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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...

Novell Networks, G4s, DVD ROM or RAM, And More On DSL Stalls
November 4th, 1999

Greetings!! Well, things sure are heating up here in Ask Dave! land. We've got all sorts of people hashing things out on the Ask Dave! Forums, and the questions just keep pouring in. This week we talk about networking Mac's with Novell, the possibility of G4 upgrades for Sawtooth machines, and more on the dreaded "Stall!"

Adam Atkin writes, "We just connected our Power Mac to our Novell 4.22/5 network. We can connect and mount volumes, but have no idea how to automate the connections. We don't want to have to teach every person how to do it manually. Not being a Mac user I may be missing something very simple (or not)."

Greetings, Adam -- yes, there is a very "Mac-like" way of doing things. You need to use the chooser to mount your devices. Assuming you have installed Name Space for Macintosh on your Novell server, you'll go to the chooser, select Appleshare, and pick your Novell server. Once you do that, it will ask you to log in with your username and password. As soon as you authenticate, you are brought to a window like the one below. In this window, the server/tree is called "VIENNA" and it has Mac-capable volumes called "MAIN.HOME," "MAIN.PROJ," and "MAIN.SYS".

You'll notice a checkbox to the right of each volume. Check this box, and you'll be given the opportunity to automatically mount at startup. Depending on your security preferences on the NetWare server, you may be given the option to store both your username AND password here for totally automated logon. Hope that helps!

Jon Apogee writes, "I'm one of those who was waiting for, first a G4 500, then a G4 450, and got told yesterday that if I want it soon, I should take the G4 400. My question is, if I get the G4 400 can I upgrade the chip to a 500 (or faster) when they become available next year, or will my machine always be a 400? And are there any other drawbacks to the 400 vs. 450?

While this would certainly be expected, I figured an expert opinion would be best. So, for this answer, I turned to George Cole, Product Evangelist at Powerlogix. After an initial conversation with him, it seems as though this upgrade should be possible.

When, of course, is another matter. All the upgrade manufacturers seem to be focusing on older PowerMac machines at the moment, since there is a much larger installed base for potential sales. Don't worry, though... in due time we'll see these upgrades come to light.

And then Jon writes, "Also, what is the difference between a DVD ROM and DVD RAM drive?"

TWO QUESTIONS FROM ONE PERSON? Oh, wait... that's ok... no problem. The difference between these drives is very similar to the difference between a CD-ROM drive and a CD-R or CD-RW drive: The DVD-ROM will let you read disks while the DVD-RAM will let you read AND write DVD disks. Be careful, though. There are differing DVD-RAM "standards" out there and, as of yet, it doesn't appear as though there's a clear winner. Unless you REALLY need to burn DVD's today, I'd recommend holding your money until things get straightened out within the industry.

The Stall Saga Continues

Last week we broached the subject of the fateful "Stall" problem that plagues internet users with Mac OS 8.6 and later. I received quite a bit of fan mail over it, and a few pieces are worth sharing with the group:

Phil Berger writes, "I was very grateful to see your info. on the dreaded 'stall'. This has been causing me problems for some time now. (I have a PCP 240 running 8.6.)

In any case, TCP/IP is and has been set to manual, so DHCP is not an issue in my case. Today, after reading your article and going to Macfixit's site, when the stall occurred, I turned off Word 98 and, for the first time ever, was able to reverse the stall. Why or how Word does this, I'll have to leave to you folks to figure out. If you have any questions or would like me to provide more info., just holler."

Interesting. I know that older versions of MS Word 98 would go out and report information online from time to time. Perhaps an update to the latest build will help, or perhaps there's more to this issue!

Ted May writes, "You might be interested to know that the stall problem does NOT occur under 8.5.1, so rather than a premature upgrade by the user to OS 9 (I am NOT an 'early adopter' when it comes to Mac OS major revisions), a DOWNGRADE from 8.6 to 8.5.1 should solve the problem.

This is the same system folder run on two machines from two sites, each equipped w. US West's DSL service. One is a G3/250 powerbook (the original, G3/3400), the other a stock 9500/120, clocked up to 160. Neither has the stall situation. --Ted May--

PS A further thought... DHCP is mandatory for US West's DSL, at least for the 'always connected' flavor, which we have at both sites. I suppose the original person who wrote in could have the 'connect on demand' flavor (which is priced lower by US West) and I would have no way of knowing if the stall occurred in that mode under 8.5.1."

Well, while this solution will certainly work, it may be impossible for many people. Still, the stability of your machine is sometimes the most important aspect of your computing life, so this is worth considering.

That's all for this week folks. Visit the Ask Dave! Forums, or e-mail me here at [email protected].

P.S. 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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