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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Powerbook and Cisco Equipment

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I'm currently employed at one of the bigger IT shops in Juneau, where I live. I do a lot of work designing and implementing Ethernet networks and, as a result, work often with Cisco routers, switches, and wireless access points. Many of these devices - switches and routers in particular - are easiest to set up and troubleshoot using a command-line interface accessed via the console port on the router.

I'm switching over to Mac OS for a number of reasons that I won't bore you with, but what I need to know is how to do serial communication with OSX. I've got a G3 iBook running 10.3.9 with a Tripp-Lite USB - Serial (DB9, RS232) adapter and zTerm, but I can't seem to get any kind of electric boogaloo going on.

Are there any other network professionals out there who've used Macs and Cisco equipment in harmony? I don't want to have to resort to VPC or carrying around TWO laptops, but if that's what it takes, then oh well.

And for anyone who needs to know what I'm talking about, on a Windows machine, interfacing with Cisco equipment is done via HyperTerminal. One selects a COM port, sets the bitrate, flow control, etc. for the connection, and off you go. I need to know how - or if - I can do this on my shiny new Powerbook.

As you may have gathered, "Just don't work with Cisco stuff" is seriously not an option. I only mention it because other forums I've visited have basically had that mindset; it's not an acceptable solution in my situation.

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I use my iBook with network equipment all the time. I have used 2 different models of USB to Serial adapters, and both have worked without much of a hitch. I also use zTerm. When you open up zTerm, a dialogue should appear asking you to pick the port. If you don't see something like "USB Serial" or "usbserial0" then likely the USB driver is not loading when you plug in the device. I had a few issues with one of the devices I use and had to hop on over to macosxhints to find the fix.

Let us know what model USB to Serial you are using and I'll let you know if it's what I'm running.

So far as cabling goes, when you use that USB to serial device, it's just like a standard serial port. If you needed a null modem before, you'll still need one.

Hope this helps.

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Congratulations on your powerbook.
I really can't help you with your cisco systems prombelm on the account that I have never used that hardware, but wanted to congratulate you on fully making the switch over to the new system.

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I'm currently using a Tripp-Lite USB to Serial adapter, model number U209-000-R. Works great on my Windows notebook (Yes, I bought one without a serial port...argh), but I can't seem to get it to talk to the Mac.

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Go to Applications -> Utilities and run the System Profiler. When in the profiler, go to the USB entry under hardware. With the USB-to-Serial device installed, you should see a "USB Device" line, when you expand that it should list a Product ID and Vendor ID. Let us know what they are.

Have you installed any drivers for this USB adapter? If so, verify they list under the Software -> Extensions menu in the profiler.
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