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AppleTalk was revolutionary and easy to configure in its day. However, with the rise of Internet-based protocols and their standardization, the need for a proprietary system quickly declined. If Apple had not conformed to other standards, they were in danger of losing the competition. Hence, they finally dropped AppleTalk in favor of TCP/IP. Apple supported AppleTalk for older devices for a while. However, the last Mac OS to support AppleTalk was OS X v10.5.
AppleTalk used a 4-byte address system and used completely self-configuring protocols. The address resolution protocol allowed hosts to generate their own address automatically. The name binding protocol allowed the system to dynamically map the network address to user-readable names of terminals.
An AppleTalk address consisted of a two-byte network number, a one-byte node number, and a one-byte socket number. Only the network number needed configuration, which was obtained from a router. This allowed for a total of 32 devices to be connected to the network and operated at 230.4 KBps with the devices being up to 1000 feet apart.