Macintosh computers can be networked in both peer-to-peer and client/server modes.AppleTalk is the suite of protocols included in the Macintosh operating system that determines how the Macintosh network operates. AppleTalk provides a multi-layer, peer-to-peer networking service. Users can designate a workstation as client, server or both client and server simultaneously, without needing to plug in any additional software. System 7.5 offers a peer-to-peer NOS for Macintosh networks. The NOS comes already loaded into the standard workstation operating system. Apple’s client/server NOS is called AppleShare. AppleShare includes both server and workstation software. A Macintosh computer must be used as a dedicated central server, with hard disks attached to the file server and organised into volumes.
Volumes are made up of a series of folders containing network files. Apple’s LocalTalk topology transmits data at 230kbps. Workstations are cabled using twisted pair cabling which runs into a
connection box and is in turn connected to a peripheral or another workstation. AppleTalk supports a number of different network topologies including Ethernet, Toke ring and its own LocalTalk. EtherTalk adapts AppleTalk to an Ethernet topology. EtherTalk network interface cards are installed in the workstations, which are then connected by either co-axial or twisted
pair cabling to the Ethernet hardware. TokenTalk is a similar system that adapts.