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AppleTalk - an explanation

Communications protocol developed by Apple Computer to allow networking between Macintoshes. All Macintosh computers have LocalTalk port, running AppleTalk over 230 Kbps serial line. Also runs over Ethernet (EtherTalk) and Token Ring (TokenTalk) network media.AppleTalk Topology is bus. Cable type is STP. The connectors are specialized. The media access method is CSMA/CA . Maximum segment and network length is 300 meters. The maximum number of connected segments is 8. There are 32 maximum nodes per segment with 254 maximum number of nodes per network. Speed is 230.4Kbps. The cabling system used with AppleTalk is called LocalTalk.

Addressing is dynamic with each computer, when powered on, choosing its last used address or a random address. The computer broadcasts that address to determine if the address is used. If it is used, it will broadcast another random address until it finds an unused address.

EtherTalk and TokenTalk provide for use of AppleTalk network protocols on top of ethernet and token ring architectures respectively.

LocalTalk uses STP cable and bus topology. Using CSMA/CA for media access, computers will first determine if any other computers are transmitting, before they transmit. A packet is transmitted prior to transmitting that alerts other computers that a transmission will be sent. Usually LocalTalk is only used in small environments.