iMac G3 SE 400 MHz slot- and WPA?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by thewap, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. thewap macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    Jun 19, 2012
    #1
    Today I cracked open my son's imac g3 which was in storage for a long times due to it's failing years ago , my son wanted me to throw it away at the time - I quietly stored it instead.

    Curiosity getting the best of me today, I pulled it from storage in the attic, dusted it off and powered it up. The reassuring Apple boot chime sounded off, but led to a blank screen... trying to insert a CD no go -looks like a CD is stuck in there and drive seems dead. No biggy, cracked the case open to take a look see,
    and noticed it is outfitted for an airport card, but has no card or the adapter - just the antenna protection sleeve over the antenna wire.

    OK ! so this baby can go wifi! and I have an extra original card (from my PB G4 that croaked ) all I need is the adapter - $10 on ebay..I can swing that..

    But if I recall...the original airport cards 802.11b / 128bits were only WEP capable, not WPA or WPA2 capable.. researching around, all vendors says that card is not compatible with WPA... but some individuals mention when they updated on panther or tiger, the update included airport update which enabled WPA on those cards.

    Can anyone confirm? much appreciated.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    The original Airport B card can do WPA networks when running a properly updated Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4 system.
     
  3. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #3
    Thats great to know - thank you!.

    Now the obvious question, is it worth it to wifi this beast, thinking it might be too painful even with max ram and an legacy IDE/ATA SSD..
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    They sadly are rather underpowered for most things this day and age. They make good simple email machines and music/DVD players. Do you have any particular things you'd like to be able to make that iMac do?
     
  5. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #5
    My first thought was to put it in the kitchen for uploading recipes..but..wife will nix that for sure, second was for one of my email accounts, possibly some music or media playing role - nothing too involved... photoshop maybe, photo filer.

    It is mostly nostalgia..
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    For email, I suggest using the built in Mail application. It's much better than trying to load Yahoo or Gmail in a web browser. They can't really do much video stuff besides a DVD. Not all G3 iMac's have a DVD drive, your model may be one of the lucky ones that does.
     
  7. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #7
    It does have the dvd drive 4x dvd-rom. knackered mind you, might get a used one.

    Thanks for the intel, would probably blow my kid's mind if he sees it working again..
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    One quick thing with the optical drives in G3 iMacs, they're odd. Only the G3 iMac and the G4 Cube use that particular optical drive. The DVD models of it are uncommon. It may be a better solution to rebuild the current drive than hunt down a replacement as any replacement will be nearing 15 years old. They do make adapter brackets allowing them to use more modern drives, but they are pricey.
     
  9. thewap, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015

    thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #9
    Ok, will look around, I do have some old drives but all of them have failed, so I know what you are saying. Going to test the original drive in an enclosure but I'm not crossing my fingers...

    never rebuilt a dvd drive before, but will look into it, don't mind trying ..
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    The G3 iMac optical drive won't fit in an enclosure. It has the standard ATAPI port, but it is rotated 180 degrees. That's why those drives only work in G3 iMacs and G4 Cubes.
     
  11. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #11
    damn.. back to my thinking cap..maybe i'll try testing it connected to the imac open back - don't want to reinstall everything to disassemble again. Took the dvd appart to free the stuck CD, hoping it was stuck in eject mode only.
    (keeping an eye on the CRT - possible ouch)
     
  12. mac1984user macrumors 6502a

    mac1984user

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    #12
    I got Mac OS 10.4.11 installed on a 300MHz iBook, but I have been unable to get the Airport card to recognise a WPA network. I tried to install the Airport Software Update v.3.3, which I once read helps get the original Airport card working with WPA, but I received a message stating that my current version of the Airport Software was newer. In any case, I hope you have better luck. If you do, please share your findings. All the best.
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #13
    WPA only works with certain types of encryptions(I think TKIP, but may be wrong on this) with the original Airport cards even under 10.3/10.4/10.5

    WEP is-of course-much less secure but a lot more reliable with Airport cards and will also work under OS 9.
     
  14. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #14
    I will try different versions of airport, I do have two old airport CDs somewhere will have to check when the G3 is all back together (disassembled the whole thing to restore) and I install the airport card and caddy.

    ----------

    Rather not downgrade wifi security to wep on all my comps..will have to experiment.
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #15
    Totally understand, and overall probably not worth the risk.

    Most of my PPC computer are in one location, but away from wired internet.

    I use my PM G5(which has the much more versatile Airport Extreme card) running 10.5 as a Wifi bridge. This is easy to do my going to System Preferences--Sharing--Internet Sharing and selecting to share airport over ethernet.

    I then have a small gigabit switch connected to that connects to a couple of PM G4s with gigabit onboard, as well as to a much larger 10/100 switch that connects to several other computers.

    The Airport Extreme cards(at least under 10.4 and 10.5) are still pretty much current. They can connect to WPA2 networks, and have no issues with the 802.11x network at school.

    At least on some computers(i.e. G3 and G4 towers) you can also get PCI cards that are functionally identical to an Airport Extreme card. I'm using one in the Quicksilver I'm typing this post from(it's a Motorola branded card, although I don't recall the p/n offhand). For laptops with a PCMIA slot, there are also PCMIA cards that will do the same. Of course, this isn't an option for you, as you are stuck with the Airport card in your PM G3/
     
  16. thewap, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015

    thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #16
    Yeah, pretty stuck with the b card on the imac G3. Dedicating an open loft to the PPCs so hard wiring ethernet is the fallback which I do not mind, however will have to do some cabling logistics as the loft is a bit aways from the router.

    But interesting idea using your G5 as a wifi bridge then having an ethernet switch connected to it.
     
  17. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

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    #17
    I'd forgotten that the original cards could handle WPA.

    A little searching came up with Apple's support doc:

    http://support.apple.com/us-en/HT2594

    There's a tidbit to add:

    Some vendors b/g modes don't work. Switching them to g only mode resolves the issue - go figure. :eek:

    Of course, this will only be WPA (not WPA2) and as bunnspecial points out, only TKIP encryption.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #18
    One other note-the downside to the third party cards I mentioned(whether PCI or PCMIA) is that they are pretty much an OS X only proposition. The ones I've used aren't even recognized under OS 9, and I'm not aware of any driver that changes that.

    Since no Macintosh which used an Airport Extreme card was capable of directly booting into OS 9(except for the 2003 model eMac), Apple never bothered to write a driver for it.

    And, as indicated above, even if you've updated the Airport card firmware to work with WPA/TKIP under 10.3 or later, you're still stuck with only WEP in OS 9. I'll also add that the 802.11x network at school is not even visible to an Airport card.

    I'm hoping that when I take my Cube and beige G3 into my office in a few months, I can convince the IT staff to put them on the wired network. Fortunately, we do have an official "Mac guy" in IT who I'm hoping will be able to help me accomplish everything I'm wanting to do.
     
  19. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #19
    well thats a bummer, as I want the G3 to stay in OS9, want to use the imac to help format drives in HFS. I will probably still install the airport card just to have the capability of wep, but looks like ethernet for this imac.
     
  20. MacTech68, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

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    #20
    Sounds like an old flying saucer "Airport Extreme" in bridge mode to the ethernet port on the iMac, might be the order of the day, if you want to keep the 'Apple feeling' and don't want to run cabling.

    EDIT: be careful with the white flying saucer Airport basestations.

    Original Airport (grey/graphite) no WPA/WPA2 support

    2nd model 'Dual Ethernet' (white/snow) - these just have "Airport" stamped on them - no WPA/WPA2 support

    3rd model 'Airport Extreme' (white/snow) - these have "Airport Extreme' stamped on them - support for WPA/WPA2 included
     
  21. thewap thread starter macrumors demi-god

    thewap

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    #21
    I do have a 1rst gen saucer, maybe I'll go looking for the 3rd gen and see if I can make it work with the imac G3.
     

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