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View Full Version : Hack: Upgrade your old V.90 Mac to V.92 (Modem-on-Hold) for free?


nagromme
Mar 8, 2005, 02:39 AM
Maybe this is old news, but...

I had always thought that Macs with V.90 modems--like my 1st-gen eMac--were stuck with it. Newer Macs have V.92 modems, and they offer Modem-on-Hold, which is GREAT! With only ONE phone line, you can still get calls while online, and you can MAKE outgoing calls while online too. All you need is Call Waiting, which is cheaper than two lines. (If you also have Caller ID, a V.92 modem will even show the ID on screen.) I think V.92 has other advantages too--maybe connecting faster?

Anyway, I accidentally upgraded my eMac modem to V.92! I was online, got a call, and window popped up asking me if I wanted to take the call. While I was talking, it hit me: "my PowerBook can do this... but my eMac can't!"

Well, now it can :) Maybe someone knows exactly how to make it happen, but here's what did it for me:

My 15" Al PBG4 is my main system, and when I work on my eMac I like to use an exact copy of my PB: system, settings, home folder, everything. So I sometimes boot from my iPod Photo.

A few months ago (10.3.5 maybe?) I simply dragged my PB's System, Library and Users folders onto the iPod, hooked it up to the eMac, and it booted just great! Not just on the eMac but on several Macs while I was traveling. My PowerBook just got pocket-sized!

But THIS time (10.3.7) I tried the same and it would NOT boot. So I did the copy with Carbon Copy Cloner instead of just dragging (and let it copy all the invisible files), and I repaired Permissions on the iPod before booting from it. Now it does boot the eMac.

It also gives a couple warnings about kernel extensions when I log in, and a couple more when I dial the modem. That never happened last time--but that's OK, everything seems to work anyway.

And by booting from the PowerBook's copy of 10.3.7, the eMac now has V.92 Modem-on-Hold! (The eMac by itself is also running 10.3.7, but does NOT have Modem-on-Hold unless I boot from the iPod.)

So, something in my PB's system--maybe something new with 10.3.6 or 10.3.7--enabled V.92 on my eMac. I don't know what, and upgrading the eMac itself to 10.3.7 id NOT do the trick. But maybe it's a lead someone wants to pursue. Maybe there's some simple plist hack waiting to be found! Modem-on-hold really IS very handy.

Or maybe I'm just the last person to know that older Macs CAN be hacked to V.92 :)

Hemingray
Mar 8, 2005, 12:23 PM
Very interesting! I wonder how the heck that's possible? Surely Apple wouldn't have crippled a MODEM of all things. I mean, a processor is one thing, but a MODEM? Too weird...

nagromme
Mar 8, 2005, 12:38 PM
Perhaps V.92 hardware was ready before the software? Or I've managed some non-standard Frankenstein combination of V.90 and V.92?

bousozoku
Mar 8, 2005, 01:07 PM
I was once told by an Apple technician that the iMac modem was unlike the PowerMac modem in that it was as much software as it was hardware. The eMac modem is probably like that too and just needed to be updated to a different protocol.

Too bad we can't update the earlier hardware in PowerMacs, too.

ravenvii
Mar 8, 2005, 01:15 PM
Heh, modems. I went broadband back in 1998, and now can't imagine ever going back.

nagromme
Mar 8, 2005, 01:20 PM
True. But $10/month for dialup vs. $30 minimum for broadband comes to at LEAST $240 per year I can spend on other stuff :) That really adds up, year after year! I've easily saved thousands of dollars.

But one day I'll get sick of doing my downloads overnight, and I'll pay those thousands!

Bear
Mar 8, 2005, 02:07 PM
True. But $10/month for dialup vs. $30 minimum for broadband comes to at LEAST $240 per year I can spend on other stuff :) That really adds up, year after year! I've easily saved thousands of dollars.If you only have one phone line, you're correct, but some people have a second phone line for dialup and fail to add the cost of the phone line to the ISP charges when comparing it to broadband.

nagromme
Mar 8, 2005, 02:09 PM
Correct. That's why this Modem-on-Hold thing is so nice!

Hemingray
Mar 8, 2005, 04:23 PM
True. But $10/month for dialup vs. $30 minimum for broadband comes to at LEAST $240 per year I can spend on other stuff :) That really adds up, year after year! I've easily saved thousands of dollars.

Ahh yes, but at the cost of how much of your time? Overnight downloads aside, think of how many more web sites you could visit in the same amount of time with broadband!

Yes, I suppose I am addicted to the internet... :o

nagromme
Mar 8, 2005, 11:18 PM
Thanks to tabbed browsing, the extra time I waste due to dialup is only valued at $17 per year :D