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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

Networking New Macs With Older Printers
August 26th, 1999

Ok... ok... I'm back again. I told you I would be, did I? Anyway, enough of that. Lets get to the real meat here -- we've got a network of newer Macs and older printers to deal with, old hard drives in a new machine, and some juicy reader feedback about Express Modems and PDF files! It just gets better and better! To add your best to the mix, e-mail me your questions at [email protected] -- then read on!

Jerry Kropp Writes, "I work at a school that has a Network. We are using Macs & Apple Laser printers. We all normally print, through the LAN, to printers in the front office. I also have a printer directly hooked up to my Mac (8500/120-OS 8.1) via the printer port (std. Mac DIN8 cable). I can retrieve my E-Mail & print via the LAN, but not to the printer at my desk. My choice (AppleTalk) is either Ethernet or Printer Port. Is there any 'get around' to this 'either or' situation."

Jerry, my friend, you're in luck! Apple just happens to have an extension that will let you do this! It's called LocalTalk Bridge, and is available for download from Apple's web site (for those of you who didn't know, Apple has removed the old "LaserWriter Bridge" software and now only has LocalTalk Bridge -- but that's OK! It does more and it's now free!). The LocalTalk Bridge is a simple Control Panel that, once installed, lets you simultaneously see both LocalTalk and Ethernet-based AppleTalk devices like printers, file servers, and network modems. Just install it and you're good to go.

But wait, there's more! In addition to letting YOU see all this stuff, it can also turn your Mac into a router letting everyone ELSE on the network see "through" your machine to the other side. For you that means you can share your LaserWriter printer with other people in the network, should you so choose.

Richard G Kirkham writes, "I bought a used 8600/200 and I have a 7600 with a G3 300MHz upgrade card, with 2 4.5 gig drives. I want to put them (card and drives) into the 8600. Can I just swap them in to the 8600 with no problem or is there a trick to get a 7600 system folder and programs on the hard drives and card to work in the new 8600? Upgrading is fun, huh? :-)"

Yes, sir, upgrading sure is fun! And you're in luck... it should be a fairly straightforward procedure. Just put the new drives in and they should boot the new machine just fine. However, as I always do myself, I recommend reinstalling the MacOS on top of your current installation once you get things into the new machine. It's possible that there may be some system resources missing from your current installation that will make things run smoother on the new machine. It shouldn't take but a few minutes, and is well worth your time to get things running right.

...and that's all we have time for as far as regular questions go this week. We've got an interesting situation from a reader, as well as some feedback on past questions. Onward!

Flashing Green Light on Monitor Doesn't Stop!

Kathy Dumont e-mailed me and wrote, "One of our 17" Apple color multisync monitor's screens went black and now the green light blinks. No amount of pram zapping, shift key holding and other such mac-mantras have worked. When tried on another computer (w/ clean system install no less) it did the same thing. Is the blinking green light Apple's code for 'Take me out to the dumpster' or is there some hope?"

My response to her sent her to a TIL article on the subject, which listed that flashing green as an indication that the monitor is in sleep mode (depending on the model). She wrote back with more information, stating that her monitor is a 17" Multi-Scan Color Monitor Model: 4250, which uses an amber light as the sleep indicator.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Express Modem Solution!

Observer Philip Darden wrote in with what could be a possible solution for the previous problem we discussed where the Express Modem stopped working with MacOS 8.5.1. According to Philip:

"I was reading your column and came across Ashok Sarath's problem with the Express Modem not working after upgrading to 8.5.1. I've had the exact same problem. After trying several things -- zapping the PRAM, reinstalling 8.5, sacrificing a Wintel user, etc. -- I thought I would have to use 8.1 forever (or until I broke down and bought a new modem). Out of frustration I removed Apple Remote Access and reinstalled it from my original install copies. All is well! (except explaining what happened to the unfortunate Wintel user). I hope this can be of use to someone."

Hopefully Philip's solution will overshadow his admission of guilt. Not to worry, Philip, I think you're OK with this crowd. :-)

PDF: Pretty Darn Finicky!

In light of our discussion about printing problems with PDF files (say that 10 times fast!), Observer Bradley Dichter wrote in with this explanation:

"The problem with some PDF files is they invoke the Adobe Sans or Adobe Serif multi master typefaces. The MM fonts use operators found in PostScript level 2 or newer. Personal LaserWriter NT users can upgrade to a NTR. LaserWriter IINT and IINTX users can upgrade to a IIf or IIg controller. The LaserWriter Pro 600 and 630 were already PS Level 2. It's old news. The IINT hardly had enough RAM even if it had PS level 2. The problem is the cost to trade up controllers is quite high for the LaserWriter II series.

On a related note, I'd advise your readers to hang on to Acrobat Reader 3.0.2 even after installing Reader 4.0. There are some PDF files that misbehave under 4.0. I use for example Apple Service Source CDs for tech diagrams for installing upgrades. It does not display all the type with Acrobat reader or the real Acrobat 4.0 (formerly Exchange) but works fine with 3.0 which was included. I suppose I could try and re-distill, but I didn't bother."

That makes sense, Bradley, and I would second his advice of keeping Acrobat Reader 3.0.2 around. There are, indeed, some PDF files that 4.0 just won't work with.

...and that's it, folks! Make sure to send me your questions, and I'll see ya next week!

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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