What do you mean?

Here is a short explanation of various networking terms-


AAUI - Apple's implementation of the standard AUI connector. Used in Ethernet networks.

AirPort - Apple's implementation of AppleTalk over Radio waves (wireless).

AirPort Base Station - A device hooking wireless AirPort Macs into Ethernet and phone networks.

AppleTalk - This one is sticky - look at the bottom of the page for an in-depth explanation
Sometimes referring to the AppleTalk Personal Network hardware

Bridge - Hooking two different protocols together to form one network.

Clients - These Macs use the resources (file server, printers) of the network.

Classic Networking - A current implementation of the older AppleTalk protocol in Mac OS 7.5.x and later. More compatible with older Mac applications then Open Transport. (see Open Transport for the flip-side)

EtherTalk - Apple's implementation of AppleTalk over the Ethernet protocol.

File Server - This is the central repository for files and applications that need to be shared. There can be many file servers on any network. Many allows you to have several "specific task" servers, ie. graphics, financial, games, etc.

Hub - A device which lets you plug several computers in at once.

Open Transport - A new implementation of the older AppleTalk protocol in Mac OS 7.5.x and later. Faster and scalable with new networking technologies. Capable of using TCP/IP with it. (see Classic Networking for the flip-side)

PhoneNet - Farallon's invention of running AppleTalk over regular phone lines.

Printers - Shared printers can lower the cost and the need of having many printers. Everyone on the network can share the printer. Most printers are actually printing out a portion of a given day.

Protocol - A way for two computers to talk to each other over a network.

Resource - Basically what any server can serve up - including files, applications, printers, scanners, internet, etc.

RJ-11 - A four wire cable specification. Used to connect PhoneNet networks. Capable of slow speeds.

RJ-45 - A six or eight wire cable specification. Used to connect Ethernet and Token-Ring networks. Capable of fast speeds.

Switch - A connection device much like and faster than the hub.

Thicknet (10Base5) - A thick coaxial cable specification. Used to connect Ethernet and Token-Ring networks. Copper twisted pair inside of the coax cable. Maximum of 5 connected segments. Maximm of 100 connected computers per segment.

Thinnet (10Base2) - A thin coaxial cable specification. Used to connect Ethernet and Token-Ring networks. Copper 3/8" shielded wire inside of the coax cable. Maximum of 5 connected segments. Maximm of 30 connected computers per segment.

TokenTalk - Apple's implementation of AppleTalk over the Token-Ring protocol.
This will not be talked about, it has the same physical setup as EtherTalk using Token-Ring hubs and cards.

Transceiver - An adapter converting from one type of connector to another (usually to a RJ-45 connector).

Zone - If you want to segment a AppleTalk based network you use a Zone. The default is a *, you can enter about anything in there. Keep in mind that all Macs need to be in the same zone for them to see each other. This goes for printers as well.


A detailed explanation of AppleTalk -

Basically this is the Apple network architecture. It is a collection of protocols which correspond to the OSI model. Implemented through the Macintosh hardware and the operating system software.

The term "AppleTalk" is an adjective describing a complete system of communications among computers
and devices.  It is not only possible to extend a single AppleTalk beyond the physical limitations of
the cable (using modems), it is also possible to replace your current cable with a different cable 
and use the same AppleTalk-compatible software.'
from "The Well Connected Macintosh' by Tony Bove and Cheryl Rhodes. Copyright 1987 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. publishers
--------------- AppleTalk is networking software that's built into all Mac OS-based computers. LocalTalk is the name for a system of cables and connectors that connect computers, printers, and other network devices as part of an AppleTalk network system.
from "Mac OS 8.1 Mac OS Help".
Terminology in 1987 has changed a little in 1999. Thus I am using the word "LocalTalk" & "EtherTalk" to describe the physical connections. EtherTalk is Apple's version of AppleTalk running over Ethernet.


Plus AppleTalk has several phases:

Phase I - the first implementation of AppleTalk.

• LocalTalk is limited to 32 addresses
• EtherTalk and LocalTalk over PhoneNet is limited to 254 addresses
• Each network has its own network number and zone
• Each node on a network belongs to the same zone as the network
• 16 hops is supported

Phase II - Designed to interconnect more popular protocols across networks.

• LocalTalk is limited to a single network zone and a single network number
• LocalTalk is limited to 250 addresses
• EtherTalk and TokenTalk is limited to 16 million addresses
• EtherTalk and TokenTalk supports 21(to the sixth) hops
• EtherTalk and TokenTalk can have 256 zones per user
• EtherTalk and TokenTalk's zones can cross network numbers