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Tapping into Apple networks

Macworld Expo InterCon Systems and Apple will announce software that allows people to use the Net to tap into AppleTalk networks, sources say.

Macworld Expo InterCon Systems and Apple Computer (AAPL) next week will announce software that allows people to use the Internet to tap into AppleTalk networks, sources said.

The new software, to be introduced in conjunction with the Macworld trade show in San Francisco, is aimed at saving network managers time and money. It will allow individuals and businesses to share information on an AppleTalk network without logging on to a dedicated server over phone lines.

The software is expected to cost from $100 for individuals to $9,000 for larger companies.

A spokesman for InterCon, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSINet, would not comment.

Sources said the software will allow companies large and small to provide more secure connectivity without having to buy and maintain expensive dedicated servers.

Now, if an employee who was traveling needed to get information from a computer in the home office, he would have to dial in to a dedicated server, perhaps incurring long distance charges. This software will let him log on to the Internet, then select AppleTalk from the "chooser."

The information would be sent in secure TCP/IP packets. The host would have to maintain an Internet connection, preferably through an ISDN or T1 line. Because the host software operates in background, the machine remains free for other uses.

The software also would allow two separate offices to have their AppleTalk networks connected over the Net.