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Apple IIGS - GS/OS all - Connecting to a Macintosh with LocalTalk (AppleTalk)

Any software title released for the Apple II series computers. Articles are posted in "Apple II model - Software Title (version) - Subject" format. Software reviews, howtos, instructions, etc.

Apple IIGS - GS/OS all - Connecting to a Macintosh with LocalTalk (AppleTalk)

Postby lmmtux » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:38 pm

The Apple IIGS has AppleTalk support in GS/OS and can connect to Macintosh computers via the Modem or Printer ports using an Apple 8-pin serial (or LocalTalk) cable. Why is this useful? It can copy files to and from the Macintosh, and even from outside sources like the Internet or file servers located on the local network. This means you can download software for the IIGS (which there is an abundance of) and get it copied over to the IIGS itself.

In this article, I use a Macintosh computer to download or copy the files from either the Internet or file server first, then connect the IIGS to the Macintosh to copy everything over to the IIGS. The IIGS can theoretically connect directly to an ethernet network with AppleTalk (the Apple file sharing protocol over networks) with a LocalTalk to ethernet bridge. Apple released LocalTalk to Ethernet Bridge software for MacOS, however I have never been able to get the IIGS to see file shares on the ethernet network. There are also several hardware LocalTalk to ethernet bridges on the market, too, made by Netopia, Asante, and others. I have tried the Asante one and have not been able to get the IIGS to see the file shares, even though the bridge does work with a Macintosh.

Using the Macintosh to store files

As I mentioned already, the Macintosh will be used to store files temporarily so that the IIGS can get to them. I assume that you are able to download the files to your Macintosh and have done this already before proceeding.

Enabling AppleTalk on the Macintosh

Luckily Apple made this part easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Boot the Macintosh in to MacOS.
  2. Under the Apple menu, go to Control Panels, then File Sharing.
  3. Click on the "Start" button to turn file sharing on
  4. Fill in the user name, password, and computer name if one is not filled in yet. Make note of the user name and password which will be used later to connect to this Mac from the IIGS.
  5. Close the dialog box and click "Save" if prompted.
  6. Under the Apple menu, go to Control Panels, then AppleTalk.
  7. For the drop-down menu, select either "Modem Port" or "Printer Port" depending on which one you will use to connect the IIGS.
  8. Close the dialog box and click "Save" when prompted.
  9. Plug in the Apple 8-pin serial or LocalTalk cable to the back of the Macintosh in the port that you selected for AppleTalk.
    Apple 8-pin serial or LocalTalk cable.
    appletalk6.jpg (15.36 KiB) Viewed 4558 times

Connecting the IIGS to the Macintosh

  1. Plug the Apple 8-pin serial or LocalTalk cable to the back of the IIGS in either the Printer Port or Modem Port.
  2. Set the IIGS's slot settings to use AppleTalk. This can either be done by going to the text-based Control Panel by pressing Apple-Control-Esc, or booting in to GS/OS and going under the Apple menu, Control Panels, then Slots.
    • If you plugged in the 8-pin cable to the Printer Port, set Slot 1 to "Your Card".
    • If you plugged in the 8-pin cable to the Modem Port, set Slot 2 to "Your Card".
    • Set slot 7 to "Built-in AppleTalk".
    • Save the changes and exit the control panel or close the Slots window.
    • Reboot the IIGS for the changes to take effect.
    • Note: See our document on setting the slot settings on the IIGS.
  3. Boot the IIGS with a GS/OS System Disk with AppleTalk support. If you do not have one, you can create one with the GS/OS 6.0.1 Installation Disk.
  4. Under the Apple menu go to Control Panels then AppleShare.
    AppleShare control panel.
    appletalk1.jpg (57.51 KiB) Viewed 4558 times
  5. The AppleShare window will open and will try to detect the computers on the LocalTalk network. If everything is set up correctly, your Macintosh should show up. Highlight it and click OK to connect to it.
    Macintosh detected over LocalTalk.
    appletalk2.jpg (112.64 KiB) Viewed 4558 times
  6. Enter in the username and password set up on the Macintosh under the File Sharing options, and click OK.
    appletalk3.jpg (124.85 KiB) Viewed 4558 times
  7. A list of the available drives on the Mac should show up. Click on the drive you wish to use and click OK to connect to it.
    appletalk4.jpg (116.57 KiB) Viewed 4558 times
  8. The connection to the Macintosh is now complete. You can now use an application like Finder, or Archiver to access data on the Macintosh. The connected drive on the Mac will show up as a Disk under all of the IIGS dialog boxes which list all disks, or on the desktop of the Finder (as shown below).
    The Finder with a connected AppleShare drive.
    appletalk5.jpg (101.69 KiB) Viewed 4558 times

Backing up and Restoring disks

Once the Macintosh drive is connected, this provides an excellent way to transfer files to and from your Macintosh, or back up your IIGS's disks. I strongly recommend backups of everything. The Archiver program (included with GS/OS System 6) is an excellent way to back up hard drives and floppy disks, and back them up to files.
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