Networking 2 macs via firewire device?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by rlhubley, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. rlhubley macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2003
    I just bought an iBook G4 and have owned B&W G3 for a few years now. I don't often need to network the two, but would like to enjoy the benefits of iSync, for obvious reasons. Can I do this with a firewire "daisy-chain"? I have an external LaCie CD Burner that has two firewire ports on the back. Can I plug each mac into it and be able to use iSync to update the two? Will I be able to transfer files from one machine to the other this way?

    I know I can accomplish this with an inexpensive crossover ethernet cable, but I don't have one. I know that I can change a regular ethernet cable into a crossover, but I haven't done this. So, is the "chain" feasable?
  2. Muskie macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2003
    well you can go here haven't tried it yet but it sounds interesting.
    or try something my friends and i did last night. plug the firewire into both computers and restart one of them while holding "t". this basically tunrns that computer into a harddrive, so this option is only good for transferring friles from one computer to the other computer.
    hope some of that was helpful
  3. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    You don't need a crossover ethernet cable. A standard cable will do the job; Mac OS X will auto-detect this and auto-assign IP addresses to the two machines.

    Also, ethernet can be run directly over FireWire (based on my experience with Windows XP), but I have not done this on a Mac. This should provide faster throughput than 100 Base-T, and is dwarfed only by FW800 and Gigabit ethernet in the Power-Book/Mac.
  4. WM. macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2003
    Re: Networking 2 macs via firewire device?

    You can use either FireWire or your standard Ethernet cable.

    If you use FireWire:

    a) You MUST have 10.3 or later on both machines (unless you downloaded the [no longer available] beta of IP Over FireWire, which is unlikely)
    b) You'll need to create a new port in the Network preference pane under Network Port Configurations (off the top of my head, mind you) for the FireWire port. You'll need to do this on each Mac.
    c) I don't know how your CD burner will react to having two computers plugged into it. You may want to try this with just the two Macs plugged together.

    If you use Ethernet:

    a) It will be somewhat more straightforward to configure in the Network preference pane.
    b) Your regular Ethernet cable will work because your iBook has something called Auto-MDIX, which basically means that it can decide whether it "needs" to have a crossover or normal ("straight-through") cable connected; if the wrong one is connected, the Ethernet port will automatically reconfigure itself (it will cross over internally). You can search the Apple support knowledge base for Auto-MDIX to learn which models have this feature (generally those made in 2002 or later, I think).

    If you use either:

    a) iSync will not help you. It does not work across LANs. You can send feedback to Apple about this at :) If you have .Mac, you can sync to it on one Mac and then sync on the other. (N.B.: I don't use either product so I can't give you specifics.)
    b) You'll need to turn on file sharing in the Sharing preference pane and learn how to use Connect to Server and/or the Network icon in Panther. Which is a bit beyond the scope of my post here. :) But that will allow you to share files between the two Macs.

  5. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    Why not boot the iBook in target disk mode and have it become a hard drive of the G3? Or am I missing something? (Probably that the G3 would be the better target device...)

    (If you were not aware, boot the iBook and hold down the T key. Then the firewire symbol will pop on the screen. And viola you have a very expensive firewire hard drive. :))
  6. Muskie macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2003
    That's what i said! :p

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