16 Facts About AppleTalk


AppleTalk is a discontinued proprietary suite of networking protocols developed by Apple Computer for their Macintosh computers.

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AppleTalk includes a number of features that allow local area networks to be connected with no prior setup or the need for a centralized router or server of any sort.

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AppleTalk was released in 1985, and was the primary protocol used by Apple devices through the 1980s and 1990s.

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AppleTalk support was available in most networked printers, some file servers, and a number of routers.

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Additionally, AppleTalk was designed from the start to allow use with any potential underlying physical link, and within a few years, the physical layer would be renamed LocalTalk, so as to differentiate it from the AppleTalk protocols.

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AppleTalk was so easy to use that ad hoc networks tended to appear whenever multiple Macs were in the same room.

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AppleTalk included a protocol structure for inter-connecting AppleTalk subnets and so as a solution, EtherTalk was initially created to use the Ethernet as a backbone between LocalTalk subnets.

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AppleTalk was at that time the most used networking system in the world, with over three times the installations of any other vendor.

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AppleTalk support was finally removed from the MacOS in Mac OS X v10.

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However, the loss of AppleTalk did not reduce the desire for networking solutions that combined its ease-of-use with IP routing.

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Unlike most of the early LAN systems, AppleTalk was not built using the archetypal Xerox XNS system.

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One key differentiation for AppleTalk was it contained two protocols aimed at making the system completely self-configuring.

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The AppleTalk address resolution protocol allowed AppleTalk hosts to automatically generate their own network addresses, and the Name Binding Protocol was a dynamic system for mapping network addresses to user-readable names.

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Apple Filing Protocol, formerly AppleTalk Filing Protocol, is the protocol for communicating with AppleShare file servers.

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AppleTalk protocols came to run over Ethernet and Token Ring physical layers, labeled by Apple as EtherTalk and TokenTalk, respectively.

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Windows Server operating systems supported AppleTalk starting with Windows NT and ending after Windows Server 2003.

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