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Networking Made Simple:
Ethernet Networking

© 1999 Lawrence I. Charters

Washington Apple Pi Journal, November/December 1999, pp. 35-36, reprint information

Episode XXI: Crossover Cables

Q: I have a Power Macintosh G3 and a StarMax 3000/160, and I want them to talk to each other. Someone told me they both needed an Ethernet card, so I went out and bought two [name brand] 10/100BASE-T PCI cards. Now what?

A: Most StarMax computers shipped with an Ethernet card, and all Power Mac G3s have built-in Ethernet, so take at least one of the cards back to where you bought it and get a refund. Use the refund to buy a 10BASE-T Ethernet hub.

Q: [Pant, pant] OK, I got the refund. But they said what I really needed was a crossover cable, so they sold me one of those. They said it was cheaper.

A: There are things that are cheap, and there are things that are easy, and there are things that are flexible. Aside from chewing gum, few things are all three. Take the crossover cable back and get an Ethernet hub. Oh, and get two CAT5 Ethernet 10BASE-T cables.

Q: [Pant, pant, pant] OK, I did that. It cost more money than the crossover cable. It better be worth it.

A: It is.

Q: Now what?

A: Plug the power cord of the Ethernet hub into power. If your hub has blinky lights (most do) a green light should come on, somewhere. Now plug one end of both cables into the hub. Then plug the other end of one cable into your Power Mac G3 and the end of the second cable into your StarMax.

Q: Plug it in where?

A: On the hub, you should find three or more jacks that look like oversized telephone cable jacks. Plug one end of each cable into a jack. The cable can only go in one way (unless you use way, way too much force).

On the back of both your Power Mac G3 and your StarMax, you should find a single jack that looks just like the ones on the Ethernet hub. Plug the other end of the cable into this jack. It is usually labeled (on Macs) with an icon that looks something like <•••>.

Q: Aha! OK, I did that, but now I have some leftover jacks on the Ethernet hub.

A: That's fine.

Q: Should I plug a telephone cord into one of the leftover jacks?

A: No! Never plug a telephone cord into an Ethernet jack. Never.

Q: Just asking. Are the computers talking to each other yet?

A: Not unless you've told them to do so. Let's assume you haven't and go through the steps.

  • 1) On the Power Macintosh G3, go to the Apple Menu, then Control Panels, then AppleTalk.

    2) Set the Connect via: menu to Ethernet, then close the AppleTalk control panel.

    3) Now go to the Apple Menu, then Control Panels, then File Sharing.

    4) Under Network Identity, type your own name as Owner Name.

    5) Type something as a password. Remember what you type. Do not leave the password blank.

    6) Type in a name for the computer. Call it whatever you want. Close the File Sharing control panel.

  • Then repeat these steps on the StarMax.

    Q: This worked on the G3, but the StarMax says there is already a computer named "Lady Godiva." How does it know that?

    A: I'm guessing you named the G3 "Lady Godiva," right? You can name the StarMax anything you want as long as it is different from the G3.

    Q: OK. Now what?

    A: On the Power Mac G3, go to the Apple Menu, Control Panels, File Sharing, and press the Start button under File Sharing off.

    Q. But the files I want to share are on the StarMax.

    A: Trust me.

    Q: OK, I did that. Now what?

    A: It may take a few minutes for file sharing to start, especially if you have lots of files on the Power Mac G3. While it is starting up, go back to the StarMax and do the following:

  • 1) Go to the Apple Menu, and select Chooser.

    2) In the Chooser, select the AppleShare icon.

    3) Your G3 ("Lady Godiva") should show up in the right-hand panel of the Chooser.

    4) Double-click on "Lady Godiva."

    5) Enter your name and password.

  • Q: I got a message that said something about "Unknown user or incorrect password."

    A: You need to type, exactly, the same name and password that you entered in the File Sharing control panel on the Power Mac G3. The password is also case-sensitive.

    Q: [Pant, pant, pant] I don't remember what I typed as a password. What do I do?

    A: Go back and type a new password in the File Sharing control panel on the G3.

    Q: [Pant, pant, pant] This is tough. OK, I did that.

    A: Now, on the StarMax, go back to the Chooser, select AppleShare, double-click on "Lady Godiva," and enter your name and password.

    Q: OK. [Pant, pant] I did that. A box popped up and had "Macintosh HD" in it.

    A: That's the hard drive on your Power Macintosh G3. Double-click on it.

    Q: I did that. Nothing happened.

    A: If you look at the desktop on your StarMax, you should see the Power Mac G3 hard drive.

    Q: [Pant, pant, pant, pant] Oh, wow! Something's wrong: I now have two hard drives named "Macintosh HD."

    A: One of those probably is for the StarMax, and the other is for your G3.

    Q: How can I tell which is which?

    A: The one closest to the top of the screen probably belongs to the local drive, and the other is from the G3. I highly recommend that you rename your hard drives to anything but Macintosh HD. Name them after your cat. Name them after a favorite color. Name them the same thing you typed in as the Computer Name in File Sharing.

    To rename a hard drive, just click on the name, select the whole name, then type over the top.

    Q: Oops. My StarMax now has the name of "MacintChocolateosh HD."

    A: You need to erase the old name first, then type in the new name.

    Q: OK, I did that. [Pant, pant] But now it won't let me rename the hard drive on the G3.

    A: You can't rename a hard disk if File Sharing is turned on. Rename it later.

    Q: Fine. [Whine] But none of this solves my problem: I have files I want to share on the StarMax, not the G3, so why did I turn File Sharing on for the G3 and not the StarMax.

    A: There are two reasons. Reason Number One: the Power Macintosh G3 is a heck of a lot faster than your StarMax, and since File Sharing slows a machine down, it will slow down the G3 far less than it will slow down the StarMax.

    Reason Number Two: you can now "push" the files you want shared from the StarMax to the G3. So: find the files you want moved, and then drag them and drop them on the icon for the G3's hard drive.

    Q: Uh, I don't think this is working. I did that, but the files are still on the StarMax.

    A: It worked fine: it put copies on the G3. Go over to the G3 and look.

    Q: You are right! How did it do that?

    A: You did that.

    Q: You are right. Say, this was easy. But you didn't tell me how to use a crossover cable.

    A: That's right.

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    Revised November 24, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters
    Washington Apple Pi
    URL: http://www.wap.org/journal/