SUMMARY (LONG) : Macs to Sun Connectivity

From: Amir Katz (matis!amir@uunet.UU.NET)
Date: Tue Mar 24 1992 - 16:55:36 CST

I have been swamped by requests for the full, summary regarding how to
connect Sun and Mac networks (more than 40 requests, so far). To calm down
the net and reduce the traffic, I'm posting this detailed collection of
If anyone has further questions, please direct them to the original sender.

Please note that most of this posting (~first 690 lines) was contributed
by Loki Jorgenson [].
This is most of the responses I got regarding Macs to Suns connectivity.
It's slightly edited, spelling errors fixed, etc.
A personal experience: Kudos to Cayman Systems people for their fast response.
I sent mail to and, both replied
immediately & helpfully. This is in contrast with some vendors (e.g. Saber
Software) which have never replied for e-mail, at least not to me.

-- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip -- snip --

1001 Ways to Connect a Mac to Ethernet
There seems to be three basic ways to connect. 1) Using a serial communications
program (like kermit). 2) Using an Apple (or Mac) based network and making
use of a gateway machine to internet. 3) Connect the Macs directly to
the internet.

We had tried using kermit (and other programs), but it has not been a very good
solution because of transfer times, and a problem with the way Macs deal with
main system. This is inn fact what we were going to replace.

The second solution also did not work, because we only had a few Macs, the
expense could not be cost justified. This would also have required a larger
learning curve (and while they are learning, they are not being productive).
The packages mentioned were:

    1. FastPath (Kinetics) or Gator boxes (Cayman) which is an
        Appletalk (now LocalTalk) to ethernet gateway.

    2. PC server solutions from 3Com and Novell.

The caveats were the cost (it was only inexpensive (when compared to the third
choice) if one has a large Mac population-we do not), and speed ("but it isn't
good for applications where you need high data transfer rates.")

The third option was to connect the Macs directly onto the internet network.
This is achieved by inserting an ethernet interface in each MAC. Some of
the packages mentioned were:

    1. MacTCP from Apple. It provides basic support, and works through
       either an Ethernet board or across an Appletalk-ethernet bridge like
       the ones mentioned above.

    2. Stanford's MacIP. Is available to educational institutions from
       Stanford (Try GD.NET@Forsythe. Stanford.EDU). When asked for their
       opinion, the reply was:

                COMPANIES, SORRY.

                CONTACT, WOLLONGONG AT (415) 962-7100 OR
                KINETICS-(415) 947-0999

    3. NCSA Telnet for Macintosh received some very high praise indeed. The
       price is right (available through anonymous ftp from: NCSA.UIUC.EDU.
       (Contact jfile@NCSA.UIUC.EDU. I found her to be of immense help.) Some
       of the features include (Take from their Readme file):

                DARPA standard telnet
                Built-in standard FTP server for file transfer
                VT102 emulation in multiple, simultaneous sessions
                Tektronix 4014 graphics emulation
                Scrollback for each session
                Domain name lookup with default domain suffix
                RARP for dynamic IP address assignment
                Full color support (PC and Macintosh II)
                Font and size support (Macintosh)
                MacBinary FTP transfer (Macintosh)
                *Apple MacTCP (tm) support
                *screens larger than 24 lines supported
                *color raster display protocol (ICR)

        Finally, what is needed is (Again from their Readme file:
        Hardware required:

         Mac: Macintosh Plus, SE, II, IIx, IIcx. 1MB memory. System 5.0
              or later.

            FastPath from Kinetics Inc. Walnut Creek, CA (415) 947-0998 and
        Kinetics gateway software or Stanford KIP (Croft) gateway software.
            GatorBox from Cayman Systems and associated gateway software.
            or alternate FastPath compatible LocalTalk to Ethernet gateway.
            EtherTalk software, combined with any of the following hardware:
                EtherSC or Etherport SE or Etherport II from Kinetics.
                EtherTalk board from Apple Computer, Inc.
                EtherLink/NB (3C543) or EtherLink/SE (3C563) from 3Com
                Fastnet III or Fastnet SCSI from Dove Computer Corp.
                Modem products from Adaptec, Inc.
                MacConnect NIA310 from Interlan, Inc.
                alternate EtherTalk compatible systems for the Macintosh.

         EtherTalk software drivers are generally bundled with the hardware.

Not bad, huh? Well at this point I started getting real greedy. Does it
support a local printer I asked. I got a response from Ted Nieland:

        The LU version of NCSA Telnet for the MAC allows for the
        Printer Escape sequences. It was on the Spring 1990 Tape
        and will also be on the Fall 1990 Tape.

Now that has made me happier than a pig in slop! We have decided to go
this route...

I hope this help. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

  Angel R. Rivera
| Arrent Technologies, Inc. 		      Internet:	angel@Arrent.COM  |
| 4067 Hardwick Street, Suite 326                 UUCP:	uunet!arrent!angel|
| Lakewood, CA 90712                         Voice/Fax: 213.630.2157      |

>Note that Wollongong has released their Mac/NFS product, which allows a >Mac to exist in an NFS environment. Here at Sun, we find this to be >one of the more workable solutions. Also, I noted that your document >says nothing about IPT's uShare product, which I've also used. uShare >allows a Sun to be an Appletalk server, at the same time remaining on >the TCP/IP net with other Suns. uShare is software-only (well, okay .. >either an Ethernet card in the Mac or a Cayman GatorBox/Shiva >FastPath/etc to connect to the Ethernet cable). > >Don't you love this industry? As soon as it's published, it's out of date! >;^) > > Thanks Gene, it looks like there is so much more to check into... > I am forwarding it...

I just received this new information, thought you might like it...

-- angel

Gator vs. FastPath:

Kinetics FastPath vs. Cayman GatorBox (honourable mentions to other products)

This is a "summary" of my readers' poll concerning the use of Ethernet/AppleTalk interface hardware and supporting software. It is somewhat inconclusive to me but I believe that I have made *my* decision. I shall venture my observations based on others' experience and then include the (largely) unedited replies I received.

First, an overview: The basic Ethernet/AppleTalk hardware interface provides network connectivity between an Ether-based group and (typically) a group of Macs. Depending on the software running on the interface, on the Macs or on a host Ether-based machine, there are a number of TCP/IP based facilities that a Mac group may take advantage of. These may include file-sharing to take advantage of large Ethernet'd disks, printer access (on Localtalk or Ethernet networks), mailer access, ftp, telnet/rlogin, NFS, etc. Possibly, some limited access for the Ethernet machines may be incorporated. See the May (June?) '90 issue of MacUser for some useful details about Ethernet connectivity.

Either of the two major choices, KFP or Gator, will provide basic Ethernet/Localtalk interfacing. Their pricing is typically comparable. The KFP is considered by most people to be somewhat faster than the Gator once the chosen software is in place. It is this choice of available software which forces the decision.

The bottom line is: If you are familiar with net'ing and have a background in hacking/configuring UNIX, you can (and probably should) choose the KFP and pick up public software like KIP/CAP from Almost anything desirable (which is possible) can be derived from this software plus some anterior software. It may take some time. However, work-arounds are always possible which may not be true of the second choice.

If you are not interested in getting your hands dirty and/or you are not sufficiently experienced with networking, GatorBox is your choice. Commercial software covers all of the bases solidly. GatorShare provides the only commercially available NFS for the Mac. GatorPrint supports remote printing from Macs. GatorMail (with QuickMail) provides mail access. However, all of this software will almost *double* the outlay. It is definitely expensive. Also, note that it has been remarked that GatorShare is slow by many users including MacUser. However, Cayman claims that the newest version will accelerate things up to a competitive level. All of this software is supposed to be relatively "turnkey" with a short configuration time.

Some of the competition other than KFP and GatorBox may be worth considering depending on what you want. They were not even close for us. Again, check out MacUser.

Finally, it is the suggestion of many that the GatorBox may be the better "product". First because it is based upon more robust technology and has "a future". Secondly, because the FastPath has currently been passed through many companies' hands and is not necessarily going to be around or supported for much longer; this is, of course, purely conjecture and is not backed by any substantial facts except for the usual scuttlebutt.

We will probably be buying a Kinetics FastPath since we like it dirty, fast and with faint zing of danger. We are also keen do-it-yourself types who have a minimum of financial backing. So now, YOU make a choice!

Thanks to all who replied. (See the replies below)

Loki Jorgenson node: Physics, McGill University fax: (514) 398-3733 Montreal Quebec CANADA phone: (514) 398-6531

------------------ next response ... ----------------------

>From: (Robert G. Brown) Subject: Re: GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics FastPath

We have a slew of Macs attached to two KFP's (of two different vintages, but I don't recall the model numbers off the top of my head. 3 and 4, maybe?). The KFP's are in turn connected to our local Unix ethernet (Suns, SG's, and a PDP 11/70). We use NCSA telnet with great success to connect to machines both local and global. We also use POP to handle direct internet-to-mac mail; mail is sent to special aliases on our server and forwarded via the POP handler to the Macintoshi on demand.

We would like to (one day) set up KIP/CAP to do all the other nifty things that can (presumably) be done, like share Mac printers with the Suns and vice versa, handle the networking a little better than it currently is handled, and make file service available over the network. I even went to the trouble, a year ago or so, of downloading the KIP/CAP package. I simply haven't had time to install it.

So, I'd be interested in the KIP/CAP results, and may need to ftp a new copy of the package. POP works fine, and costs, as I recall, $120 or so for a "site license" for a whole university. Fairly trivial, as bucks go.

Dr. Robert G. Brown System Administrator Duke University Physics Dept. Durham, NC 27706 (919)-684-8130 Fax (24hr) (919)-684-8101

>From: bray <bray@Think.COM> Subject: RE>GatorBoxen vs. The Kinet

Reply to: RE>GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics >From what I understand, the FastPath is a much better performer than the GatorBox (We have three GatorBoxes and I can attest to their slowness) but the FastPath does not do NFS mounting. The GatorBox does NFS mounting, but it is insufferably slow (you can just about forget it with a plus). We use the CAP/GatorBox combo for printing with pretty good success, but logging into suns on unix is becoming a real problem because the GatorBox is too slow to handle the traffic. If you can do without the NFS mounting ability, I'd say go with the FastPath. Also check out the latest issue of MacUser. It has a review of all this stuff.

--Patrick ------------------ next response ... ----------------------

>From: (Neil Murray) Subject: Add Multigate to your list.

As well as Kinetics & GatorBox, you should also look at Shiva (now handling Kinetics since Novell took over Kinetics) and the company I work for product.. the Webster Multigate. Since I work for the Webster's I wont detail anymore as I'm biased, but please contact our San Jose office.

Note the Multigate is not officially released in the USA but some info is available from the San Jose office (release is RSN... but I didn't say that). A number of Multigates are in operation throughout the USA so as is mentioned in the mac groups and comp.protocols.appletalk from time to time. 2109 O'Toole Avenue, Suite J SAN JOSE CA 95131 - 1303 CALIFORNIA 1-408-954-8054 FAX 1-408-954-1832

Unit 7, Weltech Centre Ridgeway, Welwyn Garden City Herfordshire AL7 2AA LONDON UK. Ph 44-707-336969 Mobile 44-836-725849 FAX 44-707-373378 ------------------ next response ... ---------------------- -- >From: (Tommie Berry) Subject: Re: GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics FastPath

Yes, I can NFS mount any of our disks or any directory on any disk for that matter.

I use Kinetics FastPath 4 and Tops.

It works perfict, we do prints, both color and B/W (Post Script) also, and no problems.

I have a Sun and a Mac 2 in my office using all the printers in the building if I wish.

I highly recommend it.

Tommie ------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: strick@SLCS.SLB.COM (Don Strickland) Subject: Gator Eats FastPath alive!

I've supported both. I just transferred my last FastPath out of sight. The fastpath is a subset of the GatorBox for about the same money. I've been running a GatorBox for 10 Months and it is GREAT. Support is almost nil and operation virtually flawless.

either one is going to support the PD mail products. The difference is simply that the GB is an 68000 based machine with a STRONG future (demonstrated by it's current abilities) and the fastPath is almost history (demonstrated by the fact that it is almost homeless. First Kinetics, then Novell and now Shiva. Shiva is a fine company, I love there Network products, but the fastPath doesn't fit in the Shiva Family. They should have added DECNET and TCP to the netbridge and let the FastPath die a quiet death.

Who Knows? Maybe shiva is just going to suck the fastpath clean and then toss it on the heap.

Just an opinion.


------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: strick@SLCS.SLB.COM (Don Strickland) Subject: Re: Gator Eats FastPath alive!

hmmm ... is right.

I haven't done bench marks, but I have used Pacer and Alisa on a VMS host serving through a FastPath (more than one) and GatorShare running on a GB serving SUN nfs files. Having the software run on the GB rather than hassling with a HOST process is far better in my mind. As for speed, there are toooooo many network and environment specific "features" to consider. Not to mention that age old enemy of technology, "human perception".

I intend to buy GB's from here on out. Cayman is an excellent company to deal with.


------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: michael@Cayman.COM (Michael Haag) Subject: GatorBoxes

The GatorBox will certainly do the NFS work for you, along with TCP/IP services and AppleTalk routing, SNMP, UNIX to LocalTalk printing, etc. You're welcome to contact me with technical questions.

Our Canadian distributor is Mckenzie Brown. Their Quebec office is in Ville St. Perre. 514-364-3332. They can help you with pricing, etc. If you need to talk to someone in Sales here at Cayman you can speak to Vicky Risk, our University Sales rep (

regards, -michael

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: chris@Cayman.COM (Chris North) Subject: GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics FastPath

Hi Loki,

You may have gotten the 'slowness' report from MacUser. They released a review of Appletalk Routers last month that picked the GatorBox as the slowest of them all. Unfortunately MacUser did that review about 4 months ago and used and older version of our software.

The GatorBox is better than the Fastpath for a lot of reasons. The most important of them is expandability. The GatorBox can also run file sharing software (GatorShare) and print-sharing software (GatorPrint). You can achieve the same results with a FastPath but in a messier way. With a GatorBox you don't need to compile software on every NFS host like you would have to with CAP. The translation is all done in the GatorBox and only native protocols exist on your Unix and Mac hosts.

There are a number of other bells and whistles - our new software is much better aimed at larger networks. Network filtering, SNMP support, etc.

Let me know if you have any other questions....


>From: chris@Cayman.COM (Chris North) Subject: GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics FastPath

You certainly can run KIP/CAP with the GatorBox! The hardware cost is ~7/12 of the cost of the whole system.


Chris North Cayman Systems Phone: 617-494-1999 FAX: 617-494-9270 26 Landsdowne Street Cambridge MA 02139

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: vturner@NMSU.Edu Subject: gatorboxen vs. Kinetics

We saved $100 when making a third zone here at nmsu by buying a gatorbox. Actually, after adding all of the hourly rates of the net experts, including myself who had to figure out why the piece of junk wouldn't run 28 machines with no problems, we lost money.

What I guess I'm saying is that I'm not too fond of Gatorboxes. They slow down way too much when the heat is on.

There is a review of many gateways in the June 1990 issue of MacUser.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Hope this helps,

Vaughan Turner BITNET: mcswvt@nmsuvm1.bitnet Box 3AT Computer Center preferred--> INTERNET: Las Cruces, NM 88001

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: marc@altitude.CAM.ORG (Marc Boucher) Subject: Re: GatorBoxen vs. The Kinetics FastPath

I'm planning a similar setup. And I too, am undecided about the gateway.

The Kinetics fastpath has superior ratings in the June MacUser network products evaluation. But the Gatorbox's lower performance is probably due to software bottlenecks, since it (gatorbox) has a 10mhz cpu, 1meg ram, compared to 8mhz cpu and 256k ram (fastpath). maybe future software will improve the performance.. tech support for the fastpath might be flaky these days, since the product has recently been sold to Shiva. We might want to ask Helene Hebert (Postmaster@IRO.UMontreal.CA) her feelings about the Kinetics FP4 (She installed one recently).

Marc.. Courrier.. Internet: marc@CAM.ORG UUCP: uunet!philmtl!altitude!marc Telephone.. (514) Maison, 466-8932 DHD, 489-8989 Fax, 489-0242

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: (Dave Bursik x4497) Subject: Re: Gator v. FastPath

Thanks for the pointer about the GatorShare version. I forgot to mention that our net admin is (even as I write) trying to bring up K-Talk to enable print spooling from the Macs to our Ethernetted Imagen printer. He had tried working with the Columbia print spooler but ran afoul of SunOS 4.0.3; supposedly, the commercial version is set to run with 4.0.3.

-Dave Bursik

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: "Bruce A. Carter" <> Subject: GatorBoxes vs FastPath


We have had very good luck with GatorBoxes. A recent MacUser article does not rate them very high, but ours have been flawless. The expansion offered by GatorShare, GatorPrint, and GatorMail are valuable as well.

I wasn't aware that the FastPath provided NFS capability.

Bruce A. Carter, Courseware Development Coordinator = Boise State University InterNet/Domain: = Office: (208) 385-1250

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: vturner@NMSU.Edu Subject: Re: gatorboxen vs. Kinetics

Our computer center is using a gatorbox for cap/kip, but I think we could have hacked it into one of our kinetics boxes without too much trouble. The only problem we've ever had with kinetics boxes is when one of them was power cycling a while ago. After sending it back, it seems to work fine (this was a widespread problem with older K-boxes).

Their Gatorbox only serves 4 or 5 machines, and they don't use NCSA Telnet on it, which is slow no matter how many users you have.

We just wanted to emulate a K-box, so I have no info on GatorShare, etc.

Hope this helps,

Vaughan Turner BITNET: mcswvt@nmsuvm1.bitnet Box 3AT Computer Center preferred--> INTERNET: Las Cruces, NM 88001 ------------------ next response ... ----------------------

>From: nli! Subject: GatorBox vs. Kinetics FastPath

We have MacII, SE30's, SE's on a FastPath. However, we use it largely as a Telnet interface. We tried TOPS and it failed rather badly on the SUN network...and

Actually, we'd be interested in public domain software that would allow Mac access to printers on the Suns. I'd appreciate info on this if you have a chance:

Stan Sawyer phone (415)849-8234

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: Joshua Yeidel <> Subject: info-mac question

So far as I know, you need the Gatorbox for NFS access from Macs. The GB has optional software called GatorShare which does some protocol conversion between AFP (AppleShare) and NFS, such that Macs running the AppleShare client software (free with system distributions from Apple) can look like clients to NFS servers, and NFS servers look like AppleShare servers to the Macs. (This is not reversible -- that is, NFS clients and AppleShare servers are not connected by GatorShare). In general, access is reasonably transparent point-and-click -- though all Unix permissions are not modeled well by AppleShare and vice versa, most of the common needs can be met.

I don't know of another way to do NFS with Macs.

Joshua Yeidel YEIDEL@WSUVM1.BITNET Academic Computing Services Washington State University (509) 335-0441 Pullman, WA 99164-1226

------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: (Robert G. Brown) Subject: Re: Macs'n'stuff

We're using the mh (mail handler) package, version 6.6. I'll have to look at the sources to see which version (they are tarred and compressed at the moment. We got the current version of all the above about eight months ago, and paid stanford (?) for the license. It goes both ways (m2u and u2m) and is transparent. Mail to unix gets forwarded to the pop mail handler and from thence via TCP/IP to the macs (which have to be running the mh on their end as an init, I believe.


------------------ next response ... ---------------------- >From: (Tommie Berry) Subject: Re: file sharing

I just have the Kinetics Fast Path connected to my Apple talk and to my Ethernet. That is the only hardware that I have. I bring up the Tops DA and log into the Sun and all the mounted Sun disks (Mounted with the Sun version of Tops on the Sun side) show up as mountable disks and If I mount one of them, it shows up exactly as if it were a local hard disk. The Mac does not know the difference between my 40M hard disk and the mounted Tops disc directory on the Sun network.

You may come over and see this if you like.

Tommie Berry 1601 Technology Dr. San Jose, Ca 408-437-5298 ------------------ next response ... ----------------------

>From: bray <bray@Think.COM> Subject: RE>GatorBoxen vs. The Kinet

In all fairness to Cayman, I would like to clarify my above statements.

Cayman is a great company and they do have the best tech support I've ever dealt with. We have no intention of switching our GatorBoxes. The slowness I reported above (and speed is the only concern that I had with GatorBoxes) was not with their new software, but with an older version. If their new software will increase speed then the GatorBox will certainly be the product to beat. Our AppleTalk network is already large and will be getting much larger. We also have a great deal of traffic (Unix logins, file transfers, file servers, Quickmail, GatorMail, B&W and color printing) so speed is a great concern. So much so that we are going to go ethernet for our Macs. And, the best card we have found so far is... The GatorCard (by Cayman). Considering price, performance and the proven tech support that Cayman provides, the GatorCard is without doubt the best card on the market.

Patrick Bray Phone:(617) 876-1111 x2112 Thinking Machines Corp. Fax:(617) 876-1823 245 First street E-Mail: Cambridge,MA 02142-1214 ------------------ next response ... ----------------------

To: loki@Physics.McGill.CA Subject: GatorCards

I certainly can clarify what I know. A mac with a ethernet card has *full* localtalk functionality (except for the NFS stuff, I think you have to be on localtalk for that). We have a "PC" ethernet subnet with three GatorBoxes (making three localtalk zones) and I have a GatorCard in my mac on the PC subnet. I can print to any printer in any zone as well as mount AppleShare servers in any zone (including an AppleShare server on ethernet in the PC subnet). You get all the localtalk goodies without the gateway bottleneck plus the speed of ethernet. I conducted a little experiment in file transfer with an AppleShare server on both ethernet and localtalk with my mac on both ethernet and localtalk (in other words my mac would be on ethernet and I would transfere files to a server on ethernet and then to one on localtalk - then switch my mac to localtalk and repeat). Here are the results of the tests for a 308,970 K file (it was timed with a second hand of my watch):

my mac server time1 time2 time3 ----------------------------------------------------- localtalk localtalk 19 sec 20 sec 22 sec localtalk ethernet 35 sec 39 sec 36 sec ethernet localtalk 59 sec 46 sec 56 sec ethernet ethernet 6 sec 6 sec 6 sec

As you can see the gateways really slow things up.

--Patrick ------------------ next response ... ----------------------

>From: Alan S. Watt <> Subject: Re: Summary: KFP vs. GatorBox

None of your respondent's comments mentioned the following:

KFP Advantages -------------- + Keeps operating software and configuration in NVRAM, so box can be configured in one place, unplugged and moved to another place.

KFP Disdvantages ---------------- + These boxes run very hot. I'm surprised they don't self-destruct more often.

+ There is no security; anyone with the FastPath manager on either LocalTalk or ethernet side can take control of the box, change its configuration, load different software, etc. This is something to think about if you have KFP's in "secure" network location which connect to dormatory networks or other places with a high hacker coefficient. Someone could presumably load ethernet snooper code in a KFP and watch traffic on your supposedly secure segment.

GatorBox Advantages ------------------- + Has passive ventillation, so runs much cooler.

+ Can be booted from TFTP server on ethernet.

+ Has password protection to reconfigure or reload a GatorBox.

+ You can "telnet" to the box and get information from a limited command facility.

GatorBox Disadvantages ---------------------- + Has external transformer plug, which sits on a power strip like a Winnebago in a compact car lot. Power connector into back of GatorBox is a rather wimpy type with no lock or other securing system. The odds of disrupting a GatorBox by accidentally disconnecting power are therefore much higher than with a KFP.

+ Must load gateway software on power-up. Either from MAC on LocalTalk side or from TFTP server on Ethernet side. You cannot use a broadcast address for TFTP server. You can specify two servers, but if so it tries one, then the other, then gives up and sulks; you have to take control manually with GatorKeeper.

If you specify "retry forever", it only tries the first server. The definition of "forever" is 9 hours, after which it gives up and sulks.

The TFTP server must be on the directly attached ethernet; the ROM boot code can't deal with gateways (unless the gateway does proxy ARP, as cisco boxes can be set to do).

In addition, you can configure two GatorBoxes so they act as an IP router between two ethernets, separated by a LocalTalk link. It isn't obvious how to do this from the documents, and there are some limitations, but I have been unable to make the same tricks work with two KFPs. This is with the 1.5 software.

Cayman claims they are going to improve the ROM code so the booting is much more flexible.

- Alan S. Watt High Speed Networking, Yale University Computing and Information Systems Box 2112 Yale Station New Haven, CT 06520-2112 (203) 432-6600 X394 Watt-Alan@Yale.Edu

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I suggest that you look into products offered by

Information Presentation Technologies, Inc. 555 Chorro Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 USA (805) 541-300 (US phone #, I have no idea how YOU would dial it)

They have a series of Sun/Mac connectivity products. You can mount Sun file systems on your Mac. You can mount Mac file systems on your Sun. You can share printers between both Mac and Sun. There is also a very nice e-mail mechanism that is a GUI front-end for Macs that allows them to use a Sun mail-server. Good stuff. Prices are very good too.

Russ Button

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Running Columbia AppleTalk (CAP) on your Suns would allow them to export their filesystems as AppleShare resources. That's probably among the cheapest solutions, since CAP is free software (ftp-able from Columbia U., I believe). If you want a more expensive solution that may be easier to administer, try buying a Gatorbox.

Stuart Freedman Interleaf, Inc., uunet!leafusa!stuart Prospect Place also 9 Hillside Ave. +1(617)290-0710 or 290-4990,1-1708 Waltham, MA 02154

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I'm not really up on these things, but uShare seems to work just fine at two of my clients. As you said, your mileage may vary...

Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child} kalli!kevin@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM

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NCSA has a TCP/IP package for MACs...Its somewhat useful. Stay away from TOPS -- you need to buy software for MACs and Suns, and its a mess. Probably (from what I've read, no practical experience) it seems to be CAP or netatalk is the way to go -- it moves appletalk protocols onto Unix, you have source and the price is right.

Martin A. Leisner

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Cheapest? CAP: the Columbia (University) Appletalk Package. It's available on FTP servers. Let me know if you need help finding it. Be sure to get the most recent set of patches; a whole slew were just released. CAP is also probably the most thorough implementation. You will need a LocalTalk-Ethernet media conversion box like a Kinetics FastPath or EtherRouter, or you will need to have Ethernet NuBus cards in your Macs (better anyway: LocalTalk is 230 kilobits/second; Ethernet is theoretically 10,000 kilobits/second, practically 4,000 kb/s). But that won't help for your LocalTalk LaserWriters; if you have any, or any other devices that you need to talk to that lacks Ethernet capability, and has only LocalTalk connection, you'll need the conversion box anyway.

--Dwight A. Ernest KA2CNN Publishing System Software and Networking Consultant 668 Main Street #247 Wilmington, MA 01887 USA

------------------ next response ... ----------------------

...Several companies (including apple) offer software which you can run on one macintosh which is connected to the ethernet and the localtalk network which will make it act as if it were a gateway (just like a FastPath or a GatorBox). The apple solution is called something like "Apple Internet Router" and is in the several hundred dollar range. Of course the performance of the macintosh acting as the gateway will be reduced somewhat.

--Jim Dempsey--

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Hi -- I just read your summary of Mac Connectivity from the Net. I was surprised not to see either Alisa Systems, Intercon, or IPT on your list of software. If I could add a couple of thoughts ... We just finished a study of Mac connectivity packages. Like yourself, we have a network of Suns and less than 10 Macs (at the moment). We also chose the ethernet cards, but because they are faster, not because of cost. WE chose Intercon's TCP/Connect II Extended package which contains NFS/share. It allows our mac users to mount sun disks and then have click and drag copy etc. just like a Mac. The nice thing is that it supports both apple single and double files, and nfs takes care of the file format differences. For example you can edit your .cshrc file from the Mac using teach text and save it as text only, from the unix side it is still in the correct format. Packages that use afp on the sun (like Alisa Systems and IPT) do not retain the file format, thus your .cshrc file ends up having only carriage returns instead of carriage return line feeds as line separators. It has a nice mail Mac client that downloads mail from /usr/spool/mail on the sun at whatever intervals you choose. This is nice because users can log in from home to the sun on evenings/weekends and check their mail. As long as they don't save it to their mbox the mail will still be there to down load to their mac the next morning. It has a nifty News client for the Mac which is much nicer than rn. IT also has a nice user interface for ftp (tons better than ncsa (which we have used in the past) and nice term emulation with scrollable terminal windows. Give Skip Meranui a call at 703-709-9890 (email skip@intercon.con) for more info. One drawback is no printing (we are using printing from IPT).

I also liked Alisa Systems, it was very easy to configure and had a nice mail program. IT would be great for a Mac network that was adding a sun file server. But it sounds like you (like us) have lots of suns and a few Macs which makes Intercon a better choice. For more info on Alisa call Bob Morgan at 1-800-628-3274 ext 128.

I don't have the IPT info right here but if you want it let me know and I'll send it on.

Hope this helps. Mary Skipp

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You can run CAP 6.x, which allows Mac users to see the Sun as an AppleShare server over Ethertalk and to print to Sun printer queues as if they were EtherTalk networked printers. There are some mods which eliminate the requirement for a LocalTalk to Ethernet gateway if your Macs have EtherTalk cards installed. Asante cards work for us and are below $200 each.

We don't have CAP installed here, but two sites at the university do.

The ftp site is, as I remember.

-- Michael L. Squires [sir-alan!]

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I know you asked for no more but one simple cheap option seems to have been missed. You can connect just *one* Mac to Ethernet, keep the same machine LocalTalked as well and use a piece of software called Liaison to route between the two. Please note I have not done this myself but a colleague of mine has and thinks very highly of it. At the last count Liaison would not route TCP/IP; however, one network company in the UK told me that a new release including TCP/IP is due. So if you need connectivity rather than speed then this is the cheapest route. It does of course mean that the machine acting as the router has to be reliable and not being rebooted with monotonous regularity :-)

Jeremy Olsen

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/* Amir J. Katz | UUCP: uunet!ingr!matis!amir */ /* System Specialist | Internet: amir%matis.UUCP@ingr.COM */ /* SEE Technologies Ltd. | Voice: +972 52-584684, Fax: +972 52-543917 */

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