Connecting Ethernet to token ring requires card

Q: I have a Macintosh Powerbook G4 Titanium with an Ethernet and PC card slot. My corporate network is token-ring-based. How do I connect to this? Can the Macintosh translate and see the various drives? I also have Connectix’s Virtual PC and DoubleTalk. What do I tell the members of my PC support team, who think Macintosh is a swear word?

A: Connecting your Ethernet cable to the token-ring network will not get your computer talking to the token-ring network; Ethernet and token ring are two completely different physical-layer network protocols.

You need a token-ring network adapter card to connect to the token-ring network. Madge Networks NV is one company that produces token-ring PC Cards for Macintosh (www.madge. com/connect/Products/Adapters/#2).

You may also be able to find a token-ring card at a computer supply store that handles Macs.

Once you get connected to the token-ring network using a token-ring adapter card, you should be able to use the network via a TCP/IP protocol tool – such as a Web browser – right away. You should also be able to work with the Windows network through Virtual PC. Once you can “talk” token ring, you’ll be in a better position to work with the PC support team.

Blass is a network architect at Change@Work Inc. in Houston.