Apple Macintosh networking equipment supplier Kinetics Inc, based in Walnut Creek, California, has replaced its LocalTalk Ethernet gateway with a new generation product called Fastpath 4, which it says includes several software and hardware enhancements. The Fastpath automatically starts and configures itself on AppleTalk local area networks, and comes with software for automating communication between Macintoshes and the TCP/IP hosts commonly found in Unix environments. The FastPath Manager configuration software can be operated from any Macintosh connected to LocalTalk or Ethernet. New diagnostic features are included to indicate the direction of network traffic, so that network managers can more easily track down problems such as disconnected cables, and there is further software to further diagnose network problems. The FastPath 4 comes with 256Kb memory, 200Kb more than its predecessor, and is expandable to 512Kb; it also uses a faster 68000 processor and provides both thin and standard Ethernet connections. The company says that it has designed the new FastPath to meet the needs of both smaller networks and the giant, growing internetworks that include Macintoshes. The company also introduced K-Star – for KIP-Style Addressing and Routing, which provides automated address management. In addition, K-STAR enables a network host server to act as a configuration server for the gateway, setting up the gateway with the data it needs to assign addresses and to route packets on a network. The Fastpath 4 is shipping now and replaces the Fastpath 2 and 3. Upgrades will be available for the FastPath 2 and the FastPath 3 from October.
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