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Serial PCMCIA card and RS-232 to ADB Adapter w/ AppleTalk

KeithTilton

Active member
I have various Macs littered all over the house ranging from 68k all the way to M1. None of my pre-Intel machines are networked.

I have my PDQ Powerbook G3 which works as a great way to transfer applications larger than a floppy over to my 68k machines via ADB. However, I just received a Pismo today at a great price and I thought it would work as the perfect machine to transfer files between my old Macs and late PPC Macs considering it has USB and FireWire.

The biggest issue is that it doesn't have ADB.

I have done some searching online the past few days and I know that RS-232 PCMCIA cards exist. However, I cannot find any reference to anyone suggesting these work under OS9.

serial-pcmcia-card-LRG.jpg4f105d765a8731.56722382.jpg

I would just order one, but they aren't exactly cheap, so I wanted to know if anyone has any experience with these working under OS9 before I take the plunge.

I'm hoping I can use one of those along with a Serial to ADB adapter and then connect to my ADB Macs over AppleTalk.

s-l1600.jpg

If it works, this would be the perfect portable setup to bridge all my Macs. It seems like the only Mac with ADB, USB, and Firewire is the PowerMac G3 and I definitely don't want to be lugging mine all over the place with those brittle handles.
 

sstaylor

Well-known member
File transfer over ADB? Never heard of such a thing. ADB is Apple Desktop Bus and is the connection for keyboards and mice from the Mac SE up till USB took over on the iMac.
I have no idea what possible use that cable might have.
 

beachycove

Well-known member
I think you must mean serial/ LocalTalk.

There was a product that could be added to some of the G4 towers, which occupied the modem slot on the logic board and added a mini-din serial port to the G4, though it worked under OS9 only. So some such thing as what you are asking is conceivable. I don’t know if PCMCIA serial adapters worked in the PowerBooks, though.

There are (to my mind) more interesting solutions. E.g., if you have Macs all over the house, why not give one of them a proper job as a server? ASIP will do “multihoming,” meaning that it can have TCP/IP Ethernet, EtherTalk and LocalTalk active at the same time. If the ASIP machine were wired to your router, you could then connect to it from almost any machine in your collection. FTP from a current machine might be needed to get things on there in the first place, mind, as current networking standards have left ASIP’s AppleTalk protocols behind. Your other machines, however, will be perfectly happy with it.

The obvious sneakernet alternatives would be floppy, Zip, or burned CDs. Everything has its place, I suppose, but I like the servers and have run them for years to do just these kinds of jobs.
 

KeithTilton

Active member
File transfer over ADB? Never heard of such a thing. ADB is Apple Desktop Bus and is the connection for keyboards and mice from the Mac SE up till USB took over on the iMac.
I have no idea what possible use that cable might have.

I'm sorry. I meant Apple serial/Geoport. I routinely connect my PowerBook 160 to my PDQ over GeoPort and use AppleTalk.

I think you must mean serial/ LocalTalk.

There was a product that could be added to some of the G4 towers, which occupied the modem slot on the logic board and added a mini-din serial port to the G4, though it worked under OS9 only. So some such thing as what you are asking is conceivable. I don’t know if PCMCIA serial adapters worked in the PowerBooks, though.

There are (to my mind) more interesting solutions. E.g., if you have Macs all over the house, why not give one of them a proper job as a server? ASIP will do “multihoming,” meaning that it can have TCP/IP Ethernet, EtherTalk and LocalTalk active at the same time. If the ASIP machine were wired to your router, you could then connect to it from almost any machine in your collection. FTP from a current machine might be needed to get things on there in the first place, mind, as current networking standards have left ASIP’s AppleTalk protocols behind. Your other machines, however, will be perfectly happy with it.

The obvious sneakernet alternatives would be floppy, Zip, or burned CDs. Everything has its place, I suppose, but I like the servers and have run them for years to do just these kinds of jobs.

This is definitely a way. I just don't have a real easy way to connect them throughout the house. I don't have ethernet or phone jacks anywhere in my house resulting in me just connecting computers up via Firewire or Geoport. Ideally I would just have a server hooked up and easily connect each of the computers, but it's even a chore just to get ethernet to my PC in my study room.
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
You can't really adapt RS232 to LocalTalk. The mini-din Apple serial port is a superset of RS232, and it has features that RS232 simply does not provide. Also, a lot of LocalTalk is actually done in hardware, in the SCC chip, which has the ability to do the SDLC framing itself. Even things like the Keyspan adapters won't do it, unfortunately.

I'm working on a solution to your problem, but it isn't ready for users yet (it's in "first working prototype" stage). I don't know how long it's going to take to get usable, because there's a couple of glitches in it that I don't properly understand yet. But watch this space.
 

KeithTilton

Active member
You can't really adapt RS232 to LocalTalk. The mini-din Apple serial port is a superset of RS232, and it has features that RS232 simply does not provide. Also, a lot of LocalTalk is actually done in hardware, in the SCC chip, which has the ability to do the SDLC framing itself. Even things like the Keyspan adapters won't do it, unfortunately.

I'm working on a solution to your problem, but it isn't ready for users yet (it's in "first working prototype" stage). I don't know how long it's going to take to get usable, because there's a couple of glitches in it that I don't properly understand yet. But watch this space.

Yeah as I've researched more, I realized that this wouldn't be possible. Especially since LocalTalk has a lot higher of a bandwidth than serial. Oh well, thought maybe I had cracked the code.

You might find this survey handy: http://www.applefool.com/se30/

I absolutely do find that handy and will probably pour more time than necessary pouring through this...
 
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