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ISDN connection from PC to Mac?

Posted on 1998-07-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a friend who is trying to use their ISDN line to connect to a print shop for downloading large documents. The problem is that the print shop uses Macs and my friend has a PC. It seems that Mac to Mac connections are simply a matter of double clicking and there you are. The PC has terminal software so I'm guessing that we should be able to connect but I'll need to know the settings. The print shop don't really have any idea how it's setup. They simply leave it unattended which leads to my main question of how does the file transfer work? Most file transfer protocols I've used require the receiving party to confirm the download but this doesn't seem the case with their setup.

My own experience is rather limited to PCs and I'm rapidly running out of ideas so if any bright spark out there has any ideas I'd be very grateful.
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Question by:nuuki
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by:ipierce
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You need to find out what software is allowing the incoming connections.  SOMEBODY at the print shop has to know!

Is ISDN only on the PC end or does the Mac print shop have ISDN as well?  

Does this connection go thru the internet at all?  Or is the mac print shop just running a modem where clients dial in directly?

What happens when you call the number (or IP addr.) and try to log in?
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by:nuuki
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You'd have thought the print shop would know. The best they could do was put me onto the company that set it up for them. When I phoned them they said that they only knew about Macs. Great. I cuold try phoneing them back and trying to find out what software the Mac is running.

Yes the print shop has an ISDN line and I seem to have established a connection using Hyperterminal. When I dial it answers fine and says it's connected. I get no on screen prompts although I don't that that's a problem. However when I try to send a file I have no luck. As I said I can only assume it's using some Mac protocol as all the "standard" file transfer protocols I know of require the host end to confirm.

Finally this is all direct connection stuff and does not connect to the Internet at all.
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by:ipierce
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Lovely.  Did they give you any instructions as to HOW you are supposed to transfer files?  I know that Zterm, a popular mac terminal program, supports x y and zmodem transfer protocols, there's also what's called "MacBinary" which is problematic for PCs to translate.  Also supported is BinHex, which converts the file to ASCII, which is probably your best bet.

If you can get a name of the software package they want you to use to connect to their dial-up then I (or someone else) can tell you a PC version.  

Try to get HyperTerminal to show you a window after you dial the number so you can tell what the heck is going on.

I don't think it is necessary for the host end to confirm; it sounds like they have it set up for their clients to call this line and dump (or pull) files and I find it hard to believe they have some poor chap sitting there pressing "OK" everytime somebody wants to transfer a file.  Any FTP package should allow this option.

Heck, you might even try a FTP session from your PC, though I'm not sure who you'd be FTPing to.

Your question takes me back to the 80s and the good ol' days of BBSes!
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TheHub earned 150 total points
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I will bet money that the print shop is running a custom application written specifically to do these file transfers. The good news is that it uses the standard, X, Y, or Zmodem protocols. The bad news is that you will need the custom client application. You will have to find out what company wrote it and talk to that company about your plight. They will, more than likely, have a PC version of their client application available. They will also (more than likely again) tell you that the print shop is licensed to give the client application away to its customers. They may also tell you what the receiving modem is waiting to hear so that you can write a script to prompt the receiving machine that a file is coming.

-good luck
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by:nuuki
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It looks like this has been solved. They're using a proprietory comms program that I guess uses it's own protocols. We've found that you can buy a PC version for £900!

This has been approved so it looks like it's out of my hands now. Hooray.
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