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Category: Printing

45. How can I connect my Mac that lacks a serial port to my printer that requires one?

I. If the printer has a serial port that does not require Appletalk/Localtalk:
- Keyspan has a USB-to-Serial Port adapter.


II. If the printer also has a parallel port:
- Keyspan has a USB adapter for this, too.

III. If the printer is a Localtalk printer, i.e. a printer with a serial port that requires Appletalk to be on and set to the port the printer is attached to:


Solutions include:
- 1) an internal Localtalk port from Griffin Technologies
- 2) a hardware Ethernet-to-Localtalk adapter
- 3) a second Mac with Ethernet and a serial port
The following deals with these solutions.


1) an internal Localtalk port from Griffin Technologies
Griffin Technologies has a serial port adapter that fits in the internal modem slot of the following Macs running OS9:
- B&W G3 PowerMac
- G4 PowerMac
- Cube

They also have an internal card for RevA and RevB iMacs running OS9.


2) a hardware Ethernet-to-Localtalk adapter
This lets you connect your Localtalk printer to your Mac's Ethernet connector.
The AsantéTalk is one example.
The Farallon iPrint Adapter LT is another.


3) a second Mac with Ethernet and a serial port
If you have access to an old Mac that has Ethernet and serial ports, you can use it as an Ethernet-to-Localtalk bridge:


- Install Apple's "Localtalk Bridge" software in the old Mac.
- Connect the old Mac by Ethernet to your newer Mac, or to an Ethernet network.*
- Connect the printer to the old Mac's serial port
- Set Appletalk to "Ethernet" in both Macs.
- Use the Chooser in OS9 or Print Center in OSX to select the printer.

*Connecting one Mac directly to another requires an Ethernet crossover cable, although it has been said that the G4 Powerbooks and 1000Gb G4 or newer can use a regular Ethernet cable for this use just as well. Depending on the model, your old Mac may need an AAUI-to-10baseT tranceiver, which can be bought pretty cheaply on eBay.


For more info, visit http://www.atpm.com/network/setup/localtalk_ethernet.htm and search the DealMac forum, where this subject has been covered in detail.



Related Links:
http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/USA28x
http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/mpr
http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/gport/index.html
http://www.asante.com/products/adapters/asantetalk/index.html
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60290
http://www.atpm.com/network/setup/localtalk_ethernet.htm



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