Nice. I remember “phone net” (Farallon’s LocalTalk-over-voice-grade copper phone wiring) feeling like pure magic compared to the alternatives at the time, especially in small offices.
The first time we ran a gateway to our ISDN line from our localtalk network and could send and receive internet email using our MS mail gateway, it felt like the future. And the fact that any of our techs could fire up Anarchie and download system software or diagnostic tools to their local system instead of walking to the one AppleLink machine in the shop and getting it over a 9600bps modem made a difference you could feel in our workflow.
I think it took until 802.11b got to be very common before local networking got to be as quite easy as LocalTalk again.
It didn’t scale well, but Appletalk was wonderful for small local networks. Connect a mac and it was instantly there in the Finder (OS 9 and below). Copying files between computers just worked.
Coincidentally, I just set up netatalk on my NixOS server and now I’ve got remote time machine working to my ZFS pool.