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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...




Legacy Peripherals, Non-Mounting CDs, & Logging Modem Data
December 29th, 2000

Zippity-Doo-Da, everyone, and belated Happy Festivus, of course! This week, being the last of the year, I decided to write a column to celebrate. Actually, our editor forced me to do it, but that's just nit picking, isn't it? Anyway, today we tackle connecting all your old peripherals to your new Mac, diagnosing problems with internal CD-ROM drives, and talk about sneaking a peek at the data your computer sends and receives over both modem and Internet connections. Enjoy!

Michael Montgomery writes, "I have a LaserWriter 12/640 (connected to the printer port via AppleTalk), an Epson 850 (connected to the modem port) and a SCSI LaCie scanner all connected to an 8500. Is there an economical way to add a new dual processor G4 to the mix so that both machines can access all peripherals? I know I am missing something but if my LaserWriter uses Appletalk connected through the printer port how will my G4 connect using Appletalk and a crossover cable through the Ethernet port? I realize there is probably a very basic solution to my dilemma but I can't figure it out (I don't have computer literate children or friends).

Well, Michael, I think you've come to the right place! Lets deal with each peripheral separately. You're on the right track with the LaserWriter 12/640. You could connect your G4 to your 8500 via a crossover Ethernet cable, and then all you'd need to do would be to "bridge" the AppleTalk connection on the 8500 between the printer port and Ethernet port. Thankfully, Apple has a piece of software called LocalTalk Bridge that will do just this for you. However, according to Apple's Tech Info Library that printer has a built-in Ethernet port. So you could just connect the G4 directly to the printer via Ethernet and experience faster printing. For that matter, you could get a hub and connect the LaserWriter, 8500, and G4 all together using Ethernet and forego the additional software on your 8500.

For the Epson printer, there is a piece of software called Epson Share. This software will (purportedly) allow you to share your Epson printer across a variety of network topologies, including Ethernet, Airport, LocalTalk, Infrared, and so forth.

The scanner, however, brings us to a standstill. I don't think there's any way to share the Scanner while leaving it connected to just one machine. You can, however, get an Adaptec 2906 card for your G4, and this will let you use your scanner with it. They typically retail in the US$50 range, so it's not a huge investment to make in order to prolong your days as a SCSI user!

Dennis Calcaterra writes, "I have a CD ROM drive that will not recognize a CD when inserted.

Machine is a Power PC 7600/132, with G3 upgrade card, and an internal 8X SCSI CD ROM drive. The machine, all software, and peripherals have been working fine; and all still works fine except for a CD ROM drive problem that has recently occurred. The sudden and inexplicable problem is that when a CD is inserted into the drive it does not show on the desktop. The Apple System Profiler "Devices and Volumes" tab indicates that the CD "IS" being recognized by the SCSI bus. The CD ROM brand name, SCSI ID address, and other information is displayed. It also indicates "states" that there is no media in the drive, when in fact there is. Pressing the open/eject button on the drive front bezel opens and closes the tray so a CD can be inserted and removed without any difficulty.

I have an external Apple 2X CD ROM drive that is used with a IIci. This drive was connected to the Power PC via external SCSI port and everything works fine. When a CD is inserted into the drive it appears normally and as it should-on the desktop. This tells me that the CD extensions are all okay. Here is a part that really puzzles me. The drive was removed from the external case, jumpers placed across the same SCSI ID pins as the original CD ROM drive and installed inside the Power PC via internal SCSI. Same story; the drive information shows under the Apple System Profiler, and also with the same message about not recognizing any media when in fact there is media in the drive. Configured everything back to normal. I noticed that when a CD is placed into the Power PC internal CD drive then removed, the disk's position does not change. In other words, the CD appears to not be rotating. Got any idea what's going on here?"

Hmm... this sure is a strange one. At first my assumption was that the internal 8x drive had just gone bad and stopped reading CD's. However, if I read your question correctly, you're having the same problems when internally mounting a known, working Apple 2x CD-ROM. This then leads me to ask if you have tested the 8x drive in the external case? My guess is that it would work just fine. So there is something fishy about mounting an internal drive inside that machine. Since I don't have the machine in front of me, I'll tell you the steps I would take if I did:

  1. Test the 8x drive externally to confirm that it works. Assuming it does, then we'll move on.
  2. Verify the jumper settings against the manufacturer's recommendations. You mentioned that you matched the jumpers from the 2x drive to what the 8x drive had. Since the 8x drive was not working, those settings may not be valid for either drive. Assuming this *doesn't* help, we move on.
  3. Take a look at the cable. My bets are that the cable is damaged in some way. Either that, or some of the pins on the motherboard are bent. But my guess is it's the cable.

Good luck!

Steve Holland writes, "I would like to capture all data (incoming and outgoing) over my modem in a G4 sawtooth. Do you know of a utility, or hack that would allow this to happen?"

Well this one sent me on a hunt that dug WAY deep into the past. When all the trusted sources for software updates turned up nothing (including VersionMaster and VersionTracker), I went to the original Mac software depot - the HyperArchive at MIT. It was here that I found Serial Logger (download - 332k), a piece of software that will capture the output of any of your serial ports and record it to a text file.

However, I'm not sure if this is really what you were looking for or not. You may actually be trying to sniff Internet packets, in which case Interarchy is your solution. This will open up separate windows for each stream and display the data sent across it. 'Tis very handy for diagnosing strange problems!

That's it for today folks! Feel free to send your questions to me at askdave@macobserver.com, or ask in the forums. I'll see you in two weeks!

PS. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....


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