As the high end Macs approach the low end workstations (which in turn are dropping quickly in price), methods of connecting the two become more necessary. A recent discussion on Usenet reveals that the software that allows a Mac to mount an NFS (Network File System) server (such as a SUN workstation, IBM PC-clone, or a variety of mainframes) as an icon on the desktop has been completed since 1988. Apparently, CITI at the University of Michigan was contracted by Apple to write the software, which they did and shipped to Apple in 1988. Yet no one has seen anything of this MacNFS software. By some reports, Apple is just sitting on it for no apparent reason; others say that CITI may have had access to some SUN code, which would force Apple to pay license fees to SUN. These latter sources say that Apple contracted the work out again to another group that definitely had no access to the SUN code.
One of the programmers who worked on the CITI project said that he may rewrite the code next year and release it into the public domain just so people can have something to work with. Some others thought that NFS client software was a bit too complex to be supported via the PD route, but others replied (and we agree) that PD products are particularly good for organizations with less money than time. For those of you with more money than time (assuming you don’t want to donate large sums of it to TidBITS), The Wollongong Group will release MacPathWay NFS to allow Macs to read and write files on an NFS volume. Wollongong hopes to price MacPathWay NFS at about $200 per client.
The Wollongong Group — 415/962-7100
Tim Endres — [email protected]
Anders Wallgren — anders@penguin
Amanda Walker — [email protected]
Sharon Fisher — [email protected]
(also author of the Macworld article)
Richard Perlman — [email protected]
Allen Wessels — [email protected]
Macworld — Jul-90, pg. 107