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TheNixer

Networking a Mac Plus using info from mac128.com

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Okay, I've got a nice Plus setting on a HD20 that I'd like to network with my G4 tower. I really like this site (www.mac128.com) and started following their outline to getting this Plus networked. I bought an entire computer to get the DB-9 to 8 pin DIN connector because prices for these new were above $25. I didn't go looking for the Mac serial to USB cable because I wasn't there yet. Well, when I went looking at prices for that...they were well over $100! I'm not sure if I have a copy of ClarisWorks but even if I don't that's the least of my worries.

 

Do I really have to shell out $125 bucks for a Mac 8 pin DIN to USB cable? Are there any other tricks to getting this Mac solidly networked with my G4?

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Wow. That's outrageous. Here's one on eBay right now for $20 "Buy It Now"

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/KEYSPAN-USB-Twin-Serial-Adapter-USA-28X_W0QQitemZ130202178568QQihZ003QQcategoryZ41995QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 

There are several others that start at .99 and the completed auctions I looked at were not over $45 max. The DE-9 serial adapters, which may also work with the correct cables are plentiful and have not sold for over about $25 highest auction price.

 

Nevertheless, you have other options for networking with a Plus. Technically the http://www.mac128.com/terminal tutorial is a file-sharing method via serial terminal transfer. specifically tailored to the 128K & 512K for which options are severely limited. The Plus is capable of being networked via AppleShare, but it is a slightly more involved method when connecting to anything running above OS 9. See this page: http://www.vintagemacworld.com/netmain.html as it has links to just about every Vintage networking page there is as well as giving some very good tutorial tips itself.

 

That said, even traditional AppleTalk networking requires an investment in hardware. LocalTalk connectors, cabling, AppleTalk to Ethernet bridges depending on your network. In particular I was using my Mac 512K with a LocalTalk connector, cabled to an Ethernet bridge and then CAT-5 into my G3 running Mac OS 9. The catch there is, the G3 couldn't see the 512K – it was only one way from the 512K. Moreover, you can only access a small volume. I've forgotten exactly the limitations. But the whole thing would crash if I tried to access more than a 5GB drive.

 

So, the MacTerminal method is compatible up to Leopard with bi-directional transfer and no volume limitations because you aren't actually mounting any volumes. It is definitely slower than AppleTalk, but when you are talking about 400K disks it's not so bad (which is where the tutorial was aimed). And it may be slightly more expensive than AppleTalk. But certainly not $125 worth. Unfortunately, the only way to get a serial connection into a G4 is with some kind of USB converter or AppleTalk over Ethernet. So sadly, you have to invest in more hardware no matter what you do.

 

Since a Plus can run up to System 7.5.5, you can easily run TCP/IP stacks per Phil Beesley's site and forego AppleTalk or serial transfer methods altogether. Instead pick up an EN/SC adapter and run Ethernet right out of your SCSI port which is also faster than AppleTalk. It still takes some effort to connect to OS X, but it certainly reduces your hardware investment and simplifies the entire process. Plus it's a true network and 7.5.5 bypasses the earlier system's volume limitations.

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I was really interested last week in networking my iMac G3 and my PowerBook 150, that is until I saw the $79 price tag for the serial to USB adapter on the keyspan website. I found it again on a different site for $73. Sigh, there goes another idea.

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Well, I must have been really tired when I scoured eBay last night! Thank you for the link to that auction! As soon as my PayPal funds transfer, I'm going to buy that one up.

 

I'd like to network the Plus as discussed on your site (wonderful site BTW!) because I do have a 512k and would love to have a 128k one of these days.

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I was really interested last week in networking my iMac G3 and my PowerBook 150, that is until I saw the $79 price tag for the serial to USB adapter on the keyspan website. I found it again on a different site for $73. Sigh, there goes another idea.

 

benjgvps ... while the ClarisWorks Terminal serial transfer method would work on a PB 150 & iMac G3, it is far from the most practical. You are far better going with an Ethernet solution.

 

The mac128.com/terminal tutorial, may need to be clarified ... The KEYSPAN SERIAL to USB Adapter (or any such adapter) CANNOT BE USED FOR APPLETALK. Only SERIAL applications, like modems, printers, etc.

 

FYI, TheNixer, I did a search for just "Keyspan" on eBay and it pulled up lots of 'em. Since it seems the DE-9 serial adapters are so much more prevalent for about half the cost of the mini DIN-8 version, it would seem prudent to eventually figure out which cable works with it. Good luck with the buy-it-now auction.

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The catch there is, the G3 couldn't see the 512K – it was only one way from the 512K. Moreover, you can only access a small volume. I've forgotten exactly the limitations. But the whole thing would crash if I tried to access more than a 5GB drive.

 

The AppleShare 2.0 client (ie System 6 and earlier Macs) bombs when connecting to a volume of about 30GB, from memory. The volume will be displayed in the Chooser, but on connection the Mac will crash. It all worked well for me before I increased my AppleShare volume to 80GB.

 

** Lots of testing needs to be done. I don't know whether the crash is caused by total volume size or by free space.

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Here's the best way I've found to network old

Macs.

 

1. You need an Asante SCSI to Ethernet adapter for the Mac Plus. They will work with 6.0.8.

 

2. Here's the catch: The Asante SCSI adapters ONLY work with a PURE 10MBS Ethernet hub. They DO NOT work with 10/100 hubs. It took me six months to figure this out with no help from Asante. 8-o Uplink a 10Mbs hub to your 10/100 hub/switch and all is well. Just make sure the Asante adapters are plugged into the pure 10mbs only hub. These hubs are getting harder to find and prices on ebay have been going up.

 

3. Set up an AppleShare 2.xx server. You will need a 6.0.8 machine to run AppleShare 2.x. I have used a Plus but upgraded to an SE/30 w 8mb RAM. I put a 2 GIG SCSI drive in my SE/30 just to have a stand alone AppleShare server with lots of room. Get a PDS Ethernet card for the SE/30.

 

4. The Plus should now be able to log onto the AppleShare Server. Do not go any further until you can mount the AppleShare volume on your Plus desktop.

 

5. If you uplink the 10 Mbs hub to a normal 10/100 hub, plug your G3 into the 10/100 hub. The G3 should be able to log onto the AppleShare 2.x server. I've done this with OS8 and OS9 but I don't remeber if I tested OS X with it.

 

5. I also run a Windows 2000 Server on my network. It's easy to set up a Mac volume and I enable Mac support (AppleTalk) and was able to move files between it and the AppleShare server usings an OS8 and OS9 machine.

 

Using IE on my OS9 machine I download Mac files from the internet and put them on the W2k server or the AppleShare server as needed. Whew! It's a lot more work than a simple cable but it is way more flexible to use. If a friend drops by all he needs is an Ethernet enabled Mac and he can log onto your private network.

 

Once set up it makes moving files around very easy. I use an external 800k floppy with my 6MB 128k machine so making 400K floppy copies is a breeze. I can make CD's, 400K, 800K, and 1.4MB floppies very quickly.

Edited by Guest

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Okay, I've got the Keyspan USB to serial adapter in my hands. I have another set of cables acquired from a Mac Plus also off the 'bay. I'm wondering if this cable will work to finish this connection off.

 

Mac128, would you mind looking at this and telling me if you think this will work or not?

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3255/2329914538_99baaebba5_o.jpg

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Mac128, would you mind looking at this and telling me if you think this will work or not?

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3255/2329914538_99baaebba5_o.jpg

 

No. I Got REALLY excited there for minute because I thought you had the elusive DE-9 M-M modem cable with the square connectors. But you are close. The Mini DIN-8 peripheral adapter cable you are using is a good start, but the Imagewriter cable will only work with a printer. Note the DE-25 connector is for use on the Imagewriter, NOT the Mac Plus SCSI bus! DO NOT plug this into the DB-25 SCSI port!!!!

 

What you need now is a DE-9 M-M modem cable, or a gender changer to convert your DE-9 Female connector of the peripheral adapter cable to a DE-9 male connector that will go right onto your Mac 128K/512K. That's a fairly common adapter you can find at almost any computer store as it is a common problem among PCs.

 

OH I FORGOT, for your Mac Plus setup none of those cables will work you need a Mini DIN-8 M-M cable, a very easy to find common Imagewriter II printer cable. Alternately you COULD use the DE-9 F to Mini DIN-8 M peripheral adapter cable, but you would also need a Mini DIN-8 M to DE-9 M peripheral cable. Though the latter is going to be harder to find than a normal Imagewriter II printer cable, which is all you need.

 

Basically there were two of these DE-9 converters Apple offered. One was used to adapt the existing proprietary Macintosh cables (like the modem cable) to the Macintosh Plus, hence the Female connector (and shortness). The other was designed to simply use a peripheral with Mac Plus that already had a Female DE-9 connector , so it was Male instead (and normal length). The two could be used together to create a Mini DIN-8 M-M cable.

 

(I assume you got the Keyspan model with two Mini DIN-8 ports?)

 

You're almost there!

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Okay, cool! Yes, I got the Keyspan USA-28x Twin Serial Adapter. I actually bought the one you linked in an earler post. I actually have a couple Imagewriter II cables, so it looks like I'm set. What's nice with this connection is it'll work for my SE's as well. I just wonder if you can connect two terminal services at once? That might be fun but I'm not sure if the software permits it.

 

Either way, the physical connection is complete! I've hunted down ClarisWorks, all I need now is MacTerminal.

 

Thanks for the help Mac128! I thought about making a decent video of my adventures, I'll post it if I decide to.

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