution to this dilemma is a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet transceiver, which lets you connect a LocalTalk device to an Ethernet network. The two leading hardware solutions are by Farallon and Asanté-you basically just plug things in and go. But if you have an older Mac sitting around ready to work, then you can get the job done without spending a dime. Apple has a free (but unsupported) piece of software called the LocalTalk Bridge which, as the name implies, serves as a bridge between a LocalTalk network and an Ethernet network. So, you connect your LocalTalk printer to a LocalTalk port on your Mac which is running the LocalTalk Bridge, and suddenly your printer is visible to the rest of your AppleTalk network. As I mentioned above, this software if unsupported, and it is believed to not be fully compatible with Mac OS 8.5, but nothing says that legacy Mac has to be running the latest and greatest-mine is quite content running Mac OS 8.1. It's certainly worth trying out.

So again, using an old Mac can save us from having to buy new hardware. Even more importantly for some, this setup will let you print to your LocalTalk PostScript printer from Mac OS X Server on a Blue and White G3, and is one of the few setups which will let you do this. Even if you don't need to network your printer it can be difficult to access it from this OS; although Mac OS X Server does support printing over AppleTalk, it only has minimal USB support (only enough to access Apple's keyboard and mouse), so a USB printer is out of the question, and you can't even use a USB-to-serial adapter to connect a local printer. Things will probably get easier after the release of the consumer version of Mac OS X, but until then our old Macs will have to help us out.

Farallon EtherMac iPrint Adapter

<http://www.farallon.com/products/ether/adapters/iprintadapter.html>

AsanteTalk

<http://www.asante.com/products/p_ad5.html>

Apple - LocalTalk Bridge 2.1

<http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n11358>
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Adobe Acrobat Reader 18.011.20035 - View...
Adobe Acrobat Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
Adobe Acrobat 18.011.20035 - Powerful PD...
Acrobat DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is... Read more
Yummy FTP Pro 2.0 - $29.99
Yummy FTP Pro is an advanced Mac file transfer app which provides a full-featured professional toolkit combined with blazing speeds and impeccable reliability, so whether you want to transfer a few... Read more
WebSnapperPro 2.0.5 - $20.00
WebSnapperPro lets you capture full web pages exactly as they appear in your browser, with a single mouse click, without the need to "stitch" or cut-and-paste. Save the page as an image file or as... Read more
Cocktail 11.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Fantastical 2.4.6 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
Fantastical 2.4.6 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
Cocktail 11.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
WebSnapperPro 2.0.5 - $20.00
WebSnapperPro lets you capture full web pages exactly as they appear in your browser, with a single mouse click, without the need to "stitch" or cut-and-paste. Save the page as an image file or as... Read more
VOX 3.2.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »
Check out this awesome hands-on with the...
Well, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has come out on mobile. This isn't a clone, this isn't a riff on the battleroyale mechanics of the game, it's the official mobile port by Tencent. But there's a little bit of a hitch. [Read more] | Read more »
Hostage Negotiator (Entertainment)
Hostage Negotiator 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: Official app of the board game by AJ Porfirio and Van Ryder Games. In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12″ Apple iPad Pro Sale of the Year! Models u...
B&H Photo has 12″ #iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $719 $80 off MSRP – 12″ 256GB WiFi... Read more
Deals on 32GB 9″ iPads: Up to $50 off MSRP, s...
B&H Photo has 2017 9.7″ 32GB iPads on sale for $299 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $30 off MSRP, and it’s currently the lowest price available for these... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro available for o...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro currently offered by... Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for $1649.99 including free shipping. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 13″... Read more
Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $250 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $949.99, $250 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished 12″ Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 10″ and 12...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Apple Canada offers Certified Refurbished Mac...
 Canadian shoppers can save up to $560 on the purchase of a 2017 current-generation MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air with Certified Refurbished models at Apple Canada. Apple’s refurbished prices... Read more
Sale! 13″ MacBook Airs for up to $180 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $50-$120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $... Read more
Sale! New 8-core iMac Pro for $4799, $200 off...
Adorama has the 8-core iMac Pro on sale for $4799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113501424 Norman, Oklahoma, United States Posted: 15-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate about Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.