Uses Apple Cisco routers and switches

Cisco router as a MacIP gateway

With a MacIP gateway, old Macs can speak IP independently via LocalTalk cabling without an extra network card - and thus use Internet services: e-mail, FTP, Telnet, IRC, etc.

For this you need a Mac with LocalTalk interface (printer interface), LocalTalk cable, a LocalTalk Ethernet bridge and a MacIP gateway. The data transport is then in three stages:

  1. The Mac sends IP packets packed in AppleTalk packets (`` MacIP '') over the LocalTalk cable

  2. the LocalTalk Ethernet bridge (a router, software or a special bridge) converts these DDP packets from the LocalTalk medium into Ethernet packets

  3. The MacIP gateway then unpacks the IP packets from the DDP packets and sends them as native IP to other IP devices - such as e-mail, FTP or web servers

As a visual diagram it looks like this:

Cabling level:

The process appears so complex because Cisco did not have any LocalTalk interfaces in its portfolio. Therefore, the process of tunneling IP packets in DDP (AppleTalk) (MacIP gateway) and the LocalTalk Ethernet bridge must be separated. Other devices such as the Cayman GatorBox combine the LocalTalk Ethernet Bridge and MacIP conversion in one device, but are very difficult to obtain.

Macs with the appropriate gateway software from Apple are well suited as MacIP gateways - but they need a lot of power and the software is difficult to get. That is why I recommend older Cisco routers, which are available in extremely economical versions (less than 5 watts) for little money, without having to search for a long time. For this you need ...

  1. ... of course a Cisco router with an Ethernet interface, such as:
    • Router from the 2500 series: used around 10 euros, with fan, approx. 32 watts, 19 "device
    • Router from the 1600R series: used around 10 EUR, fanless, approx. 12 watts, desktop device
    • Router from the 1000 series: used around 5 EUR, fanless, approx. 5 watts, table-top device

    In principle, Cisco routers of the 1000, 1600, 1700, 1800, 2800, 2600, 3600, 4000 and 7000 series are suitable for AppleTalk and MacIP. For a Cisco 1003 or 1005 you need at least 8 MB RAM and a flash card for the IOS operating system - 2 MB flash cards for IOS 11.2.5, 4 MB for IOS 12.x with AppleTalk functionality. The 2-card cards are much more common and easier to obtain.

  2. The IOS operating system With AppleTalk Support. Usually only available for cash at Cisco directly. MacIP works from IOS 9.21 (5), 9.1 (12), 10.x or later, but not newer than IOS 12.4 (24) T, after which AppleTalk support was discontinued.

  3. Not too scarce RAM memory in the Cisco (see below). Thankfully, standard FPM PS / 2 SIMMs usually fit.

  4. A LocalTalk Ethernet bridge: this can either be a Mac with the LocalTalk Bridge software (see below, easy to obtain, but needs a lot of energy) or a hardware bridge such as those manufactured by Asant , Focus (EtherLanPrint) or Cayman.

Here is a configuration excerpt for a Cisco router with IOS 12.3:

On the Mac, you switch MacTCP or OpenTransport to `` MacIP '' and use it to automatically assign the IP address to the Mac (which is configured in the range to in the above example).

Cisco aside loosely related to MacIP

How to give a Cisco a new IOS or how to log on to a Cisco via Telnet or SSH should not be an issue here, it goes too far and there are enough resources in the network.

With the download navigator, which is still freely accessible, you can find out the exact requirements for RAM and Flash for the given version.

See also the discontinuation of AppleTalk support from Cisco. After that, routers that use AppleTalk should no longer be operated in security-critical areas (e.g. directly on the Internet), as no security updates will appear for them.

With the kind support of PoC.

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