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MacBytes
Oct 12, 2005, 07:08 PM
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Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Apple quietly releases external USB modem. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051012200846)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nagromme
Oct 12, 2005, 07:37 PM
Making it an option on the mid-range Macs is OK--although you lose fax send/receive ability which is REALLY nice to have (without paying an extra $50). I hope the new external modem (whoa! flashback!) supports fax and V.92 (modem-on-hold/call waiting) like Apple's internal modems do.

They should keep the modem on the low-end Macs (Minis) though. A LOT of people have no other choice--and others, like me, can think of other things to do with $500 per year. I'd LOVE to have more speed, but NOT to the tune of a grand every two years. I'm sure that decision is even MORE common among buyers of low-end Macs.

And of course portables need an internal modem. You don't want to be carrying extra parts, and you can't count on broadband everywhere you travel. You CAN count on a phone jack.

Sun Baked
Oct 12, 2005, 07:40 PM
Apple may have quietly simplified the logic board, should be interesting to see if two of the daughterboards floating around inside the next computer updates vanish -- modem & bluetooth modules.

mduser63
Oct 12, 2005, 07:45 PM
I'm assuming this modem will work with other Macs too? My Power Mac is a BTO (long story, but I didn't pick the options), and doesn't have a modem. It'd be sort of nice to be able to add one to it.

Some_Big_Spoon
Oct 12, 2005, 07:45 PM
I actually hope they've done this, or will do this, on new portables as well. I need a good quarter inch and pound shaved off my 12" PB frankly. It's too thick and heavy to be in the "small laptop with big pricetag" catagory any more.

I'll do you one better, I hope they leave off the disc drive eventually. I never use it, cept to install software, but there's way easier ways to do that. It's bulk I just don't need for as much as I travel. Make it external so i can put it in my carry on and use it if I must, otherwise, it's just dead weight.

Apple may have quietly simplified the logic board, should be interesting to see if two of the daughterboards floating around inside the next computer updates vanish -- modem & bluetooth modules.

iMeowbot
Oct 12, 2005, 07:46 PM
I hope the new external modem (whoa! flashback!) supports fax and V.92 (modem-on-hold/call waiting) like Apple's internal modems do.
It does.

Speed: Data up to 56kbps, fax at 14.4kbps
Supports caller ID, wake on ring, telephone answering (V.253), modem on hold
V.92 software support

Apple internal modems had been USB units for a while, so presumably this is the same one with wires attached.

balamw
Oct 12, 2005, 07:48 PM
They should keep the modem on the low-end Macs (Minis) though.
It's already a CTO option on the $599 and up minis, only a standard feature on the $499 model.

I'd prefer to see the logic board real-estate used for more USB/FireWire ports on anything but the cheapest machines.

B

Some_Big_Spoon
Oct 12, 2005, 07:49 PM
Or size reductions :-)

It's already a CTO option on the $599 and up minis, only a standard feature on the $499 model.

I'd prefer to see the logic board real-estate used for more USB/FireWire ports on anything but the cheapest machines.

B

MacFan782040
Oct 12, 2005, 08:06 PM
I'll do you one better, I hope they leave off the disc drive eventually. I never use it, cept to install software, but there's way easier ways to do that. It's bulk I just don't need for as much as I travel. Make it external so i can put it in my carry on and use it if I must, otherwise, it's just dead weight.


Your kidding, right? Watching DVD's, burning DVD's, and CD's? They wouldn't even consider taking it away.

fistful
Oct 12, 2005, 08:11 PM
I wonder if it works with the Airport Express?

aafuss1
Oct 12, 2005, 09:00 PM
It's also the first external modem Apple has released since, at least the early 1990's.

nagromme
Oct 12, 2005, 09:08 PM
Your kidding, right? Watching DVD's, burning DVD's, and CD's? They wouldn't even consider taking it away.
They could make it external, though. It's a valid choice for some who prefer the minimum and don't use the optical drive much.

I use mine enough to find that annoying, but if they showed me just HOW thin they could make the 'Book... I might be persuaded :)

I couldn't do without modem, though. I need Internet, and I visit lots of places that don't have ethernet or WiFi. They all have phone jacks, though. Plus I need a way to get faxes.

hulugu
Oct 13, 2005, 05:54 PM
I wonder if it works with the Airport Express?

Now that would be an interesting hack, bringing an AE with you would make even more sense in a place that didn't have Broadband.

shamino
Oct 14, 2005, 03:08 PM
They could make it external, though. It's a valid choice for some who prefer the minimum and don't use the optical drive much.

I use mine enough to find that annoying, but if they showed me just HOW thin they could make the 'Book... I might be persuaded :)
It can't be any thinner than the hard drive. But that can still be thinner than they are now. Today's 2.5" drives could be replaced with the 1.8" drives that the iPod uses - which go up to 80G.

To go thinner than that, you're talking about 1" microdrives or Toshiba's 0.85" drive (http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=8182000008e3000000010000659c00001d2a). But these don't come in large enough capacities yet. I think the largest microdrives today are 6G, with 8G and 10G coming soon. The 0.85" drives top out at 4G.

There is flash, of course, but that's still not a practical hard drive replacement for a laptop. Too expensive, and swap files would destroy them (due to the write-cycle limits.) Of course, you could just include a lot of RAM (maybe 2G standard) and disable all swapping. That would get you around the write-cycle issue, but it would still make for a very expensive system.
I couldn't do without modem, though. I need Internet, and I visit lots of places that don't have ethernet or WiFi. They all have phone jacks, though. Plus I need a way to get faxes.
I suspect internal modems will stay around in laptops for much longer than they remain in desktop systems. For precisely the reason you cited.

skoker
Oct 15, 2005, 09:46 AM
Making it an option on the mid-range Macs is OK--although you lose fax send/receive ability which is REALLY nice to have (without paying an extra $50). I hope the new external modem (whoa! flashback!) supports fax and V.92 (modem-on-hold/call waiting) like Apple's internal modems do.

They should keep the modem on the low-end Macs (Minis) though. A LOT of people have no other choice--and others, like me, can think of other things to do with $500 per year. I'd LOVE to have more speed, but NOT to the tune of a grand every two years. I'm sure that decision is even MORE common among buyers of low-end Macs.

And of course portables need an internal modem. You don't want to be carrying extra parts, and you can't count on broadband everywhere you travel. You CAN count on a phone jack.

THANK YOU!
Best post I've read today