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Going wireless without an AirPort card System
Since I own a PB "Lombard" (bronze), I can't use an Airport card from Apple. "Thanks Apple." Apple suggested I buy a newer PowerBook, or they recommended a WaveLan card from Asante costing $129 and which may not work with OSX.

Short of either of those options, I found drivers that support PRISM & PRISM II chipset PC cards, and then I bought a $42 PC wireless card from Linksys. OSX drivers for the Linksys PC-card are found at Rob McKeever's page.

So far everthing works great, minus WEP. Best of all, it is free. NOTE: These drivers break in Jaguar and will probably require an update to function again.
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Going wireless without an AirPort card | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Come ON (Or
Authored by: Mikey-San on Aug 20, '02 10:02:30AM

"Thanks Apple."

For what? Not including a technology that was just becoming available? Yeah, they really screwed you, chief. The first iBooks debuted in July of 1999, and the very last PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard) debuted two months prior. It was discontinued in early 2000, to be replaced by the PowerBook G3 (FireWire), which had AirPort built-in.

What a shock that a computer released before the first portable computer with AirPort ... Didn't have it.

Stop blaming Apple for making your world so unbearable.


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Come ON (Or
Authored by: thexht on Jan 30, '03 12:40:16PM

Do you work for apple? No... I didn't think so as they would not hire someone as ignorant as yourself. Do you have nothing better to do than attack people when you see a chance to display your limited and flawed knowledge on the subject?

is it beyond your ability to consider apple could have released a pcmcia card to allow the owners of said laptop this functionality?

if you don't have something good or meaninful to say, why say anything? Your input did not help anyone I'd think.

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The development page...
Authored by: mbanks on Aug 20, '02 11:07:24AM
This project is actually hosted at: You'll find their mailing/support lists there too.

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Whatcho mean WEP doesn't work?
Authored by: perdedor on Aug 20, '02 11:36:06AM
It work 100% with not one, not two, but three Orinoco Silver Cards (you know, the ones apple rips the pcmcia out of, relabels as Airport, and then sells you for $100), an Orinoco Gold (what Airports w/Airport 2.0.2 updates applied are since it flashes the firmware of 1st Generation Airport cards from 48bit WEP to support 128bit WEP) and one last card... a linksys wpc11 pcmcia card.

This is with and without WEP to a Linksys BEFW11S4 (v1) base station, a Linksys WAP11 (both original and v2.2), Airport Base Stations (snow and graphite), SMC Barricade, a 3com AP, and an old p150 openbsd base station I built myself amongst several other APs I've connected with other the past year using this driver.

You'll also get support for Orinoco's HERMES chipset in the driver in addition to Prism II, something apple continues to leave out of X though it's in the 9.x version of airport, but having a single unified driver for all the various cards truely puts this driver way ahead of every other 80211b driver on every other architecture / os / platform PERIOD 1 Driver that truely does it all.

and yes, every driver for 10.2 needs to be recompiled because of the switch to gcc-3.1 and it's new ABI. Don't go and even try to blame apple for that, they started giving it out with the April 2002 dev tools, so in theory you could just d/l the source and recompile yourself.

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Prerelease info on the Wirelessdriver
Authored by: dross on Aug 20, '02 12:34:12PM

Hi, I'm one of the developers working on the driver mentioned (I do the gui and configuration apps/prefpanes) and I would like to point out that if there are any problems with finding out WEP keys and such, you can email me for a version of the prefpane that takes an airport password and automatically converts it to the propper wep key. ( and I'll send the built version out as it hasn't yet been released formally. I have no idea as to the compatibility of the prefpane in Jaguar (I know the driver works as Rob has a higher developer program than me [I'm a student dev]) and I haven't yet recieved the final to test it on. I hope that this will be a help.

-- Dave

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Wireless drive downloads and compatability
Authored by: blib on Aug 20, '02 06:46:22PM

I've been running my Lombard for months with a D-Link wireless card. For a liitle extra security I only alow the base station to give access to my pc cards mac address. If it is not compatable with Jaguar I hope it gets updated soon, this is something I would pay $$ for.

Check the sourceforge site here for a list of compatable cards.

I seem to be running many unsupported hacks on this thing just to get more functionality in OSX. All I need now is my DVD playback (oh well)

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Wireless drive downloads and compatability
Authored by: dross on Aug 22, '02 02:49:32PM

WirelessDriver is compatible with Jaguar we just don't have an installer with it, here is a method that was posted to the support lists by Rob McKeever (the guy who does the driver development) to make the driver work.

1) "sudo chmod -R ugo-w /System/Library/Extensions/WirelessDriver.kext"
2) "sudo chown -R root.wheel /System/Library/Extensions/WirelessDriver.kext"
3) Modify /System/Library/Extensions/WirelessDriver.kext/Contents/Info.plist", removing the 2 line entry for IOKitDebug on lines 33 and 34 (it's not needed except during development and was incorrectly typed as a string when it should have been an integer)
4) run "sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions"

This needs to be run as an Administrator. We should be getting out an installer with these fixes and more features soon.

-- Dave

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Airport questions: Mail & Log-in
Authored by: MtnBiker on Nov 09, '02 02:15:16PM

Set up. Two locations: one with ABS, second with Airport Software Base Station connected to early G4. Portable is PowerMac G4. All with 10.2.1

Biggest Problem: PowerMac can't get mail using either Entourage or Mail with the Software Base Station (second set-up). Can get mail with ABS.

Biggest annoyance. When reboot Software Base Station, Airport sharing is off.

Other annoyance: PowerMac loses connection when it goes to sleep.

Other: I'm thinking to update the Software Base Station with a real base station, but don't won't to pay $200 for the Apple solution. There are a number of othe 802.11 wireless solutions, but I can't figure out what I need. I'm connected on a DSL line, so I don't need a modem solution. I get lost in the WEP, router, hubs etc. To restate: I want an inexpensive 802.11 device that will allow me to use a PowerMac hard wired in and a PowerBook hooked up wirelessly to DSL. Should work without PowerMac being on.

Comments: the PowerMac supporting the Software Base Station has been upgraded from 10.1 and may be plagued with early set-ups for the Software Base Station, but I currently turn on the Airport using the Sharing Control Panel. I also have a fixed IP and is the router address, with subnet mask at

Thanks to any and all who can deal with this long list.

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Hardware Recommendations...
Authored by: natecook on Nov 09, '02 06:52:49PM
i can't help with your software issues, mr. mtnbkr, but i'm using a wireless router from SMC (the SMC7004VWBR) and it's been working great. in addition to wireless it has four ethernet ports, acts as a DHCP server and has a nice easy web-based configuration tool... i got it because MSN's stupid DSL modem isn't very friendly with, well, anything, really, and i've been super happy.

as far as non-apple wireless cards are concerned, i'd really recommend this card you can buy through NetGate -- it's a 200mW WiFi PCMCIA card == extra long range. it says it isn't available for anything but windows, but there's a driver for it on sourceforge. (i found out about it from an article on wired, i think...)

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Hardware Recommendations...
Authored by: MtnBiker on Nov 09, '02 07:35:26PM


The SMC device uses DHCP. Is this just for the (home) network. I ask because I have a fixed IP address with my DSL. I assume the DHCP is just for the network. This question and many others slow me in making the leap to new hardware.

Thanks for responding.

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Airport questions: Mail & Log-in
Authored by: rpm_computing on Jan 07, '04 02:02:23PM

I am currently using a Belkin Wireless router model F5D6230-3 and belkin F5D6020 wireless PCMCIA network card in a Lombard G3 400 running OSX 10.2.3 with the driver avalable from and have full access to mail, internet and lan.

I do however experience loss of signal from time to time and is simply resolved by resetting the router either manually or reset during usage with the portable through the 192.x.x.x router utility before the signal drop every few hours. I attempted to get support from belkin and they flat out denyed me of any support due to using the card with OSX. So I am not %100 if it is the card or the router that is dropping the signal but I did also attempt to use the AeroCard driver in os 9 and was not able to obtain a signal so I am assuming there may be something wrong with the router wireless configuration.

Anyway, I am not complaining and am very happy with the cost effective wireless solution provided between Belkin and the sourceforge driver. The router cost $69.00 (no mail in rebates) cdn at a local radio shack which is cheaper than at the belkin web site!

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Replaces DSL modem
Authored by: MtnBiker on Nov 09, '02 07:38:30PM

Does the SMC device replace the DSL modem?

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