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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:10 PM   #1
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Wireless Internet on the MAC question

My buddy has one of those Titanium laptops with the widescreen. The other day he was at the coffee shop and surfing the web. But there were no wires, no satalite dish, no hookup to a cel phone---not even a little antenna! Could someone explain this to me or provide me with a link so that I can read up on this? Thanks!
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hi Frank -

Thats cool stuff huh?

I think your friend has got the Powerbook G4 17" model, yes?

That one (as well as the 15" I think) has a built in wireless internet card called AirPort Extreme. It was origionally called AirPort until the great Apple folks figured out a way to squeeze more bandwidth out of the sky.

I don't have all the spec's for you but the link to Apple's Powerbook Wireless page is: http://www.apple.com/powerbook/wireless.html

Enjoy!

Aaron
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #3
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Thanks, Aaron!

He's got the large titanium "notebook" with the 16:9 screen. I noticed that his Internet connection was very fast, which got my attention.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #4
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The "titaniums" are the previous version of G4 powerbooks. The new ones have aluminum cases. But the titaniums had a slot for an "airport" card as well. The antenna is internal. But on the titanium models the range was somewhat limited by the case design (I used to have one of these). Not really an issue for normal household or cafe use however. One of the advantages of the new aluminum cases is supposed to be better airport reception.

Trivial point, but the screens aren't really 16:9 aspect ratio. My 15" titanium 667 ran at 1152x768 and my 15" alumimun 1ghz is 1280x854. These are both closer to 16:11...
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Old January 29th, 2004, 06:45 PM   #5
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Any time Frank.

Those computers are amazing. I would love to upgrade.
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Old January 30th, 2004, 06:03 PM   #6
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Yeah, me too. My orange and white iBook is getting pretty old by computer standards. I want one of the big screen Powerbooks. Problem is, I've got an orange lava lamp in my office that matches the orange iBook. The new Powerbooks are basically white. That would screw up my decor.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 05:03 PM   #7
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I just got one of those Alu-powerbooks. Yeah it's amazing. You just sit in a cafe and surf the net, without ANY cable. Pretty cool. And fast, much faster than the old 56K modem connections. Best thing: Whwn I first bought it, I just switched on the powerbook and was surfing the next minute. No fiddeling with settings, no menues to step through. Some hotspots as they call it require a password though.

Bill, don't let your decor stop you from upgrading your computer! You could always spray the powerbook orange, couldn't you?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 05:21 PM   #8
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I'm using a wireless connectio here on my PC as well, but I would
like to point out some warnings. Out of the box the WiFi wireless
standard is not using any security / encryption at all, allowing
anyone access to your network and even your internet line (now
if they do something bad, guess where the FBI is going to turn
up).

Yes you can turn of WEP encryption but this will not help much,
it will only stall someone to get in. The best that the wireless
market has to offer is WPA at the moment which is mostly being
made available in the newer 54 mbit (802.11g) stations and
network cards.

Just so you know...
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Old February 4th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #9
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hmmm...

I rarely use the net at home, because all we can get is a 56k connection, so i never even thought of taking my new machine on line. I've got a g-5 1.8x2 do I need to buy anything beside the $249.00 base unit to do this?

Thanks
Michael
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Old February 4th, 2004, 09:47 AM   #10
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Michael: I saw something on Tech TV last year about a town in Colorado that had WiFi coverage over the entire valley... is that where you are? If not then it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to use Airport for a desktop machine. The base stations have modems in them, and you would also need an airport card in your G5. But you would still be limited to 56k dialup speed so there isn't any advantage over just directly connecting your computer to the phone line.

If you do have WiFi coverage already in your area however then you wouldn't even need the base station. You could just put an airport card in the computer (I'm assuming there is such a thing for the G5?) which would be less expensive.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #11
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The base station is good for connecting many different computers in your house to the internet. I have my G4 desktop in my office, my wife's G4 iMac, my son's G3 iMac, and my Ti Book all wireless connected to my Base Station. The Base Station is connected via ethernet to my cable modem. So the whole house enjoys the cable modem for internet access. I have the Base Station also connected to my phone line so when I travel I can dial into my house and connect to the internet via my cable modem. It's only modem speed but many times cheaper than the hotel internet fees. My favorite way to connect on the road is to use my Sprint PCS phone. They don't charge for internet service (but you must have the Vision Plan) and I can connect almost anywhere I have a Sprint signal. The service is much faster than modem, but not as fast a cable modem.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:08 AM   #12
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WIFI

I'm not sure which town it is that has this coverage, but I feel certain it aint Loveland. You say high tech out here and everybody thinks you've got a new fangled milk machine, or mabey one o' them fancy horseless carriages.
Loveland, colorado where the men are men and the livestock is nervous.

I cannot even get DSL here. Every town around us has it, but for some reason not us. HP has a major facility here too... it's strange.

Anyway, How would I go about finding out if the area has such coverage?

Michael
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:15 AM   #13
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Ask your Chamber of Commerce.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #14
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http://www.broadbandreports.com tends to have lots of good information on broadband.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #15
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Thanks Glenn,
If anyone needs a good laugh, go to this site and punch in my zip code 80538.
Michael
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."
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