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InterOp Apple Rumors

Pythaeus passed on various rumors regarding Apple from the InterOp conference a while back, and I thought those of you on the Internet might find them intriguing.

Apple was somewhat clandestinely demonstrating a DDP-to-IP gateway for the Apple Internet Router software. This would enable a Macintosh running the Apple Internet Router to duplicate most of the functions of a GatorBox or FastPath router for much less money (assuming of course that you have a Mac that can serve as the router).

It appears that MacTCP will indeed be bundled with System 7.5, but will gradually be phased out in favor of the new OpenTransport software that should ship later this year. The phase-out will cause a certain amount of consternation among Macintosh Internet developers, since the current plan is to drop the MacTCP driver interface, in large part because it won't ever be PowerPC native. In other words, all MacTCP-based programs will have to be rewritten to support OpenTransport. Hope everyone used modular code.

Apple's AppleSearch (based on WAIS technology) is useful on its own (although piggy, considering that it requires at least a 68040-based Mac and costs a pretty penny), but in the future it will become far more useful for those wishing to put information on the Internet with a Macintosh. AppleSearch can already be used in conjunction with the University of Minnesota's GopherSurfer server program, and support for MacHTTP probably isn't far behind. With the capability to add these interfaces, it should become possible for non-Macintosh clients to search AppleSearch databases in a number of ways, including over the Internet.

Finally, to take advantage of the power of the PowerPC chip, a version of Unix from Apple for the Power Macs should be available by the end of the year in some form or another. Tenon Intersystems plans to have their MachTen version of Unix for the Power Macs by then too, so we'll finally be able to see how the Power Macs stack up against Unix workstations.


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