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Introducing (and interest check) AirTalk: Wireless plug-and-play LocalTalk dongles

cheesestraws

Well-known member
I've been working on the UI for connecting to a wireless network the last couple of days. Here's some screenshots. Basically I'm writing AppleShare fanfic and I'm fine with that.


Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 16.00.03.png

Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 16.00.14.png
 

demik

Well-known member
I've been working on the UI for connecting to a wireless network the last couple of days. Here's some screenshots. Basically I'm writing AppleShare fanfic and I'm fine with that.

That's awesome ! I like the MacOS look and feek. You are 100% in the HIG right there.
 

gcp

Active member
That's awesome ! I like the MacOS look and feek. You are 100% in the HIG right there.

Agreed -- except I might recommend graying out the 'key' field when 'Open' is selected rather than making it disappear? Both to prevent UI elements from appearing out of nowhere, but also the spacing of elements when the Key field is hidden looks a little off.

Totally nitpicking here, it looks great :) and who has an unsecured wifi network these days anyway :D
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
except I might recommend graying out the 'key' field when 'Open' is selected rather than making it disappear

I decided to do it like this because I'm pretty sure it's what AppleShare does when you choose 'guest'. Also, it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to gray out a text field in a way that works properly all the way up from System 6 to post-appearance manager (or, if there's an easy way, I couldn't find it; @Crutch, do you know a way?). But I promise I'm doing it for the authenticity rather than laziness (Ithis isn't true, mostly I'm just lazy).

also the spacing of elements when the Key field is hidden looks a little off.

Yes, something feels a bit odd about that to me too. Not sure what to do about it at this stage. I'll revisit positioning and stuff once I've got the actual code working properly. Suggestions welcome. :)
 

dcr

Well-known member
I distrust wireless but I feel like I'm going to have to get a couple of these when available.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
I distrust wireless but I feel like I'm going to have to get a couple of these when available.

I do love my wires, but the possibility of just leaving this on my desk and, say, hooking up my Mac Portable right off the bat is just so appealing.
 

AndyO

Well-known member
I am almost certainly going to find a lot of use for at least two of these. What a truly great development!!
 

gcp

Active member
I decided to do it like this because I'm pretty sure it's what AppleShare does when you choose 'guest'.

I suspected this may have been the case, but I was too lazy to check since none of my classic Macs were powered on at the time I posted :D

Also, it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to gray out a text field in a way that works properly all the way up from System 6 to post-appearance manager (or, if there's an easy way, I couldn't find it; @Crutch, do you know a way?). But I promise I'm doing it for the authenticity rather than laziness (Ithis isn't true, mostly I'm just lazy).

Haha, fair enough - wasn't aware that it would be a nontrivial modification.. is this mostly due to the System 6 support?

Yes, something feels a bit odd about that to me too. Not sure what to do about it at this stage. I'll revisit positioning and stuff once I've got the actual code working properly. Suggestions welcome. :)

🤔 Drop support for unencrypted networks?:D
 

MacKilRoy

Well-known member
Great project! Creating something like this must be quite challenging yet fun and easy at the same time wifh modern technology.

Not to hold you to anything, but will these be available as complete units, or a part list that one can build themselves? Also, what sort of price range would we expect for this (just a rough high/low)? If you don’t mind sharing that.
 

Crutch

Well-known member
it turns out to be surprisingly difficult to gray out a text field in a way that works properly all the way up from System 6 to post-appearance manager (or, if there's an easy way, I couldn't find it; @Crutch, do you know a way?).

Under System 6 or 7 I would move the edit text field offscreen and put a user item there that has a item handle draw proc that just draws a grayed out rectangle. You need to check the graphics device bit depth to know whether to use a 50% gray pattern or a true RGB gray of course. I would think that would work under Appearance Manager also, or no? I suspect you’re asking something more sophisticated though.
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
Not to hold you to anything, but will these be available as complete units, or a part list that one can build themselves

I am hoping to make them available as assembled, ready-to-go units, eventually. However, there are many possible stumbling-points between now and there!

Also, what sort of price range would we expect for this (just a rough high/low)?

It's difficult to tell at the moment. None of the parts themselves are that pricy, but as yet I don't know how much things like assembly will be, and I haven't done this kind of thing before, so I'm reluctant to speculate. If it's much more than 20-odd pounds each though, it's probably not going to be worth doing it as pre-assembled, and it'll have to be a kit.

Either way, "build your own" will be an option: the only reason that bits and pieces to try stuff out as a self-build haven't yet been released is they're in such a rough state. This isn't a scheme for me to make money, I just want people who would like one of these to have one.
 

MacKilRoy

Well-known member
I am hoping to make them available as assembled, ready-to-go units, eventually. However, there are many possible stumbling-points between now and there!



It's difficult to tell at the moment. None of the parts themselves are that pricy, but as yet I don't know how much things like assembly will be, and I haven't done this kind of thing before, so I'm reluctant to speculate. If it's much more than 20-odd pounds each though, it's probably not going to be worth doing it as pre-assembled, and it'll have to be a kit.

Either way, "build your own" will be an option: the only reason that bits and pieces to try stuff out as a self-build haven't yet been released is they're in such a rough state. This isn't a scheme for me to make money, I just want people who would like one of these to have one.

Fair enough. Building something for yourself and then switching to manufacturing is quite the jump. I can appreciate the unknowns.

As for the cost, I was just curious if this was a $20 or a $100 or a $200 item. So based on your response I’m fine with no know cost but a target around £20 +/- obviously if it comes out at £25 or even £50 nobody will hold you to what you’ve said here, considering the early stage you’re at.

The Software end is quite interesting as well. I love the modern innovations the vintage scene has made over the past 5 years. This will be up there along with SCSI2SD, RaSCSI, etc.
 

sfiera

Well-known member
Another note: one can also bridge the protocol these use to EtherTalk in software. I've been talking about @sfiera's multitalk software above, I don't know if anyone else has written one, but if you ran that as a companion to your netatalk server on Ethernet, your Macs with these dongles would be able to access it.
I’m looking forward to using one of these, so I dug out my code and did some irrelevant logging stuff just to get a bit more familiar with it again. Probably need to get my development systems set up again; I remember there being stuff about default networks that I never quite figured out.
 

mactjaap

Well-known member
Definitely love to buy one or two (three?)!
And yes, as cheesestraws mentioned, the MacIPpi can be a perfect file sharing platform. In between modern and old file sharing world.
 

MacKilRoy

Well-known member
Definitely love to buy one or two (three?)!
And yes, as cheesestraws mentioned, the MacIPpi can be a perfect file sharing platform. In between modern and old file sharing world.
Not to derail the conversation, but would that essentially be a Raspberry Pi that has AppleShare enabled and allows vintage Macs the ability to connect to it, as well as a modern machine (ie a bridge)?
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
Would people be interested if I posted the software work I'm doing towards this and why, so people can see what goes into the sausage and have opinions about it? I'm just keeping a to do list at the moment but I'm happy to be more communicative about things if it wouldn't bore people solid :)
 
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