ARCHIVED: What is LocalTalk?
LocalTalk is a networking technology built into all Macintoshes that have modem and/or printer serial ports, most LaserWriters, and some other Macintosh printers. It was designed to give Macintoshes access to network services, such as file sharing and printing. However, because it communicates at only 230.4Kbps and is normally limited to the AppleTalk protocol, it has largely been superseded by Ethernet. Macintosh computers that come with a built-in USB port (e.g., iMac, iBook, and all models currently being shipped) do not support LocalTalk.
LocalTalk networks are normally built with a daisy-chain topology (i.e., each device is connected to the next). Though Apple sells its own LocalTalk cable, most LocalTalk networks use Proxim (formerly Farallon) PhoneNET connectors, which are cheaper and support longer cable lengths.
Note: AppleTalk and IPX routing are no longer available on the Indiana University network.
Last modified on March 31, 2010.