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Wireless suggestions?
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The Scarab
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Sep 12, 2006, 01:00 AM
 
Hello, I have an old iMac that I would like to give wireless capability too. Can anyone suggest a usb wireless card that is mac compatible? The apple store in San Francisco basically told me to die in a fire. I also have a G4 here that needs a new wireless card, as its was apparently broken in a horrible case-mod accident before I was given it. Any suggestion? I'm a small and lost PC/linux child, who knows nothing of these crazy apple thingamajigs)

Thanks for any help!
     
ghporter
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Sep 12, 2006, 08:11 AM
 
First suggestion-ask networking-related questions in the Networking forum...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Camelot
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Sep 12, 2006, 12:53 PM
 
I'm with the Apple Store here. I've yet to see a single wireless USB card that's worth jack. They're slow, unreliable and vendor support is severely lacking (even if they claim Mac OS X support).

You'd be much better off with a wired connection, even if it's via a wireless bridge such as this LinkSys - it basically gives you a bridge between a wireless network and a single ethernet device - a short cat-5 cable between it and your iMac and you're set.
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GFitzy
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Sep 18, 2006, 11:34 AM
 
what about this product?

Macworld: News: New EV-DO, HSDPA wireless broadband interfaces use USB

while on the topic, has anyone used Verizon Wireless or Cingular WiFi while traveling around the country?

-Gfitzy
     
Camelot
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Sep 18, 2006, 05:10 PM
 
Forget Cingular. Their sales staff don't know how to spell 'Mac'. None of their products support Mac OS X out of the box. You can find 'support' for their wireless cards on their web site, but it states you have to use third-party software (which costs $40) in order to use it.

The software works well enough but their attitude doesn't justiy giving them your business, IMHO.

FWIW I tested wireles cards from all the major vendors. If you can get through their staff (are you seeing a pattern here), Sprint works the best, IMHO - their cards are recognized by the OS (at least in 10.4.7+) and uses standard Network preferences/Internet Connect to manage the connection.
However, in Sprint's brain-dead way of thinking, your card can ONLY be activated on a Windows PC. This means that you cannot use the card until you've connected it to a PC and run their activation software. Once activated it works fine, but the initial activation is a PITA - do not expect anyone at any Sprint store to have any clue - the three stores I visited didn't even have a machine capable of activating it.

In the end, though, Verizon is what I ended up with. You have to use their VZConnect software which is a PITA because it overwrites your network settings when it's launched, and resets them when you quit, but as long as you're aware of that, and don't try to change the network settings mid-flight, you should be fine.

If you want internal cards (as opposed to external USB devices which I detest), be aware that (at least right now) Verizon are the only vendor shipping ExpressCards that work in the MacBook/MacBook Pros. All other vendors ship PCCards that work with PowerBooks.
Sprint have announced support for the ExpressCard (ironically, the same ExpressCard that Verizon ship), but it's not yet available. Therefore Verizon is your only option for the ExpressCard in a MacBook/Pro
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GFitzy
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Sep 19, 2006, 12:43 PM
 
Camelot

Does the Verizon software overwrite ALL network settings or just the current 'location' if you will?

Do they work with the PowerBook G4 as well as the Intel based Macs?

-Gfitzy
     
dmcnickle
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Sep 20, 2006, 06:23 PM
 
I am trying to figure out which cellular provider and pc card will work the best.
I currently have a MacBook but am going to get a MacBook Pro in the next 2 weeks.

Is the Express card the way to go or would a pc card work just as well?
     
dmcnickle
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Sep 20, 2006, 06:32 PM
 
How can you use the expresscard on MacBook?
     
Pao|o
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Sep 20, 2006, 09:04 PM
 
Merlin XU870 3G HSDPA 3.6/7.2 Mbps ExpressCard/34
Merlin XU870 3G HSDPA 7.2 ExpressCard

Merlin XU870's Apple Mac Support page
Merlin XU870 Apple Mac Support

Merlin XU870's Walter S. Mossberg review
Personal Technology: Walter S. Mossberg / Novatel laptop cards can access Web, but services vary

Sierra Wireless AirCard® USB Wireless modems
Sierra Wireless - Heart of the Wireless machine (sierrawireless.com)

Sierra Wireless Mac OS X Support Page
Sierra Wireless - Heart of the Wireless machine (sierrawireless.com)
     
Camelot
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Sep 23, 2006, 03:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by GFitzy
Camelot

Does the Verizon software overwrite ALL network settings or just the current 'location' if you will?
The verizon software basically creates a new network location and switches to it when you activate the connection. It's not much of a problem unless you don't realize this and try to change any of your network settings while the connection is active - you'll trash the entire config and need to reinstal (at least I did).

Do they work with the PowerBook G4 as well as the Intel based Macs?
Verizon have cards that work in the PowerBook, and other cards that work in the MacBooks. Since the MacBooks have ExpressCard slots (not PCCard slots) you cannot use the same card on both systems.
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Camelot
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Sep 23, 2006, 03:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by dmcnickle
Is the Express card the way to go or would a pc card work just as well?
A PCCard will work just as well provided you are very precise with your hacksaw so that when you cut the card in half (so that it fits in the MacBook Pro's ExpressCard slot) you don't damage any of the components in the card, You'll probably also need to be pretty precise with your soldering iron when you re-wire the electronics for the ExpressCard pinouts. You might also need some duct tape to hold the antenna in place.

On the other hand, getting a separate ExpressCard directly from Verizon is a lot easier
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GFitzy
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Sep 25, 2006, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Camelot
The verizon software basically creates a new network location and switches to it when you activate the connection. It's not much of a problem unless you don't realize this and try to change any of your network settings while the connection is active - you'll trash the entire config and need to reinstal (at least I did).



Verizon have cards that work in the PowerBook, and other cards that work in the MacBooks. Since the MacBooks have ExpressCard slots (not PCCard slots) you cannot use the same card on both systems.
Looking at this page: Built-in Wireless Internet Access I don't see a Mac 'solution' as they refer to it. Have they dropped Mac support, don't advertise it and do you have to go to their stores to get more info or what?

Also, would you consider this a 'turn key' solution? The user I'm working with on this isn't very comfortable with networking or the underlying OS settings in general. He just wants to turn it on and he's online if you know what I mean.

-gfitzy
     
Camelot
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Sep 27, 2006, 07:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by GFitzy
Looking at this page: Built-in Wireless Internet Access I don't see a Mac 'solution' as they refer to it. Have they dropped Mac support, don't advertise it and do you have to go to their stores to get more info or what?

Also, would you consider this a 'turn key' solution? The user I'm working with on this isn't very comfortable with networking or the underlying OS settings in general. He just wants to turn it on and he's online if you know what I mean.

-gfitzy
The BroadbandAccess solutions they're referring to on that page are laptops which ship with built-in support for their EVDO network - i.e. no USB/PCCard/ExpressCard needed. 

Clearly Apple don't fall into that camp, so you have to use the PCCard/ExpressCard options (depending on your laptop model).

As for 'turnkey', not exactly. You have to initiate the connection - which is as simple as a single click in their app, so it's not hard - but AFAIK it doesn't automatically come online like a normal AirPort or ethernet network would. There might be a way of getting it to do this, but I mostly use the card as a fallback to my main connection, so I'm not running it all the time.
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GFitzy
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Oct 4, 2006, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Camelot
As for 'turnkey', not exactly. You have to initiate the connection - which is as simple as a single click in their app, so it's not hard - but AFAIK it doesn't automatically come online like a normal AirPort or ethernet network would. There might be a way of getting it to do this, but I mostly use the card as a fallback to my main connection, so I'm not running it all the time.
I know this may be 'beat the dead horse' time but you refer to 'their app' yet when I go to a Verizon WiFi store and ask what app works with Tiger on a G4 based Mac I get a shrug of the shoulder and no help, "Not sure how it works on the Mac, I do PCs."

Could you maybe share the name of the Verizon app that handles communication via their PPCard? Google turns up nothing helpful, at least for me!

     
GFitzy
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Oct 4, 2006, 12:03 PM
 
dign!, ding!, ding!

we have a winner: VZAccess

found here: VZAccess Manager System Requirements

     
Camelot
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Oct 4, 2006, 04:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by GFitzy
I
Could you maybe share the name of the Verizon app that handles communication via their PPCard? Google turns up nothing helpful, at least for me!

Yeah, it's not easy to find, but the Mac version of VZAccess is actually a co-branded copy of Smith Micro's wireless card manager.

You can get it from http://www.vzam.net/ but you need a valid Verizon cell number to get to the download page.
Gods don't kill people - people with Gods kill people.
     
silivestru
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Oct 12, 2006, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Scarab
Hello, I have an old iMac that I would like to give wireless capability too. Can anyone suggest a usb wireless card that is mac compatible? The apple store in San Francisco basically told me to die in a fire. I also have a G4 here that needs a new wireless card, as its was apparently broken in a horrible case-mod accident before I was given it. Any suggestion? I'm a small and lost PC/linux child, who knows nothing of these crazy apple thingamajigs)

Thanks for any help!
Try two wireless dongles: Belkin F5D7050 and Zonet ZEW2501.
     
   
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