A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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adespoton
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A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by adespoton »

https://www.reddit.com/r/VintageApple/c ... apo_laser/ details how to get a fully functional netatalk server going that can talk to localtalk devices (both printing and filesharing).

I thought some on here might be interested :)
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by mabam »

Please note that the information on the A2SERVER website is a little outdated. It gives information on A2SERVER 1.2.5 while the package is actually installing 1.5. Most changes are not a big deal (though definitely improvements), but version 1.5 is compatible with Debian 8 (Jessie) (and possibly Ubuntu 15 as well), opposed to what the website says at the moment. This might be important to know when setting up a system yourself in order to install the package on it (especially when you have to compile a kernel with AppleTalk for ARM architecture this is very good news).
adespoton wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/VintageApple/c … apo_laser/ details how to get a fully functional netatalk server going that can talk to localtalk devices (both printing and filesharing).
• At the link you provided iphillips77 describes, next to using it for AppleTalk file sharing, how to share a printer from a modern network via AppleTalk to a legacy Mac by activating PAPD.

• Also using A2SERVER, I've done it the other way around: sharing an AppleTalk printer to a modern network by installing a PAP backend for CUPS at the Linux side. I have done it not using a VM, but hardware (Banana Pi) as I wanted a server running independently and with an HDD attached.

mactjaap did this (without using A2SERVER but setting up netatalk himself) in a minimalistic way, spending $10 for a C.H.I.P. + a few bucks for a USB-Ethernet-dongle.

In all three cases the key thing is having AppleTalk compiled into the kernel or as kernel module. If you work with a VM and do it the way described on the A2SERVER website, A2SERVER will take care of it (it also does when using a Raspberry Pi). In mactjaap's and my case, we had to take care of that ourselves. See his thread on how to compile a kernel for a C.H.I.P. over here.

I begun writing a detailed guide on how to set everything up. Including compilation of a system with kernel AppleTalk (and the VM as build environment needed for that), installing/configuring Samba, CUPS, the PAP backend, etc. I haven't finished the guide yet, but most of it is ready.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by mabam »

The guide is ready and I have tested it and did some corrections yesterday while performing everything with a second SD card.

http://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/app ... os_and_osx

If things are unclear or if there should still be an error in it – or if you know a way to do things in an easier way – please let me know. Any improvements are welcome!

At this point many thanks to Ronald P. Regensburg for his support, and to ClockWise for hosting the guide at emaculation.com!
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by adespoton »

Well done! I appreciate the balanced level of writing plus the correct security-conscious suggestions for what to enable/disable and why.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by mabam »

Thanks!
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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When I set up this system two years ago I couldn't find a way to have the CUPS server handle the PPD properly. Printing always resulted in empty pages.
I have now found someone coming up with a fix for that as he had the exact same problem trying to print to his LaserWriter 16/640 PS. Actually, it's a bug in the printer's PostScript interpreter that requires a workaround on the print server side (force it to use an older PDF to PS converter).

I have updated section 4 of the guide with some corrections and additions (mainly by using footnotes, at least for now).

This fix also enables printing from the iPhone and iPad via AirPrint.

EDIT:
I've filed a bug report on github.com/OpenPrinting, so hopefully I can soon remove the requirement of a manual amendment from my guide: https://github.com/OpenPrinting/cups-filters/issues/76 .
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by adespoton »

Wow! Thanks! I really need to see if I can get this set up on one of my PPC Minis now that the printing issue has been figured out and AirPrint is supported.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by mabam »

Till Kamppeter was really quick in following up the bug I've filed. It should be fixed by now, but the only system with an AppleTalk kernel I have is my live NAS. Don't want to use that for testing. I'm downloading Ivan's VBox VM image at http://appleii.ivanx.com/a2server/a2ser ... albox.html right now to do the testing.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

Post by adespoton »

I do most of my testing with a VM using the same virtual network as LocalTalk-enabled builds of Mini vMac. Since my home network is mostly wireless to the human-attached computers, LocalTalk fails when running elsewhere.

That said, I've got my file server running 10.5, and that still has AppleTalk support. But like you, I don't really want to test with that.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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adespoton wrote:Wow! Thanks! I really need to see if I can get this set up on one of my PPC Minis now that the printing issue has been figured out and AirPrint is supported.
Actually, the printing issue was specific to certain old PostScript printers of which – to my knowledge – the LaserWriter 4/600 PS and the Personal LaserWriter 320 were the only ones that didn't have any other port but LocalTalk. These should be the only ones that need the combination of AppleTalk and the workaround as described above if a Linux based CUPS server is supposed to do the PostScript rendering – which it needs to do the PPD/driver handling for.

When I wrote the guide I didn't know this issue is specific to just a few printers as I only had my 4/600 PS for testing. This is why I only described how to set it up as raw printer and assign the PPD at the OS X side (which resulted in PostScript rendering being done there too).

For most other printers, if driver and rendering are handled on the CUPS server side, AirPrint should work automatically (at least if the cups server runs on a Debian system).
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote:Till Kamppeter was really quick in following up the bug I've filed. It should be fixed by now, but the only system with an AppleTalk kernel I have is my live NAS. Don't want to use that for testing. I'm downloading Ivan's VBox VM image at http://appleii.ivanx.com/a2server/a2ser ... albox.html right now to do the testing.
Had a lot of trouble testing this. The Debian version on Ivan's image was too old. The version of CUPS it was capable of wasn't compatible with a recent enough pdftops.c to be patched with Till Kamppeter's fix.
So I duplicated the SD card of my AppleTalk NAS and looked for a way to test the patch. Eventually I succeeded by uninstalling the old CUPS-version, holding the system kernel to prevent updates on it (else I would loose AppleTalk in the kernel), installing the most recent Debian Jessie updates for everthing else, downloading the source for CUPS Filters 1.0.61 (which the fix can easily be applied on), patching /filter/pdftops.c with Till Kamppeter's fix from v1.21.6, compiling and installing it. Then I installed CUPS 1.7.5, the latest version my updated Jessie is capable of and reverted the manual amendmends to /etc/cups/printers.conf I had previously done as a quick fix.

And the thing runs and prints without a problem, also from my iPhone …

During all the trial and error I found out that my guide on installing the AppleTalk NAS is quite outdated by now. Also, a new installation of a2server (which has been updated from v1.5 to v1.5.1 in the meantime) would result in a broken netatalk. Not sure whether there was something wrong on my side or with the installation script. I might try to find out though, not sure yet.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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adespoton wrote: Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:28 pm https://www.reddit.com/r/VintageApple/c ... apo_laser/ details how to get a fully functional netatalk server going that can talk to localtalk devices (both printing and filesharing).
Hi! Last week, I dusted off and fired up my old Mac Plus that I had almost forgotten in storage for 15 years. It still works flawlessly and monitor is bright and sharp! Old 800KB floppy disks still work too, one of them is System 6.0.8.

I'm reading on here that apparently A2SERVER works in LocalTalk? Are you guys sure about that? Everywhere else on the web, I read that it only works thru IP. I'm wondering, because I've already got a RPi and on Monday, I ordered a DB-9 to USB (RS232) adapter, plus I already had a DB-9 female to female and a Mac DIN-8 to DB-25 (modem) cable that I plan on splicing to make a DIN-8 to USB cable RS232 interface as seen on a number of retro-Mac hacking websites.

If it really works without IP, then is the tutorial linked above the same?
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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that-ben wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:46 am I'm reading on here that apparently A2SERVER works in LocalTalk? Are you guys sure about that? Everywhere else on the web, I read that it only works thru IP. I'm wondering, because I've already got a RPi and on Monday, I ordered a DB-9 to USB (RS232) adapter, plus I already had a DB-9 female to female and a Mac DIN-8 to DB-25 (modem) cable that I plan on splicing to make a DIN-8 to USB cable RS232 interface as seen on a number of retro-Mac hacking websites.
LocalTalk is actually the hardware, the wiring originally used in AppleTalk networks. The adapter you’re building is what your Mac Plus will recognise as LocalTalk.

What you are looking for is DDP which Apple used before they switched to IP. And DDP is indeed provided by A2SERVER as it is based on an older version of netatalk that still provides DDP. Requirement is what is called “Kernel AppleTalk” (which, in fact, is “Kernel DDP”). For an RPi the A2SERVER install script should compile that automatically.

If it really works without IP, then is the tutorial linked above the same?
At first glance the tutorial looks fine. But I don’t know whether it might be outdated (I know my guide at https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/ap ... os_and_osx is by now).
In order to be able to install A2SERVER, make sure you use an older version of Raspbian that is based on Debian 8 Jessie (Debian 9 Stretch might also work, not sure though).

I’m using my A2SERVER based Banana Pi NAS since four years now and it still runs fine:

Image
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:00 pm In order to be able to install A2SERVER, make sure you use an older version of Raspbian that is based on Debian 8 Jessie (Debian 9 Stretch might also work, not sure though).
According to https://github.com/RasppleII/a2server/c ... c6509d185a Ivan Drucker has added experimental support for Debian 10 Buster six months ago (v1.5.3a2). I’ve just tried in a Buster VM: The installation script succeeded but after restart the system booted into emergency mode.

However, installation in Debian 9 Stretch works fine (v1.5.2). The required AppleTalk kernel module gets compiled automatically.
So if you get an older Raspbian version based on Stretch, the following commands should get you going (found on https://github.com/RasppleII/a2server/tree/ivanx-1.5.x):

Code: Select all

export A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RasppleII/a2server/1.5.2/

export A2SERVER_BINARY_URL=${A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL}files

wget -O setup ${A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL}setup/index.txt; source setup

Image


EDIT:
that-ben wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:46 am I'm reading on here that apparently A2SERVER works in LocalTalk? Are you guys sure about that? Everywhere else on the web, I read that it only works thru IP.
I think the reason people claim it only works through IP may be found here:
https://www.downtowndougbrown.com/2020/ ... and-newer/
It was a problem with the Linux kernel since v5.1 which is fixed since v5.4.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:46 am So if you get an older Raspbian version based on Stretch, the following commands should get you going (found on https://github.com/RasppleII/a2server/tree/ivanx-1.5.x):

Code: Select all

export A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RasppleII/a2server/1.5.2/
export A2SERVER_BINARY_URL=${A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL}files
wget -O setup ${A2SERVER_SCRIPT_URL}setup/index.txt; source setup
Hey, thanks for all this useful information. I cannot wait to receive my RS232 USB to serial adapter, it should arrive by tomorrow evening. I have one more crazy idea I literally just thought about. Do you think I could share files if I hooked up the spliced LocalTalk to RS232 USB cable from the Mac Plus to my iMac G3 running Mac OS 9.2.2? I'm wondering if Mac OS 9 could provide a mountable AppleShare volume or folder on the Plus running 6.0.8? It would be much easier than setting up the Pi, tough I might go both routes TBH.

EDIT: I just received a reply from Ivan Drucker (a.k.a. IvanX), the former Apple Software Engineer who put together A2SERVER, and unfortunately, he wrote that it won't work due to generic RS-232 adapters not being fully compatible with LocalTalk. I'm not sure why this would be, but to him, Apple used extra hardware "magic" that will prevent standard RS-232 adapters from fully conducting LocalTalk signals. He wrote that even if my RS-232 WAS compatible with LocalTalk, there would still be missing a driver for A2SERVER software to output signals thru the USB adapter. So, unless somebody actually managed to make this work and could share how they did it, well, it seems this whole project is a no-go. There is a RS-232 driver for Mac OS 9 so all hope is not lost. I still am interested in hooking up the RS-232 to Mac DIN-8 LocalTalk cable I'll be making tomorrow to my iMac G3 and see if AppleShare works between the two... we'll see. If anybody has experience sharing between Mac OS 9.2.2 and System 6.0.8 thru LocalTalk or AppleShare, please post here.
Last edited by that-ben on Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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I don’t know hardware-wise as I don’t understand how your selfmade LocalTalk adapter works (but I will keep that option at the back of my mind in case my AsantéTalk dies before the LaserWriter 4/600 PS).

But according to http://www.knubbelmac.de/themen/afp-ser ... leich.html (in German, but the chart there should communicate in any language), both, System 6 and MacOS 9 are capable of AFP versions 1.1 and 2.0. So you should be able to share files between the two.

EDIT:
Btw.: The remaining AsantéTalk stock is still sold by Asante: https://store.asante.com/asantetalk-us.html
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:38 pm I don’t understand how your selfmade LocalTalk adapter works
4th diagram from that picture for the splice between Mac DIN-8 and RS-232 DB-9: https://macgui.com/upload/gallery/f_0/u ... d_4705.png

Once the Mac DIN-8 to RS-232 DB-9 cable is spliced, then it's just a RS-232 to USB adapter: https://d5hu1uk9q8r1p.cloudfront.net/co ... 7713-1.jpg

Alright, so System 6 to 9 both support AFP 2.0 via DDP, noted. That brings hope that it will work! It's all in the hands of that spliced cable... we'll see.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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that-ben wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:06 pm EDIT: I just received a reply from Ivan Drucker (a.k.a. IvanX), the former Apple Software Engineer who put together A2SERVER, and unfortunately, he wrote that it won't work due to generic RS-232 adapters not being fully compatible with LocalTalk. I'm not sure why this would be, but to him, Apple used extra hardware "magic" that will prevent standard RS-232 adapters from fully conducting LocalTalk signals. He wrote that even if my RS-232 WAS compatible with LocalTalk, there would still be missing a driver for A2SERVER software to output signals thru the USB adapter. So, unless somebody actually managed to make this work and could share how they did it, well, it seems this whole project is a no-go. There is a RS-232 driver for Mac OS 9 so all hope is not lost. I still am interested in hooking up the RS-232 to Mac DIN-8 LocalTalk cable I'll be making tomorrow to my iMac G3 and see if AppleShare works between the two... we'll see. If anybody has experience sharing between Mac OS 9.2.2 and System 6.0.8 thru LocalTalk or AppleShare, please post here.
That’s too bad.
I was wondering if and how the adapter would share the devices connected via LocalTalk to the ethernet in some way. But that explains it.

If you’re located in the US and you’re willing to invest $ 89.— (incl. shipping), you can obtain a new AsantéTalk directly from Asante as linked in my last post.
If you’re situated elsewhere and willing to pay some extra money for the shipping, using https://www.myus.com/where-we-ship/ may be an option.

Of course, you could also buy a used LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge on eBay. But nowadays these are more expensive than a new AsantéTalk, I found.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:34 am You could also buy a used LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge on eBay. But nowadays these are more expensive than a new AsantéTalk, I found.
Yeah, no :( I mean, I'm not in the US and I'm not going to pay +100$ for an AsantéTalk adapter... (OR AM I?!) See, the thing is, even if I had that LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge adapter, I'd still not be able to use it, unless it comes with 800KB System 7 boot disk and whatever software required to drive AppleShare thru IP. The only boot disk I have is 6.0.8 and it only has DDP AppleShare in the Chooser. Tough, just to be clear, the spliced cable CAN STILL BE USED for normal serial comm. This means using a Terminal. Just not AppleTalk. LocalTalk indeed requires that the cable is DIRECTLY connecting two AppleTalk devices. The fact that at some point the signal is converted to RS-232 is exactly where it breaks AppleTalk. It was at this moment, he knew, he F*** up! ;-) I should have got a SE instead of a Plus, it's like... so limited! Yet it has 4MB of RAM, which is kind of nice.

Man, in the 1980's, Apple was REALLY thinking different! It's kind of a Catch 22 and it's been boggling my mind for a week now. My ONLY other "affordable" option is to try and get an old IOmega SCSI Zip drive. I see some priced at like 40$. Often, they are missing the PSU, but luckily, I can precisely recreate one of those. I have a huge box FULL of power bricks with all voltage and amperage units you can think of. What's fascinating is that those SCSI Zip drives are plug and play for all serial Macs except the 128K and 512K. I THINK we can use it on an old PC using the DB-25 cable as well so this would make it quite easy to at least get started with System 7 and transfer Stuffit Expander and Mac Binary to the Plus. This guy has gone down that route and provides a 100MB Zip disk image containing a bootable System 7 environment with ResEdit and other tools to get started on 68K Macs: https://www.savagetaylor.com/2017/12/31 ... zip-drive/

There isn't even a single FloppyEmu unit left either. I mean, at this point, it's the SCSI Zip drive for 40$ or nothing... I might wait a couple weeks and check the ads, because at some point I may just stumble upon a SLIGHTLY more recent 68K Mac model that's worth next to nothing such as a LC or some other model nobody wants anymore and which has a 1.4MB floppy disk drive and then I will be able to make 800KB floppies for the Plus.

EDIT: Damn it, even tough the IOmega SCSI Zip drive comes with a DB-25 cable, it is NOT compatible with Windows PC's unless it is connected to a SCSI card. It's like a SCSI THRU PARALLEL kind of deal. This increases the total price of parts to a point where a FloppyEmu costs about the same.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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that-ben wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:03 pm Yeah, no :( I mean, I'm not in the US and I'm not going to pay +100$ for an AsantéTalk adapter... (OR AM I?!) See, the thing is, even if I had that LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge adapter, I'd still not be able to use it, unless it comes with 800KB System 7 boot disk and whatever software required to drive AppleShare thru IP.
True, but if you connect it to the RPi via DDP running A2SERVER, you can connect to that from your other machines via IP. And you wouldn’t have to reconnect an external drive, insert and eject disks, etc. On top of that, if you install CUPS with Ghostscript on the RPi, you can run it as printserver appearing as an AppleTalk PostScript printer to your Mac Plus (KnuddlMac has done that here).

By the way: There’s also MacIPRpi. Never used it myself, but they provide RPi system images you just burn on an SD card and that’s it.

What's fascinating is that those SCSI Zip drives are plug and play for all serial Macs except the 128K and 512K. I THINK we can use it on an old PC using the DB-25 cable as well […]

EDIT: Damn it, even tough the IOmega SCSI Zip drive comes with a DB-25 cable, it is NOT compatible with Windows PC's unless it is connected to a SCSI card. It's like a SCSI THRU PARALLEL kind of deal. This increases the total price of parts to a point where a FloppyEmu costs about the same.
I seem to remember there were different versions of these. I used an “hybrid” one at work which indeed connected to the Mac via SCSI, and to Win via Parallel port. I think it used a special cable that came with the drive.

[…] and then I will be able to make 800KB floppies for the Plus.
I could probably help you out with that. I have a PowerMac 7500/100 which is able to write 800K floppies. And they’re easily shipped in a bubble enveloppe.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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mabam wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:48 pm By the way: There’s also MacIPRpi. Never used it myself, but they provide RPi system images you just burn on an SD card and that’s it.
Yes, I am aware of this, but once again, it's a Catch-22 situation, since it requires AppleTalk thru IP which System 6.0.8 does not provide. I do not have a 800KB System 7 boot disk nor can I make one at the moment :( I need a SLIGHTLY newer Mac to be able to produce 800KB floppies to at least get me started with the AppleTalk IP stack, but I may obtain one next week, I found an ad online for a PM 9500 for 50$, it even has a VGA adapter and USB ports, so I might keep it long term.

There's also that very elegant SCSI2SD V5.5 solution I've never actually thought about before: https://store.inertialcomputing.com/pro ... nt-1st.htm
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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I used to communicate between a Colour Classic running 7.6.1 and an iMac DV SE running 9.2.2 using nothing but a null modem cable. Essentially this consisted of a PhoneNet connector on the Classic side (mini-DIN RS-232 to RJ 45 adapter), a custom RJ-45 with TX and RX swapped on one end, and the other end plugged into the modem port on the iMac. Then I'd take the iMac off hook, and could use LocalTalk or ZTerm to ferry stuff across (slowly).
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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adespoton wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:24 pm I used to communicate between a Colour Classic running 7.6.1 and an iMac DV SE running 9.2.2 using nothing but a null modem cable. Essentially this consisted of a PhoneNet connector on the Classic side (mini-DIN RS-232 to RJ 45 adapter), a custom RJ-45 with TX and RX swapped on one end, and the other end plugged into the modem port on the iMac. Then I'd take the iMac off hook, and could use LocalTalk or ZTerm to ferry stuff across (slowly).
You must have meant RJ-11 not RJ-45.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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that-ben wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:53 pm
adespoton wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:24 pm I used to communicate between a Colour Classic running 7.6.1 and an iMac DV SE running 9.2.2 using nothing but a null modem cable. Essentially this consisted of a PhoneNet connector on the Classic side (mini-DIN RS-232 to RJ 45 adapter), a custom RJ-45 with TX and RX swapped on one end, and the other end plugged into the modem port on the iMac. Then I'd take the iMac off hook, and could use LocalTalk or ZTerm to ferry stuff across (slowly).
You must have meant RJ-11 not RJ-45.
Er, yup. :} Call it my mind thinking one thing and my fingers auto-typing another.
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Re: A2SERVER - fully functional netatalk

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I finally snapped and went for a SCSI to SD card adapter. It's cute, it's small, no cables, no Mac disassembly. Real floppy drive remains as is, functional. It's like a FloppyEmu, except almost twice cheaper and it's one huge hard drive instead of a bunch of floppy disk images. I almost prefer it this way. If I want to dual boot, I can just use an old 1GB, 1$ SD card (and still have 100% of the 68000 software library on it!). I know, I know, it's not going to have TCP/IP, but that doesn't matter. I'm not going for this on a Plus. I'd do it on a SE/30 tough, but I don't have one. This is my next target. I should have bought one (or ten) when I saw them for sale for 40$ 20 years ago.

Thanks for participating in this discussion.
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