Airport Extreme in G4 PowerMac

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Joined: Apr 9 2006
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Apple may make great computers but some of their decisions are questionable - like not making Airport Extreme for G4 PowerMacs. The G4 is a perfectly capable computer even in today's marketplace, so are we all consigned to 11Mbit wireless?

No. If you buy a wireless PCI card that uses the same chipset (Broadcom 54G) as Airport, OS X will recognise the card. It took me a while to find one here in the UK (apparently some of the Buffalo cards have it, but they're more readily available in the states). So if any PowerMac users in the UK want to get fast wireless, look out for a BT Voyager 1040 wireless PCI card - you can get them in PC World for around £30. Pop it in and OS X will believe it has Airport Extreme.

Hope that's of use to someone out there.

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iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709
I wouldn't say ...

that Apple's decision to not put 803.11g into the G4 was a poor one. Considering that the technology itself didn't really come into play until 2003, and the Power Mac G4 was made from 1999-2004. Also, bear in mind that the Mirror Drive Door model from 2003 with firewire 800 from the factory does support airport extreme. Just bear in mind that factory airport extreme = no support for native OS 9 booting.

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Secret-Fire's picture
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Joined: Jan 16 2006
Posts: 42
g due to be closeted

I would say that Apple's decision to wait on upgrading the g stuff to something faster is really annoying.

I'd also say that the only reason to have something faster than b stuff is if you have more than one computer (do you hear that single WinTop owners? If you only have one computer, there is no reason in the world to have faster than a b card, as the internet will never even max out the bandwidth available with 802.11b... so go for the $2 card, and save the $18 you might spend on a g card, or the $30-$50 you might spend on the 105Mbps cards). --edit-- ok.. g offeres more range...forgot about that. ---

The other thing worth pointing out is that, although Apple's Airport hardware is top notch, really easy to configure, etc., it is vastly and ridiculously overpriced now (understatement, when even the used hardware is vastly overpriced). I'd say by now its at least 650% more expensive than any other hardware that is reasonably comparable. AFAIK, the only advantage Airport hardware has that none match is the existence of a modem in some of them. Whoopty do. Totally worth the extra $175 you pay for it. (not!)

As for Apple users who do run more than a single machine, maybe even multiple home servers (not to mention small/large offices with lots of users possibly doing the same), such as myself, and who are every day copying gigabytes wirelessly back and forth (to put in perspective, to copy a 4.5 GB file wirelessly with extreme stuff takes about 20 minutes... as apposed to half that time with faster wireless technology that was available 2 years ago), I don't think we can expect much satisfaction. Though mini-PCI could no doubt support a card with maybe even 2-6 times as much bandwidth (if/when the technology exists) as the current g extreme cards, it is unlikely Apple will ever offer a 105Mbps (or faster) miniPCI card to replace the extreme cards. That's just not their style.

The new Books have a different slot now (why???!!!), so any new faster cards that Apple may release will probably only be for the new protocol, which will likely be cutting edge for about ... uh... a month or so. Then, it will be just standard. And then... after a while, it will again be behind, as it is now... and no doubt insanely overpriced.

/rant

Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
The overpriced market for ori

The overpriced market for original AP cards keeps the value of my iBook up by at least a constant $125. Wink

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I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

Secret-Fire's picture
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Joined: Jan 16 2006
Posts: 42
remove the card

the iBook is still overvalued...
(desperately want to hack old iBooks and pbooks into cool desktop mods... not economically viable)

any one priced a snow recently (even sans wifi card)? Why anyone would bother when a brand new mini is only a little more is beyond me... (regardless of portability)

---edit : ok, sorry, the fact that Apple's retain their value well is a good thing... its just that I've been waiting so long! Doesn't it seem ridiculous that even the G5 iMacs are 90% (or better) the cost of a new intel one?

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Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Yep, it's tough to get a dece

Yep, it's tough to get a decent Mac to hack on, compared to PC prices. I can buy a similarly spec'd PC for $15 from the same shop that I can buy an iMac 333 64MB/6.4GB for $50. Or a B&W for $125. PCs don't get close to those price ranges until you get P3-800 and faster, and they don't break $100 until you get a 1GHz or faster box.

For my iBook pricing, I could sell my AP card for more money than we paid for it originally, including the original shipping and taxes. Even then, an iBook with maxed RAM has almost $100 over a stock dual-USB iBook... So just the drop-in ugrades alone this thing has over $200 of "equity", and that's about the value of a 600MHz PC laptop...

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I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls