iMca G4 + Airport card + Linksys WRT54G networking

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by TheAdvocate, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    Hi,

    I know next to nothing about older Apple networking or OSX. We have an iMacG4 (aka the lamp iMac) with OSX and a functioning Airport card. It can detect another Apple network at a neighbor's house down the street, but cannot detect my trusty old WRT54G that all my PCs are networked to.

    Am hoping there is a simple fix? Would my Wireless encryption settings make any difference? I haven't changed them in years, so I have no idea what I have anything set to. I do have the network password protected.

    Would really like to get this computer on the network. Have a very specific use in mind.

    If I need to buy additional hardware, I will. Hard line connection is not an option.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. umrigar

    umrigar Platinum Member

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    what version of OS X, and which iMac?

    older OS/hardware might not like WPA or WPA2 encryption.
     
  4. Mixolydian

    Mixolydian Lifer

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    I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure all G4 iMacs use the "original" AirPort card, which only supports 802.11b and WEP encryption. So if you have a G-only network, it would not see it.
     
  5. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    Its b capable too, IIRC. However i doubt i am using that encryption standard.
     
  6. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    Some of them used the b only card, the later ones (1GHz+) supported the airport extreme card which is b/g so it depends on the model.
     
  7. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Which model? As suggested, if it's an earlier model with 802.11b, it won't work with WPA/WPA2. Only the later models with 802.11g support WPA/WPA2.

    Go to the Apple icon at the top left and click it, and select "About This Mac" and then "More Info".
     
  8. umrigar

    umrigar Platinum Member

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  9. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    That requires OS X 10.5.

    That's fine, but older G4s function best on OS X 10.4.11, and in fact anything below 867 MHz can't get 10.5 unless you install it in non-conventional ways.

    So as we mentioned in another G4 thread, maybe the best solution if you're thinking of a dongle anyway is just to get an Ethernet bridge. You can buy a refurb 802.11n router for about $25 and convert it to bridge mode, and then plug it into the Ethernet port of the G4. That would give it WPA2 support, and 100 Mbps Ethernet speeds. The only problem with that is that the unit is pretty bulky. Or, you could buy a wireless gaming adapter, but they usually cost more than full-fledged wireless routers, which is why I suggested the router.

    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-turn-an-old-router-into-a-wireless-bridge/
     
  10. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    It's an 800MHz iMac G4, with 768MB of RAM, running OSX 10.5.8.

    It was a work computer, was setup by the company's head of IT.

    I haven't tried changing encryption. If that $20 adapter is a surefire fix, I'll just go with that.

    Am kinda surprised the CPU is that weak. This was still a primary production machine 4 or so years ago.
     
  11. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Yeah, I have the same speed machine. Surfing on it even with 1 GB RAM is slooow, unless that guy killed off a whole bunch of 10.5's services I suppose.
     
  12. Mixolydian

    Mixolydian Lifer

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    800MHz model definitely has the 802.11B/WEP-only card.
     
  13. Tegeril

    Tegeril Platinum Member

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    I maintain that the G4 was slow when it was brand new. I remember my room-neighbor at school having the 800MHz G4 in 2003/2004 and complaining about how slow it was. The G4 would just lock up while processing a single thread pretty significantly (whole lots of beachball). Dual processor G4s were a different story.
     
  14. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Probably didn't have enough memory since it shipped with only 256 MB RAM which was almost unusable IMO. Also, some upgraded to only 512 MB due to cost. Officially it can take 768 MB but if you open up the case you can put 1 GB in it total. So the effective max for most people was 768 MB. Even 2004's Mac OS X 10.4 was sometimes a little iffy with 768 MB if you multitasked a lot, although 768 was way better than 512 MB.
     
    #13 Eug, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  15. TheAdvocate

    TheAdvocate Platinum Member

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    FYI - the asnwer ended up being a lot simpler than I thought. I was running WPA2, which the airport card didnt recognize. Changed to WPA, and it connected instantly.

    Works well, but that damn CPU is slow. Maybe too slow :(

    Upside is that IT guy said they are about to upgrade again, and may let me trade in for an aluminum 1st gen intel Imac for free (thinking 2.0+ GHz processor).

    Am so far behind because he cant start giving the machines for free until they have 2 upgrades ahead of them. Some rule about having the last gen available as a backup.
     
    #14 TheAdvocate, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013