UPDATE: Using AirPort with Non-AirPort Computers

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Date: Saturday, September 8th, 2001, 16:04
Category: Archive

Thank you to all the readers that have responded to my first article about using AirPort with Non-AirPort-equipped computers. Many of you offered excellent suggestions and pointed out errors which I have summarized below.


Thank you to all the readers that have responded to my first article about using AirPort with Non-AirPort-equipped computers. Many of you offered excellent suggestions and pointed out errors which I have summarized below.

ON APPLE’S AIRPORT CARD:
Seems Apple’s AirPort card is not a standard PCMCIA card. The pin-outs are different, on both the AirPort card and the AirPort card slot. Were Apple’s AirPort card a standard PC card, you’d be able to disconnect the antenna from a WaveLAN Gold card and put it in a PowerBook’s AirPort slot for 128-bit encryption. People that have tried say this isn’t possible.

OTHER PCMCIA 802.11b CARDS:
Cisco manufactures a PC card that’s compatible with the Mac OS and AirPort.

MEZZANINE SLOT:
Apparently, there were more enterprising companies making expansion cards for the original iMac than I had previously thought. Not only is there the VooDoo 2 card I mentioned, but also several SCSI solutions.

PCI 802.11 CARDS:
Several readers have contacted Orinoco and have had confirmed by their Technical Support that their PCI card carrier does indeed work with AirPort, despite what their Web page says.

USB-ETHERNET, USB-WIRELESS ADAPTERS:
Judging by the number of responses I received, this is a touchy issue for may 1st-generation iMac owners. There are a few options I overlooked in my first article:

  • Orinoco makes an ethernet-to-PC card converter. One reader wrote that he’s been able to get this adapter working with an iMac. The configuration software is Windows-only, but the device does auto-sense any AirPort network withing range.
  • There a almost a dozen USB-to-wireless adapters, but none of them have a Mac driver. Steven Kan has created a poll with the suggestion that we petition one of these manufacturers to write a Mac OS driver. I believe this is an excellent idea. Both LinkSys and Proxim have always been pretty Mac friendly. Vote!

OS X COMPATIBILITY:
I’ve working on an article about using 802.11b with Mac OS X. Look for it soon. Thanks to all those that responded.

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