Viva la Laserwriter! Contemporary Localtalk to Ethernet bridge?

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Joined: Mar 11 2005
Posts: 10

Given the power and low cost of today's microcontrollers, I wonder what it would take to develop a simple Localtalk-to-Ethernet bridge. Here's why I ask...

Some of the folks from the local MUGs < > have been working with the Pittsburgh Goodwill's Computer Recycling Center to restore Macs for resale and reuse, rather than scrapping. (We're sneaking up on our thousandth Mac.) We have a PILE of various LaserWriters that are begging to get back into service. Fifty, at least. But how, in this age of Leopard, CUPS and wireless? LocalTalk is what happens at the dinner table!

At home, I have a LW 4/600ps on my network, connected via a Shiva FastPath 5 Localtalk-to-Ethernet bridge. Flipping through Make Magazine volume 4 last night, I see that Tom Owad uses a Cayman GatorBox bridge. Those units are scarce as hens teeth!

Given the predominance of inkjet printers, and their expensive ink, I really feel compelled to try and get these reliable, cheap-to-own, cheap-to-run LaserWriters back in harness. Shiva is long gone. Cayman Systems was bought by Netopia, now part of Motorola. I wonder what it would take to build an open-software microcontroller-based bridge to do the job? Thoughts, anyone? Pointers to "prior art" in this arena? Anybody with ties to Motorola who could maybe convince the Powers That Be to release the Cayman source code into the public domain?

Viva la LaserWriter! Two cents a page!


marty dot swartz at gmail dot com

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DrBunsen's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946
Have a look for an embedded e

Have a look for an embedded ethernet microcontroller with RS422 (preferably) or RS232 output. Sparkfun might have something, or Then you'll need to do some C or ASM coding, but probably not too much. If you can get hold of documentation for the LocalTalk/Appletalk protocol, that is.


Damn the Torx screws, full speed ahead!
Apple and Wireless FAQ

Eudimorphodon's picture
Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
Double Posting?

Isn't this pretty much the same thread as this?