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Toggle AppleTalk between Ethernet and Airport
Authored by: snarke on Oct 09, '04 08:28:25PM

The history of AppleTalk has made it rather confusing, especially since it's often misused. AppleTalk is a Level 4 network protocol. Other Level 4 protocols include Novell Netware, Banyan Vines, TCP/IP (well, thats actually TCP, and IP, a Level 3 protocol), and NetBEUI. Two gizmos can communicate over a network in any of these ways. That network could be ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, TokenRing, or modems. A NetBEUI computer will just ignore AppleTalk on its Ethernet connector, and vice versa.

When AppleTalk runs on the old fashioned Apple network, with the round connectors, Apple called it LocalTalk. The same protocol on Ethernet was called EtherTalk. (One name to combine the wiring and the scheme for communicating across it.) OSX does not use AppleTalk except to be backward compatible; it now does AppleTalk-like things with TCP/IP.

For example, I have had a printer plugged into my Ethernet port and printed to it with AppleTalk while going online through my Airport card. TCP/IP was assigned to the Airport, but AppleTalk was going out my Ethernet port. It can be a bit confusing if I'm file sharing that way, because my server Mac can (and has) show up three times on the list. Once for the modern OSX TCP/IP Rendezvous way of sharing files, once (by using the Chooser from OS9/Classic) through its AppleTalk sharing, and once via the Samba (SMB) where both my Mac and the server were speaking the Windows networking language.

Hopefully that helped a little.

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Toggle AppleTalk between Ethernet and Airport
Authored by: gshenaut on Oct 12, '04 12:23:56AM

Thanks. I think I see the distinctions you are making. Maybe my confusion is due to my tcp/ip-centric view of the world, along with my only ever use of the Mac being under OS/X.

Greg Shenaut

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