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Apple Releases Open Transport 1.1.1

Last week, Apple released Open Transport 1.1.1, its low-level system software which handles all aspects of networking, including AppleTalk and the Internet’s TCP/IP protocols. In addition to being the first release of Open Transport to function on Performa and Power Macintosh 52xx, 53xx, 62xx, and 63xx-series computers, Open Transport 1.1.1 includes significant bug fixes that benefit current users, especially webmasters and other server administrators.

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You can download Open Transport 1.1.1 for free directly from Apple as either a net install or a series of floppy disk images.

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If you download the disk images, you’ll need a program like Chad Magendanz’s ShrinkWrap to mount the disks or copy them to a floppy, and you’ll want the separate OT 1.1.1 Extras archive (which is included in the full net install). The download is about 5.5 MB. In addition, the Open Transport 1.1.1 update is available on CD-ROM for $13 from Apple (800/293-6617; offer number 1407).

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Installing OT 1.1.1 — Open Transport 1.1.1 requires a Macintosh with a 68030 processor or better (including any Power Mac). When installing any new system software component, back up your Macintosh (or at least your System Folder) before installing.

Installing OT 1.1.1 is fairly straightforward: just launch the installer and click the Install button. (If you switch into the Custom Install, you can select versions for 68K or any Macintosh.) For current Open Transport users, OT 1.1.1 must be installed over OT version 1.1, and ideally you should have version 1.1 available in case you have problems. Open Transport 1.1 is available as a retail product and (for free) as part of System 7.5 Update 2.0 (see TidBITS-318). If you’re running System 7.5.5, you may need a custom install script to install OT 1.1 from System 7.5 Update 2.0 (see TidBITS-349).

If you were using a beta of OT 1.1.1, remove it and re-install version 1.1 before upgrading to this final release of OT 1.1.1.

Owners of Performa and Power Mac 52xx, 53xx, 62xx, and 63xx-series computers can install OT 1.1.1 directly. The installer performs a hardware check on these machines to see if the Cache/ROM DIMM should be replaced as part of Apple’s repair extension program. The repair is free from your Apple dealer; however, Open Transport 1.1.1 will not install until the problem is fixed. Affected owners can call Apple at 800/801-6024.

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Apple recommends Open Transport 1.1.1 for all users of System 7.5.3 and higher; however, it’s actually compatible with every System back to 7.1. Confusingly, the Network Software Selector – a utility that enables users to switch easily between Open Transport and "classic" networking – only works under System 7.5.3 and higher. If you’re determined to use Open Transport with a System prior to 7.5.3, be sure to back up your current network settings and software before installation.

Benefits of OT 1.1.1 — Open Transport 1.1.1 contains numerous bug fixes and enhancements, most of which are purely under-the-hood:

  • Fixed primary causes of memory fragmentation, along with several bugs that caused crashes or prevented Open Transport from accepting new connections.

  • Optimized handling of accepting and closing connections. This is particularly useful for Internet servers or clients that accept or generate many brief connections – previously, Open Transport could take up to four minutes to close those connections.

  • Better compatibility with the PowerBook sleep feature, Apple Remote Access, and DHCP configuration.

  • Improved name resolution, memory allocation, and lookup functions, primarily useful for developers and Internet server administrators.

In addition, the OT 1.1.1 ReadMe and Technical Info files contain detailed information on using OT 1.1.1 with specific applications, and list a number of known (but relatively rare) problems and incompatibilities. If you’ve experienced trouble with Open Transport, read over these documents before installing this new release.

What about PPP? For dial-up Internet users, Open Transport 1.1.1 is compatible with MacPPP and FreePPP version 2.5 or higher, as well as a number of commercial PPP implementations (check the ReadMe files for specifics). However, Apple’s long-awaited Open Transport/PPP is not included in Open Transport 1.1.1 – support for PPP is still only officially provided through these third-party programs, none of which are "OT-savvy."

Apple expects to release its PPP implementation for Open Transport by the end of the year. In the meantime, a beta version of OT/PPP can be found in Apple’s unsupported file areas.

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