History of the Mac Web

3 Macs and a Printer

Matthew Glidden
Webmaster, Threemacs.com
December 2001

Not to equate my own site's history with something of the scope ofMacSurfer or the like, but I can give you a rundown on Threemacs.comfor posterity, if nothing else. I originally put the site up inSeptember 1996, making use of free Web space provided by the Universityof Washington, where I was a student at the time.

Apologies to the Apple TIL, but there really was no collection ofgood information about Mac home networking at the time. A net searchusing WebCrawler (anyone? WebCrawler?) would net several college sitesthat had a few screenshots helping you get connected to the collegeAppleTalk network, but the only real place I found at the time was thenetwork setup section of Networkable Mac Games (which MacGamer.com wasthinking of resurrecting, but it looks like that fell through). NMG wassomewhat limited for home use, since it focused mostly on gaming, but Idid cull some initial setup information from there.

The original name of the site, 3 Macs and a Printer, was literallytrue, as I had three Macs at home (PowerMac 8500, Performa 635, andQuadra 700), and my dad was tired oftaking his work from upstairs (where his work system was) to downstairsby floppy disk so he could print invoices on the family StyleWriter. Ididn't know really know anything about networks at the time, but I atleast had heard that I could use one to make the one printer work withall the Macs, which was the desired result. The genesis of the site wasa documentation of the process needed to make everything work together,with an eventual expansion into LocalTalk, Ethernet, Internet sharing,etc, over the next few years.

I eventually lost my web space at UW when I graduated in early '99and transferred to hosting space donated by DigitalCrowd (creator ofNoWonder.com and MacOSX.com, among others). I watched my visitor countgradually grow from year to year, averaging over 100,000 hits per monthby the start of 2001. I picked up Sustainable Softworks as a sponsor inthe nonce, and they continued to make me "profitable" until justrecently. "Profitable" meaning that I didn't have any expenses, but Iwould guess I've made about 25 cents for each hour I put into the site,just like most of us.

I hadn't had much time to update the site with new technology infothis year (Mac OS X, etc.), so I arranged to transfer the site hostingover to ATPM.com, the web zine I'dwritten articles for on and off since 1999. Threemacs.com now redirectsto www.atpm.com/network, butironically I've now found some new energy to make updates to the site,and I dare say it'll probably avoid the gradual static death I fearedwould overtake it.

What else can I say? It's nice to think that I've been able tomaintain something that's been helpful to people for several years.We'll see if it makes another five, but maybe. On the other hand, maybecomputers and people will get smart enough that people won't need thiskind of help five years from now (ho ho! I kill me).

I guess the high point was hearing from people who were referred tomy site from Apple Web support. That, and getting that firstsponsorship check, which I believe I used to buy a router (geek!).

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