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>
 
AAPL
$101.52
Apple Inc.
-0.27
MSFT
$46.95
Microsoft Corpora
+0.27
GOOG
$592.49
Google Inc.
+3.22

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Attachment Tamer 3.1.14b9 - Take control...
Attachment Tamer gives you control over attachment handling in Apple Mail. It fixes the most annoying Apple Mail flaws, ensures compatibility with other email software, and allows you to set up how... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.0 - Find and del...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator detects... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more
jAlbum 12.2 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.0.4 - Complete personal f...
Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial transactions,... Read more
iMazing 1.0 - Complete iOS device manage...
iMazing (formerly DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and... Read more
Xcode 6.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Apple Xcode is Apple Computer's integrated development environment (IDE) for OS X. The full Xcode package is free to ADC members and includes all the tools you need to create, debug, and optimize... Read more
Apple Safari 7.1 - Apple's Web brow...
Apple Safari in OS X Mavericks brings you all-new ways to find and enjoy the best of the web. It works with iCloud to give you a seamless browsing experience across all your devices. It looks out for... Read more
Delivery Status 6.1.2 - Check delivery s...
Delivery Status displays delivery status of packages for a variety of shipment services. Can't wait for your packages to arrive? Don't waste your time checking the site constantly, just open this all... Read more
Mavericks Cache Cleaner 8.0.9 - Clear ca...
Mavericks Cache Cleaner is an award-winning general purpose tool for OS X. MCC makes system maintenance simple with an easy point-and-click interface to many OS X functions. Novice and expert users... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

SKIT! Now with Godzilla Movie Action!
SKIT! Now with Godzilla Movie Action! Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Impossible Test 3 Review
The Impossible Test 3 Review By Jennifer Allen on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TAXING THINKINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Offering some tough but lateral thinking based puzzles works well for The Impossible... | Read more »
Age of Zombies Goes Update Crazy and Lau...
Age of Zombies Goes Update Crazy and Launches Zombie Month Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MUJO Review
MUJO Review By Campbell Bird on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ASSEMBLE THE GODSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This match-three game has collectible and role-playing elements that make it continually satisfying... | Read more »
Project Life (Photography)
Project Life 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Imagine scrapbooking without scissors or adhesive or tools … or without having to print photos! Never before has... | Read more »
Skater (Games)
Skater 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: All of Skateboarding In The Palm Of Your Hand Designed by skaters for skaters, we teamed up with 17 of the most prominent brands in... | Read more »
Huerons (Games)
Huerons 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH PRICE! Huerons is 50% off until September 20th! Huerons are tiny colored circles. Merge them by clicking on an empty... | Read more »
Down Among the Dead Men (Games)
Down Among the Dead Men 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Avast! Take to the high seas in a fully interactive piratical tale of broadsides and buccaneers. From author Dave... | Read more »
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Sl...
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Slingplaye​r Mobile Apps Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
How to Completely Delete Your iPhone’s C...
The iPhone 6 is out tomorrow, and plenty of people are excited about it. So much so that they’re planning to – or already have – traded in their old iPhone to go towards it. The thing about trading in hardware is it’s very important to make sure... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Previous-generation 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros now available for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $400 off original MSRP. B&H... Read more
21″ 2.7GHz iMac available for $1179, save $12...
Adorama has 21″ 2.7GHz Hawell iMacs on sale for $1179.99 including free shipping. Their price is $120 off MSRP. NY and NJ sales tax only. Read more
iOS 8 Adoption Rate Slower than iOS 7, 6, Hit...
Apple began pushing out iOS 8 updates to eligible devices around 1pm ET on September 17, 2014. However, unlike with iOS 7, which boasted a wide variety of differences from its predecessor iOS 6, in... Read more
LIkely Final Definitive OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks...
Apple has released what will almost certainly be the last incremental version number update of OS X 10.9 Mavericks (save for futire security updates) before OS X 10.10 Yosemite is released next month... Read more
Fingerprints, Apple Pay and Identity Theft Wa...
On Sep 9th, CEO Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay, along with the new iPhone 6 and iWatch. Apple Pay is a newly developed technology that utilizes a near field communication (NFC) to enable customer... Read more
Amazon Introduces Two All-New Kindles
Amazon on Thursday introduced the 7th generation of its Kindle dedicated e-reader device: Kindle Voyage, its top-of-the-line e-reader, and the new $79 Kindle, with a 20% faster processor, twice the... Read more
Save up to $300 on the price of a new Mac wit...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
16GB iPad Air on sale for $449, save $50
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air WiFi on sale for $449 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup. Their price represents a $50 savings over standard... Read more
13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099,...
B&H Photo has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1099.99. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.