Mac-to-PC Integration

Vernon Keenan vern at BioData.COM
Sun Oct 24 23:25:46 EST 1993

Here's a question for the net that deviates from the usual Mac-vs-PC
nonsense. We need to make these computers work together, not against each
other. What is the best way to connect Macs to PCs?

BioData has found two ways, and I'd be interested in hearing about
experiences with either technology. The first, and easiest for Mac-savvy
people, is to use Farallon's PhoneNet Talk PC and Timbuktu to make the PC
Mac-friendly. We've had good experiences using this product on Ethernet
networks to let PCs share Mac files, print on LaserWriters and use
QuickMail for Windows to be part of a mail network.

However, the memory requirements of PhoneNET Talk are great...over 100Kb
of the precious 640Kb DOS low memory. Depending on your hardware's memory
configuration and BIOS, you can reduce the memory overhead, but you can't
count on more than 500Kb for DOS applications. This causes problems with
many data acquisition programs.

A potential answer to the PhoneNET problem is to switch to NetWare as the
basic network transport layer for DOS equipment in a hybrid environment.
NetWare servers now have Macintosh-to-DOS translation built in, so the
DOS machines don't have to know anything about the Mac file system. This
keeps the DOS network RAM overhead down to 30Kb or so.

BioData has begun steering our clients towards the NetWare solution
because so many of the lab data collection stations are based on DOS or
OS/2. Has anyone else conserned with laboration data integration used
NetWare to join bechtop devices to desktop workstations?


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