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

Apple Remote Desktop 3.8 - Remotely cont...
Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and... Read more
NeoOffice 2014.7 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
DesktopLyrics 2.6.6 - Displays current i...
DesktopLyrics is an application that displays the lyrics of the song currently playing in "iTunes" right on your desktop. The lyrics for the song have to be set in iTunes; DesktopLyrics does nothing... Read more
Ember 1.8.3 - Versatile digital scrapboo...
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.1 - Manage your music, m...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and play digital music and video on your computer. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and computers. And it's a... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.3 - Free, open-source of...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
FoldersSynchronizer 4.2.1 - Synchronize...
FoldersSynchronizer is a popular and useful utility that synchronizes and backs-up files, folders, disks and boot disks. On each session you can apply special options like Timers, Multiple Folders,... Read more
Simon 4.0.2 - Monitor changes and crashe...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
Cocktail 8.1.2 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X 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
Cyberduck 4.6.4 - FTP and SFTP browser....
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

Playworld Superheroes Review
Playworld Superheroes Review By Tre Lawrence on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: HERO CRAFTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s all about the imagination, fighting bad creatures — and looking good while doing so.   | Read more »
Join the SpongeBob Bubble Party in this...
Join the SpongeBob Bubble Party in this New Match 3 Bubble Poppin’ Frenzy Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 30th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Handpick Review
Handpick Review By Jennifer Allen on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TANTALIZING SUGGESTIONSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Handpick will make you hungry, as well as inspire you to cook something... | Read more »
Storm the Halls of Echo Base in First St...
Storm the Halls of Echo Base in First Star Wars: Galactic Defense Event Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 30th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Contradiction Review
Contradiction Review By Tre Lawrence on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPOT THE LIEiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Contradiction is a live action point and click adventure that’s pretty engaging.   Developer: Tim Follin... | Read more »
Unlock Sunshine Girl in Ironkill with th...
Unlock Sunshine Girl in Ironkill with this special 148Apps code Posted by Rob Rich on January 29th, 2015 [ permalink ] Robo-fighter Ironkill has been out on iOS a | Read more »
Crossroad Zombies Review
Crossroad Zombies Review By Jordan Minor on January 29th, 2015 Our Rating: :: CROSSWALKING DEADiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Crossroad Zombies is a rough draft of a cool genre mash-up.   | Read more »
Blood Brothers 2 – Tips, Cheats, and Str...
War is hell: Is it the kind of hell you want to check out? Read our Blood Brothers 2 review to find out! Blood Brothers 2, DeNA’s follow-up to the original Blood Brothers, is an intriguing card collecting / role-playing / strategy hybrid. There’s... | Read more »
Blood Brothers 2 Review
Blood Brothers 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on January 29th, 2015 Our Rating: :: AN AGGRAVATING RELATIVEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Blood Brothers 2 is built on a simple, solid foundation, but its free-to-play system... | Read more »
I AM BREAD, the Toast of the Town, is Ro...
Have you ever dreamt of being deliciously gluten-y? Do you feel passionate about Rye and Wheat? The guys at Bossa Studios do and that is why they are bringing I AM BREAD to iOS soon. The loafy app will feature all the new content that is being... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Intel Aims to Transform Workplace With 5th-Ge...
Intel Corporation today announced the availability of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro processor family that provides cutting-edge features to enable a new and rapidly shifting workplace. To meet... Read more
iOS App Sharalike Introduces New Instant Smar...
Sharalike slideshow and photo management software for iOS, is making it easier than ever to create shareable meaningful moments with its new instant SmartShow technology. Staying organized is a goal... Read more
Apple Becomes World’s Largest Smartphone Vend...
According to the latest research data from Strategy Analytics, as global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent annually to reach a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014. Apple became... Read more
Cut the Cord: OtterBox Resurgence Power Case...
Dead batteries and broken phones are two of the biggest issues for smartphone users today. Otterbox addresses both with the new Resurgence Power Case for Apple iPhone 6, promising to make those panic... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.6GHz/... Read more
15-inch 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
 B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $2319.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $180 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Back in stock: Refurbished iPod nanos for $99...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 16GB iPod nanos available for $99 including free shipping and Apple’s standard one-year warranty. That’s $50 off the cost of new nanos. Most colors are... Read more
Apple lowers price on refurbished 256GB MacBo...
The Apple Store has lowered prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs, now available for up to $200 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included... Read more
New Good Management Suite Simplifies Enterpri...
Good Technology has announced the availability of the Good Management Suite, a comprehensive cross-platform solution for organizations getting started with mobile business initiatives. Built on the... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro (refurbishe...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1489 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr. Mac Expert- *Apple* Online Store - Apple...
**Job Summary** The World Wide Apple Online Store (AOS) Sales and Service team is looking for motivated, outgoing, and tech savvy individuals who want to offer Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant- Retail Sales (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
At-Home Chat Specialist- *Apple* Online Stor...
**Job Summary** At Apple , we believe in hard work, a fun environment, and the kind of creativity and innovation that only comes about when talented people from diverse Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.