TOPS (file Server) - FlashTalk


Centram later introduced the "FlashTalk" networking system that used external clocking to improve LocalTalk performance. The Zilog SCC powering the serial ports on the Mac used an internal 3.6864 MHz clock that could then be divided down to provide different standard bit rates. The fastest rate available internally was 230.4 kbit/s, used by LocalTalk. However, the system also allowed the clock to be read from a pin in the serial port, giving rise to the possibility of faster speeds with the right external equipment.

FlashTalk combined a conventional LocalTalk-like dongle with a clocking source and an external power supply. Using these connectors, and the associated software, TOPS could run at 770 kbit/s. This was not only a fairly dramatic improvement over LocalTalk, but also relatively speedy overall in an era when 1 Mbit/s networks were still common.

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