My only tools: a KeySpan USB to Serial adaptor, serial cable, and telecom software on both ends. That would be fine for the short term, and sending files to and fro via Zmodem sure brought back memories. But I wanted something a little more elegant.
OS X doesn't support AppleShare over AppleTalk on LocalTalk, so that was out. And what was I to do about internet access?
Then it hit me -- I have a UNIX based machine sitting in front of me. One that surely has a PPP daemon. I could configure my iMac as modem-less dial-up ISP, and then use FreePPP/OtTCP on the Powerbook to access the 'net. Furthermore, OS X's FTP server would serve as a much nicer file transfer scenario than ZTerm.
So, in a nutshell, I:
- Mated the Powerbook and iMac using the KeySpan adaptor and serial cable.
- Used ZTerm (iMac) and Microsoft Works Communications (Powerbook) to transfer over FreePPP and iCab. (Had this Powerbook not had OS 8 which includes a TCP/IP stack, I would have used MacTCP.)
- Configured TCP/IP with an IP address local to my network (in this case, 192.168.1.245). Used OpenDNS IP addresses for the DNS.
- Configured FreePPP to use the Serial/Printer port, in lieu of the Powerbook's modem. Left the phone number field empty. Set the baudrate to max (230400).
- Run the following with root privileges on the iMac:
- sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1 (tell the Kernel we want to forward IP packets)
- pppd 230400 tty.KeySerial1 local persist passive maxfail 0 proxyarp 192.168.1.102:192.168.1.245 (all on one line - activate the PPP daemon at 230400, using the KeySpan's #1 serial port, don't use modem control lines, persistent connection, don't dump out if the peer isn't there, ditto, add to ARP table so other networked machines can see it, Ip address of the iMac:Ip address of the Powerbook)
- Pressed "connect" on FreePPP.