In This Chapter
Connecting to a legacy AppleTalk network
Configuring the AppleTalk network preferences
Using Mac OS X to access AppleTalk resources
When emoting concerning networking and Macs, I'd be terribly remiss for not discussing
AppleTalk, which is the so‐called “archaic” communications protocol created years ago by Apple. AppleTalk allows a network of Macs to share files and printers; before the arrival of an Ethernet port, AppleTalk was the cat's meow for connecting Macs. AppleTalk is still used in environments like offices and college campuses. However, AppleTalk is now disappearing from the corporate world because it simply cannot
scale (that's administrator‐speak for grow) to handle large networks like standard Ethernet and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) can.
Although Apple finally made the move to TCP/IP as its primary network protocol — like the rest of the civilized world — Apple still includes support for AppleTalk in Mac OS X Leopard, but it's disabled by default. About the only time when you might need to use AppleTalk is if you find yourself trying to access an existing AppleTalk network (which is practically the definition of the phrase rare occurrence) …but hey, I like to cover everything in a desktop reference. Therefore, in this chapter, I show you how to enable the AppleTalk protocol on your Mac as well as how to access files and printers on a network that's running AppleTalk.