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apple talk is an old technology. used for talking to apple macintosh computers over a network. If you don't have a mac, you can turn it off. even if you do, most macs (ok, anything decent- if not all not museum piece macs) use tcp/ip (that's internet protocol- and the standard)
you can turn it off.
I had this same problem. <**NOTE**> This may be scary sounding for someone who is new to linux </**NOTE**> I actually had appletalk compiled into my kernel, and it would sit there for a while, the time out. I removed it from my kernel, and that took care of the problem. It may very well be a module that you just don't need. Sorry if this is scary
And I have also installed "rcconf" the runlevel configuration tool. But, still its residing on the system and it is coming up during system boot up!! Its is really annoying. Even I want to remove Apache server which i dont use at the moment.
But it seems that the problems you're having with appletalk is kernel related. If so, to fix it you'll need to build a new kernel, or find another one somewhere. I'd suggest that you just build your own; it's easy. there's tons of tutorials and references (depending on your dist...). while you are doing so, you'll learn alot, and you'll also probably get rid of 100 other things that are in there that are not needed.