Chooser

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Chooser_mac_os_9.gif
Chooser version 7.6.2, Mac OS 9.1

The Chooser is an application program for Macintosh systems using the Mac OS. The Chooser started out as a desk accessory and became a standalone application program as of System 7. The Chooser would let you choose your network (e.g. AppleTalk Network), turn it on or off and also to select a printer.

History

The original Macintosh did not support networking, but could connect to a variety of printer types via its serial ports. A small desk accessory called Choose Printer allowed the printer driver and serial port to be selected for the connected printer. When Apple introduced the LaserWriter, its very high cost meant that the only cost-effective way to use it was shared among a small workgroup of Macs. This necessitated the inclusion of AppleTalk, a simple networking implementation which used low-cost cabling and the same physical RS-422 serial port hardware. It was a natural extension of Choose Printer that this should include the ability to select the LaserWriter and also which port was used to connect its network connection. Of course Appletalk soon became useful for other types of networking beyond sharing the LaserWriter and the Chooser, as it was now named, became the easiest place to add networking control features.

Many have criticised the dual purpose nature of the Chooser as making little sense, and confusing to users, given that Printing and Networking are two very different tasks. From a historical perspective however, it's perhaps easier to understand why this was done.

Today

The Chooser faded away at the end of the 1990s. In Mac OS X, the Chooser has become extinct, replaced by OS X's integrated networking and networking features in the Finder. As for the printing functions, they are now found in the separate Print Center (10.2 and earlier) or Printer Setup Utility (10.3 and later) application.

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