Our little community has been dead as of late, so here are some updates for you to ponder.
The wireless card project
I have since been able to get one of these cards onto a completely open access point, but they still will not work with my real wireless network (no SSID broadcast, 128-bit WEP). I've got another laptop that I'm going to try them on (I think the default image on my work laptop might be causing problems or a hardware conflict somewhere). This is all in Windows XP.
After buying a lot of iBook parts from acorder
on MacNN, I've assembled a 500MHz 12" iBook G3, and popped one of these cards in there. I did incremental OS updates, since the stuff he sent came with 10.0 and 10.1 discs, and I already had 10.2 and 10.3 discs, plus a 10.4 DVD I used with a FireWire enclosure.
10.0 has no Airport support, so I updated to 10.1. That saw the Airport card relatively quickly (it sometimes takes a minute for OS X to realize there's a card installed, unlike with a real Airport card where it's immediate), but I couldn't connect to anything. Updating to 10.3 (I got annoyed and skipped the 10.2 upgrade) hasn't seemed to change anything. However...
doing a clean install of 10.4 kills the card entirely. It's not recognized at all. Now, I'm going to assume that Tiger still has support for original Airport cards, since it does indeed work on G3 hardware, which all used original Airport cards. At any rate, that's as far as I've gotten since my last post. My offer still stands to send one of these out to anyone who will give me $11 for one!
FireWire on a 300MHz boardkoralatov
tipped me off to an interesting website on fixing a busted USB port in a 300MHz iBook. It's in French, but you can get the gist of it from the images... check out the site here
The picture we're really interested in in this one:
The white arrow is pointing to a set of six dots on the motherboard that could lead one to think they may be related to FireWire. USB uses four connections - two for data (in and out), and two for power (positive and negative). FireWire, on the other hand, uses six (and this is why you can't easily convert between USB and FW, btw) - four for data (twisted pairs for in and out), and two for power (positive and negative).
I haven't cracked open my own 466MHz tangerine to take a look at this and see if my board has similar connections for the FW port, but it might be worth investigating the possibility of adding FireWire to a 300MHz iBook. This would significantly increase the usability of those models, since it enables things like target disk mode, booting off external enclosures, and enabling high-speed data transfer from enclosures and older iPods. If we can use NVRAM to trick the iBook into displaying XGA, I would imagine it might be possible to do something similar to make it see a FireWire port...
In the meantime, I'm also going to have a few laptops up for sale. Head over to this entry
on my personal journal if you're interested in a 300MHz clamshell or a 12" white G3 model.
What are all of you doing with your iBooks? Any mod projects come to mind? Any ideas we haven't explored yet?