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From all the media hype, it would be easy to believe that AppleTalk is dead. But it is a fact that AppleTalk today is still the single most widely used network protocol in publishing. This is due more to the massive investment in AppleTalk hardware-Macintosh workstations and AppleTalk output devices-than to the intrinsic design of the protocol. Despite Apple's leaning toward TCP/IP, AppleTalk is likely to be around for some years.
Most of the technical development of AppleTalk has been laid to rest. There is no doubt that AppleTalk is a mature protocol. Yet one technology that has brought AppleTalk development back into focus once more is ISDN.
AppleTalk is designed to be a plug-and-play operation. Features giving some degree of plug-and-play utility to TCP/IP (such as DHCP) have been in AppleTalk for years. You can configure an AppleTalk network without knowing anything about node numbers and addresses. The familiar Chooser provides an extremely easy way to connect to devices on the network. Yet …