A few questions from a future switcher...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by chameeeleon, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. chameeeleon macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2004
    I have been admiring and researching Macs since I bought my iPod last summer, and have been (and still am) saving up for the day that either a G5 iMac or G5 Powerbook arrive, as I'm dying (mainly) for iLife/Final Cut Express, and also the sheer beauty of the OS.
    However, I live in a household with two PCs (three including mine) that are wirelessly networked together (if you could call it that - my start menu and taskbar vanish then reappear every few seconds when I'm trying to get to shared folders on the others, and the windows randomnly close frequently). The main point of the network is that all three of the computers are able to share an always-on wireless internet connection (we have some D-Link thingamajobber in the basement that controls it).

    My question is (and this may be difficult without me sharing the finer details of the connection, but I don't really understand it) will my Mac be able to be on the network as well, and if so, what hardware will it require. I know our internet provider will hook up Macs, buy I doubt my family would be very happy if we had to pay two high high-speed bills a month, so I'm curious if my Mac-to-be can carry on the same function as my Windows PC is doing.

    This leads me to the only Mac product that confuses me - Airport. Would I need to have an "Airport Base Station" or whatever for the Mac to be on the network? Or just an "airport card"? Or would I need something else entirely? What exactly does Airport do?

    My final question, and totally non-network related, what is up with the green traffic button on the window bar? On Windows, I'm used to the button making an app go full-screen, but whenever I've tested it on Mac, it simply stretches the top and bottom of a window to the screen's constraints, leaving the rest of the window at its previous dimensions. I don't actually use full-screen a lot, but I wonder what the purpose of this button actually is, and if I'm missing something.

    Thanks for all your help, I can't wait for the next batch of G5 releases, and my transition.
  2. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    If you have a D-Link router that's 802.11b or g, you should be fine. Airport is just another name for either of those (g being the new one). If it's 802.11a, it won't be compatible, but if you have an older D-Link, it's probably b. It will share the internet connection fine. You may have some issues sharing files, but it's not too bad.

    There are a couple of current threads here about networking that can help you more than I can, just do a search.

    If it makes you feel better, I have a Gigafast router and it works better with my Mac than my PC. But it's not wireless.
  3. Beigean macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2002
    the green button is the Zoom widget. it resizes a window to reveal all its contents, rather than expand to fit the screen. that's why you saw it only do a vertical stretch, because there was probably no missing horizontal area. some programs set the zoom button to act just like the maximize button in Windows, but most don't.
  4. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Your d-link router should work fine with your new Mac. However you will need an Airport card to connect to a wireless network. Some of the top end PowerBooks have it already built in. You will not need an Airport as it is Apple's Wireless base station. You may be waiting a while for a G5 Powerbook; they are not expected until later in the year, however you never quite know what Apple has up its sleeve.
  5. BenRoethig macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Dubuque, Iowa
    Get the airport extreme wireless card with the Mac and it should recognise the internet connection and network automatically as long as it's a 802.11b/g network.
  6. chameeeleon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2004
    I know, I'm not counting on them arriving any time soon (though, like you said - there's always hope), but I can't justify spending over $1000 on a machine lower than 1.8 Ghz (which is what my PC is), and, when you add in the necessary screen, the new PowerMacs are WAY too far out of my price range.

    Anyways, thanks for all of your help on clearing that up for me, I want to make sure that I have everything my Mac will need when I finally get around to buying it. As for the zoom button - that [adjusting the dimensions to fit the contents] makes a lot of sense.
  7. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    For instance, in this forum, the green widget will make the window only expand horziontally as big as necessary to fit the window's contents, no more.

    When using a Mac, you have to think in the minimalist fashion.
  8. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    A testament to the ease at which an apple computer gets on a wireless network.

    First time I walked into a free internet coffee shop, I set my powerbook 1.25 down, and opened the lid. my friend of a few more years had the same modle, and this was a first time with this for the both of us. So, as soon as I open her up, I go to the menu to connect to a server, only to be baffled by finding 3 wireless servers, and not knowing which was the free one that belonged to the coffee shop.

    Suddenly, my Mac says I have new mail...I was sitting there trying to figure it out, and it had already found a free server, connected, and had gotten my mail.

    Today it wasn't quite as fast, I walked into a different shop and opened it up to get a messege saying something to the efect of "your normal safe wireless networks are not available, but there is another open network available, would you like to use it?" I hit "ok" and my mail program jumped into action all on it's own.

    Mind you, I've never been to any of these networks before, or set my computer to anything but "automatic" for the internet connecctions.

    Not to say comuters on the windows side can't do this, I just haven't seen them do this, and your question alone makes me think you haven' experniced something this simple.

  9. unixkid macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2004

    a 1.8ghz G5 will be more than tripple the speed of ur 1.8ghz pc and u dont need to get the apple displays u can use any screen u want on the powermac so if u have a screen laying around u can just use that and it will bring the cost down a lot.

    u can get a 19" CRT for $100
  10. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    D-link wireless

    I could be wrong, but I don't think D-link makes any 802.11a-only products. Most of their line is 11b, with a growing number of 11g (and a few a+b+g products).

    Actually a lot of the network pundits thought 802.11a was DOA as soon as it was finalized, because 802.11g was already on the horizon. I realize 802.11a has some technical advantages, but incompatibility with the huge 802.11b installed base is a huge problem. IMNSHO the main reason 802.11a is still around is it was invested in heavily by some rather big honchos.

    Anyway, if you're unsure just run down to your basement and get the model # off the D-link router; then post it here.

    Edit: D-link does have two older 802.11a-only products: the DI-754 wireless router and the DWL-5000AP wireless access point.

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