Small Tree Communications announced Monday that it has updated firmware on its single-port optical Gigabit Ethernet adapters that will enable users to use NetBoot on Macs that use Open Firmware (such as PowerPC-based systems). NetBoot is a feature that enables Macs to boot from a network rather than a local disk.
NetBoot is already supported on those Macs using their built-in copper Ethernet interfaces, but Small Tree offers optical Gigabit Ethernet adapters that enable them to communicate over a network much more quickly. These interfaces are used in military, law enforcement and lab installations, according to the company.
NetBoot lets Macs boot from a single server-based disk image stored on a Mac OS X Server system instead of from their internal hard drive. It’s useful for system administrators looking for a way to create and use a standard configuration across multiple systems, and to lock down systems so they don’t need to read or write to their own hard disk drives.