Shiva/Kinetics FastPath 4 & 5 Information Page

Welcome! This page contains information about the Shiva/Kinetics FastPath 4 & 5 AppleTalk to Ethernet router/bridge hardware.

While major updates to this page continue as new information and software are discovered, a lot (still) remains to be done here as of late 2017. Though our focus here is on the FastPath 4 and 5 hardware, information and resources for the FastPath II and III hardware should probably be preserved and would also be much appreciated. (Was there a FastPath I?)

Yes, there are still people using FastPath hardware to this very day. In July 2018, Tim Colegrove of Boston sent in a picture (larger, warning 2+ MB!) of his Macintosh Performa 6220CD connected to the Internet with FastPath hardware. Perhaps if there is interest, I will create a "FastPath Gallery" featuring user-submitted pictures of people utilizing the FastPath hardware.

One piece of information that has yet to be posted concerns the creation of customized FastPath 5 ROM images for use in a FastPath 4. The author describes this as making a sort of "FastPath 4+".

Should you have corrections, contributions or just wish to get in touch for whatever reason, you can always send e-mail. Unlike some, I try not to be difficult to reach.

WARNING: All information on this page is provided for use on an "at your own risk" basis. I cannot and will not be held responsible for any results that come from your doing anything that is mentioned or inferred from this page!

Frequently Asked Questions
Take It Apart & Put It Back Together
Configuration And Setup (Quick and Dirty, but better than nothing!)

Software You Need (for FastPath 5)
Software and Resources (for FastPath 4)

Pictures Of FastPath 4 and FastPath 5R Hardware, inside and out
(not suitable for low bandwidth or heavily metered connections!)

Further Reading (mostly via Google Books)

  • Mention of a Shiva FastPath 5R (with prices, whee!) in Computerworld's June 22, 1992 issue.
  • Shiva Corporation announces bundling of various software packages with FastPath 5 hardware in the December 9th, 1991 issue of InfoWorld magazine. For what the FastPath cost when it was new, I'd certainly hope so...
  • FastPath 5R hardware is again mentioned (with prices for single and dual unit models!) in Network World's May 18th, 1992 issue. Network World claims that the FastPath family hardware (maybe a FastPath 4?) is "notorious for cluttering wiring closets and overheating when stacked"

  • "Kinetics FastPath 4 gateway ties LocalTalk, Ethernets" by Laura DiDio in the July 18th, 1988 issue of Network World.

  • "Support for the Shiva FastPath", now seemingly unavailable at its original host for whatever reason. I couldn't find any way of contacting the author to ask why the original link gives a "forbidden" message. The download links at this page most probably weren't preserved when the Internet Archive captured it, but you can try them as the directory listing does show up. You can probably find all the files that were available at this page via the link below.

  • FastPath 4 & 5 related files via Phil Budne's archive (FTP). Local copy to be added sometime.

  • FastPath 5 Announcement Letter
  • FastPath 4 Advertisement

  • FastPath II and III models were mentioned as being available for purchase (hopefully it's obvious that such is no longer the case in the present day) in the July 1988 issue of "U-M Computer News". A FastPath II was priced at $1,625 when equipped for use with an Ethernet transceiver ("AUI") cable. FastPath III models set up for use with "thin" (10base2, coaxial) Ethernet were priced at $1,787.50. Also mentioned are Kinetics IP and Columbia Appletalk software packages.

  • The Computer History Museum has a FastPath 4 Administrator's Guide in their collection. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be available for download on the page where it is mentioned.

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Last Updated: 09/03/2018. Previously Updated: 11/20/2017, 06/03/2015, 02/03/2015, 12/20/2014, 09/10/2013, 02/16/2004. Copyright 2003-2018 by Walsh Computer Technology and contributors. Some Rights Reserved.